15 Product Onboarding Best Practices for 2024 (+Real Company Examples)

15 Product Onboarding Best Practices for 2024 (+Real Company Examples) cover

Following product 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, explain its best practices, and share what we believe are the best onboarding software you can use today to apply these tactics without coding.


  • The user onboarding process is a series of steps designed to help new users understand and navigate your product smoothly.
  • Implementing product onboarding best practices not only enhances your experience but also drives the product’s success, offering benefits like improved user experience and increased revenue.
  • There are 15 product onboarding best practices that any SaaS company can apply. Let’s look into them:
  1. Simplify your sign-up process: Make sure the sign-up process into the product is as frictionless as possible.
  2. Welcome new users warmly: A personalized welcome message can set the tone for the entire user journey and help them get started.
  3. Guide users with interactive walkthroughs: Interactive elements help users understand the product’s core features in a practical way.
  4. Engage with an onboarding checklist: Checklists can keep users focused and encourage exploration of all the product’s features.
  5. Personalize the experience: Tailoring the onboarding process to the specific needs of each user segment can increase their activation rate.
  6. Offer an option to skip onboarding: Respect your users’ time in case they’re already familiar with the product or similar apps.
  7. Communicate with clear microcopy: Clear and concise in-app messages can guide users through complex features with less effort.
  8. Utilize various content forms: Visual aids like GIFs and videos make learning about features easier and more engaging.
  9. Localize the onboarding process: Offering the onboarding in your user’s language makes the product feel more accessible.
  10. Incorporate gamification: Elements of play can make the customer onboarding experience enjoyable and memorable.
  11. Provide an in-app resource center: Easy access to resources ensures users can find help without leaving the app.
  12. Collect feedback: Collecting user feedback on the onboarding experience is crucial to improve it over time.
  13. Identify and remove friction: Analyzing and fixing any friction in the onboarding process helps users progress through the user journey.
  14. A/B test onboarding strategies: Testing different onboarding tactics helps you understand what works best for different users.
  15. Use secondary onboarding for retention: Keep introducing new and secondary features to ensure users continue to find new value in your product.

Try Userpilot and Take Your User Onboarding to the Next Level

What is the user onboarding process?

The user onboarding process is a series of steps designed to help new users understand and navigate your product smoothly. It begins the moment a user first interacts with the product and continues through various stages, including sign-up, initial setup, and key feature introduction.

The goal is to ease the learning curve and help users realize the value of your product so they can stick with it—increasing customer retention and loyalty.

Why should product teams follow product onboarding best practices?

Product onboarding maximizes the potential of your product. Implementing its best practices not only enhances the user experience but also contributes significantly to a product’s success in the market.

The benefits of implementing product onboarding best practices are many, and they include:

  • Enhanced user experience: Well-designed onboarding processes simplify the learning curve for new users, making the product more accessible and enjoyable to use.
  • Higher product adoption rates: By clearly demonstrating the value and functionalities of the product, onboarding can lead to higher adoption rates among target users.
  • Increased user retention: Effective onboarding increases the likelihood that users will stick with the product long-term, reducing churn rates.
  • Reduced support costs: When users understand how to use a product from the beginning, there’s less need for extensive support, saving resources for the company.
  • Greater revenue: Ultimately, all of these benefits lead to higher revenue through upgrades, renewals, and word-of-mouth referrals.

15 product onboarding best practices for SaaS companies

With the impact a great onboarding process has on customer success and retention, following best practices can be the difference between a SaaS that thrives and one that merely survives.

That said, let’s go over 15 best practices for product onboarding to enhance user engagement, accelerate time to value, and solidify long-term customer relationships.

1. Remove friction from the sign-up process

Making users verify their email or share their credit card information right away adds a lot more friction—which could drive potential users away before they even get started.

So to start removing friction during onboarding, begin with optimizing your signup page.

For this, don’t ask for too much information upfront and allow users to sign up with your Google account, single sign-on (SSO), or plain email and password—just like Miro:

signup page product onboarding best practices
Miro’s signup page.

2. Greet new users with a welcome message

The first-time user experience can make the difference between making a user stay with you and churning the next day.

