Looking to create a product walkthrough that streamlines onboarding and engages users but not sure how to do it?
Whether you’re new to walkthroughs or just need inspiration, we’re here to help.
This guide covers:
- The differences between product walkthroughs and product tours.
- The best points in the user journey to trigger your walkthroughs.
- Steps to create an effective walkthrough and examples to learn from.
- A product walkthrough is an interactive experience that guides users through the key steps to complete tasks within a product.
- Walkthroughs primarily focus on guiding users through specific features or functionalities of a product. Product tours, however, are broader in scope and focus on providing users with an overview of the entire product.
- You can think of walkthroughs as “interactive product tours” that require users to complete an action before moving to the next step.
Use a product walkthrough when you need to:
- Guide new users after they sign up for your product.
- Drive discovery and adoption.
- Prompt upgrade among free trial users, drive upsells, and increase expansion revenue.
An effective product walkthrough helps to:
- Improve user onboarding and reduce time to value.
- Reduce friction and help users adopt new features faster.
- Boost customer retention and lifetime value.
How to create interactive product walkthroughs:
- Use product analytics to identify potential use cases for a walkthrough.
- Define a specific goal for your product walkthrough.
- Use a tool to build and launch your product walkthrough.
- Analyze and optimize your walkthrough.
- A/B test different product walkthroughs to drive better results.
- We take a look at product walkthrough examples from Rocketbots, Asana, Demio, Kommunicate, and Salesflare.
- Userpilot can help you create walkthroughs and track their performance to improve the user experience. Book a demo to begin.
What is a product walkthrough?
A product walkthrough is an interactive experience that guides users through the key steps to complete tasks within a product.
Done well, walkthroughs can be highly effective, helping new and existing users master your tool quickly. A product walkthrough also reduces support tickets as users won’t struggle to understand what feature does what.
Product walkthroughs vs product tours: What’s the difference?
Walkthroughs and product tours are both user onboarding strategies deployed to introduce customers to a digital product, but they have distinct differences in terms of purpose and execution.
A product walkthrough is primarily focused on guiding users through specific features or functionalities of a product. It aims to provide a step-by-step explanation of how to use the product effectively.
Product tours are broader in scope and focus on providing users with just an overview of the entire product. You are shown how things work in one go, but no action is required from your end.
That is where the key difference lies. A walkthrough is like an “interactive product tour” because it requires users to complete an action before moving to the next step.
For example, if a walkthrough asks users to click a button to create forms, the user can’t decide to skip that step and see what’s next in the guide. They’ll need to create the form before they can proceed.
This mode of execution ensures users learn by doing. At the end of the walkthrough, the user would have practiced enough to start using the tool on their own.
One more difference is that product walkthroughs tend to be shorter than tours.
When should you use a product walkthrough?
Product walkthroughs can be used at various stages of the user journey, but let’s explore where they are most effective.
Guide new users after they sign up for your product
New users are often eager to get started but may feel intimidated when your tool’s interface and features don’t look familiar.
Product walkthroughs will help reduce this anxiety and ensure users have a good start. By holding their hands and showing them how your tool works, product walkthroughs create a good first impression and drive continuous engagement.
Drive new feature discovery and adoption
Interactive walkthroughs are also useful when you launch new updates and notice most users aren’t engaging with the new features. This signals a feature discovery problem.
Create an in-app message to prompt users to try out the feature in question. Then, deploy a walkthrough like the one below to bring attention to the new feature and explain how to make the most of it.
With this approach, you’d increase feature adoption and boost general user engagement.
Prompt upsells and increase expansion revenue
For SaaS companies, upselling and increasing expansion revenue from existing customers is a critical growth strategy, and product walkthroughs form an important part of this.
Product walkthroughs can help promote upgrades. Use your product analytics to identify good times to prompt upsells based on user activity and then utilize walkthroughs to guide users through the many benefits.
Loom’s modal explains how the free trial works and prompts users to upgrade.
Once they click to upgrade, the next thing they should see is a walkthrough to guide them and ensure they complete the upgrade process.
Using this approach, you will provide more value to users who need it and increase the customer lifetime value.
