Aha Moment: The Ultimate Guide for Product Managers (+Examples)

Aha Moment: The Ultimate Guide for Product Managers (+Examples) cover

The Aha moment is defined as a moment of sudden insight, realization, or inspiration.

What does it mean in the SaaS context?

That’s what this article explains. We also look at different types of Aha moments and their examples in SaaS products. More importantly, we show you how to find the Aha moment for your product and design onboarding experiences that lead to it seamlessly.

Let’s get right to it!


  • The Aha moment is a moment of sudden awareness or realization of the product or feature value.
  • For users to activate and adopt the product, convert to a paid plan, or recommend the product, they first need to appreciate what problems and needs it addresses. Consequently, the ability to lead users to this moment is key to product success.
  • Although the term is usually used in the context of user activation, Aha moments appear throughout the user journey. For example, this could be the moment when users realize the value of a premium plan and decide to upgrade.
  • To identify the Aha moments in your product, analyze the user behavior of your power users as well as churned ones. Path analysis is a technique that’s often used at this stage.
  • To gain a comprehensive understanding of user behavior, target both segments with surveys, either in-app or by email.
  • Next, list all possible Aha moments and assess them from the user’s perspective. Narrow the options down to 2-3 choices per user stage.
  • For each potential Aha moment, design an onboarding flow and test them side-to-side in A/B tests to select the one that leads to the most conversions. That’s where the Aha moment is.
  • The Aha moment can happen before users even sign up for the tool, like in Loom or Zoom, or quite late afterward, like in Slack.
  • To reduce the time users need to reach the Aha moment, personalize the onboarding for your main segments.
  • Interactive walkthroughs consist of tooltips that show users how to use the product or feature, step-by-step. They’re also great for showcasing the core product functionality to new users.
  • Friction can slow users down or stop them from experiencing the Aha moment, so use analytics tools like funnel analysis to identify and remove it from the user journey.
  • You can do it by providing users with on-demand self-service support, for example, through a resource center.
  • Userpilot is a digital adoption platform built to enable users to reach their Aha moment and achieve their goals. Book a demo to find out more!

Try Userpilot and Take Your Onboarding Experience to the Next Level

What is the Aha moment?

In SaaS, the Aha moment is the situation when the user experiences the product or feature value for the first time.

The Aha moment is often used interchangeably with user activation, but the two are slightly different. Activation happens when the user starts using the product or feature in real life to derive value, not just experience it.

Why is the Aha moment important?

The Aha moment is an essential stage of user activation. When the user realizes how the product can solve their problem or satisfy their need, they are ready to put it to use in a meaningful way.

It doesn’t stop there.

User activation has an impact on the rest of the customer lifecycle:

If users don’t understand how the product can satisfy their needs, it’s difficult to retain them. They may enjoy interacting with it if the UI/UX is particularly good, but the novelty soon wears off, and they churn.

Without activation, there is no product adoption, either—what’s the point of using a product regularly if it doesn’t serve any particular purpose?

It goes without saying that you can also forget about upgrades to a paid or higher plan if they can’t see any value. They’re very unlikely to promote your product at their workplace either, so there won’t be any WOM referrals or bottom-up growth.

Types of Aha moments for SaaS companies

Although the Aha moment is used mostly in the context of the initial user activation, it often appears in reference to other stages of the user journey.

In fact, there are different types of the Aha moment:

  • Retention Aha moment – when the user realizes it’s a good idea to stick around and give the product a good try, or in other words, what keeps users coming back.
  • Virality Aha moment – when the user feels the need to share the product with their mates.
  • Conversion Aha moment – when the user experiences the urge to upgrade to a paid or higher plan, like hitting the paywall or using a premium feature.

How to identify your product’s Aha moment?

What constitutes an Aha moment depends on your product and its different use cases. This is likely to be different for different user personas.

That’s why identifying the exact moment when users experience the core value requires analyzing user data and experimentation.

1. Analyze user behavior at different user journey stages

Finding the Aha moment requires a deep understanding of user behavior and interactions with your product.

To be more specific, when looking for the Aha moment, you want to identify user actions that lead to an activation or conversion event. To do so, conduct path analysis.

As you conduct the analysis, focus on one user segment at a time.

