What are your top user onboarding tips?

Hey everyone,

Cam here - founder of Hopscotch - user onboarding software that helps you drive activation.

I'm compiling a list of user onboarding advice from the SaaS community that I will compile and share in a blog post. So I would love to hear from you:

  • What has worked best for your customer onboarding efforts?
  • What hasn't worked?
  • What are you still struggling with in this area?


Founder @ Hopscotch

  1. 5

    not requiring customers to schedule a demo

    1. 1

      Is your product complex and requires some handholding throughout the process?

      kind of issues have you run into when you let people use it without scheduling a demo?

      Would love to hear any more details about your product and customer base to see if I may have any additional thoughts to add.

  2. 2

    Interested in your product. I currently use usetiful.com, which is fantastic.

    You're a lot more expensive than them, can I ask what extra you're offering?

    1. 1

      Are you happy with Usetiful? What is bringing you to considering alternatives?

      When I look at their pricing page, Hopscotch doesn't seem to be too far off. Hopscotch has a free tier, and then plans starting at $49/month and $99/month. Usetiful has their entry-level plan at $35/month and $117/month.

      1. 1

        I’m actually not actively looking to move but I’m always interested in investigating alternatives that may be significantly better, or if not better then more attractively priced.

        1. 1

          Makes sense! Please feel welcome to give the freemium plan a shot by signing up. If you like the overall product experience, fire me an email ([email protected]) and we can figure something out for coming to the right price - founder to founder. Would be great to have you on board.

  3. 2

    Create empty states and show example data.

    1. 1

      Thanks @Primer! I agree - handling empty states in a way that is intuitive for your user can be a game changer. For example, when you sign up for Hopscotch, instead of showing an empty list, we show you a splash page with the instructions for getting set up to build your first product tour.

      Example data is one that can be hit or miss, but when done well, it's very helpful as sometimes the user just needs to see an example in order to understand how to use your product. Where I see this pattern fail is when it is unclear to the user that the data provided is only example data, or if the app provides the user with too much example data that is difficult to remove. Cloneable templates can be another good way to solve this problem, and then it puts the choice in the users hands of whether or not to use the example data.

  4. 2

    I have been struggling with (and tweaking) my onboarding experience for Blanq for almost a year now.

    1. What has worked best for your customer onboarding efforts?
      My recent update included the creation of a link in the middle pane along with the default option in the header. Here's my recent thread on this. I now added an input field so that the user can quickly shorten a link and see how things work. The results have been better than before.
    1. What hasn't worked?
      I removed the guided tour since everybody was skipping it. People are in a hurry to perform an action and do not have the patience to go through the tour.

    2. What are you still struggling with within this area?
      The current onboarding is not perfect, there are two CTAs and maybe I need to remove one. Also, I am not fully able to explain my product during onboarding.

    1. 1

      Looks good @start123! I like that you focus the onboarding experience to the next action the user most likely wants to take which is creating a link, which immediately shows them the value that your product offers. I agree, you could potentially surface the "add your own domain" part later, unless the majority of users are signing up with that as their main goal.

      I also like that you shortened the steps for them to reach their outcome – instead of clicking "create short link" and then pasting a link into a separate field, you just have it all as one step.

      I could see some added value if your landing page had a similar flow. Instead of requiring a user to sign up before creating a link, you could have a field for them to paste their link instead of the "get started for free" CTA. Then, when they submit their link and see the value you add, you can offer to create an account so they can save their links for future use and access analytics. Moving this value delivery as close to the top of the sign up funnel as possible could help you improve your results.

      For your guided tour, I am not surprised. This tool seems like it should be fairly straightforward to use and would not benefit from a guided tour. I find most of the tools that benefit from any kind of tour tend to be more complex with many options like a CRM or analytics tool, where there are many actions the user could perform and they don't know where to start. In a case like that, you can use a short tour to nudge them in the right direction.

      Thanks for sharing your experience and learnings!

      1. 2

        Thank you for the feedback!

        I like your idea of doing the same on the landing page. It might remove some of the friction users might have in using the product.

  5. 2

    You could team up with @jimzarkadas on this. Check out what he's currently building.

    1. 2

      Oh very nice - that could definitely be a great partnership opportunity. Thanks @nikwen!

  6. 1

    Have you tried to use progress indicators to show your users how far they are in onboarding? These indicators can take the form of percentages, progress bars, steps, checklists, or stages. Being aware of the progress will encourage your users to complete the onboarding flow.

    According to the Zeigarnik effect, people remember unfinished tasks better than completed tasks. So, the incomplete task notice may actually motivate users to finish the process.

    For more onboarding tips visit https://bit.ly/3kOtiCc

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