17 Companies with the Best Onboarding Practices

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companies onboarding processPoor customer onboarding is suicidal for your business. It’s one of the most common reasons why customers don’t return even after registration with your site.

When you don’t explain brand, products, its features, and the value to the users you’ll lose customers.

Best onboarding practices can save you from losing customers for your SaaS company and at the same time, these practices help you increase revenue.

American Express Survey found in a survey that 68% of consumers are willing to pay more for great service and are most likely to stick to a company that serves them well.

Why onboarding matters

Onboarding has several benefits that help SaaS companies build a strong relationship with the customers.

Here are a few good reasons why your SaaS company should take it seriously.

  • Great onboarding practices bring revenue. When you explain the features of your product(s) to the new users, help them, guide them, and ensure that they get value, you’ll see an increase in revenue.

  • Onboarding practices help increase the number of repeat customers and increase the average customer lifetime value.

  • Onboarding boosts referrals. When you deliver exceptional services to the existing customers, they’re more likely to recommend your business and products to their friends.

The best onboarding practice is one that focuses on building a strong relationship with the customers. It’s not just about getting new users onboard but how satisfied and engaged these users are.

The whole idea is to build trust, set expectations, create engagement, boost sales, and make your customers wow.

Don’t know how to do it?

Well, you can learn from the SaaS companies below. Their best practices will surely give you ideas as to what you should and shouldn’t do when creating an onboarding process.

1).  Slack

Slack is a popular team messaging app that does a great job of introducing the app and its features to the new users.

It uses a series of messages that help new users understand what it is about and how they can make the most from Slack. The Slackbot is their walk-through software that’s very helpful.

Users can chat with the Slackbot and ask questions.

Slack uses graphics and microcopy to show new users all the features and to help them understand what Slack is all about.

This is something that new users find extremely helpful. In as low as five minutes, you would understand everything about Slack.

Key takeaway: No matter how complicated your tool is, use a short onboarding process. Ideally, only highlight the core processes.

2).  Duolingo

One of the social media trends this year is that live chat, chatbots, and artificial intelligence will be on the increase. Why? Because these elements help to build a strong rapport with the target audience. Duolingo offers a great user onboarding experience that takes the users from product introduction all the way to sign up.

Users can get started right away as soon as they land on the Duolingo home page. It doesn’t ask for registration but the user’s first experience is to learn the app and then at the end, they’re asked for signup.

All the users are welcomed to the site.

Users can start using the app right away.

Users have to answer questions that helps in personalizing the app.

At the end of this first session, users are asked to save the progress and if they choose to save, they’re asked to create an account.

Key takeaway: If you have a compelling tool or app, let new users use it and then ask for registration. Give them firsthand experience of your product as onboarding guide.

3).  Robin

Robin is an ecommerce customer service software. It’s an all-in-one customer service tool with tons of features. It gets hard for the new users to fully understand the tool.

Team Robin does a good job of making its users understand the tool with its wizard. The wizard is mandatory and starts right after the registration.

The users don’t have any other option but to click on Let’s go.

The wizard asks a series of questions, shows different tutorials, and helpful guides.

After a few steps, users are allowed to skip the wizard.

Key takeaway: An introductory wizard like this makes it extremely easy for the new customers to setup their account and start using it right away.

When creating such wizards, it’s crucial that you keep it fairly reasonable.

Samuel Hulick, the founder of Onboard, says:

“When in doubt, I recommend asking for only the information that’s useful/relevant to the user at that particular time.”

Stick to this rule when creating wizards like this.

4).  Flow

Flow is task management app for teams that comes with a chat feature.

Flow uses a series of processes to make its product valuable and easier-to-use for the new customers.

The new members can create a new project as soon as they register.

There’s a great demonstration video that shows all the users how to create a project and get started with Flow.

Once they have watched the video, creating a project is made dead simple. It’s a three-step process.

Simple, isn’t it?

Project creation is the core function of Flow and it has made it simple for its users.

Key takeaway: The idea is to keep your onboarding processes simple even if you’ve a complicated product.

5).  Dropbox

Dropbox is another great example of how to make onboarding fun and easy. It keeps all the processes extremely granular.

Instead of asking new users to upload files and folders, it simply asks them to add a file.

On the next step, it asks you to share a file. It doesn’t tell you that you can share all the files you’ve uploaded.

This makes it easier for the new users to practice, get used to, and fully understand the product.

Key takeaway: Try to follow similar onboarding practice for your products. Keep it clean and less overwhelming for the users.

6).  Zapier

Zapier sends behavioral emails to its new customers that are highly customized. It doesn’t send emails to all the new customers but to those who haven’t used the system or haven’t been active after the free signup.

The email shares a whole lot of different amazing ideas to use Zapier.

The email tells the users how people use Zapier. If you’re a digital marketer, you’ll get ideas on how other marketers use Zapier.

Key takeaway: Don’t make onboarding emails boring and generic. Personalize them to help your users get started immediately.

Offer them actionable help.

7).  Ello

Are your welcome emails aligns with your branding?

They should be because the Welcome email is the first email that new customers receive and it should follow the same pattern, theme, and color scheme as users saw on your website.

