8 Aha Moment Examples for SaaS Companies (+ How to Find One)

8 Aha Moment Examples for SaaS Companies (+ How to Find One) cover

Product managers recognize an ‘Aha moment’ when it comes along in the user onboarding process and acknowledge the enormous value they bring.

In this article, we’ll break down exactly what Aha moments are, why they matter, explore several different types of Aha moment examples, and more.

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  • The Aha moment is the point a user realizes the value of your product: it’s a vital part of the activation journey.
  • Making sure users get to the Aha moment is important for a few key reasons. They reduce time to value in the user journey, provide a pathway to increasing customer loyalty and retention, and ultimately boost revenue.
  • There are countless examples of Aha moments to learn from in different companies and contexts (i.e., web and mobile apps, different phases of the user lifecycle, as part of user onboarding, and more).
  • Whether it’s sending messages in Slack or choosing from a personalized design template in Canva, there’s more than one Aha moment example to draw inspiration from in your own business.
  • So how do you find the Aha moment in your own product? Start by gathering data (surveys and analytics are good tools for that). Next, collaborate with your team to define a list of potential Aha moments. Finally, use A/B testing to experiment and learn which delivers the most value to your users.
  • Users won’t reach the Aha moment on their own. You need to actively guide them towards Aha moments within your app.
  • Firstly, use personalization to boost engagement and make sure you’re catering to the needs of distinct user segments. Next, rather than just telling users how to engage with features, use interactive walkthroughs to help them experience value themselves.
  • You can also use gamification to reward and encourage users to keep going: it helps make each Aha moment feel more special and memorable.
  • Finally, remember you need to continue to engage existing users: relevant, contextual in-app messages are a useful secondary onboarding technique that can encourage users to engage with new features and experience an Aha moment all over again.
  • You’ll need the right tool for the job to help deliver Aha moments to your users. Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that can help you drive customer success.

What is the Aha moment?

A product’s Aha moment is when a user realizes value in the product – or alternatively, sees enough so they’re convinced that it will be a solution for a specific problem they have.

This sudden realization of value is what spurs them on to continue the activation journey in your SaaS company. Given that, as a product manager, you should be thinking about how to deliver value pretty much every time a customer interacts with your product.

Why does a product’s Aha moment matter?

You’ve got lots of competing priorities. Why should crafting Aha moments be at the top of your to-do list? Here are a few reasons:

  • Reduce time to value: Every Aha moment example you introduce in your SaaS should reduce the time to value of your product. Your product’s Aha moment should be a clear demonstration of what the point of your product is. The clearer the demonstration of value, the simpler the activation journey – and the greater your chance of driving adoption.
  • Increase customer loyalty and retention: When people realize your product’s value, they’ll be more likely to be retained and become power users. Why does that matter? Because retained customers spread positive word of mouth, encouraging new users to sign up.
  • Boost revenue: Retained customers who experience value consistently – i.e., achieve customer success – are also receptive to upsell messages because you’ve got a proven track record of delivering value. This will, in turn, increase your expansion revenue.

8 Aha moment examples from SaaS companies

Next up, we’re going to look at Aha moments from a variety of different SaaS organizations.

1. Slack

About the company: Slack is a messaging app for businesses that “connects people to the information they need.” They offer a range of plugins and tools and serve SaaS businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Aha moment? Slack’s Aha moment is when a team sends 2,000 messages into a workspace.

How do they guide users? Slack leverages user flows in their onboarding process to help new customers get to grips with their functionality fast. They use an interactive walkthrough which is extremely effective at showing users how to unlock value from the product’s key features.

Screenshot of Slack onboarding
Slack’s interactive walkthrough enables a frictionless onboarding experience.

2. Calendly

About the company: Calendly is a scheduling tool used by teams to schedule, prepare, and follow up on external meetings.

Aha moment? Calendly’s Aha moment is when users sign in with Google. When a user connects their calendar, it simplifies the usually painful process of going back and forth looking for slots. Giving users the option to practice by booking a meeting with themselves is a masterstroke: it reduces any pressure.

How do they guide users? After signing up, Calendly nudges users toward key bits of functionality – each of which releases incremental value with an engaging checklist.

Screenshot of Calendly
Calendly’s onboarding flow.

