The main problem with SaaS products is retention.
User onboarding is an excellent way to improve retention quickly.
Turning new users into fans of your product helps you build a long-lasting relationship with them and increases the possibility of making upsells. Adopting a user onboarding software can help you do just that. With user onboarding software, you can save much-needed time and energy, and efficiently help your users adopt your product.
When you help users find and keep finding value in your product, you will have much higher rates of retention.
Onboarding users effectively will also help you increase acquisition because no one wants to use a product that they think is hard to understand how to use it.
When you take acquisition and retention into consideration, you see that customer onboarding starts with the first interaction of customers with your brand and continues all the way to helping users start and keep finding value in your product.
In this article, I will go over why SaaS businesses need a user onboarding tool, and what are the best SaaS user onboarding tools to use; but first, let’s see what makes retention so important:
Why retention is important for SaaS?
SaaS, and retention.
I’m pretty sure you are aware of the relation between these two, yet there is no harm in repeating the basics.
A SaaS is based on a subscription business model; you have to sell your product every month, not just once. In SaaS, it is much cheaper and easier to keep your existing users than acquiring new customers.
55% of customers said that they have returned a product because they didn’t know how to use it. This is a striking statistic because it shows that more than half of customers could stop using your product if you don’t provide a satisfying onboarding experience.
As I said earlier, you should keep in mind that that customer onboarding is not only crucial for retention but also for acquisition. According to the same survey, 63% of users say that user onboarding is a crucial part in their buying decisions.
The Real Value of Onboarding
In order to keep getting payment from your customers each month, you have to make sure that they are using your product and keep getting value from it.
Only when you have the best onboarding possible for your product can you manage to do that.
Fast-growing companies that are trying to reach product-market fit have 20% 8-week retention rate while the top SaaS companies have around 38%. The well-designed onboarding process for the new users makes the difference.
For metrics, examples, guidelines, and checklist; check out our HUGE guide to SaaS Onboarding.
Why every SaaS product needs to use an onboarding software?
I am not going to lie, there is no shortage of developers in 2020. If you want your own product tour and checklist, you can find a freelancer or hire a developer in a matter of hours!
Yet you have to ask yourself, do you really want to be that dependant on developers?
The questions don’t stop there:
Do your developers have better things to do that would benefit your company more?
Do you have enough resources to build an insource user onboarding?
Will you have all the features a user onboarding tool offers, is it worth it?
Developers are always busy creating, maintaining, updating, improving products. It would not be wise to spend precious developer time that could be used to polish your product on creating an interactive product tour.
Your SaaS business needs onboarding software because there is a high possibility that you can’t afford to create an onboarding flow in-source. The best SaaS onboarding software should provide you various features so that you can come up with great onboarding solutions.
If you still have doubts, make sure you check our article Developing Onboarding Walkthroughs Insource is Hard written by our CTO and Co-founder.
What does a good SaaS onboarding software need?
There are so many user onboarding tools that assist you in different aspects when attending to new users but I’ll try to provide you with just the right tool for onboarding users inside your product.
I’d rather tell you what to look for in your user onboarding tool than giving you a name directly.
There shouldn’t be any technical knowledge needed to use, not even a bit
You are selecting a user onboarding tool because you don’t want to bother a developer in the first place.
So, why would you select a tool that requires coding or any technical knowledge?
“No-code” means no code. The tool that you are going to pick should be so simple that anyone from any department in your company should be able to create, maintain, and edit guides as they see fit.
With UserGuiding, creating an onboarding element is as simple as dragging and dropping.
Users should be offered personalized experiences via Segmentation
One size does never fit all.
A user might have a different native language, might have a different traffic source, might be a different type of user in your websites with different permissions.
The user onboarding tool should allow the SaaS owner to choose which guides will work for which segment of users.
With Userguiding, you can easily create segments and access the exact group of users that you want to target.
Various onboarding elements should be utilized together to create the best experience
Here is one of the main advantages to using an onboarding tool, they offer various features.
If you have a product that has more than a single feature, just a single product tour will most likely be insufficient to fully onboard a user. This is where checklists, tooltips, hotspots, surveys, and help centers come in play.
UserGuiding offers various onboarding elements to complete your user onboarding process.
It should offer you the ability to fully customize every element to fit them into your product
Yes, you are using a 3rd-party tool to create your onboarding elements, but those elements have to look like they are a part of your own product.
You most likely have a brand identity; flashy colors that match each other and a classy style. If the tool that you will use to create an onboarding checklist with, for example, has its own non-customizable design, it will not be that pleasing to look at.
Most tools offer customization, but it is usually limited to a few options; whereas, in UserGuiding, you can turn the onboarding elements you have created to actual parts of your product.
Users should be able to reach onboarding guides on-demand.
You don’t know when a user needs help. Immediate pop-up when a user visits a webpage is generally considered to be a bad thing. Instead, user guiding tools should have an option to help users when they need them.
That’s why we’ve developed UserGuiding Assistant, your users can search for help when they need it, and trigger the relevant guides. With this feature, your reusable guides will be able to help your users on-demand.
You should have access to in-depth analytics to measure performance
How can you improve something if you don’t count it? For SaaS products, onboarding guides’ completion rates give you a great insight to see the effect of the tool, and where you still have room to make improvements for your UX.
10 Best SaaS User Onboarding Software
Now that you know what to look for in a SaaS onboarding tool, let’s talk about some of the best SaaS user onboarding software.
UserGuiding helps you create a unique experience for each user through user segmentation and various features such as interactive product tours, user guides, tooltips, onboarding checklists, NPS surveys, and self-service help centers.
Since it does not require any technical knowledge, it can be utilized by any department of your company from marketing to customer success and not just in the onboarding process, it can also be used throughout the entire user journey to increase engagement.