Ello’s welcome email is a perfect example. It aligns perfectly to their brand.

Not just that it follows the same pattern but it is short and sweet email that delivers the message.

Key takeaway: Keep your welcome emails short and sweet. Make them align to your brand.

8).  Shopify

Shopify uses onboarding emails smartly. It doesn’t just focus on driving traffic to its app store but it helps its customers solve a unique problem.

The following nudge email by Shopify accomplishes several tasks.

  • It tells the customers how they can increase their revenue.

  • It solves a unique customer problem.

  • It links to their store.

  • It reminds the users of what they’re missing.

Key takeaway: When sending onboarding emails to customers, follow the same pattern. Don’t just focus on describing the features of your product(s) but tell customers how your products can solve their problems.

Make every onboarding email a win-win.

9).  Canva

Canva is a designing tool for non-designers. It’s a drag-and-drop design tool that converts ordinary people into designers.

Canva’s onboarding process is truly incredible.

They have a 23-second video guide that gets the job done. Yes, 23-second introductory video.

After the video, users are guided with the help of short fun exercises.

The tutorial completes in no time and the new users can start creating their own designs.

Key takeaway: Keep onboarding processes, tasks, and tutorials fun and engaging to keep users hooked.

10).  Tumblr

You know what Tumblr is, right?

But you might not have paid attention to its onboarding practices.

To help its users, Tumblr uses a fun username generation feature. It doesn’t just generate awesome usernames but it solves the biggest challenge that first-time users face, what should I name my blog?

After registration, the tutorial makes it fun for the new users by helping them understand and use the features that are critical for their success.

All the features that the walkthrough shows to the new users are the ones that are most likely to increase user engagement.

Key takeaway: When creating walkthroughs and tutorials, focus on most crucial and high-engagement features. There’s no need to explain every feature. Make your product the best in the market.

11).  Sqwiggle

Most of the SaaS companies have apps and tools that customers need to download. If your customers haven’t downloaded the app, they cannot use it.

You’ve to remind them to download the app as soon as possible.

Sqwiggle uses a clean and clear onboarding email that persuades the customers to download the app and start using it.

It explains the benefits of the app in two lines.

Key takeaway: Remind your customers of what they’re missing. Instead of sending long emails, a few lines will do the trick.

12).  Trello

Most of the SaaS companies embed onboarding guides within their products.

Trello uses built-in onboarding tutorial that’s embedded within the product. New users get several cards that show them what they have to do and how to do it.

Key takeaway: Use your own product to walk through new customers.

13).  Groove

Groove uses a similar technique like Trello. They send a series of messages to the new users that show and tell them how to use Groove. These are all instruction-based messages.

Key takeaway: Instead of using a different tool or approach to guide your customers, use your product’s own features for onboarding.

14).  Evernote

Evernote mobile app has a crisp and quick onboarding process.

Before users register with the app, they’re presented with three slides that show them what Evernote is all about.

After the three slides, users can click Get Started to proceed with the registration. So before creating an account, users know what they will receive and what they should expect.

This is a great onboarding practice.

Tell customers the main features of your product before asking them to create an account.

After users register, they can take a quick tour to learn more about Evernote.

This onboarding tour has five slides that show and tell the users all about Evernote and its features. Evernote uses its own product features to guide new users.

Key takeaway: Show users what you’ve and then ask for registration. The reverse funnel is one of the best onboarding practices of all times.

15).  ProsperWorks

Onboarding isn’t about your products, it’s about building a relationship with your new customers and delivering exceptional experience and value.

ProsperWorks (previously Stride) does exactly the same.

They send a handwritten note to new customers.

They can send an automated email but they want to build a relationship with their customers. No product tutorials. Just a simple welcome handwritten note.

Key takeaway: Offer customers with support using personalized onboarding practices like ProsperWorks. It sends a powerful message to your new customers – that you really care.

16).  Typeform

Typeform has a great onboarding process that focuses on pushing new customers to the core features. New users can start using Typeform without signup.

When a user clicks Get started now, the dashboard opens where a user can create a form.

The users walk through the interface and once the form is ready, they’re then asked to create an account.

Key takeaway: This is undoubtedly one of the best onboarding practices that is used by a lot of companies. Walkthrough new customers through your system, tell them what you’ve got for them, and then at the end ask for registration.

17).  Xero

Nothing beats a video tutorial. A short video tutorial can help your customers understand your products and its features.

This is the onboarding technique used by Xero.

After new users sign in to their account for the first time, they’re prompted to watch a get started video. It is an animated video that shows and tells new users all about Xero.

Key takeaway: Use a non-boring onboarding video to deliver the message to the new customers. This is the easiest onboarding practice that is massively used by brands.

Conclusion

These 17 onboarding tips might have given you several new ideas to make your brand’s onboarding process more persuasive and engaging.

You should implement one or more of these practices in your SaaS company to make your users happy. Will you?

Haley Reynolds is the founder of SaaS Brand. He consults with Fortune 500 SaaS Companies to increase their online visibility through SEO. Get in touch with him by clicking the "contact us" button in the menu.
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