User Onboarding

4 Steps to Build a Thorough User Onboarding Funnel for Your Product

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    Home / User Onboarding / 4 Steps to Build a Thorough User Onboarding Funnel for Your Product

    Are you ready to take your users on an adventure they will never forget?

    Buckle up, because we are about to embark on a journey to build the ultimate user onboarding funnel and boost those conversion rates!

    With the given steps, you will be able to create a smooth and enjoyable experience for your users, leaving them eager and much more likely to explore all that your product has to offer.

    So grab a pen and get ready to take notes, because, by the end of this article, you will have all the information you need to create a user onboarding process that will make your competitors green with envy! 

    Let's gooo. 🚂

    What Is an Onboarding Funnel? 

    An onboarding funnel refers to the entire process of guiding new users or potential customers through a step guide or stages that assist them in understanding how to make use of product features or services in a way that offers value. 

    The funnel usually consists of a series of particular steps, which might typically include signing up for an account, setting up a profile, completing a tutorial, and making the first purchase. 

    The primary objective of an onboarding funnel is to help users understand how to use a product or service, building engagement and trust along the way - and ultimately increasing the probability of them becoming long-term users or customers. 

    👉🏼 An onboarding funnel is a key component of the wider concept of the user onboarding process, which is the entire process of introducing new users to a product or service and helping them get started from scratch.

    It is indeed a particular stage within this process where potential customers are motivated and encouraged to make the most out of their interaction with your product. 

    Why create a funnel for your onboarding 

    The user onboarding funnel is designed to help new users overcome any obstacles or barriers to using your service and to increase their confidence in the product. 

    By offering a clear path for your new users to follow, you can increase the likelihood that users will become long-term customers or users. Apart from these two basic facts, there is definitely more to an onboarding process. Here is why you should create one. 

    1- It helps you understand user behavior. 

    By sticking with a product onboarding flow, you can gain a more profound understanding of how your users are interacting with your product.

    This helps you identify and act on where users are dropping off, where they are encountering problems or becoming slightly confused, and where there might be new chances to improve the overall onboarding experience.

    By focusing on user behavior, you can make data-driven decisions about how to optimize the user journey and improve it, therefore taking a closer step to success. 

    2- It helps you identify areas that require improvement. 

    Once you are done analyzing the data from your funnel, you can easily and quickly monitor the areas where the user experience could use some improvement. For instance, you might discover that users are leaving the checkout process because of a confusing form, or that they are not completing a tutorial because it is too long or overwhelming. 

    Armed with this information, you can make great changes to the user experience that address these issues, offer brilliant solutions, and improve conversions.

    3- It helps you increase conversions.

    The one big goal of a funnel is to increase conversions. By enhancing and optimizing the user experience at each and every stage of the funnel, you can reduce the problems that users encounter and make it much more likely that they will take the desired action. 

    This process typically includes simplifying some forms, providing more information and guidance, or adding social proof to motivate users to take action. 

    4- It helps you streamline processes.

    Funnels can help your teams identify where processes can be streamlined or automated. For instance, you might find out that a specific stage of the funnel could be automated, such as sending customized emails to users who leave their journeys. By streamlining these processes, you can reduce costs and guarantee an increase in conversions as a consequence. 

    5- It helps you personalize the overall experience. 

    Funnels can be personalized to individual users based on their behavior and preferences. For instance, a user who has already made a purchase might be presented with different options and ideas than a user who is new to the website. By personalizing the user experience, you can create more room for engagement, creativity, and loyalty. 

    How to Make a User Onboarding Funnel 

    Whether you are a startup or an established company, this step guide will provide you with the actionable insights and strategies you need to create a successful user onboarding funnel. Here they are. 

    1- Define the funnel stages. 

    The very first step is to define the stages of the funnel that you will make your users go through. The first step might include stages like awareness, interest, consideration, and conversion - which will ultimately contribute to customer retention and customer satisfaction. The particular stages will vary depending on the business and the overall user journey. 

    2- Set up tracking. 

    Once you have defined the funnel stages, the next step is to set up tracking to monitor user behavior at each stage of the product experience. This might include tracking page views, clicks, form submissions, and other key metrics.

    3- Analyze your findings. 

    Once the tracking stage has been set up, you can now start analyzing user behavior to understand and identify where users are dropping off, where they are getting confused, and where there might be chances to enhance the overall UX. 

    4- Make improvements to optimize the funnel. 