3. Demio

About the company: Demio is a cloud-based solution designed to help businesses create, launch and manage webinars.

Aha moment? This occurs when users participate in a demo webinar, complete with a mock audience. After a brief introduction, you take the reins, practice sharing your material, and engage with the fake crowd.

How do they guide users? Demio’s innovative user onboarding – giving you real-life examples of how the tool is used in practice – gives you a complete picture and creates a far more engaged user base than just telling people about features.

Screenshot of Demio
Demio’s mock webinar functionality.

4. Canva

About the company: Canva is an online design and visual communication platform to help users explore and experiment with a range of design tools.

Aha moment? When a user without a design background is able to quickly produce a polished, professional design (whether that’s a social media graphic, a presentation, or a flyer).

How do they guide users? Canva’s onboarding process is key. A welcome survey makes it easy to gather product data that ensures customers get a personalized experience. Showing recommended templates relevant to their roles helps reduce the learning curve.

Personalized templates in Canva.
Personalized templates in Canva.

5. Zoom

About the company: Zoom is a communications platform that enables users to connect with video, audio, phone, and chat.

Aha moment? Zoom’s core value proposition is simplicity. When you are able to set up, organize, and launch a video meeting with very little friction, you realize value from the product experience in your first sessions.

How do they guide users? Zoom guides users toward their Aha moment by making sign-up as simple as possible, reducing barriers to organizing your first meeting.

Easily launch a Zoom meeting with your team.
Easily launch a Zoom meeting with your team.

6. Mailchimp

About the company: Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that helps you reach your audience, optimize conversion rates, and grow your business.

Aha moment? Mailchimp’s Aha moment arrives as soon as the first time users create and send an email – a powerful yet simple tool completely transforms what might previously have been an arduous journey.

How do they guide users? The onboarding process provides helpful prompts and hints – based on valuable data gathered during signup – with personalized templates aligned to deliver the most value based on user needs.

Custom templates in Mailchimp help users get off to a fast start.
Custom templates in Mailchimp help users get off to a fast start.

7. G2

About the company: G2 is a review platform comparing a whole host of business software and services based on user ratings and social data.

Aha moment? As soon as a user review lands, SaaS companies realize the benefit of having a public-facing review profile. Word of mouth is important: reviews are valuable social proof. You can use your profile as an important testimonial across marketing campaigns.

How do they guide users? G2 encourages users to add as much information as possible to their profile which makes reaching the Aha moment much more likely.

G2 is a comprehensive review platform.
G2 is a comprehensive review platform.

8. Expensify

About the company: Expensify is a tool that automates expense management, receipt tracking, and the overall business expense process.

Aha moment? When you create an expense report, it takes you significantly less time than other software (reportedly 75%), it’s approved, and you’re reimbursed.

How do they guide users? When you first land on the Expensify website, you can choose exactly which service you’re interested in. The onboarding flow is designed to ensure a user activates as quickly as possible (i.e., getting a payment approved).

Screenshot of Expensify
Screenshot of Expensify.

How to find your product’s own Aha moment?

We’ve reached a critical stage: you want to surface the Aha moment in your own product. Drawing inspiration from the Aha moment examples above, let’s break down the key steps in the process and how you can maximize value.

Step 1: Collect customer data from multiple sources

First up, you need to orient yourself: you can’t rely on hunches or guesswork. Product analytics is a powerful tool that’ll help you assess user behavior and figure out where in the journey Aha moments (or potential Sha moments) lay.

There are many different communication channels and methods of gathering this data (remember, you need to look at both churned users and retained customers to build a complete picture).

Your options include:

Analyze user behavior across the customer journey

Map out the user journey on a funnel and track user behavior across different stages of the journey. You should pay careful attention to drop-offs, areas of friction, and trends in key metrics (i.e., activation, retention rate) over time.

Cast your net wide. Gather data from as many users across the whole customer lifecycle or funnel.

Screenshot of Userpilot analytics
Gather data across user funnels.

Trigger customer feedback surveys to active users

“You are not your user.”- Well known UX mantra

Gather feedback directly from your users, and do it regularly.

There’s no better way to build empathy and deep understanding. In-app surveys are a quick, easy, and effective option: they’re easily scalable and relatively cost-effective, particularly when compared to in-person interviews.

Build surveys with Userpilot.