Benefits of using a product walkthrough
Walkthroughs not only enhance the user experience but also contribute to your product’s growth and success.
Here’s a breakdown of the key benefits
Improve user onboarding and reduce time to value
Onboarding is a crucial milestone in the user journey and can decide whether or not customers stay.
New users come to your product with a set of expectations about what your product can do. The onboarding flows you trigger are your opportunity to meet and surpass those expectations, and product walkthroughs let you do that.
Pairing walkthroughs with other onboarding strategies will reduce the time to value and increase product adoption.
Reduce friction and help users adopt new features faster
Product updates and new features often face resistance from users accustomed to the existing interface.
Walkthroughs can ease this transition.
Interactive walkthroughs introduce new features, explain the benefits, and show users how to incorporate them into their workflows. This removes any inertia users may have and makes them more likely to explore and adapt to your features.
Higher customer retention and lifetime value
Users who understand and use your product are more satisfied and engaged, leading to reduced churn rates. They use your product longer and advocate it to their networks.
As engagement continues and they become more proficient with your tool, they are also more likely to explore premium features, driving upsells and expansion revenue.
Long-term customers, greater referrals, and more premium users collectively boost your lifetime value.
How to create product walkthroughs
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of having them in your product, it’s time to create an interactive walkthrough. Here’s a detailed guide.
1. Use product analytics to identify potential use cases for a product walkthrough
Begin by leveraging product analytics to gain insights into user behavior.
There are different approaches to analytics, but funnel analysis works well for situations like these. Implement it to see how users progress through your tool. Note the features they interact most with and where drop-offs happen in the user activation journey.
By tracking this data, you will know which parts of your tool need guidance and which user segments you should prioritize.
2. Define a specific goal for your product walkthrough
Clearly define the purpose of your walkthrough. Is it to improve activation, reduce time to value, promote a new feature, or drive a specific action?
Then, identify the key metrics you will need to track for this goal. Have these documented because you will use them to measure the effectiveness of your walkthroughs. Common metrics include task completion rates, feature adoption, and engagement rates.
3. Use a tool to build and launch your product walkthrough
You could have your dev team code the walkthrough, but it’s a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.
Instead, consider getting a no-code tool. In addition to saving resources, onboarding tools such as Userpilot also offer access to performance analytics for your walkthroughs. This is important as it will help you make data-driven enhancements.
You can also segment users and decide what pages your walkthrough will appear on. You can also set what action (or set of actions) triggers the flows.
Creating in-app flows in Userpilot
4. Analyze and optimize your product walkthrough
It’s important that you continually collect data on user interactions with the product walkthrough.
By analyzing your results, you might find that playing around with the content and flow will get more users to complete the walkthrough.
Also, keep your goals in mind. For instance, if your target was to reduce time to value in your new onboarding, check if that is happening. If you’re unable to improve this metric, you need to dig further, gather more feedback, and make iterative improvements.
5. A/B test different product walkthroughs to drive better results
Create different versions of the walkthrough with variations in content, design, or timing. You can try out different types of UI elements, experiment with color, or try to optimize the copy.
Implement A/B testing to compare the performance of these variations and measure how different walkthroughs impact user behavior. Refine your walkthrough based on the A/B testing results and deploy the most effective version.
CCreating A/B tests with Userpilot
5 Best product walkthrough examples from SaaS
Want to see some real-life examples to inspire your process?
This section shows how five leading SaaS companies design compelling product walkthroughs. Read on to learn how you can implement the lessons for your product.
Rocketbots is an AI-powered messaging platform that lets companies connect multiple inboxes and manage them from one place.
The onboarding flow begins with a welcome screen to reduce new user anxiety and also collect basic information.
Rockets welcome screen.
Next, users are introduced to an onboarding checklist containing four key activation-driven actions.
The checklist serves as a guide, showing users what action to take and what will come after. Adding a progress bar helps to give users a sense of progress, ensuring they don’t lose motivation.
Rocketbots onboarding checklist.
Asana is a project management tool that helps teams organize, track, and manage work.
The platform has a simple onboarding flow. The first step in the process is to guide users in creating tasks.