For this, make sure to give a warm welcome to your users when they first log in. Not only that but also prompt them to take the first step of their journey with you.

With this, users won’t have to decide where to go first and start engaging with the product right away. Just remember to keep a friendly tone and make sure that the writing is clear and sharp.

welcome message product onboarding best practices
Welcome message example in Userpilot.

3. Use interactive walkthroughs to guide users

Interactive guidance is another way to onboard users effectively. It helps users understand your product better and enhances their experience by encouraging exploration.

That said, instead of showing a generic product tour that users are likely to skip, you can implement an interactive walkthrough to:

  • Guide users step-by-step with progressive onboarding.
  • Respond to in-app behavior in real time.
  • Avoid overwhelming users with information they won’t retain.
  • Enhance the user’s learning experience, as they can grasp how to use core features while interacting with the product.
interactive walkthrough product onboarding best practices
Userpilot’s interactive walkthrough.

4. Trigger an onboarding checklist to activate users

During primary onboarding, engaging users with your product’s core features is critical so they can experience its value as quickly as possible (and avoid churn).

For this, you can add an onboarding checklist to help users achieve the activation stage faster and keep them engaged.

For example, if you want to introduce a scheduling feature to active users, you can add a checklist to guide them through creating a schedule, adding tasks or deadlines, and activating notifications.

checklist product onboarding best practices
Creating an onboarding checklist with Userpilot.

5. Personalize the user onboarding experience for different user personas

Providing a personalized onboarding experience opens the door to drive more engagement and increase customer retention.

The best way to do it is by segmenting your user base on different user personas and creating a relevant onboarding sequence for each.

For instance, you can use a welcome survey to gather information such as the user’s industry, their role within their organization, or their main motivation for using your product. Then use that information to craft an onboarding path that addresses their specific jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) and responsibilities.

segmentation product onboarding best practices
Segmenting users with Userpilot.

6. Give an option to skip the onboarding flow

For this reason, there’s a high chance that you’ll eventually trigger your well-designed onboarding process to the wrong user—a user who might already have experience with your product.

That’s why you should enable users to skip the onboarding steps, such as tutorials, surveys, tooltips, and so on. This way, you’re providing users with the chance to do what they already plan to do without having to watch a bunch of redundant videos.

skip option product onboarding best practices
Example of how to provide the option to skip onboarding.

7. Use clear and effective microcopy in the customer onboarding process

Effective UX copy helps users understand how to use your product to achieve their goals. It can be particularly effective in explaining complex features.

Here are some tips for writing effective UX copy for your onboarding process:

  • Be as clear and descriptive as possible.
  • Avoid jargon that may not be universally understood.
  • Use AI to edit your copy, simplify it, or make any improvements.
ux copy product onboarding best practices
Optimizing UX copy with Userpilot’s AI.

8. Create different types of content to onboard users

Visual content like GIFs and micro-videos can dramatically improve feature adoption.

For example, you can use GIFs to showcase how your core features are used in real life, making it easier for users to grasp their utility quickly.

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
Video added in a modal in Userpilot.

9. Localize the product onboarding process for different segments

When it comes to the onboarding process, communicating in a specific language based on your user’s location improves the user experience and leads to a smoother process.

To make localization work, make sure to:

  • Spread the word and share your product localization plans with the other teams.
  • Adapt your product design to fit the other languages.
  • Revise the copy to make sure that it’s clear and effective in all languages.
  • Give users the option to choose their language if their default language isn’t their preference.
localization product onboarding best practices
Localization in Userpilot.

10. Gamify the onboarding experience to keep users engaged

With gamification, you can provide a more entertaining experience and create positive reinforcement to keep users engaged and complete your onboarding process (i.e., an engagement loop).

For this, you can add elements such as badges, daily quests, progress bars, and levels for a more exciting onboarding experience—creating a positive loop in the user that makes their path to success more enjoyable.

gamification product onboarding best practices
A reward modal created in Userpilot.

11. Use an in-app resource center to boost customer success

A great opportunity to offer a top-notch customer experience is through an in-app resource center. Since it prevents users from leaving your app to solve their issues (experiencing friction in the process), customers are more likely to stay engaged with your app.

