How to Create a Mind-Blowing “Wow Moment” for Your SaaS Business

How to Create a Mind-Blowing "Wow Moment" for Your SaaS Business

When was the last time that you experienced a “Wow Moment” as a consumer?

I’m talking about those rare times when a product gives you everything you needed and more, and just really rocks your world.

Such moments are uncommon but emotionally impactful.

If a product drastically exceeds the customer’s expectations that were set by the sales team, it’s likely to inspire high levels of customer loyalty.

So it’s in the interests of all SaaS companies to create Wow Moments for their users. And in this article, we’ll show you how to do just that.


  • A Wow Moment is the instant when a customer understands the value of your product to them personally on an emotional level.
  • It’s connected to important SaaS metrics like activation, retention, and feature usage.
  • To maximize the odds of your customers reaching the Wow Moment, consider using a frictionless signup flow, a welcome screen, demo content, and an interactive walkthrough when creating onboarding experiences for your users.
  • To find your Wow Moment, look at your value proposition and compare the behavior of power users against churning ones.
  • Don’t forget that what constitutes a Wow Moment for one group of customers might be completely irrelevant to a different group. Segmentation matters.
  • Trello, Demio, and Calendly all provide good examples of Wow Moments.
  • Userpilot’s software will allow you to create in-app experiences and flow that drive users to their own Wow Moment.

What is a Wow Moment?


A Wow Moment, or Aha Moment, is when new customers realize for the first time just how valuable your product is going to be to them personally.

For simple products, this emotional realization can take place before the customer has even set foot on your platform.

But, more commonly, the Wow Moment occurs after sign-up, after the user has had time to look around a bit.

Check out some Aha moment examples here.

The Wow Moment vs Activation point

user journey

The Wow Moment is one of two important milestones that occur during primary onboarding.

The second of those is activation, which is when a customer experiences the value of your product first-hand.

There’s a subtle difference between these two milestones. The Wow Moment is emotional and perceptual, whereas activation is visceral and concrete.

Using your product first-hand is sometimes (but not always) a prerequisite to the Wow Moment, but it is always a prerequisite for activation.

For example, if you’re using a project management tool:

  • Wow Moment: you log in for the first time and see all the features you dreamed of, complete with a really intuitive UI.
  • Activation: you build your first project management board and schedule a task for your employee.

Why is creating Wow Moments valuable?

Sadly, the number of customers who leave SaaS products on day one without having ever experienced a Wow Moment is high. Research by Iguazio found that users that game on a mobile device churn from SaaS games at an astonishing 70%!

That’s a huge amount of lost revenue potential, especially for a type of product that often provides a free service initially before charging later down the line.

Who knows how many of those people would have stuck around if those apps had invested in creating a Wow Moment that made their customers feel valued?

It, therefore, stands to reason that there is a correlation between the number of your users who reach a Wow Moment and the proportion of customers who end up becoming active users of your SaaS.

This also has an effect on retention: the more customers experience the value of your product first-hand, the more users you will retain long-term.

And it’s in long-term retention that the riches lie for SaaS teams. It’s difficult to recoup the investment into your product from just one or two monthly subscription payments per user.

Reducing Time to Wow

In fact, achieving the Wow Moment is such an important SaaS milestone that we sometimes talk about reducing “Time to Wow,” or the number of minutes that pass between when a customer signs up and when they experience that elusive Aha Moment.

For most SaaS companies, it will be in your interest to reduce your Time to Wow to an absolute minimum.

Here are some tactics that will help you achieve that target:

1. Use a frictionless signup

frictionless signup

Take a leaf out of Airtable’s book in this screenshot and keep your sign-up process as short and sweet as possible.

Best practices include:

  • Keep the number of forms to an absolute minimum
  • If you can take any customer data after sign-up, do so
  • Use lazy registration to allow users to sign up via a third party like Google or Outlook
  • Use autofill so that forms will fill themselves in with minimal effort from the customer
  • Don’t subject the customer to arbitrary password requirements, like 3 special characters

For more on the subject of frictionless signup flows, this post is well worth a read.

2. Segment users with a Welcome screen

welcome screen
Want to easily segment users with a welcome screen? Get a Userpilot demo and see how easy it can be.

Many SaaS apps use welcome screens as a way to greet new customers who’ve just finished the signup flow and make them feel at home.

Welcome screens reduce your Time to Wow in the following ways:

  • A smiling photo of a team member provides a smooth and friendly transition into your product
  • Welcome screens often outline the specific next steps that the customer will be taking after signup is complete (by segmenting and creating personalized in-app experiences for each use case based on the user interaction with your welcome screen micro survey)
  • They generally restate your value proposition in a concise way, which reinforces in your customer’s mind the reasons why they signed up in the first place

Userpilot will let you build welcome screens without having to code. Read this post to see how.

3. Demo content

demo content

If a customer signs up to your platform and is greeted by a blank canvas, they’re unlikely to know where to begin.

Sounds like less of a Wow Moment and more of a feeling of overwhelm!

To prevent this problem, it’s advisable to fill any empty states with demo content.

