Product Personalization for SaaS – Best Examples and Tools

Product Personalization for SaaS - Best Examples and Tools

What does product personalization mean for SaaS businesses? And how is this different from product customization?

You’ve heard building personalized onboarding experiences can increase product activation and impact product engagement.

If you want to learn how to do it, keep on reading.

In this article, I’ll talk about how you can build personalized experiences for your SaaS product the right way.


  • Product personalization means optimizing the entire user experience with your product based on specific user needs.
  • In comparison, product customization is about giving customers the ability to add their personal touch to the product’s look and feel.
  • It can be done by personalizing the UI and the user onboarding experience and helps increase customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Different ways to personalize a product at the UI level are personalization by plan, by persona, and by use cases.
  • Enable or disable certain features based on the subscription plan the user is on, or allow them to choose the features they want to show on their UI, mixing in some product customization
  • Replace empty states with relevant data for a specific user persona will offer an enhanced first-time experience and reinforce your product’s positioning
  • Use demo data to shorten the time to value for complex products
  • Different ways to personalize a product experience include using a welcome screen and checklists
  • Add a human touch to your welcome screens with GIFs and collect user data with micro surveys
  • Build different onboarding flows and take users to activation by personalizing their path directly from the welcome screen
  • Use a checklist to guide users to discover and engage with advanced features in your product that are relevant to them
  • Build welcome screens, checklists, and more, to personalize the onboarding experience with Userpilot.

What is product personalization?

Product personalization means optimizing the entire user experience with your product based on specific user needs. In SaaS, personalization can be done at the UI level or the user journey experience level.

But you can apply product customization and personalization for any online business that has a web presence.

Online stores can increase the average order value with small personal touches like showing other relevant products once a customer has added a product to their cart, or by giving access to an exclusive product only to a small audience.

This type of experience can be created for SaaS products too.

We’ll focus this article on how you can apply product personalization for SaaS.

Why is product personalization important?

SaaS products help users get their job done (or at least they should!). But no matter what your product does, there will be different types of users using it in different ways.

Offering all customers the same experience starting with the signup process and all the way through engaging with your product’s features is the same as broadcasting a message to the entire world even though it’s only relevant for some.

By personalizing the user journey for a specific user segment’s needs you make sure your message reaches the right audience and is relevant for them.

In other words, you are proving value.

Personalized experiences in SaaS help shorten the time to value which leads to higher adoption rates and higher user retention.

Before we get into the how of building personalized experiences for your users, let’s clarify some terms to avoid misunderstandings.

What’s the difference between product personalization and product customization?

Product personalization in SaaS is when you use customer data to offer relevant experiences for each customer type while they are engaging with your product.

In comparison, product customization is about giving customers the ability to add their personal touch to the product’s look and feel.

Think about personalization as the process of building specific experiences to make the user’s interaction with your product more relevant, all based on customer data.

And customization as being that extra touch that lets users make the product feel more like their own (changing colors, adding custom labels, offering dark mode, etc). Who doesn’t like customized products?

Now, if you want your business to be one step ahead of your competitors while driving customer loyalty, let’s look into how you can use product personalization and product customization to achieve that.

Product personalization examples at the UI level

What exactly does an in-app personalization look like in SaaS?

Let’s take a look at some brands and how they use technology to personalize apps at the UI level.

Personalizing by plan – removing irrelevant features (ClickUp)

You can personalize a product’s UI based on the user use case by enabling or disabling certain features based on the subscription plan the user is on.

You can do this by showing different dashboards to different user segments or by mixing in some product customization too and letting users choose what to add to their dashboard.

ClickUp is a good illustration of personalization at the UI level because it allows customers to add and remove features from the UI based on their needs while choosing from a personalized list.

Adding in the product customization, allowing users to customize their dashboard and also labels inside the app only enhances the experience while using ClickUp.

Adding in the product customization, allowing users to customize their dashboard and also labels inside the app only enhances the experience while using ClickUp.

Personalizing by persona – filling empty states with different data (Todoist)

When a user signs up for a free trial, you need to get them to experience value fast. Personalized empty states help them get there faster and reduce time to value.


By replacing empty states with relevant data, you will help users get started using your app which will result in increased trial to paid conversion rates (aka sales).

