16 Customer Onboarding Best Practices for SaaS in 2024

16 Customer Onboarding Best Practices for SaaS in 2024

Following SaaS customer onboarding best practices will ensure more users stay engaged with your product.

But what are these best practices and how can you implement them?

Let’s explore what onboarding is, go over 16 best practices, and share what we believe is the best onboarding software you can use today to apply these tactics without coding.


  • Customer onboarding refers to the steps you take to successfully guide new users from the sales process to deliver what was promised to them.
  • Customer onboarding helps improve satisfaction, drive retention and loyalty, as well as minimize churn.Customer onboarding best practices include:
  1. Simplify the sign-up process: Keep the initial sign-up brief, gathering only essential information like name and email, and consider implementing Single Sign-On (SSO) for easier login.
  2. Use a welcome survey to understand customer pain points and expectations: Trigger welcome surveys to gather insights from users and tailor onboarding flows to meet their specific needs and expectations.
  3. Assign a call with a customer success manager: For high-profile customers, arrange personalized onboarding calls with dedicated success managers to understand their unique needs and guide them through the initial stages of using the product.
  4. Personalize the customer onboarding process: Segment users based on their needs and job roles, then trigger customized onboarding flows to ensure they are guided through relevant features, increasing satisfaction and success.
  5. Deliver additional value with a welcome email: Send personalized welcome emails immediately after sign-up, providing key resources and emphasizing the product’s value to encourage users to take the next steps.
  6. Drive customer engagement with a checklist: Provide users with a checklist of essential steps to complete within the product, offering clarity and structure to the onboarding process.
  7. Improve product adoption with interactive walkthroughs: Guide users through the product features with interactive walkthroughs, helping them learn by doing and increasing product adoption.
  8. Keep customers engaged with gamification elements: Implement gamification elements like badges, points, or progress bars to make the onboarding process engaging and encourage users to continue using the product.
  9. Collect user feedback to improve customer onboarding experience: Actively seek feedback from users during or after onboarding to identify areas for improvement and enhance the overall onboarding journey.
  10. Customize the customer onboarding experience with personalized demo invites: Use personalized in-app messages to invite users to product demos, providing them with a tailored experience.
  11. Compliment client onboarding process with in-app resource center: Create a comprehensive resource center within the app, offering users access to tutorials, guides, FAQs, and documentation to support their learning.
  12. Use secondary onboarding for existing customers to improve customer retention: Continue onboarding existing customers to secondary features to unlock additional value and drive retention.
  13. Contextually onboard new features: Introduce new features to active users based on their journey and goals, incorporating micro-videos or GIFs to make learning more engaging.
  14. Constantly track the performance of your customer onboarding strategy: Use an onboarding dashboard to monitor key metrics and identify areas for improvement, ensuring the effectiveness of the onboarding process.
  15. Analyze user behavior to identify onboarding friction and drop-off points: Implement user path analysis to identify specific points in the onboarding process where users may encounter difficulties or drop off, allowing for optimization.
  16. Choose the right customer onboarding platform: Select an onboarding platform with features like onboarding flows, resource centers, feedback surveys, data analytics, segmentation, and more to facilitate a personalized and interactive onboarding experience.
  1. Loom has a library of video tutorials for new users.
  2. Grammarly uses a demo document to show users how the tool works.
  3. Zendesk uses branched onboarding for better personalization.
  • Userpilot can help you implement customer onboarding best practices and deliver a seamless onboarding experience. Book a demo now to try it.

Try Userpilot and Take Your Customer Onboarding to the Next Level


What is customer onboarding?

Customer onboarding refers to the steps you take to successfully guide new users from the sales process to deliver what was promised to them.

A good customer onboarding process needs to be contextual and personalized to meet and exceed customer expectations.

The customer success team usually executes a customer onboarding strategy from the moment customers sign up for the product. Some companies can also assign an account manager or a point of contact for new customers.

Why is customer onboarding important?

Effective onboarding process helps to:

  • Improve customer satisfaction: By providing a smooth and guided onboarding experience, customers are more likely to feel satisfied with your product and service from the beginning.
  • Drive customer success: A well-executed onboarding process ensures that customers understand how to use your product effectively, increasing their chances of achieving their desired outcomes and success.
  • Lower time to value: A streamlined onboarding process helps customers start using and benefiting from your product more quickly, reducing the time it takes for them to see the value it provides.
  • Improve customer loyalty: When customers have a positive onboarding experience and start seeing results, they are more likely to become loyal advocates for your brand, leading to long-term relationships.
  • Minimize customer churn and drive retention: An onboarding process that addresses customer needs and helps them become proficient with your product reduces the likelihood of churn, promoting customer retention.

16 Effective best practices for new customers’ onboarding

Ready to create an effective onboarding process for your product?

Following customer onboarding best practices is important because it ensures a smooth and efficient introduction for new customers, leading to improved satisfaction.

