4 Aha Moment Examples That Will Inspire Your SaaS Business
It can sometimes be difficult to come up with Aha Moment examples from scratch for your business, since it’s quite an abstract topic.
Rather than re-inventing the wheel, it’s useful to look at how other SaaS companies set up their user onboarding. That way, you can learn from their experiences and then apply your insights to your own user journey.
Feel free to use this post as a resource to deepen your understanding of Aha Moments and how you can create them for your own customers.
- Defined as the instant when a customer understands the value of your product, the Aha Moment is an important precursor to user activation and retention.
- The term Aha Moment is most commonly used in primary onboarding, but it can also be applied to secondary product features as well.
- Remember that different user segments might experience the Aha Moment in different ways, depending on what product features they find valuable.
- The more consistently your customers reach the Aha Moment, the more likely they are to subsequently activate and be retained — with positive financial implications for your business.
- We’ve listed Aha Moment examples from Demio, Pipedrive, Mailchimp, and Calendly to give you some inspiration.
- To discover your own Aha Moment for your SaaS, consider your primary value proposition, compare the in-app behavior of power users against churned ones, and don’t forget to keep testing and iterating on your hypotheses.
- Userpilot’s analytics suite will make discovering your Aha Moment much easier.
What is the Aha Moment?
The Aha Moment can be defined as the instant when your users realize the value of your product for the first time.
Put another way, a customer experiences an Aha Moment when they look at your product and think for the first time: “that could be really helpful for me.”
If you need a mental image, think of the moment when the Ancient Greek philosopher Archimedes leaped out of his bathtub after having a sudden realization, shouting “Eureka!”
Back in the day, this meant “I’ve got it!”
Before we go any further, let me take this opportunity to clear up some common misunderstandings regarding the Aha Moment:
It’s not Activation
Contrary to what you’ll read elsewhere online, the Aha Moment is NOT a synonym for Activation.
It’s a precursor to it. Activation is the subsequent point in the customer journey.
It follows that:
- Aha Moment = your customer realizes that your product is valuable.
- Activation = your customer experiences that value first-hand.
So if a manager were looking at project management software, they might experience the Aha Moment as early as the market research phase, but Activation would only come after they’ve assigned their first task to a team member.
It doesn’t just apply to new users
Rookie product marketers sometimes think that the Aha Moment is a one-and-done thing.
Once your user has understood your core value proposition, that’s that. Or so the reasoning goes.
Good SaaS companies onboard existing users into new features on an ongoing basis. And the twin concepts of the Aha Moment and activation are just as relevant to secondary onboarding as they are to a new user.
It’s not the same for every customer
If you’re a salesperson and you’re using Salesforce, do you think you’re going to care about the same Salesforce features that your CEO does?
This seems improbable to me.
You’re more likely to care about the features that impact your ability to hit your sales quota, whereas your boss will care about being able to see the bigger picture of their business.
So the product experience that makes you go “Eureka” probably won’t be same as your boss’s Aha Moment.
Why does the Aha Moment matter for SaaS businesses?
Put simply: it’s worth caring about the Aha Moment because of its impact on so many important metrics that affect your bottom line as a SaaS company.
From our previous definition of the Aha Moment and activation, it follows that if more of your users reach the Aha Moment, more of them will activate and become paying customers.
If a user activates, that means they’ve understood the value of your product and experienced that value as it relates to their particular segment.
Someone like that is unlikely to churn for a while. So the Aha Moment is also correlated with retention rate.
And the more customers you retain, the more money you will make from those juicy recurring subscription payments…
Now that I’ve got your attention…
Having understood why the Aha Moment is important, perhaps you can start to see the value of quantifying it and making it a part of your onboarding process.
To give you some inspiration, let’s see how other successful SaaS companies have done just that.
Aha Moment examples from other businesses
Aha Moment example #1: Demio
Demio is a webinar hosting service that prides itself on making webinars incredibly easy to host and run.
Their initial product tour isn’t all that inspiring, so we won’t spend too much time on that here. Suffice to say that it’s rather linear, and not especially interactive.
(Read this post to find out what Demio could do better in this department.)
But the demo webinar Demio invites you to when you sign up is fantastic at creating an Aha Moment.
Here’s what that invitation looks like:
Initially, this is hosted by a Demio employee, who tells you about how Demio webinars are easy to run.
But after a small introduction, you become the webinar host. You can share your slides and switch on your webcam to show your face.
Before you worry, this is a fake webinar, even complete with fake attendees who chat in the sidebar:
Attending the fake webinar in itself doesn’t quite constitute activation, since you’re not experiencing the value of the product as it relates to your own, real needs.
But it will certainly make you see how Demio could be valuable, all in a playful, gamified sort of way.
Aha Moment example #2: Pipedrive
Pipedrive is well-known for its sales CRM software, which is designed by real salespeople to be intuitive to use.
The first thing you notice when signing up for their demo is that this is a company that wants to get you to their Aha Moment and to use their product as soon as possible.
The sign-up page is minimalist and frictionless.