The process for creating an effective knowledge base is simple:

  1. Identify common issues that make customers drop off and disengage.
  2. Survey your users, review your support tickets, and examine your usage data to see what’s causing friction and pushing customers away.
  3. Create help resources in different formats to directly tackle these challenges. It can include FAQs, tutorial videos, step-by-step guides, or help articles.
  4. Organize your resources in content modules so users can find resources that are relevant to them.
resource center product onboarding best practices
Building a resource center with Userpilot.

12. Collect user feedback to measure the success of the onboarding process

The best way to improve user onboarding is by asking your existing users directly. After all, they’re the ones who experience it.

Thankfully, you can segment your users and target in-app surveys such as CES (customer effort score), CSAT, and NPS surveys to understand their points of view. This lets you collect feedback that’s relevant to their specific needs, iterate your onboarding flow, and close the feedback loop.

For example, if you were to ask users to rate your onboarding process, here’s the type of survey you’d need to create:

surveys product onboarding best practices
Creating in-app surveys with Userpilot.

13. Identify friction in the onboarding funnel and remove it

Too much friction during the onboarding process can lead to many users to churn out.

With high-quality data, you can identify friction points in the user journey and improve them. This process can involve tracking user behavior, mapping out the customer journey, and paying attention to key engagement metrics like churn rate, session length, and user activity.

For instance, you can perform funnel analysis to identify stages where users are experiencing friction and dropping. This way, if there’s a substantial drop in engagement during the onboarding process, you can know immediately that you need to streamline your onboarding flow to make it more user-friendly or interactive.

funnel analysis product onboarding best practices
Conducting funnel analysis with Userpilot.

14. A/B test the onboarding process to maximize user engagement

One effective way to optimize the onboarding process is by A/B testing in-app experiences.

This involves testing two different versions of your onboarding content (checklists, tutorials, etc.) against each other. For example, let’s say you need to optimize the adoption rate of one of your core features. In version A, you can have a series of video tutorials, while version B includes interactive walkthroughs.

With A/B testing tools that support in-app flows (like Userpilot), you’ll be able to analyze the engagement performance of those versions such as time spent on each version, completion rates, and feature usage—and determine which version performs better.

ab testing product onboarding best practices
A/B testing with Userpilot.

15. Use secondary onboarding to increase 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.

For instance, you can trigger in-app notifications to announce new features so your customers can try them right away.

secondary onboarding product onboarding best practices
Creating in-app feature introductions with Userpilot.

Examples of companies with effective user onboarding

These best practices are great to get started, but let’s explore real-world examples from other SaaS companies that used Userpilot to create successful onboarding processes:


ClearCalcs offers a pretty complex product to a very specific niche. Naturally, their primary goal is to help new trial signups find the right piece of calculators in an effort to make the experience easier for new users.

For this, ClearCalcs uses Userpilot to not only track user behavior and activation rates, but also to segment their users by role, goals, and company size by triggering a welcome survey.

This way, they can personalize the onboarding flow for the different user needs, and thus, improve user activation in each segment.

clearcalcs welcome survey
ClearCalcs welcome survey.

Attention Insight

Attention Insight is an AI-powered heatmap analysis tool that struggled with low user activation rates. They used Userpilot to implement several in-app experiences that increased user activation to 69% (from 47%).

Here’s what they added to their onboarding process:

  • An interactive walkthrough that guided new users through the heatmap analysis creation process.
  • An onboarding checklist to help users navigate the process of creating a heatmap.
  • Hotspots drawing attention to less obvious UI elements.
  • A resource center to pull all the help resources and walkthroughs together to reduce support requests.
  • Slideouts congratulating the users on their first successful heatmap, enhancing the user experience, and reinforcing activation.
attention insight in app guidance
Attention Insight’s in-app guidance.


Groupize is a meetings management platform that needed to revamp its onboarding process for a new launch in one week.

For this, they used Userpilot to gamify their onboarding by creating a Groupize Interactive Assistant—G.G.—ready to help Groupize users through the app’s interactive elements.

G.G. offers help through onboarding tours, step-by-step checklists, as well as live chat, LinkedIn page, and email.

groupize assistant
G.G. introducing herself.

