The Ultimate Guide To Using Walkthrough Software for SaaS

Top 3 Walkthrough Software & The Ultimate Guide to Interactive Walkthroughs for SaaS

Imagine driving to a new destination without a GPS. It’d probably take you hours and you might not even get to the right place. SaaS apps also need walkthrough software to guide their users through their products.

A walkthrough software uses interactive walkthroughs to support new user onboarding. If you get your new user onboarding wrong, it’ll create a domino effect on all your product metrics:

The general consensus is that time to value needs to be as low as possible so that more users can get the value of your product early during their onboarding process; that way more of them stick around.

The Aha! Moment is the first experience of value in your product. To help users reach there faster before losing their interest in the product, you need to have great interactive walkthroughs that can only be provided by equally great interactive walkthrough software.

If you are on the lookout for a walkthrough software that will knock the experience out of the park for your users, keep on reading! 

TL;DR

  • Interactive walkthroughs provide step-by-step onboarding experiences.
  • Unlike product tours, actions by a user trigger the next step in the onboarding process.
  • Interactive walkthroughs help to improve user onboarding, feature adoption, product adoption, pushing upsells, and reducing support costs.
  • The choice of software should be evaluated by use case, budget, features of the software, and available integrations.
  • Types of walkthrough software include user onboarding, employee onboarding, and mobile app walkthrough software.
  • To build great interactive walkthroughs, you need to: determine your key activation points, use 1-2 major actions to drive value, set goals and triggers, use tooltips and modals to direct users, and cheer them on when they complete the onboarding flow.

What is an interactive walkthrough?

An interactive walkthrough provides step-by-step guidance to help users perform the key actions required to use your product and derive the value they signed up for. As opposed to traditional, linear product tours, users trigger the next step as they perform actions.

Interactive walkthroughs focus on one or two key events at a time. Since the users learn by actually doing, and are not asked to perform action 2 before taking step 1, interactive walkthroughs take them to value (activation) much faster.

How are interactive walkthroughs used in SaaS?

Interactive walkthroughs are used in SaaS apps to help with the following:

  • New User Onboarding: When new users sign up, these walkthroughs guide them using step-by-step  actions to reach value faster before they lose interest in the product.
  • Secondary feature adoption: You don’t want to develop new features that nobody is using. Interactive walkthroughs help companies to accelerate new or secondary feature adoption.
  • Pushing upsells: Every SaaS company is pushing for more revenue. Interactive walkthroughs help your company to push the upsells at later stages of a customer’s journey so that they can upgrade their subscriptions to reflect the added value your product brings to them.
  • Decrease support costs: Interactive walkthroughs help users to figure out things without contacting your support team. This leads to reduced support costs.

Why are interactive walkthroughs important?

  • If new users go into your product and there are no interactive walkthroughs to train them on using the product, most of them will leave.
  • Do you care about your metrics? Not having an onboarding process that works affects every metric down the line from activation rates, feature engagement, to product adoption and user retention.
  • To retain users you have to keep driving value even in the later stages of the user journey. New user onboarding is not all there is to onboarding.
  • Interactive walkthroughs will also help you drive adoption rates and improve new feature usage.
  • Studies have shown it is 4x cheaper to upsell existing customers than to acquire new ones. When customers use your product, they need to unlock more value from it over time. This will mostly come in the form of expanded or secondary features in a higher-cost plan. You’ll need to show them additional value using interactive walkthroughs.

What’s the difference between an interactive walkthrough and a product tour?

An interactive walkthrough follows customer behavior where every step in the flow is triggered by a custom event – one action by the user triggers the next step until the flow is complete.

In this case, the users actually interact with the product while learning how to complete specific actions to get the value they need.

On the other hand, product tours are linear and non-interactive; they do not engage the user. Product tours heap a lot of information on the user at one go – showing you around the product from one feature to the next.

SocialAnimal product tour

SocialAnimal product tour

By the end of the tour, the user may not have retained anything and has not actually engaged with the product. This makes product tours confusing and boring.

See the example of an email marketing tool onboarding below. I have not actually uploaded my email list in the first step, and it’s already asking me to create my first newsletter – huh?

Getanewsletter product tour

Getanewsletter product tour

Product tours do not drive customers to value and do not follow specific actions of the user within the product to inform the tour. Moreover, giving customers too much information at one go emphasizes the complexity of your product. This scares them away.

Oh yes! Many people downright hate product tours. Just check out the comments below.

product tour opinions

How people feel about product tours

What is walkthrough software?

Walkthrough software helps you create interactive walkthroughs for your SaaS.

Most walkthrough software are usually low-code or no-code tools and rely on custom events or feature tags to trigger steps based on user actions. To set up your new tool, you’ll usually need to implement a piece of javascript code in the header of your app, use a browser extension or API. 

