The Importance of Great User Onboarding from the Marketing Perspective

We don’t need more stuff, we need more humanity.

– Seth Godin

The Earth is spinning faster around the Sun, and we’re entering a whole new era of digital interactions with each other and things around. We need to humanize our online experiences and make them more intuitive and natural since they’ve already become a part of our reality. The global digital transformation hasn’t yet finished. On the contrary, we are actively passing throughout this phase and the biggest tech disruptions are awaiting us ahead.

Onboarding is the first step toward a more “human” web and mobile app user experience. It allows the user to acclimate to an unfamiliar interface and get into the product essence right during the first interaction.

Onboarding provides an amazing opportunity for a brand to begin communication with a customer and build relationships like real humans. It’s where you can assist your customers, entertain them, cheer them up, and reveal your brand as a charismatic personality with a distinctive character.

The Art of Onboarding. Why Is It So Crucial?

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Animation by Fireart Studio

To build a perfect onboarding is a challenging process that may require a lot of time. But, it is definitely worth it because…

  • It turns your product into a totally personalized experience.
  • It helps you educate a user on how to use a product more effectively.
  • It helps to impress customers with a product’s extensive functionality and hidden features.
  • It shows that a company cares about the comfort and success of its customers.
  • It is a creative area for revealing your brand’s voice and entertaining users.
  • It allows you to update users on their progress and celebrate their small wins together with a brand.
  • It can eliminate negative user experience and reduce dissatisfaction with a process.
  • It turns users into returning customers and contributes to user loyalty to a company.

Benefits of Great User Onboarding for a Business

Increased retention. Reduced churn

User onboarding is particularly important for trials and freemium products. When you show users how to get started with your product and improve their first experience with your brand, there is a high likelihood that they will be more about to make a purchase. And make a purchase again. Onboarding increases the chances of gaining returning customers.

Growth in revenue

Guide the user throughout a process and help them reach the “Aha” moment faster. So that they will stay in a good mood when reaching a product page and will be even more encouraged to make a purchase since they feel safe while interacting with a company online. An excellent onboarding experience can help grow conversion rates, as well as your revenue.

Increased LTV (customer lifetime value)

As mentioned above, great user onboarding efficiently reduces churn and increases user retention. Consequently, it helps set long-term relationships with users and turn them into returning customers. Imagine people are already familiar with one of your products and they really enjoy the experience with it. A significant part of this win is probably thanks to a creative and helpful onboarding process.

After using one cool product, why not try another product from the same brand? In this case, customers are more interested in your company and interact with it again and again. In such a way, onboarding grows customer lifetime value.

Reduced CAC (customer acquisition cost)

If you provide an enjoyable user onboarding experience on your site and inside of your digital product, people are more likely to buy it or recommend it to others. It helps you reduce customer acquisition cost – it can be calculated by dividing all the costs spent on acquiring more customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired in the period the money has been spent.

Moreover, if users enjoy interacting with your product, they usually leave positive feedback online. Onboarding, as a significant part of user experience, contributes to the product intuitiveness, improves usability, and consequently helps gather positive reviews and reduce customer acquisition costs.

Increased ARPA (average revenue per account)

Your average revenue per account (ARPA) will be steadily growing too as your onboarding creates a positive impression about a product, helps keep more customers happy, and demonstrates them the value of upgrading plans, premium features, and add-ons.

Best Onboarding Practices: How to Design for Humans?

Customize onboarding for different behavioral personas

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Illustration by Julia Hanke

Don’t treat everybody in the same way. We all are different, and everyone has particular experience and behavior patterns. Try to investigate behavioral personas of your users and identify the best ways to interact with different target groups. You can suggest the user take a super-short survey before using a product. It should include questions about a job position, experience, or whatever, that would help your system customize an interface for each user profile.

Better to show, not to tell

As known, we are visual creatures and perceive information more efficiently if it’s presented visually. Avoid long text explanations and instructions. It would be best if you used a short video for onboarding to breathe more life into an onboarding process. It will help you not only guide the user but also entertain them.

Furthermore, companies often use animated explainer videos as a part of their onboarding process. They can place them on a landing page or inbuild directly into a product experience, to provide key information about how to use a product and reveal its full potential. An excellent example is an animated explainer video created for Pipedrive by Explain Ninja.

Anticipate the WOW Moment

Your product must bring a particular value and help the user accomplish specific goals. Think of that special moment when the user accomplishes their goal by using your product. Try to deliver this moment as fast as possible. Celebrate it together with users, let them feel that each of their online journeys is important for your company, and you care about them. Anticipate in this WOW moment.

Be laconic

Laconism is music, try to play it out.

Try to explain even the most complicated concepts or processes in a few simple steps. Generalize information, provide only the essence without crowding the space with too many words you could replace with a one or two laconic phrases. Deliver explanations in the shortest and concise way possible.

Onboarding as a Step Toward More Human-Oriented UX Design

User onboarding is a gesture of care about people who use your digital product. Assist your users, help them accomplish their goals, entertain them with lovely graphics, animations, and videos while educating them on how to use your product.

It will give you lots of benefits in return. Increased user retention, revenue, customer lifetime value, average revenue per account, and reduced churn and customer acquisition cost. These are just a few of those tempting advantages that come when you start caring more about those whom you create your product for.

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