    Based on the analysis of what you have gathered, you can make the necessary changes to the funnel to improve the user experience and increase conversions. This stage typically includes simplifying forms with some open-ended questions, offering in-depth information or guidance, or adding social proof to motivate users to take further action. 

    👉🏼 Once changes have been made to the funnel, it is essential to test the changes and analyze the results. Your product team can use A/B Testing or other methods to compare different versions of the funnel and understand which version works better. Based on the results, you can iterate and continue to optimize the funnel over a time period. 

    Funnel Examples/ Customer Onboarding Templates 


    user onboarding funnel example slack

    Slack's effective onboarding funnel starts when users visit the Slack website and sign up by providing their email addresses. So, we can say that the onboarding journey for Slack looks like this: 

    ✅ Sign-up 

    slack user onboarding funnel

    ✅ Guided Setup

    Upon logging in, users are guided through a setup process to create or join teams, set preferences, and customize notifications.

    slack guides user onboarding funnel example

    ✅ Onboarding Messages

    Slack provides a series of in-app messages highlighting key features and functionalities, encouraging users to explore and engage with the platform. 

    slack messages onboarding funnel example

    ✅ Help Center and Tutorials

    Users can access a comprehensive help center with tutorials, articles, and videos to learn more about using Slack effectively.

    slack help center knowledge base user onboarding funnel

    Wanna see more? Check out our Slack UX teardown here 👈


    Airbnb begins its effective customer journey when users sign up for an Airbnb account by again offering their email addresses and creating a password. 

    ✅ Account Creation

    airbnb user onboarding funnel example

    ✅ Profile Completion

    Users are encouraged to complete their profiles by adding a profile picture, verifying their phone number, and providing personal information.

    airbnb profile completion user onboarding funnel example

    ✅ Search and Booking Tutorial

    Upon logging in, active users are guided through a tutorial on how to search for accommodations, book listings, and navigate the booking process.

    airbnb user onboarding funnel example

    ✅ Ratings and Reviews

    After completing a booking, users are prompted to leave ratings and reviews for their host and the property, encouraging them to contribute to the community and provide valuable feedback.

    airbnb reviews user onboarding funnel example

    👉🏼 So, what if we were to create an example customer onboarding journey for a SaaS product from scratch?  

    No worries, I got you covered!

    Here's your ultimate checklist that you can follow while coming up with a relevant user onboarding funnel.

    Stage 1: Sign-up

    • The user visits the product website and clicks on "Sign Up" to create an account.
    • They provide their email address, set a password, and agree to the terms of service.

    Stage 2: Welcome and Product Tour

    • The user is greeted with a personalized welcome message upon logging in.
    • They are guided through a digital adoption platform with a brief product tour highlighting key features and benefits.

    Stage 3: Profile Setup

    • User is prompted to complete their profile by adding basic information and a profile picture.
    • They are encouraged to customize settings according to their preferences.

    Stage 4: Guided Task Completion

    • The user receives step-by-step guidance to complete a core task relevant to their needs.
    • They are shown tooltips, tutorials, and interactive prompts to ensure successful task completion.

    Stage 5: Expansion and Engagement

    • The user is introduced to additional features and encouraged to explore them.
    • They receive personalized recommendations and tips to enhance their experience.

    And, voila! 

    In Conclusion...

    Building a thorough user onboarding funnel for your product from scratch can seem and feel like a daunting task for your sales process, but with the given steps, you will be well on your way to creating an engaging and positive experience for your users. 

    So do not wait any longer, and start implementing the given user onboarding strategy, and follow this customer onboarding checklist today and watch as a large percentage of people become lifelong loyal customers of your product. Remember, an effective onboarding experience is just the beginning of your customer onboarding process, so buckle up and get ready for the ride!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is an onboarding funnel necessary for user onboarding? 

    Absolutely yes! An onboarding funnel is vital for an effective onboarding experience.

    Without proper and clear onboarding materials, new users may easily feel lost or overwhelmed with difficulty, leading to anger and possibly resulting in them abandoning your product. 

    What's the easiest way to create an onboarding funnel for your users? 

    To create an onboarding funnel for your users, start by clearly defining your objectives and goals as well as your marketing strategy and customer onboarding checklist.  Understand the journey users need to take and break it down into manageable stages. Design a user-friendly interface that guides them through the process.

    And, do not forget to continuously measure user engagement and optimize the funnel based on feedback and data analysis.

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