What are the benefits of walkthrough software?

There are several benefits to having walkthrough software to help with your onboarding:

  • Less reliance on your internal development/engineering teams. The walkthrough is added as a layer that sits on top of your product and involves little to no code.
  • Walkthrough software are specialized SaaS companies themselves. Pricing is usually a few hundred dollars per month. Using them saves you time, resources, and money you would spend building product walkthroughs internally. Atlassian, who built an internal walkthrough software for themselves, spent 2 years and approximately $ 3 million on the project.
  • Your product team can really “own” the onboarding process.
  • This makes you more agile because deploying tweaks to the walkthroughs is much easier due to the low-code or no-code aspect of walkthrough software.
  • Experimenting with onboarding is faster with walkthrough software. You can test different versions of onboarding flows, copy, and visuals through A/B tests. This will help you drive better activation, adoption, and retention metrics.

What are the different types of walkthrough software?

There are various types of walkthrough software:

  • Interactive walkthrough software for onboarding new users using your SaaS. Such walkthrough software accelerates feature adoption while reducing support costs.
  • Employee onboarding software on 3rd party apps. By using onboarding software for new employees from the first day at work, they can start using your software without any extra training required.
  • Mobile walkthrough software for onboarding new users in mobile applications. Helping users take necessary steps to get quick wins that deliver value to the user helps with mobile app adoption challenges.

Choosing walkthrough software: what features should you look for?

When looking for the best walkthrough software for your product, you need to consider the factors below:

  • Use case – Are you looking for user onboarding for SaaS, employee onboarding on 3rd party applications, or mobile walkthrough software for mobile applications?
  • Budget – Most walkthrough software will charge a subscription fee per month for continued use of the software. Pricing also varies depending on the stage of your company and the number of users (MAUs).
  • Features – There are tools that only do walkthroughs. Other tools do more than that with advanced features like user segmentation, experimentation through A/B testing, advanced analytics or NPS and user sentiment.
  • Integrations – Some walkthrough software integrates with other tools better than others. Know the integrations you need while looking for a walkthrough software solution.

Top 3 Interactive Walkthrough Software for SaaS

#1 Software for SaaS user onboarding – Userpilot

Userpilot walkthrough software

Userpilot is built for SaaS companies that are looking to create great onboarding experiences for their users.

Here is why Userpilot stands out:

  • Contextual Onboarding – Userpilot’s walkthroughs are designed to show the right message to the right user at the right time. Onboarding is informed by in-app customer behavior thus creating personalized experiences.
  • Total control over styling – each onboarding element can be styled without coding (or with CSS, if you can use it!). This helps companies keep their branding consistent.
  • Excellent support – several users have testified to Userpilot’s superior customer support in G2 reviews.
  • Native tooltips – useful elements for pointing users in the right direction during onboarding.
  • Actions and UI patterns – Userpilot allows 4 actions and 5 UI patterns in its flow builder.
  • Affordable – it is much better value for money compared to alternatives like Pendo and Appcues.

Let us explore how an interactive walkthrough experience created in Kontentino using Userpilot:

Kontentino is a social media scheduling platform that built its onboarding with Userpilot. 

Let’s see what their interactive walkthrough looks like in practice:

1. Welcome screen starts onboarding with a micro survey

Kontentino interactive walkthrough in Userpilot walkthrough software

Kontentino welcome screen

This micro-survey helps Kontentino segment its users for personalized onboarding.

Our state of onboarding research showed that segmentation and personalization lead to high engagement rates.

2. Hana’s welcome message

Kontentino welcome screen

Welcome to Kontentino

Pressing the “Let’s start” button begins the onboarding process.

3. First, I need to connect my social media profiles

Kontentino native tooltip in Userpilot walkthrough software

4. After connecting my social media profile, Hana is cheering me in the GIF below. This is really motivating.

Cheering GIF in walkthrough

Cheering GIF

5. I’m prompted to schedule my first post, so I click on the green button.

New post tooltip

6. Now it opens up the post section for me to enter my post details. And that’s it. When I save the post, I’m done with the key actions required of me to get the value out of the product.

Kontentino new post details

Once I get these two actions done, I’ve already experienced the Aha! Moment and achieved initial value in the Kontentino product.

Summary

Userpilot is a great walkthrough software for SaaS companies as we have seen in the experience created by Kontentino. The interactive walkthrough uses contextual onboarding and intuitive additional features like micro surveys and tooltips to deliver a great experience

Userpilot vs. AppcuesAppcues vs Userpilot walkthrough software comparison

Something similar to Userpilot is Appcues. Appcues has been around since 2013. 