For a project management tool, that’s a major use case, so it makes sense to see why it comes first in the onboarding sequence.
Asana guiding new users to create tasks.
Asana uses hotspots to draw attention to key features. Instead of assuming users will see where “due date” was written, they use a hotspot to ensure they don’t miss it. Accompanying the hotspot is a small text explaining what happens after the user sets a due date.
Using hotspot to guide users.
Lastly, Asana proactively created tutorials for users who will still need extra help. Using a tooltip, they show users how to access the tutorials on demand.
Demio’s customers are primarily interested in hosting high-performing webinars. To show prospects that the tool is worth it, the company has a demo on its website that shows interested visitors what using the platform to host a webinar can look like.
After the demo, visitors who sign up for a free trial will get an onboarding checklist. They must now independently complete tasks to host a webinar. This part is interactive and encourages users to learn by doing.
Demio webinar page.
Demio is a good example of how to combine an interactive product tour with a walkthrough to engage both prospects and new users.
Kommunicate is a chat-based customer support tool that helps companies boost their support without hiring additional human agents.
The main use case is to leverage chatbots for customer service. Understanding this, Kommunicate removed unnecessary onboarding steps to cut to the chase.
After signing up, users are guided to install the chatbot:
Prompting users to install the tool.
When users complete that critical first step, a checklist appears with two options. Users can choose to dismiss the checklist and explore the tool independently, or pick any of the two steps and receive guidance.
Further guidance to help users learn quickly.
Salesflare is a CRM tool designed for SMBs. The platform has an interesting onboarding sequence that begins with a welcome page.
Its walkthrough lets users decide whether they want to be guided or not. Adding something like this to your product can be effective, as some users might want to explore things at their own pace.
Moreover, notice how clean the UI is. There isn’t unnecessary information that will leave users confused or feeling overwhelmed.
Salesflare’s welcome page.
Salesflare mainly uses tooltips and modals for its walkthrough.
In the example below, the text lets users know that the platform is intelligent enough to detect important contacts. Users are then shown a few contacts and given the option to accept or reject them.
Again, this is an interactive walkthrough. You can’t move forward without completing the steps.
Salesflare dashboard showing account information.
Here is another tooltip Salesflare uses to explain what the tool does and encourage users to take action.
Salesflare “opportunities” feature.
The onboarding gets deeper. After several flows, a modal appears, prompting users to connect their calendars and install the email plugin.
All these will help the user explore Salesflare’s functionalities even deeper, leading to fast adoption.
Salesflare onboarding modal.
Best product walkthrough software
Userpilot is the go-to software for SaaS companies to design, launch and track their interactive product walkthroughs. Here’s how:
- Customization options: Userpilot gives you access to multiple UI elements such as tooltips and checklists along with their templates to save time. The WYSIWYG editor allows you to customize each element of your flow to your taste. You can change sizes, add text, experiment with fonts, add media, change colors, and more. It’s everything you need to make on-brand walkthroughs.
- User feedback surveys: Want to gather feedback on your flows? Userpilot lets you trigger both quick quantitative surveys such as NPS or CSAT or send in-depth surveys to gather user feedback. With Userpilot’s advanced segmentation and targeting, it’s easy to choose who sees what survey and which actions trigger it.
- A/B testing: Got ideas to test? Userpilot lets you create A/B and multivariate tests to see which walkthrough resonates better with your audience.
- Product analytics: What’s a product walkthrough without analytics? Through funnel reports and trends analysis, Userpilot lets you gather information on user behavior and make informed decisions.
What your flows dashboard will look like when you start creating them in Userpilot
If people perceive your product as too difficult to use, they don’t stick around for too long. Interactive walkthroughs stop this from happening. Instead, they help you deploy flows that shorten the learning curve for your tool and increase customer delight.
Keep in mind that this is a continuous process. Always track user behavior to spot friction and drop-off points, then see if a walkthrough will solve the problem.
Let Userpilot be your magic wand. Track user behavior and showcase key parts of your tool with an engaging product walkthrough. Book a demo to help your product get the traction it deserves.