User Onboarding: Fancy Marketing Stunt or a Powerful Tool?

Unfortunately, getting users to sign up is only a part of the problem. The toughest challenge is to get those users to stay. The ultimate goal can be either to convert them into paying customers, or achieve a high voluntary retention rate. 

Solving this challenge is no easy task. For most product solutions on the market, there are plenty of alternatives/competitors that drive the consumers within the market to be very picky with what product they use. It raises the bar for developers in terms of what they have to offer to their users. 

Why is user onboarding needed?

In most cases, the biggest reason for poor user retention is that the users simply do not get how to work/use the product. It is important to provide as much educational content about your product, so that the users can be as knowledgeable as possible. However, this content should also be easily accessible, requiring little effort from the user, and to not break the immersion of the UX. It is key to balance all these aspects, for example providing lots of content, but expecting the user to find it themselves is too optimistic. Considering how flooded the industry landscape is, the typical mass market user will not put in plenty of effort to educate themselves about a product, their first go-to choice will be to find a better, more intuitive alternative.

So, how could you possibly find the balance? How to educate the users well, yet not break the immersion? 

This is where the user onboarding techniques come into place. The standard practice of user onboarding aims on “welcoming” the user to the product environment. For example, with HelloApp Studio, you can create in-app tutorial guides that will launch when the user will launch the application for the first time. With these guides, you are able to educate your users directly within the program, and keep the immersion.

Why is it important to provide user onboarding for your customers?

First off, as suggested previously, the market is too saturated. You can no longer rely on users being “forced” to learn your product, due to lack of alternatives. The ever-increasing competition demands that you stay at the forefront of UX and simplicity of design.

Moreover, lack of in-app educational features will lead to missed opportunities too. Let’s imagine you have added a new feature. You surely can describe it in the release newsletter, as well as make tutorials, however, some users might simply miss out on the news. And if your application does not have any direct way to showcase and explain the new functionality to your users, they will simply never use it at all. 

Is there an opportunity cost if you neglect it?

Lastly, by refusing to offer user onboarding experiences, you are setting a limit on your serviceable target market. Within the total market, there are the so-called “pioneers”. They will try out new products and learn about them due to their own interest in trying out something new. And there are the mass market consumers. While a lack of user onboarding will not affect the pioneers, they only demonstrate on average about 2.5-5% of the total market. In comparison, the mass market is roughly 50-70%. It does not take much thinking to understand that this poses a great limit on the achievable revenue from the product. 

User onboarding is a tool that can only move the needle in the positive direction. Upon implementation, the risk of having a negative effect is minimal (unless, the implementation is truly awful), while the upside remains exponential. We hope this blog has convinced you to seek out a way to incorporate user onboarding into your product. You can quickly solve this issue by using HelloApp Studio. With it, you are able to create and implement an in-app guide within a few minutes. To learn more, check it out here.

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HelloApp® and SiComponents® are registered trademarks of Igor Siticov.

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