✅ Fast and easy setup
✅ No coding is required
✅ Easy to use
✅ More affordable than many other products
✅ You can try the product without the need to talk to a salesperson
✅ Satisfying customer support
❌ No mobile support
❌ In-depth analytics should be improved
❌ Needs more customizable surveys other than NPS
Thanks to its features such as interactive walkthroughs, tooltips, checklists, resource centers, and NPS; Userpilot allows you to improve user activation and increase feature adoption.
✅ Capable product
✅ Good at demonstrating new features
✅ In-depth Analytics
❌ Difficult implementation
❌ Limited customization
❌ High pricing
❌ You can face numerous bugs
- 14-day free trial (no credit card required)
- Growth Plan: $249/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
- Enterprise Plan: $749/month when billed annually for up to 2500 MAU
Chameleon is an onboarding tool that positions itself as a highly customizable tool. Different types of flows can be created and customized with this tool. You can use UI elements such as modals and checklists. Chameleon also has a segmentation feature but you shouldn’t expect something advanced from it.
✅ Advanced customization
✅ Can code your elements for you
✅ Enables you to embed self-serve product announcements and onboarding menus to your product
❌ Difficult for non-technical people
❌ Slow and clunky design
❌ Issues with support
❌ Weak segmentation
- The lowest cost option is $279 per month (includes 2000 MAU and 1 launcher)
- Enterprise plan start from $6000 per annum
Userlane allows you to onboard users, customers, vendors, and employees to your products. Its implementation is relatively easy like UserGuiding, and its price is optimal for recently established businesses with low-budgets.
✅ Automated employee training
✅ Optimal pricing
✅ Good UX and UI
❌ No pricing model for starters
❌ Challenging to implement for smaller
❌ Can’t try the product on your own (you need to talk to a salesperson)
Userlane offers custom prices for each of their customers because they believe that “custom pricing is the best way to effectively serve such a diverse customer base“.
Appcues is a user onboarding platform that helps you create interactive user onboarding experiences, and is one of the first to do it.
✅ Advanced segmentation
✅ Data visualization
✅ Various templates
✅ Flexibility (You can embed custom code into tooltips to change their appearance, run scripts, embed an iframe, or insert buttons that do custom actions)
❌ Not truly no-code
❌ Difficult for non-technical people
❌ Support is not responsive
❌ Takes time to adopt
- The Essentials Package starts at $249/month when billed annually with 2500 MAU.
- The Growth Package starts at $879/month when billed annually, again at 2500 MAU.
- The Enterprise Package doesn’t have a set pricing, you need to get a custom quotation.
WalkMe is a cloud-based platform that helps product managers and customer success managers manage in-app experiences and create product tours.
✅ Solid for enterprises
✅ Enhanced creativity
✅ Good customer support
❌ Requires technical knowledge
❌ Takes time to implement
❌ Above average pricing
WalkMe offers customized plans for each of their customers according to their product. According to the market, these customizations end up resulting in higher prices than their competitors.
Whatfix is an in-app guidance tool used to onboard new users and to increase the retention of the existing ones. It is usually preferred by enterprises.
✅Solid for enterprises
✅ Allows you to export scenarios into Powerpoint and articles
✅ Responsive support
❌ Lacks systematic quality analytics
❌ Unorganized content
❌ Needs to improve UX and UI
Whatfix’s doesn’t provide you with a fixed price. They offer each customer with a customized plan. The pricing can vary depending on the size of your product, the number of your monthly users.
✅ Responsive to issues
✅ Open source library
✅ Free to use
❌ Limited capability
❌ Hard to maintain
❌ Doesn’t support all browsers
Shepher is free to use.
Intercom is known as one of the most popular customer messaging platforms.
In April 2019, Intercom launched its “Product Tours” feature. It allows you to create step-by-step interactive onboarding guides. Intercom’s Product Tours helps you manage adoption and onboard new visitors by building product walkthroughs and tours within your product.
✅ Easy to use
✅ Intuitive setup
❌ Not many options (such as checklists, modals, and other key elements)
❌ Limited functionality
❌ Limited analytics
Intercom Product Tours Pricing
Using Intercom Product Tours will cost you around $273/month, as the Product Tours add-on is sold for $199/month and to get the add-on you must possess an already existing subscription which starts from $74/month.
Stonly is a self-serve support and user education platform that offers engaging and interactive guides for software products.
✅ Engaging Help Centers and Knowledge Bases
✅ Responsive customer service
❌ Hard and slow setup
❌ Requires technical knowledge
❌ Limited customization
❌ Not interactive enough
- Basic(Free Forever) Plan: Free forever with 1000 monthly guide views and 5 guides, with advertisements from Stonly.
- Starter Plan: $61/month with 2500 monthly guide views, 30 guides, and access to core features.
- Business Plan: $124/month with 4000 monthly guide views, unlimited guides, and additional VIP features.
- Custom Enterprise Plans: Additional Enterprise features with increased usage limits, but you need to contact Stonly for a custom quote.
SaaS onboarding software will help you increase retention and acquisition by giving you the ability to segment users, make use of product data, create interactive guides, create surveys, and personalize the process. One of the top 10 SaaS onboarding software I shared with you in this article can change the game for your business. If you are also looking for the best onboarding software, you shouldn’t waste any time and start trying out these best onboarding tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is user onboarding software?
User onboarding software helps you educate, guide, and train your users about your product and eventually help them find value in your product and adopt it.
How can SaaS improve onboarding process?
Using a third-party platform will help you save much-needed time and energy and will provide you with the necessary abilities to improve your SaaS onboarding process.
What is an onboarding platform?
An onboarding platform helps your employees or users to easily adopt your product and find value in it.