SaaS User Onboarding: What You Need to Know and Why?
17 Feb

SaaS User Onboarding: What You Need to Know and Why?

Mahipal Nehra

Your SaaS offers a product or service. People are interested in it, so they sign up.After some time, however, you notice that your churn rate has risen significantly. It's at this point that you wonder what has gone wrong.

There can be several reasons for this, but one of the most common is that they don't know what to do. Simply put, they don't know how your product or service works. If this is a problem shared by many of your customers, then you should act on it and solve it if you want to avoid losing clients and money.

User onboarding is one of the most effective methods.

Continue reading if you have enough curiosity. In this article, we'll explain what SaaS user onboarding is, what you need to know, and why it is so important.

Let's get right to it.

What is SaaS user onboarding?

SaaS User Onboarding


SaaS user onboarding involves helping new customers gain a better understanding of the SaaS product so that they realize its value as quickly as possible.

A complete onboarding process integrates the entire customer journey from the moment they register to the time they become regular, contracted customers.

The key goal of user onboarding is to convert new users into loyal customers.

Appcues' guide to SaaS user onboarding provides a better understanding of the topic.

Why is SaaS user onboarding important?

As a result of SaaS user onboarding, companies are able to create informed customers, thereby increasing revenue and saving them time.

When a customer chooses to work with your company, an onboarding team can make a great first impression and let them know that they made the right choice.

Additionally, as your customers become more familiar with your software, they will know how to use it, and are therefore less likely to leave, which might happen otherwise.

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In simple terms, SaaS onboarding will decrease churn and increase revenues for your company.

How do you do SaaS onboarding?

SaaS User Onboarding

From Appcues’ website 

Following a few steps and best practices will help you do SaaS user onboarding the right way. The following are a few relevant ones.

1. Identify the critical action points for your platform

Before planning and launching SaaS user onboarding, you must be aware of the difficulties, challenges, and doubts users might encounter when using your platform or product for the first time.

Through an in-depth usability testing session, you’ll be able to individualize all these possible threats that could compromise the right understanding of the product for the users.

As long as you identify them, you should write all of them down in order to have them once you prepare your onboarding model.

2. Welcome new customers with guides and tutorials

As soon as a new customer signs up, it's a best practice to welcome them.

Email is often the medium through which this occurs.

It's not only a gesture of courtesy but also gives you the chance to introduce new users to your products and educate them from the start.

In order to achieve this, you may want to embed an introductory video within your welcome email, one that provides a quick overview of your product and its most relevant features.

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In addition to the video, you may also want to include relevant links that redirect users to FAQ sections, blog posts, e-books, and any other content that may prove valuable for their understanding and knowledge of the product.

3. Choose the right onboarding model

SaaS user onboarding has a number of models from which to choose to achieve the final goal. Some of the most popular onboarding models include:

  • Self-service onboarding. This onboarding model is simple as it involves creating a simple tutorial or guide, and then users will be responsible for going through it and learning about your product. If you offer a product that is not too complicated and is easy to learn, then this model represents the best option.

  • Low-touch onboarding. In this onboarding model, more onboarding elements are included than in self-service. These elements include product tours in the app, checklists, interactive guidelines, and more detailed tutorials.

  • High-touch onboarding. This onboarding model is the best option for complex products or platforms that are hard to understand or learn. Through one-to-one calls and one-to-one meetings, this model allows a personalized one-to-one client experience.

4. Analyze, iterate, and improve

The process of user onboarding shouldn't be something you create, share, and then forget. Rather, it should be something you analyze and improve constantly.

When you track your churn rate, whether it is increasing or decreasing, you will be able to determine if your onboarding process is effective. If not, you should go through your onboarding process again and tailor it to meet the needs of your users.

Alternately, you can also create surveys or ask for feedback; this way, you'll be able to figure out what needs to be improved or changed.

SaaS user onboarding: best practices

SaaS User Onboarding


There are several ways you can improve your user onboarding experience so that it is successful and generates the results you expect. Listed below are some of the most valuable tips you can implement.

1. Inform users about what to expect

In onboarding, it is imperative to clearly communicate to users what they can expect from your products and services. Setting clear expectations begins with explaining the features of your product or service from the start.

So, as mentioned in the previous section, provide tutorials and explanations for new users.

2. Create a strong value proposition

What distinguishes your product or service from those offered by competitors is your value proposition. Also, it represents a promise of value that will be fulfilled, communicated, and acknowledged.

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Your users need to understand your value proposition, so it's essential that you communicate that to them. Use it also in your onboarding process to persuade your users even more.

3. Build strong relationships with your users

Your onboarding strategy will be more effective and successful if you know your customers, their expectations, doubts, questions, and so on.

In order to achieve this goal, you should build relationships with your existing clients and new users. In order to do so, you can ask them for feedback, respond to their comments on social media, send emails, or share surveys.

4. Keep it simple as much as you can

If you decide to develop onboarding materials, make sure that they are simple to understand and short. Consider the case of having the users read 40-50 pages; as you can imagine, this will discourage them from reading it, and if they have problems using your product or service, they will likely leave it and never return.

You should therefore only include the most important steps, and explain the most relevant features.

5. Always measure the SaaS onboarding process

It is impossible to find space and suggestions for improvements if you don't know what your analytics are.

In order to achieve this goal, you should always keep an eye on relevant metrics, such as the frequency of user logins, the most used features, and the length of time per session.

6. Create a checklist for your SaaS onboarding

As you think about creating your SaaS user onboarding process, you might have a lot of ideas running through your head. However, if you don't keep track of these ideas, or if you don't develop a formal process to follow, then they'll probably get lost.

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To prevent this from happening, it would be best to create a checklist.

Here are some points to highlight in your user onboarding checklist:

  • Set up an email marketing strategy to welcome new users.

  • Follow up with your new customers who are inactive for a while.

  • Create support documents.

  • Create a help center and FAQ so users can instantly find answers to their questions and problems.

  • Set up an appointment with your new customers (either by phone or by email).

  • Analyze the most relevant metrics and check how well your onboarding process is working.

Samples of content you can create as part of the SaaS user onboarding process

SaaS User Onboarding


In order to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible, you may want to create some dedicated content material to send through email or showcase on your website.

Some of the most effective ones are:

  • E-books

  • In-depth how-tos articles

  • FAQ section

  • Video tutorials for each feature

  • Infographics


Making new and existing customers feel comfortable using your product or service is the key to its success. As a result, it is crucial to develop the right SaaS user onboarding process and strategy. 

In this article, we discussed some valuable tips for creating and developing it in the most beneficial way possible. If you want to read more about SaaS, check out this article on seven must-have SaaS tools for a successful remote team.

Posted by Mahipal Nehra | Posted at 17 Feb, 2022 Web