This serves as fictitious placeholder content to show your customer what your app might look like once their real customer data has been added. Customers are much more likely to feel that sense of awe if they see your product’s potential than if they see an empty screen.

There are numerous services online that will create fake demo data for you, such as,, and DataFairy.

4. Guide users with interactive walkthroughs


An interactive walkthrough is a tour of your product in which your customer gets to personally try out your most important features.

Normally, SaaS businesses will create a series of checklist tasks for their user, and then gently direct the user towards completing those tasks with the help of tooltips and hotspots.

By the time the user has finished going through the checklist, they will have experienced the value of your product first-hand.

That means that both the Wow Moment and activation are a given.

Userpilot offers numerous tools for building interactive product walkthroughs without the burden of code, including checklists, tooltips and modals. For a full list, have a look here.

Caveat: What if I want to increase my Time to Wow?

There are some rare occasions where businesses might be incentivized to increase their Time to Wow, as opposed to decreasing it.

Examples might be:

  • If your product requires a complicated technical integration before it can add value.
  • If your app is a matter of life or death to the customer, and registration is very complicated.
  • Industries that are full of red tape and bureaucracy, such as banking.

In cases like this, it’s advisable to drag out your onboarding process, in particular by taking as much data from your customer prior to sign-up.

For more on this particular nuance, see this blog post.

How do you determine what the Wow Moment is for your SaaS?

Exactly what constitutes a Wow Moment will differ from business to business, but rest assured: your business will have one somewhere!

To find yours, there are two things that you can do:

1. Look at your value proposition

What problem were you trying to solve when you first started your business? Who were you trying to help? What was your mission?

Conceptual questions like these should help set you in the right general direction.

2. Look at your behavioral analytics

Next, consult your product analytics tool.

Segment users based on in-app activity with Userpilot.

You will have some users who are power users. Investigate which features they use the most, particularly in the early days of joining your SaaS.

Compare that against the features that churning users never use prior to leaving you.

The features that are always used by your top users but never by your least satisfied ones are probably the core of your product. There’s a good chance your Aha Moment is related to that.

Measuring completion of your Wow Moment

Userpilot offers a neat way to see how many users achieve the Wow Moment. The process is as follows:

  1. Choose one particular custom event that represents your Aha Moment.
  2. Have your developers pass that event to Userpilot.
  3. You will now be able to use Userpilot’s analytics to see how many people completed it.

For more on creating custom events, this Knowledge Base article is instructive.

Customer satisfaction is relative

A huge caveat about the Wow Moment is that different customers will probably define it in different ways.

Think about it: if a business is using Ahrefs:

  • The business owner is interested in their big-picture site metrics and those of the competition
  • A low-level SEO might only care about the data on the Dashboard
  • But an SEO manager is going to be using more advanced features to plan content and target keywords months in advance

Each of these segments has different product needs, and therefore also defines Wow Moments in a different way.

You should therefore identify a separate Wow Moment for each separate segment.

The danger of a linear approach to onboarding

The worst thing you could do in your onboarding is select a generic Wow Moment and drive all your users towards the same goal.

This would result in a “linear product tour,” which is what we call a walkthrough that always goes through the same features, in the same order, in the same way, without any regard for the individual needs of the customer.

This is about as tone-deaf as the typical droning college professor and is viewed accordingly by most SaaS users. Here’s what survey respondents told Userpilot about linear product tours:

product tour hate

You have been warned!

Wow Moment Examples

Now that you’ve understood what the Wow Moment is and how to find it for your business, let’s have a look at Wow Moments in some other SaaS businesses.

Example 1: Trello


After the initial signup process is complete, Trello gives new users a board to look at.

The board is filled with the kind of demo content that we advocated for earlier in this article. Not only do the cards show the user what a populated Trello board looks like, but they even provide more information about how Trello itself works.

At this point, the customer is bound to think: “Wow, I could use this for my business as well!”

Note that if Trello had just given them an empty board instead, the user probably wouldn’t have known where to start.

Example 2: Calendly


Calendly’s onboarding team faced an interesting challenge: how to show users the value of a scheduling tool, without the anxiety that comes with booking a call with a real colleague.

Their solution was an elegant one. Calendly’s Wow Moment comes when a user has connected their personal calendar to the platform, and books a test appointment with him or herself.

This takes away any worries about sending a calendar invite to someone important, and allows the user to relax and enjoy Calendly’s simple UI.

Example 3: Demio


Demio created an unusual Wow Moment by allowing users to host a fake webinar on their platform.

The webinar is initially hosted by one of Demio’s team, but she passes the baton to the user a few minutes in.

Webinars can be a stressful experience, but this is a fake one, and you have all the dummy slideshows you need.

There’s even a fake audience that commentates on your webinar from time to time, which is rather amusing.

All in all, this is a playful, frictionless experience that allows you to imagine what creating a real webinar for your business could look like in the future.


After having finished this article, you now know:

  • What a Wow Moment is
  • How to identify it in your own business
  • What onboarding techniques you can use to reduce the Time to Wow
  • And why giving a separate Wow to each separate segment is so important

Do you want to drive more users to their Wow Moment and increase retention? Get a Userpilot demo and see how easy it is to get started.

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