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Your 7-Step Essential User Onboarding Checklist

By Emily Smith on Mon, Aug 19, 2019

Your user onboarding process can make-or-break your SaaS business.

Done well, it positions your service as the ideal solution to a problem your user is experiencing by providing real, demonstrable value from first use.

Done poorly, it fails to show the value of your service, by focusing on all the different functionality your service offers instead of what the new user can achieve with it.

User onboarding sets the tone of your relationship with your new customer, and sets their expectations of the quality, value and usefulness of your service. Therefore, it’s essential that you have a user onboarding process that creates a consistent, professional and user-focused experience, every single time.

To help you build out an awesome onboarding process for your SaaS product, I’ve put together your essential 7-step user onboarding checklist.

Simplify the Sign-Up Experience

“SaaS companies that allow sign-ups without a credit card generate twice as many paying customers from their free trial.”Totango

  1. Keep the sign-up process short and simple to remove barriers to entry.

  2. Ditch the credit card for free trial sign-ups. Ask for card details later, when it’s time for your user to start paying for your service.

Focus on the First Use

“40-60% of new users will use your product once, and never return.”Intercom

  1. After sign-up, welcome the new user with a personalised email or welcome screen.

  2. Identify the first thing that your user will need to do, to get them to start using your service (hint: it’s probably not inviting colleagues or friends).

  3. Generate demonstrable value early by helping your user achieve something tangible in their first session.

  4. Keep your user engaged: don’t interrupt their progress or kill their momentum with action-triggered emails or notifications that will draw their attention away from using your service.

  5. Visually show their progress through set-up and orientation so they can understand how much work is involved in setting up your service.

Free Bonus Content: your 12-Step Complete User Onboarding Checklist.

This downloadable PDF covers five additional steps for the final stage of the user onboarding process: keeping your new users coming back for more.

Download your free 12-step user onboarding checklist!

Keep Your New Users Coming Back for More

 “50% of paying customers log in to their SaaS service less than once a month (or not at all).”Totango

User onboarding is the process of getting a website visitor from the point of signing up for your service, to being a paying customer and regular user. Therefore, new user onboarding shouldn’t stop after the user’s first session.

According to research by Totango, best-in-class SaaS companies achieve a visitor to retained customer (still using and paying for their service after 90 days) conversion rate of 2%. And with half of paying customers logging in to their SaaS service only once a month or less, it’s clear that there’s a real need to invest time and effort actively engaging users, to keep them coming back to your service.

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