Picture this: You spend an incredible number of hours diligently leading product discovery, planning, and execution, only to reach the finish line and realize your product adoption is nowhere near where you want it to be. Not a situation you want to find yourself in, is it? Unfortunately, this is a very plausible scenario, but the good news is that user onboarding software can help! Whether you’re just launching a new product or looking to grow an existing one, there are several different user onboarding tools to help you engage customers and achieve your goals.
What are user onboarding tools?
User onboarding tools can range from the typical product tour solutions to segment-based retargeting to advanced analytics platforms. While user onboarding tools come in all shapes and sizes, they all share a common goal: to help you activate and retain your customers.
What can you expect from a software for new user onboarding?
New user onboarding software provides you with ways to activate your customers, such as product tutorials, tooltips, and engagement metrics. There are many no-code solutions out there to easily create and update customized product tours, while analytics-based features allow you to identify key optimization opportunities. When creating tours or feature announcements, you can expect to find many templates that make it easy to edit and deploy them straight to your product.
Why is the user onboarding software so important?
Effective onboarding is all about guiding your users to their “Aha!” moment (when they realize the value of your product) in as short a time as possible. The user onboarding process is a critical step in growing a product, and it’s our job as product managers to ensure our users are finding the value we’ve promised. Startups and established SaaS companies alike will find that when they invest in user onboarding, they’re not only pleasing new customers during their first interactions, they’re setting the stage for them to become long-time customers.
15 best user onboarding software to boost product adoption in 2021
With all the different SaaS product onboarding solutions out there, we know it can be difficult to decide which is right for your needs. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 15 best onboarding tools to help better guide your decision.
ActiveCampaign is an automation platform to engage your customers, increase sales, and reduce churn rates. While it’s billed as a marketing/sales platform, it can be highly beneficial for product onboarding, too. Set up automatic workflows designed to trigger emails or Facebook ads using in-app event tracking, helping your customers get the most out of your product at each stage of their journey.
The built-in CRM lets your customer success team easily track customers and prospects, and the lead scoring feature helps to identify at-risk customers based on email unsubscribes, form submissions, and more. Keep your customers engaged by alerting them to new features or critical actions on their path to success.
Appcues enables you to activate users with action items, feedback loops, and valuable insights tools. Guide new users through your product with customized journeys and checklists, targeting specific customers by behavior or attribute. The code-free event tracking lets you easily monitor onboarding completion, and unlock behavioral insights with their data visualization tools. You can also encourage new feature adoption with in-app feature announcements, and use the feature-specific NPS triggers or survey tool to instantly collect feedback on them.
Auth0 reduces customer friction from the very first point of intent by offering highly secure, passwordless two-factor authentication. This creates a perception of both trust and ease for your brand, before customers have even interacted with your product.
Auth0 allows you to choose from over 30 social platforms to integrate with, including automatic reconciliation with the various social APIs. By using social logins, you can enrich user profiles with demographic data that will help you better understand who your most engaged users are and which users you should target with specific promos.
Chameleon is an easy-to-use tool for creating product tours built upon banners, modals, hotspots, and more that guide your customers through the product. While creating or updating your tours, WYSIWYG editing lets you see changes in real-time, with easy placement for each tour component across your pages.
After you’ve built a new onboarding feature, use the preview tool to ensure it’s exactly what you want before sending it through the one-click, no-code, instant deployment. Once released, your customers will be guided through the tours you’ve created with a native look-and-feel, thanks to the custom CSS feature to maintain your brand identity.
Demio lets you host high quality videos right from their platform. Schedule recurring live webinars so new customers can learn how to be successful with your product, and allow them to ask questions in real-time through the chat or by granting them microphone access. The embeddable sign-up forms and automatic email reminders ensure you can easily promote webinars, and you can even create a white-glove product experience by offering sign-ups for one-on-one demos. For straightforward content, Wistia also lets you upload pre-recorded videos so you customers can view on-demand. Once you’ve started hosting, use the registration and drop-off analytics to understand how you can better refine your content.
Drip is intended as a marketing tool for e-commerce companies, and it can easily generate value for e-commerce product teams looking to drive customer onboarding. Their platform lets you quickly build custom promotion forms (including pop-ups) to grow sign-ups, and to follow up later with pricing offers that help retain shoppers.
Taking a strategic approach to placing these forms throughout your pages will ensure you’re capturing and retaining a growing audience while maintaining a strong user experience. By partnering with marketing on an e-commerce acquisition and onboarding strategy, you can feel confident in the ability to grow your business. After all, we’re all on the same team.
FullStory promises deeper insights into each user’s story than what is typically provided by traditional tag-based analytics tools. Quantitative analytics generate visibility into conversion and funnel analyses, customized to fit your defined customer segments. Scroll, click, and heat maps tell a more in-depth story than the quantitative data alone, and session recreation provides replays of individual customer experiences. From a technical standpoint, you can uncover optimization opportunities via signals for bugs, slow pages, script errors, and dead clicks.
