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Outcome-Based Onboarding for Users vs. Customers

Ty Magnin, Director of Marketing @ Appcues on onboarding for users vs customers:

Your product is not experienced in a vacuum. It's competing alongside every other tool, service, and idea fighting for your user's attention.

You need to get users to your product's outcome at a brisk tempo, with value baked in at every step. The onboarding flows that win, and convert a user into a customer, are the ones that race toward the aha moment.

Your user onboarding needs to do three things:

  1. Increase perceived ability and self-efficacy by keeping the onboarding simple, fluid, and easy to do. Put the power in the user's hands with less watching and more doing.
  2. Boost motivation by giving the user a clear sense of progress and positive reinforcement along their path. Do just enough, just in time.
  3. Reduce the time and complexity it takes to reach the first value/“aha”/“wow” moment.

A customer's motivation is considerably higher than that of a user's, and this means you can turn the complexity of your onboarding up.

Now is the time to unleash the full capabilities of your tool to improve retention:

  1. Maintain the number of triggers to the desired behavior: This is best done contextually, so support comes in the right place, at the right time, through emails, notifications, coach marks, and modals.
  2. Enhance ability to perform the behavior: In software, this structure is called scaffolding: written documentation, how-to videos, and best practice blog posts. It lets customers learn at their own pace, in their preferred way.
  3. Amplify motivation: To really amp up the motivation, you need to make sure you plan for later in life “aha” and “wow” moments. They may be less exciting than the first, but topping up the user's enthusiasm with new functionality and ideas is essential for retention.

Summarized by Reforge. Original article by Ty Magnin • Director of Marketing @ AppCues