Todoist app makes sure their customers don’t face a white, empty screen when they first log in. Instead, they add instructions on how to get started and at the same time give a look and feel of the experience of using their app.

This is a good example of how you can reinforce your product’s positioning while providing a great first-time experience.


Personalizing by use case – use demo content (MixPanel)

Earlier, I talked about how you can fill empty spaces with content to showcase the app’s use, demo content however can offer more functionality and reduce time to value by allowing users to test the product without having to input any data.

Using demo data works best for complex products where the users need to add their own data before they can actually see the product in action.

Not every user will want to the long process of connecting their data before they decided your product is what they need.

Mixpanel is one example of that complex type of app. With no data, you can’t really play with the app and see if the right fit for you.

By adding demo data, Mixpanel gives customers access to dummy data and easily shows them how their product works.


The Ultimate Product Personalization Tool

Ready to deliver personalized experiences to your consumers?

Candu is a no-code, drop-and-drag editor for SaaS – perfect for websites or web app UI personalizations.

Here’s how it works.

You start with a template component (forms, announcements, etc) that will then be embedded on your UI. Add customization to it based on your brand and needs and serve up different variants of it to different user segments, on the same website URL.


Product personalization examples of the user experience

Now that we’ve seen some examples of how you can personalize the UI of your app, let’s check how you can increase engagement by personalizing the user experience.

Personalize your product’s welcome screen

If you’re a returning visitor to this blog, then you already know the importance of a welcome screen for SaaS products.

It’s ok if you don’t have enough data at this point to personalize the welcome screen for each user by use case, you can still offer a relevant experience and guide users towards their next step using a personalized welcome screen.

Here’s an example from Kontention using a GIF to welcome users to their app in a more human way and adding a message telling users what to exact next.

This reasures the user that your company is there to support them on their journey of using your product.

Kontentino welcome screen

But adding a GIF is not the only thing you can do.

Go a step further and do what Backlinkmanager does.

Use a short micro survey to collect data about your customer’s job to be done.

Once you have this, you can segment your users based on the answers and personalize their onboarding path.

Personalizing your product onboarding flow

Personalizing onboarding means guiding each user on the shortest path to activation (aka experiencing value by using your product).

You can either use the data collected with a micro survey and build custom experiences for each use case or let the user choose their path.

ConvertKit asks users one question that will change the onboarding path for each.

If you’re moving from another email software, you probably have an email list that you want to import. You will also be more familiar with email marketing in general – so Convertkit can skip some of the basic explanations for you.

This is what users who click on ” Yes! I’m moving from another tool” see in the next step- The option to directly import their contacts, getting them closer to that activation point.

On the other hand – if you’re a complete newbie – you may need help with basic things.

In comparison, someone who’s just starting out will see a checklist of short tasks guiding them on how to get started (after going through multiple screens that asks them more data about their goals with using the app).

Personalize the path to adopting secondary features (Backlinkmanager example)

Segmentation gives room for a personalized experience at the secondary onboarding stage.

Once you get users on the right track and they reach activation, you can further personalize their experience by guiding them to engage with advanced features that are valuable for their specific use case.

This will provide added value that helps built brand loyalty through engaging experiences that deliver value continuously.

Here’s another example from Backlinmager.

While tracking backlinks is the core functionality they offer to customers, adding partners and collaborating on link exchanges inside the platform is a secondary feature of the app.

And once again, you can use a checklist to personalize the path to adopting secondary features.

Now, remember how Backlinkmanger uses a welcome screen to ask their new users what do they need the app for?

Having that information allows them to show this checklist only to the users who would benefit from it.

What’s the best tool for onboarding personalization?

Userpilot is best for product onboarding personalization.

You can build multiple types of welcome screens, add GIFs, videos, micro surveys and more, then use the data to personalize the onboarding path as discussed in this article.

With advanced segmentation and you can make sure your in-app experiences are personalized for each user segment’s needs.

With multiple in-app engagement flows like modals, checklists, tooltips you can design personalized user journeys for multiple user segments.

Final thoughts

Product customization and personalizing the user experience will only bring in the results if your product helps your customers get their job done easily.

Otherwise, no amount of personalization or product customization will get the users to have a better experience and drive customer loyalty.

If you want to start building personalized experiences without having to code modals and other UI patterns, get a Userpilot demo and we’ll help.

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