Here are 16 best practices to follow:

1. Simplify the sign-up process

Keep your sign-up flow as short as possible. Ask just basic information like name and email. You can gather more data later in the customer journey.

Also, consider implementing SSO to make login easy for users.

Good sign-up example from Userpilot

2. Use a welcome survey to understand customer pain points and expectations

Trigger welcome surveys to greet users of your product and understand why they signed up for your tool. Once you’ve gathered this data, tailor your flows accordingly, ensuring you meet and exceed user expectations.

Create welcome surveys code-free with Userpilot

Use the information to segment users and ensure each customer sees the onboarding flows tailored to their team size and needs.

3. Assign a call with a customer success manager

This may not be possible if you have a large user base. However, you can still segment your high-profile customers and arrange an onboarding call with a dedicated success manager. The goal of this interaction will be to understand the unique needs of new clients and provide a tailored guide through the initial stages of using your product.

Before the meeting, customer success team can collect user data from the sales team and find ways to make the interaction more personalized.

This approach stands out among others because new clients can ask questions, receive immediate guidance, and build an ongoing relationship with the customer success team, which ultimately contributes to retention.

Create modals code-free with Userpilot

Create modals code-free with Userpilot

4. Personalize the customer onboarding process

Use the data from your welcome surveys to create a personalized experience.

Segment users based on similar needs and jobs-to-be-done (JTBD), then trigger customized onboarding flows. This approach ensures users are guided through features most relevant to their specific requirements, increasing the likelihood of successful onboarding and long-term satisfaction.

Userpilot can help you do this easily.

After using our platform to collect user data through a welcome survey, you can segment users based on the data collected:

Advanced user segmentation in Userpilot.

Advanced user segmentation in Userpilot..

Then, create onboarding flows tailored to each segment:

Onboarding flow example

Onboarding flow example

5. Deliver additional value with a welcome email

Trigger your automated email immediately after the customer signs up for your product (you can even use the sign-up page to redirect them to check their emails).

Your email should address the user by name to keep it personalized. Make the email short, but attach key resources and iterate your product’s value to ensure users stay invested. A best practice would be to have at least one bold CTA in your email so users take the next step immediately.

Welcome email example from Miro

Welcome email example from Miro

6. Drive customer engagement with a checklist

A customer onboarding checklist guides your customers through the steps that they need to take to get set up and complete key tasks within your product to activate and maximize their experience.

The checklist serves as a centralized hub where users can see all the necessary steps for getting started in one place. This approach is crucial because it provides clarity and structure to the customer onboarding process, making it easier for users to navigate through initial setup and usage.

7. Improve product adoption with interactive walkthroughs

Interactive walkthroughs hold users by the hand and show them step-by-step how to use and derive value from your features.

Walkthroughs are effective because they help users learn by taking action. Since the user is actively engaged in the onboarding process, they will get the hang of your key features by the time the interactive walkthrough is over. This increases product adoption and sets the stage for long-term user retention.


Create interactive walkthroughs as part of your customer onboarding strategy.

8. Keep customers engaged with gamification elements

Well implemented, gamification will keep users hooked to your customer onboarding processes. This time, they aren’t completing the flows just because they want to use your platform; there’s a secondary reason—a desire to interact with your gamification elements.

For instance, an animated magical creature pops on a new user’s screen each time they complete an onboarding milestone in Asana. This gives the users a sense of accomplishment and encourages them to continue using the product, curious about what other creatures will appear next.


Asana uses gamification to boost customer engagement.

Aside from magical creatures, there are several other gamification elements you can use. For instance, you can implement badges, points, levels, progress bars, or social and collaborative features like emoji reactions or gifs to encourage participation.

Implement Customer Onboarding Best Practices with Userpilot

9. Collect user feedback to improve customer onboarding experience

Actively seeking user feedback during or after the onboarding process is a valuable practice to measure onboarding success.

This feedback provides insights into areas where the onboarding experience may fall short or could be improved. By understanding user perspectives, you can make informed adjustments to enhance the onboarding journey.

This iterative approach not only improves the onboarding experience for future users but also demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement and customer-centricity.

Customize the customer onboarding experience with personalized demo invites

Product demo videos are visual representations showcasing how your product works, its features, and the value it brings to users.

Use the demo videos to convey complex information in small, digestible bits, empowering users to maximize your tool.

To enhance the user experience, consider inviting users to a demo with a personalized in-app message.

Compliment client onboarding process with in-app resource center

Create a robust resource center that customers can visit anytime.

This resource center will serve as a comprehensive repository of key materials that are vital for new customers. It will allow them to learn at their own pace, access relevant resources, and troubleshoot issues independently.

Examples of resources you can cover in the in-app resource center include video tutorials, step-by-step guides, FAQs, and product documentation.

Use secondary onboarding for existing customers to improve customer retention

Onboarding doesn’t stop at the activation stage, as it’s a continuous process that never ends.