Looking to spend more time on discovery and less on manually monitoring metrics? Customizable alerts on active segments keep you informed of any unexpected drops in user count.
Hotjar is one of the more well-known heatmapping tools on the market, and for good reason. The heatmap feature provides separate view options for clicks, movement, and scroll depth, with quick accessibility to view by device type. Recorded sessions supply deeper insights, with the ability to filter by rage clicks, specific URLs, and U-turns. This feature can help you not only identify UX enhancements, but may surface issues like broken buttons or forms that are contributing to conversion declines and churn.
Planning an A/B test? Hotjar integrates with Google Optimize, Omniconvert, and Optimizely, so you can measure your experiment’s success on more than just quantitative analytics.
InlineManual is a multilingual customer onboarding tool that includes product tour features like walkthroughs, announcements, tooltips, and hotspots. The user onboarding flows are highly customizable with targeted segmentation experiences, and even more so with multiple branches that send your customers down a particular path depending on how they respond to prompts. When onboarding first time users, your primary goal is to get them to success in the least amount of time, and InlineManual enables this through automated tasks such as form fill buttons.
In addition to guided actions, the in-app help center provides a knowledge base for your customers to quickly access in-depth help articles. If your company is looking for a two birds, one stone solution, InlineManual also offers employee onboarding features.
Intercom is one of the leading customer messaging platforms, and they also happen to have a useful product tour feature. Their chat application allows your customer support teams to engage with customers in real-time, while providing the option of self-service bots to more quickly serve customers and save time for your teams to handle the in-depth conversations. The customizable inbox lets you easily organize new messages by importance and distribute them to team-specific inboxes.
Improve your conversion rates by chatting with new prospects, increase retention by supporting active customers, and use the interactive product tours to guide your new users to their “Aha!” moment.
Pendo brings customer onboarding, metrics on user engagement and revenue growth, and feedback collection under one roof. Create unique onboarding experiences to best appeal to certain customer segments, such as sending a “Success!” GIF in place of a standard text-based message. In-app messages enable customer self-service to save time for both them and you, complete with feature announcements, checklists, and feedback polls. If your product includes a native app, Pendo for Mobile delivers codeless solutions for creating in-app guides, with reporting on version adoption and OS.
UserGuiding is a no-code user onboarding software, complete with step-by-step walkthrough guides, onboarding checklists, and in-app messaging. Walk your new customers through the most important steps during their onboarding, and keep them engaged with new feature announcements to increase adoption and retention. You can even trigger basic foundational messages, such as gathering user consent for GDPR compliance.
The in-app NPS surveys allow for a constant feedback loop to ensure you’re building the right things for the right customers, and can help drive higher volumes of feedback, with Leadworx quoting a 65% response rate.
Userpilot provides customer onboarding and communication tools, facilitating product growth at every stage of the customer journey. As with other onboarding tools, you can create custom walkthroughs to reduce the time to activation. Their advanced segmentation tools are a standout and include pre-defined segments such as NPS responses, with the option for creating custom segments. Segment-based analytics surface habits of your most successful segments, and the A/B testing functionality lets you test different in-app messaging to uncover behaviors that are most likely to drive product growth.
WalkMe offers a range of onboarding software, including for enterprise CRM software and employee training. For our purposes, we’ll focus on their customer onboarding software, which led to a 6X increase in product adoption for IBM (according to the WalkMe website).
WalkMe’s customer onboarding software allows you to create a personalized onboarding experience for your customers, providing them with a step-by-step walkthrough of the key actions you want them to take in your product. The simple walkthrough experience will help to not only increase your retention rates, but to grow topline revenue with upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
Wistia is a video hosting platform that allows you to create, edit, and post videos at any stage of your customer’s journey. Increase the chance of your customers finding success in your product (and remaining customers) by meeting them with the right media content at the right moment. The customizable player lets you create a natural environment by matching the look and feel of your brand, while the standard embeds load asynchronously to preserve your page loading time. Surface opportunities for improvement by diving into the analytics tools to get a second-by-second breakdown of how engaged your viewers are throughout.
How to pick the perfect user onboarding software for your company?
Picking the perfect user onboarding software depends on your product, goals, customers, and resources.
Lean teams will want to pick a no-code solution with the ability to automate tasks or responses to customers, so they can maximize their working hours.
Products that are a bit too complex for plug-in tutorials may benefit from video-based onboarding webinars.
If you find your prospects are dropping off before they even sign up, Auth0 or Drip could help increase those sign-up rates.
The best place to start is by understanding the needs of your customers and business, talking with your teams, and evaluating all the options against a set of predetermined criteria. Just like you wouldn’t launch a product without success metrics, don’t make a purchase without measuring the value you expect to get from it.
Key takeaways about user onboarding software
Whatever your use case, there’s likely something out there to aid you in user onboarding. It’s one of the most crucial interaction points with your customers, and user onboarding software can help ensure you’re conveying the right value to the right customers at the right time.