New User Onboarding – The Right Way

According to Wyzowl, 55% of people returned a product because they didn’t understand how to use it.

Those people can be your users that log in to your product for the first time.

You might be the one that’s getting returns and churn all over the place. It is extremely important to first accept that the problem with your business could be poor onboarding:

So what are you going to do?

The answer is actually simple, you HAVE to invest in user onboarding. And not just the overall onboarding process of all users, I’m talking about the onboarding of new users.

New user onboarding will be the focus of this article, specifically their first-time in-product experience.

If you were looking for the whole onboarding process that includes onboarding email campaigns and the post-onboarding engagement, check out our definitive guide to SaaS Onboarding(it can help you from signup to retention)

What to focus on when onboarding new users

So, onboarding new users.

How hard can it be?

In case you didn’t pay attention to the statistic above, I’ll say it again. 

Poor onboarding will result in returns and churn. Then comes the bad reviews, down goes the revenue.

The solution is simple; properly invest in the onboarding of new users.

What separates new users from other users is that they don’t have any impression of you or any clue how your product works and what value it offers.

They come empty, ready to be filled with information.

Compared to existing users who already adopted your product, new users can switch to a competitor much more easily. So you have to take special precautions to avoid losing them.

During the creation and maintenance of your new user onboarding, there are 3 things you should look out for:

  • Listen to your users: nothing’s wrong with having real conversations with your users, having them go through your onboarding while you monitor their experience(which is called user testing). Few interviews will reveal almost all of the pain points.
  • Analyze real data: after the onboarding is live, start analyzing the data that pours in. Which parts are getting the best interaction? What steps are creating confusion among users and slowing the process? These could be answered easily with a thorough analysis.
  • Keep optimizing the experience until it is perfect: with all the data and insights from users, you have a chance to make everything perfect. Try experimenting with your existing onboarding experience, add new elements and try them out. You can keep whatever works and get rid of the unnecessary bits easily.

And that’s pretty much it.

Being open to criticism and change is a must for effective new user onboarding.

how to onboard new users

Now let’s look at the steps you need to follow when designing an onboarding experience in the first place:

3 Steps to Onboarding a New User

I believe when it comes to new user onboarding, there is a formula to success. 

Keeping in mind that you should be open to criticism and change, there are 3 steps that should be considered and a question each to ask before creating the onboarding experience:

1- Show only the essentials

Are you teaching your users more than they need to initially learn?

The average attention span of a human being is less than 10 seconds.

So if you think that a user will sit through a 30-minute tutorial learning your product in and out, you are mistaken.

You need to speed things up and only show users the essentials they need to get value from your product.

In fact, you have to find your aha moment and include only the bits they need to learn about to get there.

2- Guide straight to the “Aha!” Moment

Are users reaching the “Aha!” Moment you have found?

This should be the main focus of your new user onboarding.

You see, the majority of people are not aware of this, but onboarding is not about teaching your whole product to a new user.

Its actually about getting them to a point where they are getting value from your product, and independently can do so moving forward.

It’s about getting them to use your product correctly. Sure it will require you to teach in some parts, but mostly you have to push them to finish tasks.

The aha moment is the part where your user starts to get value from your product and realizes that. At that point, they’ll know what your product offers and how to obtain it.

3- Personalize the experience

Is the whole process same for every user, or is it personalized?

One size never fits all.

It isn’t possible to achieve efficiency with various users from different backgrounds with a single onboarding.

Their needs, capability, and purpose can be different. What you have to do is to create enough variations of onboarding flows according to these needs and motives to offer each user something different.

A unique experience that is tailored for them will increase user engagement with a sense of belonging, as they will know that you know their needs and you are doing your best to meet them.

If you have different major features, for example, ask users what feature they are primarily here for. Then show how that works.

Not only they will get the exact feature they asked for, but they will appreciate your efforts in keeping them away from unnecessary tutorials.

I know that these steps might feel complicated at first, but after creating a base structure you will be able to shape the whole onboarding into a piece of art.

new user onboarding template

And what if I told you there was a product with which you could automate all this?                     

Using UserGuiding to Turn New Users into Fans

UserGuiding is an all-in-one in-product user onboarding platform that helps product teams create amazing experiences.

First off, it is a no-code platform, meaning that no technical or coding knowledge is required to create and integrate onboarding flows. It is as easy as dragging and dropping.

UserGuiding can help you create the perfect onboarding experience with various features such as:

It will provide you with an in-depth analytics feature that helps you track the performance of your creations.

It also has a segmentation feature you can use to segment different customer groups based on their demographics and activity and target them with custom onboarding elements to create unique experiences.

new user onboarding template
A guide created For LinkedIn using UserGuiding (took only a minute)

It can help you simplify the process of onboarding development and enable you to improve your user onboarding and overall UX.

Here’s how GhostwriterAI, an AI-based marketing platform, uses UserGuiding to onboard new users effectively while saving tons of time.

Simple, Affordable, and Powerful User Onboarding Software.

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Conclusion

It is crucial to interact and assist users during each step of their journeys with your product.

However, new users and their onboarding is the most vital part as it is your only chance to strike a great first impression. Hope the guidelines on this article helps you in turning your new users into supporters of your business and fans of your product.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is user onboarding process?

The user onboarding process is an ever-ongoing process that starts with a user’s first interaction with your business. Companies often think that onboarding begins when the user starts using the product but that is a big mistake. During the user onboarding process, companies help users figure out how their product will solve their problems and show them the way to do so while dealing with any problem that may occur during the process.


What is the most common process of onboarding new customers?

Interactive guides are the most commonly used elements of an onboarding process. However, thinking that an interactive guide is only made up of interactive guides will only make you fail.


Why is user onboarding important?

User onboarding is important simply because no one is going to use your product unless they feel at home. In other words, if you cannot onboard your users successfully, they will churn like a lightning.

new user onboarding

Mert Aktas

Mert is the Marketing Manager of UserGuiding, a code-free product walkthrough software that 2000+ companies trust in their user onboarding.

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