This means that once your users have adopted the core features of your products, you should keep introducing them to secondary features that can help them achieve success as well—and unlock even more value.

Contextually onboard new features

Analyze where customers are on their journey and what goals they aim to meet with your product to deliver new features to active users first.

It won’t make much sense to introduce a new feature to someone who hasn’t really adopted your key features, will it? So that’s why it is important to analyze product usage and deliver new features to the right people.

That said, try to incorporate micro-videos or GIFs in your onboarding process or new feature announcements. It won’t only make the learning process more engaging but also help reduce the cognitive load on your users—encouraging them to explore and use new features.

video content product onboarding best practices

Constantly track the performance of your customer onboarding strategy

With the right tool, you can easily create an onboarding dashboard. Then you can identify the key metrics for a successful onboarding and add them to your dashboard.

Constantly having them in front of you and tracking them will ensure you can guarantee the effectiveness of your onboarding and make changes in a timely manner.

Analyze user behavior to identify onboarding friction and drop-off points

Implement user path analysis to examine the sequence of actions users take to complete your customer onboarding process.

This analysis will highlight specific points that may cause drop-offs or confusion. By further examining such areas, you can streamline your onboarding flows and ensure a smoother onboarding journey for users, ultimately improving overall customer satisfaction.

Choose the right customer onboarding platform

An onboarding platform is a tool that helps you facilitate the onboarding process, providing features to create personalized and interactive product walkthroughs, among other things.

There are many onboarding platforms on the market today. When choosing a suitable tool for onboarding clients, look for these features:

  • Onboarding flows
  • Resource Center
  • Feedback surveys
  • Data Analytics
  • Segmentation

Successful customer onboarding examples to learn from

Would you like to see examples of companies implementing some of these customer onboarding best practices?

Here are three examples for you:

Loom’s getting started videos

Loom has short, comprehensive video guides that help new customers learn at their own pace.

The videos are engaging, and the library is regularly updated as the platform adds new features.

Loom's library of video tutorials.

Loom’s library of video tutorials.

Grammarly’s demo document

As a vital part of its onboarding flow, Grammarly shares a demo document with new users.

This document contains errors that Grammarly has highlighted, and the platform guides news users in correcting the mistakes. This way, Grammarly’s new users learn to quickly master the tool, leaving the tutorial confident about the product’s functionalities.


Grammarly’s user onboarding.

Zendesks’s personalized onboarding

Zendesk personalizes its product walkthroughs based on three user personas—consumers, businesses, and employees.

The first onboarding screen prompts users to choose what best describes them. Once users pick a persona, they get a tailored walkthrough, showing parts of the tool most relevant to their use case. You should implement this strategy if your product caters to a wide audience.


Zendesk’s branched onboarding.

How to deliver an effective customer onboarding process with Userpilot

Userpilot is a product growth platform used by product teams to design and improve their customer onboarding.

Key Userpilot features you’ll find useful for onboarding:

  • Interactive product walkthroughs: Userpilot grants you access to multiple UI patterns for creating interactive walkthroughs that educate and keep users engaged through the onboarding process.
  • Customized flows: You can customize your flows to your brand’s style, color, and logo, giving it a native look. Our platform also lets you decide the pages and triggers for each onboarding flow, creating a seamless process.
  • Onboarding checklists: Create onboarding checklists to show users the important onboarding tasks they need to complete. Userpilot also lets you add progress bars to your checklists so users have a sense of accomplishment for each task they cross off.
  • In-app resource center: Build a fully customized resource center and add all the elements you think new and existing users will find useful.
  • User segmentation: With Userpilot’s advanced segmentation, you can divide users into different groups based on various factors and trigger super personalized flows.
  • User feedback: From CSAT to CES and NPS surveys, Userpilot lets you collect qualitative and quantitative user feedback to improve. More importantly, we have plug-and-play survey templates to save you time.
  • A/B testing: Not sure what flows will work better? Use our platform to implement A/B or multivariate tests and see what resonates more with your audience.
  • Funnel analysis: This feature lets you analyze the different steps users take through your onboarding process. It helps you pinpoint and address areas of friction.
  • Analytics dashboards: With Userpilot, you can take advantage of the premade analytics dashboards, as well as create new dashboards in seconds. Achieve the perfect visual presentation with complete control over report placement, resizing, and order. You can also add context, insights, and layout descriptions using our new WYSIWYG text block integration.

Try Userpilot and Take Your Customer Onboarding to the Next Level


There’s no one-size-fits-all onboarding formula, but hopefully, this article has given you a customer onboarding template and framework to work with.

As you roll out your onboarding flows, continue testing to see what your audience responds to the most. Dig into your analytics to analyze user behavior during and after onboarding, then implement iterative changes.

But of course, the first step is to act on the customer onboarding best practices we’ve discussed. Book a demo now to see how Userpilot makes it easier for you.

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