Analyze the paths of different user personas separately. Break them down further to see how the behavior of the successful users differs from the churned ones.

Top path analysis in Userpilot
Top path analysis in Userpilot.

2. Collect user feedback from different segments

User analytics don’t always provide a complete picture of user behavior: they tell you what happened but not always why.

For a 360 view, complement the analytics data with user feedback.

Just like with analytics, segmentation is the name of the game when collecting user feedback.

Power users

Feedback from your power users can help you pinpoint the exact moment when they experienced value. After all, they’re the most successful and loyal users, so they should be able to explain what made them stick around.

An in-app survey is the best way to reach them as they engage with the product actively.

The simplest option is to create a multiple-choice survey listing the major events and ask users to choose the one when they experienced value for the first time.

If you do so, give users the option to add an ‘Other’ option in case you’ve missed an event.

Alternatively, you can create a survey with an open-ended question, like ‘At which moment did you first experience the value of [product X]?’ However, be ready for lower response rates as such questions take longer to answer, and users may not always be able to give a valid response without a prompt.

In-app survey
In-app survey for power users created in Userpilot.

Churned users

Churned users can offer valuable insights too, so make sure to embed a survey in the cancellation flow.

In the survey, ask them if there was a feature they found was lacking or disappointing in your product.

What if the users have already churned, for example, during the free trial?

You won’t be able to reach them with an in-app survey, so send an email survey instead. While you may not be able to win them back, they may provide valuable data on how to retain future customers.

You can also try to arrange interviews with the churned users.

In-app survey
In-app survey for churned users created in Userpilot.

Develop multiple Aha moments

The odds are that the insights from analytics and feedback data will point to multiple user actions as potential Aha moments.

Your task now is to evaluate them from the user’s perspective and narrow the list down to 2-3 for each journey stage.

Here are some questions to help you decide:

  1. Does it happen at the right time? Is it too late/early for an Aha moment?
  2. Does it showcase the feature/product value?
  3. Does it illustrate how the product works?
  4. Is the event easy to complete for most users?
  5. Does it lead to user retention/conversion?

Test your Aha moment in the user onboarding flow

Having narrowed down the list of potential Aha moments, design an onboarding flow around them. Keep the flows simple and try to lead users to value in the most direct way.

Next, test each of the flows to identify the ones linked to the most conversions.

The quickest way to do it is by running A/B or multivariate tests. In this way, you test the effectiveness of the flows simultaneously with similar user samples.

A/B test results
A/B test results in Userpilot.

Aha moment examples from SaaS companies

To give you an idea of what an Aha moment could be, let’s have a look at a few examples from products you’ve most likely used at some point in your career.


Slack is a popular messaging platform that has changed how teams communicate and share resources.

In addition to group chat, its features include direct messaging, voice and video calls, and file sharing. Thanks to its integrations, Slack is easy to embed into existing tool stacks to optimize workflows.

Thanks to its capabilities, Slack allows companies to reduce the time spent in meetings and the number of emails.

To fully appreciate the platform value, the team needs to send 2,000 messages – that’s the Slack Aha moment.

Aha moment examples: Slack
Aha moment examples: Slack.


Loom is a video messaging platform, which like Slack, has revolutionized business communication.

The application allows you to create screen, voice, and video recordings, which makes it a perfect tool for creating demos or tutorials.

The best part is how easy it is to share the video with people, both inside and outside your network.

When does the Aha moment happen?

For many users, it’s before they even sign up for the product. When they first receive a link to a Loom video, they experience the benefits of the product firsthand. That’s the first conversion Aha moment.

For those who have signed up, it’s sharing their video. That’s what makes them decide to keep using the product.

Aha moment examples: Loom
Aha moment examples: Loom.


Canva is a graphic design tool that allows users without any design background to create professionally-looking visuals, like presentation decks, social media graphics, or posters.

The Aha moment for Canva users is creating their first design.

Aha moment examples: Canva
Aha moment examples: Canva.


Zoom is a well-known video conferencing platform that experienced rapid growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most users experience the initial value of the platform when they click on the link in the invite and join their first video call. That’s how most users decide to sign up for the product, and we can consider it the conversion Aha moment.