  • Appcues only allows 1 action and 4 UI patterns while Userpilot allows 4 actions and 5 UI patterns in its flow builder.

Appcues vs Userpilot UI patterns and actions

  • In Appcues’ cheapest plan, you can tag only 10 elements in the UI while on Userpilot’s cheapest plan you can tag up to 25 elements in the UI
  • Lower plans on Appcues have limited features and a monthly active users (MAU) limit
  • Userpilot on the other hand does not limit features and pricing is based on MAU
  • No resource center to help build help resources for your app like on Userpilot
    appcues vs userpilot walkthrough software pricing comparison
Appcues pricing vs Userpilot
  • Appcue’s cheapest plan is still more expensive than Userpilot’s basic plan that offers more features and functionality.

If you’d like to try out Userpilot or see it in action, book a demo with us today

 

For employee onboarding / third party app walkthroughs – Walkme

Walkme walkthrough software

Walkme dashboard

WalkMe is a great walkthrough software alternative that helps large organizations and enterprise apps with onboarding new employees to minimize training costs.

If you are on the lookout for an employee onboarding or third party app walkthrough software, consider WalkMe if:

  • You are a large organization and run an enterprise application. Some of WalkMe’s customers include Microsoft and PayPal
  • You need robust analytics. WalkMe’s analytics tools help companies that heavily rely on data to make decisions and find new areas to improve their onboarding process.
  • You want to deliver on-screen guidance without the user leaving the screen.

Even with its robust capabilities, it does have some downsides like:

  • Since it is created for enterprise applications, it is very expensive.
  • Onboarding elements and features are limited unless you are on the premium plan.
  • It is on-premise software and might require extra resources to install and set up.

For mobile app onboarding – Pendo

Pendo walkthrough software

Pendo dashboard

Pendo is a comprehensive tool that helps enterprise apps to create good product experiences and mobile app walkthroughs. They offer user feedback, product analytics, and user onboarding in one wholesome package.

However, it has its downsides which include:

  • Limited onboarding elements – elements like tooltips, checklists, slideouts, and modals are limited. This means you can’t always create the best interactive walkthroughs for your users.
  • Basic styling options – more advanced styling requires knowledge and implementation of CSS to deploy. If you are looking for a full no-code solution, Pendo is not it. Userpilot is better suited to this.
  • It is expensive for non-enterprise companies.
  • For companies that only want onboarding features, the user feedback and product analytics offerings might be too much than what you need.

How to use walkthrough software?

To create a great interactive walkthrough using your walkthrough software of choice, follow these steps:

1. Determine your key activation points – as discussed earlier, there are one or two key events that will deliver initial value to your customers and drive them to the Aha! Moment.

2. Once you identify the events, use 1-2 major actions that will take your users to the Aha! Moment

3. In the walkthrough software, set custom events as goals; and triggers to show if your user has achieved the first goal before moving to the second one.

interactive walkthroughs in Userpilot walkthrough software

Building interactive walkthroughs in Userpilot

4. Build tooltips and modals that point users to how to complete the key actions.

Rocketbots walkthrough

Tooltip example built in Userpilot

5. Cheer on the user when they complete the key actions and complete the onboarding flow.

cheering user

Cheering the user when they successfully complete the flow

What interactive walkthroughs to create:

Inspiration #1: Rocketbots

Rocketbots is a messaging platform that helps you connect all your inboxes in one app.

In this app, the Aha! Moment is realizing you can add any messaging service to the app.

Setting up a “space” is crucial to reaching the Aha! Moment. Therefore, new signups create a space on the welcome screen.

Rocketbots interactive walkthroughs

Rocketbots welcome screen

An onboarding checklist for you to complete is then displayed in the dashboard.

Rocketbot walkthrough onboarding checklist

Rocketbots onboarding checklist

As you complete the checklist, the interactive walkthrough takes you to the relevant page and uses tooltips to point you to the right button to add a messaging service.

Rocketbots adding channel

Adding your first channel in Rocketbots

Instead of simply showing you around, Rocketbots’ interactive walkthrough leads you to the Aha! Moment.

This workflow helped Rocketbots double its activation rate from 15% to 30%.

Inspiration #2: Salesflare

Salesfare is a popular CRM using interactive walkthroughs for new user onboarding. In the welcome screen, it asks you to take a tour of the product.

Salesflare onboarding

Salesflare tour

If you start the tour, it introduces you to the key components of the Salesflare CRM.

Salesflare dashboard

Salesflare dashboard

Besides explaining to you what each step does, it guides you to organize your pipeline by doing it yourself to achieve the Aha! Moment.

Salesflare opportunities

Salesflare opportunity board

After completing the tour, it prompts you to connect to various services as part of their activation metric.