Conduct interviews to gather more insights

Conducting interviews is costly: both in terms of time spent gathering participants, potentially travelling, and actual cost (sourcing and incentivizing participants, paying for user research expertise).

But if you want in-depth, granular information about specific points when users experience value (i.e., the product’s Aha moments), interviewing users can be worthwhile. It’s particularly helpful for UX design.

Power users are usually the best segment to interview: they’ve got the deepest understanding of your tool (i.e., quirks of the UX design, where each turning point in a journey causes frustration or delight, and more).

Key information for conducting research.
Key information for conducting research.

Step 2: Define multiple Aha moments

You’ve gathered all your data and started to make sense of it.

Next up, it’s a collaborative effort between product, marketing, and customer success teams to identify multiple Aha moments throughout your app. That breadth of expertise can help you understand the range of user experiences. Different segments will experience different Aha moments based on their distinct needs.

At this stage, you’ll have a list of potential Aha moments. But you don’t know for certain which will create the most value.

Step 3: A/B test the onboarding flow with the Aha moment

That’s where a mindset of experimentation comes in handy. User testing is a tool to ruthlessly scrutinize if a hypothesis is correct. For example, you might want to compare a couple of onboarding flows and see which drives a larger impact.

Let’s work through an example.

Hypothesis: Your tool’s Aha moment is when users interact with a given feature.

Experiment: Run an A/B test comparing a control group with a treatment group that sees a driven action driving the adoption of that feature.

Outcome: Monitor various metrics to gather evidence enabling you to prove or disprove your hypothesis and make a decision about which to proceed with (i.e., show more relevant content to first-time users and something else to other customers).

A/B testing in Userpilot.

How to guide new and existing users toward Aha moments?

You can’t just create an Aha moment without thinking about how to guide users toward them. It’s like baking a cake nobody will ever eat!

In the final section of this article, we’ll cover some useful techniques – and prepare you to create Aha moments in your SaaS business.

Create personalized user onboarding experiences

Remember that different segments will experience different Aha moments.

Personalization has been proven to boost engagement. For example, you might want to show a variety of landing pages to different personas to help them make a fast start.

Your first step is to collect data: you want to understand jobs to be done, goals, pain points, and more. Welcome surveys are a great tool for doing this. Once you’ve gathered your info, you can build a bespoke onboarding flow that guides your users right to their own personal eureka moment.

Screenshot of welcome survey
Userpilot offers lots of survey options.

Use interactive walkthroughs to help users realize value

Most users need visual prompts: it’s not enough to just tell them how valuable something is.

Interactive tutorials help create successful customers. Modals, slideouts, tooltips, and other UI patterns can provide contextually relevant advice that subtly guides users through essential actions.

You could include a progress bar, too, as a handy visual reference that motivates users to keep going.

Screenshot of Userpilot
Build contextually relevant tooltips at pace.

Remove friction from the onboarding process

Savvy product teams look for opportunities to simplify, reduce friction, and cut out unnecessary steps in the user onboarding process. The faster users unlock value, the greater your chances of improving user retention.

But you shouldn’t just arbitrarily cut stuff out: analyze your current onboarding process with session recordings and analytics to ensure you’re making data-driven decisions.

Animation of frictionless onboarding
Screen recordings help you figure out where friction points are.

Use gamification to celebrate milestones

Humans are hardwired to respond to encouragement. It triggers dopamine and positive emotions. So make sure you acknowledge your users’ hard work when they reach their Aha moments.

Visual prompts, positive messages, or badges are all forms of gamification that make reaching the Aha moment memorable.

Celebrate every customer's success.
Celebrate every customer’s success.

Trigger contextual in-app messages to engage paying customers

Remember, it’s not just about showcasing value in the short term. You need to keep hold of your users. To boost retention, you need to optimize secondary onboarding to make sure you’re engaging customers with new, relevant features throughout the journey.

Ultimately, the more features on your product roadmap users engage with, the more money you’ll generate through boosting customer lifetime value.

Encourage new feature usage with in-app prompts.
Encourage new feature usage with in-app prompts.


We’ve covered a lot!

Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding of what an Aha moment is, why they’re important, and how to guide users toward them in your product.

Want to build Aha moments code-free? Book a demo call with our team and get started! Check out the banner below for more information.

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