Zoom’s main selling point is that it’s simple to arrange and manage video calls, and to experience this, users need to schedule and launch their first call. That’s the retention Aha moment.

Aha moment examples: Zoom
Aha moment examples: Zoom.


Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant and proofreading tool. Thanks to its browser extensions, you can quickly spot and correct spelling and grammar errors in your content, no matter what tool you use to create it.

Grammarly also offers a web app. When you first log into it, you’re presented with a demo text riddled with mistakes. The app encourages you to correct the errors and that’s how you realize how quick and easy the tool is to use. That’s the Grammarly Aha moment.

Aha moment examples: Grammarly
Aha moment examples: Grammarly.

How to guide new users to experience the Aha moment?

Now that you know what the Aha moment may look like for different applications and how to identify it, it’s time to help your users experience it in your product.

Create personalized onboarding experiences for different user segments

As mentioned before, different user personas may have different Aha moments. This means that how they discover value also varies.

And as you want your users to experience value as quickly as possible, you need to design personalized onboarding flows for them.

Use a welcome survey to segment your users based on their use cases and trigger a relevant flow.

Use segmentation to personalize onboarding for different paths to the Aha moment
Use segmentation to personalize onboarding for different paths to the Aha moment.

Use interactive walkthroughs to guide users toward the exact moment of value

One way to lead users to the Aha moment is with interactive walkthroughs.

Interactive walkthroughs are step-by-step guides made up of tooltips that show users how to use features to achieve a goal.

Walkthroughs not only show users what to do but also prompt them to complete the actions, which increases the chance that they reach the Aha moment.

This makes them great for introducing and activating new features.

Interactive walkthrough leading users to the Aha moment
Interactive walkthrough leading users to the Aha moment.

Showcase core features to first-time users

Signing up for a new product, especially a complex one, may be overwhelming. That’s why it’s good practice to show your users around when they first log in.

You can do it by designing a product tour that shows users the main features and UI elements and explains their benefits.

You can trigger it from a welcome survey or a personalized welcome screen to make sure that users start the onboarding process as quickly as possible.

Product tour showcasing key features
Product tour showcasing key features.

Remove friction from the entire customer journey

One thing that can slow users down or even prevent them from reaching the Aha moment is friction.

Friction manifests itself in different ways, for example, a lengthy welcome survey or poor UI design common causes.

To find the friction points in the customer journey, use product analytics.

Start with funnel analysis to find the main area and analyze user interactions in more depth to find the exact cause.

Next, implement changes to tackle the issue and test their impact to see if the churned users start sticking around.

Funnel analysis
Funnel analysis in Userpilot.

Provide support to your user base to turn them into successful customers

One way to remove friction from the customer journey is by supporting users proactively.

This includes both high-touch support, like a dedicated customer success manager, and low-touch self-service resources, like a knowledge base or video tutorials.

The latter are particularly valuable because they allow users to access help on-demand, whenever they need it, and at their own pace. This is important early on in the journey when their loyalty is still weak and they may not have the patience to wait for the customer support team to get back to them.

Resource center for on-demand support
Userpilot resource center editor for on-demand support.

How to get your product’s eureka moment with Userpilot?

Userpilot is a product adoption platform, so you can say it was designed to lead users to the Aha moment and beyond.

Its engagement layer allows you to create personalized interactive onboarding experiences that reduce the time to value. Its features include:

Onboarding UI patterns in Userpilot
Onboarding UI patterns in Userpilot.

Userpilot also supports A/B and multivariate testing for your flows.

Userpilot supports A/B and multivariate testing
Userpilot supports A/B and multivariate testing.

In addition, you can use Userpilot to collect feedback through in-app surveys and thanks to integrations with CRMs and webhooks – via email.

And let’s not forget about the state-of-the-art analytics which are essential to make informed decisions when designing the onboarding experiences. These include:


Your product’s success depends on how easily users can reach the Aha moment. If they can experience the product or feature value quickly, they’re likely to hang around, adopt the product, and convert to paying customers. If the value is difficult to find, they’ll churn.

To see how Userpilot can help you identify the Aha moments for your product and design onboarding experiences to lead users to them, book the demo!

Try Userpilot and Take Your Onboarding Experience to the Next Level

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