Sked Social

Sked Social is an Instagram tool that leveraged Userpilot to implement an onboarding checklist—triplicating the likelihood of converting a user into a paid customer if they complete the checklist.

This is what made this checklist so effective:

  • It only focuses on the four key tasks a user must perform to experience value.
  • Includes a progress bar, allowing users to see their progress and how much more they have left to do.
  • Adds a “dummy task” to motivate users to complete the tasks. In this case, the dummy task was “creating an account”.
  • Directs users to the relevant page when they click on a task.
sked social checklist
Sked Social onboarding checklist.


Kommunicate is a chat-based customer support tool suite that struggled with customers asking for features that were already in the product—which meant they needed to work on their onboarding process

For this, they followed a few best practices:

  1. Added a simple notification bar to prompt users to install their browser extension—improving the adoption rate by 15%.
  2. Created an interactive walkthrough for the 5-7 features that all paying customers use daily so they can reach multiple ‘Aha’ moments—leading to a 3% increase in feature usage, and then revenue.
kommunicate interactive walkthrough
Kommunicate’s interactive walkthrough.

The best customer onboarding software in the market

No matter what onboarding tactics you wish to execute, you’ll need software to set them up, trigger them, and retrieve data.

So let’s go over the best customer onboarding tools that require no coding skills:

Userpilot – best customer onboarding platform for SaaS companies

Userpilot is a product growth platform with the ability to create, design, and trigger onboarding flows to new users, either from scratch or by using any of the multiple templates available.

This tool brings more than the ability to trigger in-app experiences. You can also create in-app surveys, collect user behavior data, and get access to advanced product analytics—everything to nurture product growth.

Here’s Userpilot’s role for onboarding users:

  • Get a deep user experience understanding with analytics charts such as funnels (to spot friction), trends (to understand how behavior changes), and paths (to draw the product journey of your users).
  • Use feature-tagging and event-tracking to analyze user behavior and identify friction points.
  • You can segment your users based on their data and personalize the customer experience.
  • Analyze feature usage with feature heatmaps to understand product adoption and which areas of your product bring value to your users.
  • A/B tests different in-app flows to see what kind of content generates more engagement.
  • Build an in-app resource center to offer self-service support 24/7.
  • Collect feedback for your research using a great variety of in-app surveys such as CSAT, CES, and NPS surveys.
  • Use advanced survey analytics to tag and filter user responses based on recurrent themes and keywords and save time analyzing responses.
  • Leverage different UI patterns to create bespoke onboarding experiences.
userpilot flow builder
Userpilot flow builder.

Appcues – recommended onboarding tool for mobile apps

Appcues is a customer engagement tool that’s designed to create seamless customer experiences. It can help you enhance your user’s journey—from onboarding to feature discovery and interaction—in order to drive customer engagement.

Here’s what it can offer:

  • Flows: The ability to create unique, in-app user journeys that can guide, inform, and engage your customers.
  • Checklists: Functional in-app checklists that motivate users to complete key tasks.
  • Mobile engagement: Provides tools to build engaging experiences for mobile apps.
appcues mobile flow builder
Appcues mobile flow builder.

UserGuiding – affordable product onboarding software

UserGuiding is a practical platform for driving customer engagement. It’s designed to refine the onboarding process and enhance user experience by optimizing every interaction within their web-based applications.

Here’s what it offers:

  • Interactive product tours: This makes it easy to onboard new users to your app step-by-step.
  • In-app messaging: Allows for personalized in-app communication to enhance interaction and increase customer engagement.
  • NPS surveys: Encourages feedback from users to measure customer loyalty.
  • Performance analytics: Offers key metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of onboarding flows and engagement initiatives.
userguiding dashboard
UserGuiding’s dashboard.


In SaaS, following app onboarding best practices is as important as acquiring new customers.

With this guide, you can hopefully implement the tactics we explained to improve your user retention rates and product growth.

So, instead of relying on the dev team to implement in-app experiences the way you want, why not try a Userpilot demo to see how you can improve adoption?

Try Userpilot and Take Your User Onboarding to the Next Level

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