Note that you can sign up via LinkedIn, which is a nice touch since the product is aimed at B2B salespeople who probably already spend a lot of time prospecting for leads on LinkedIn.
Next, you’re asked to give a few details about your business.
This is to ensure that the subsequent product tour is actually relevant to the needs of your particular user segment.
The first thing you’ll see once inside the platform is a Kanban-style project management board which has different columns representing common stages in a typical sales process.
This is great in terms of creating an Aha Moment, since it allows salespeople to start visualizing what their process might look like inside Pipedrive.
There’s even a little currency symbol to show you how much deal-flow money is in each column, which makes the whole CRM process feel much more tangible, with higher stakes.
I also enjoyed the explainer video, which underlined the value of the product to salespeople.
Completing the checklist on the side will ultimately lead to activation.
Aha Moment example #3: Mailchimp
Mailchimp is perhaps the archetypal email marketing solution, most often used for sending newsletters to subscribers.
The Aha Moment is already hinted at playfully on the landing page, which describes an “easy-to-use marketing platform” that will help “grow sales.”
As you follow the sign-up flow, you’re gradually asked to provide information about yourself and your business.
Mailchimp is quite particular about this, even going as far as to check if you’re a robot.
This is because of how much spam is sent by email.
I like the fact that Mailchimp asks you if you have contacts as early as the sign-up flow. Again, this underlines the fact that you are about to send emails out.
Note that Mailchimp’s onboarding system is also forgiving to those who say they don’t have contacts yet, pointing out that this isn’t a problem.
Once inside the product, you’ll see a menu titled “Let’s dive in” which lists the 3 main types of solution Mailchimp offers.
This highlights the value that Mailchimp is about to offer your business.
If you still haven’t experienced the Aha Moment at this stage, clicking through the email marketing tutorial leads to some tasteful demo content:
As you peruse the email templates Mailchimp has created for you, you’re bound to think “I could use these templates for my business.”
Once you’ve reached that conclusion, activation won’t be far behind.
Aha Moment example #4: Calendly
Calendly’s software allows you to automatically schedule appointments and put them in your calendar.
Their landing page is minimalistic and easy on the eye, with a laser focus on Calendly’s value proposition:
As you progress through the sign-up flow, it’s clear Calendly has put a lot of thought into making sure you experience the Aha Moment as quickly as possible.
When the time comes to provide your details, you’re actively encouraged to do so via Google, since this allows Calendly to immediately connect to your calendar.
This is a step towards activation, but it also reinforces what the product does so that you’re closer to the Aha Moment than you were before.
Inside the product itself, the welcome screen restates Calendly’s value proposition a further time:
If you still haven’t connected your calendar, Calendly finishes their onboarding flow with a neat checklist that will remind you to do so:
I especially like the task to book a meeting with yourself.
When using a tool like Calendly, people are often scared that they’ll send the wrong calendar invitation to someone important.
This test function takes all the pressure off.
And if you haven’t understood how Calendly could help you yet, you’re bound to after finishing the rest of the checklist.
Feeling inspired by these Aha Moment examples?
Now it’s time to apply your new knowledge to your own business.
How to identify your product’s Aha Moment
The most logical place to begin here is by looking at your product’s core value proposition.
- Project management tool –> organize work projects
- Online course tool –> build and sell an online course
- Online calendar tool –> keep track of appointments
Consider why you started your business in the first place. What problem did you want to solve?
Alternatively, if your marketing department has created some pithy one-liners that describe what you do, it might be worth reading those a few times.
Next, you’ll want to examine the behavior of two different customer groups:
- Power users and other successful customers
- Churned users and any other customers who had a mediocre product experience
The key question
The thing you want to reflect on here is:
What are the main differences between the behavior of these two groups?
Can you identify some features that successful customers always use, but churning ones never do?
There’s a good chance that these features are what your customers deem to be most important about your product.
If that’s the case, then an engaged user who has used those features has activated, and a customer who appreciates the value of that feature has experienced an Aha Moment.
Caveat: bear in mind that you might come to different conclusions for each individual customer segment about what constitutes your most important feature.
Don’t forget to test your assumptions
There’s a very good chance that how you define the Aha Moment and activation for your business will change over time.
Put another way, you won’t get it right the first time.
Rather than attempt to be a perfectionist, you should accept this reality.
Have a good look at your customer feedback, and run tests repeatedly to analyze the correlation between:
- Users reaching what you deem to be your Aha Moment, and
- Activation, Day 1 retention, becoming a power user, and any other important milestones
If there’s a strong correlation, your definition is pretty accurate!
If not, then iterate and try again until you get the results that you want.
We hope you enjoyed this article about Aha Moment examples! Thank you for reading this far.
You should now know:
- What the Aha Moment is
- Why it matters for SaaS businesses
- Aha Moment examples that you can take some inspiration from when you feel stuck
- How to find the Aha Moment for your business
If you’re looking for a tool to support you identify the Aha Moment for your business, you should give Userpilot a try.
And the best part is: the trial version, which comes with all the features, is completely free!
So what are you waiting for? Book a demo today to get started.