Top SaaS Customer Onboarding Strategies

In this post, we will talk about some top SaaS customer onboarding strategies. We will explain what they are and how your business can benefit from them. Stay tuned!

What Is Customer Onboarding And Why Does It Matter?

Customer onboarding is a crucial part of the whole customer experience. Customer onboarding is the first contact a customer has with your service. Therefore, it is often what makes or breaks the entire deal.

If your customer finds the interface of the site/product confusing or working slow, they are likely to leave and find an alternative. In other words, you will lose customers to the competition.

saas client engagement

The importance of onboarding is obvious, and the whole point of it is to take the customer from step one, which was the sale, to step two, which is retention.

The idea is not only to sell your product to the customer; you want them to use it for a long time. That will not only bring in more subscription fees to your pocket but will also minimize the number of refund requests and bad reviews. Plus, a satisfied customer is more likely to recommend your product to others. And all that starts with onboarding.

In short, customer onboarding is extremely important because it is a much better strategy to keep existing customers than to always try to find new ones. With proper onboarding, you will do just that.


Strategy Tip #1: Keep It Clean

While it might seem like a good idea to show all of the features your software has to offer at once, please don’t do that. If you put too much in front of your new customer, you will overwhelm them, making it very likely for them to give up.

It’s much better to start slow with the tutorials, only explaining the basics. If your software has an intuitive interface, the customer won’t have too many issues figuring the app out.

Also, respect your customer’s intelligence. Trying to win SaaS customers on price is the wrong approach, as you will only convert and acquire new SaaS customers by adding actual value and solving business challenges. Don’t try to explain the most basic features (“press play if you want to play the video”), only focus on those unique value-added features your SaaS platform has.

With that said, take it one step at a time, ease the potential customer into the process holistically. If you present your SaaS platform from a perspective of helping alleviate relevant pain points, you will be able to improve your lead to conversion rates and convert more website visitors into paying SaaS customers.


Strategy Tip #2: Use Auto-play Videos

Pop-up messages work too, but your customer is more likely to enjoy a how-to video explaining them the feature they opened for the first time. Videos are more interactive and make the whole process much more human.

Of course, don’t force videos on every single step. Use them where needed to explain more complex settings and features. For those simpler ones, a simple pop-up message will do just fine.


Strategy Tip #3: Ask Questions and Create Presets

Asking users questions is a great way to find out what they want to achieve with the app. Based on their choice, you will show them a different onboarding process.


Having multiple onboarding strategies is an excellent way to target various user groups, but following customer onboarding best practices can really help frame your customer success playbook. You can create different experiences for beginners and advanced users. Or, if your app is intended for both personal and business use, a simple question will lead the customer to their preferred configuration, without them having to change too many settings manually.

You can create different kinds of presets based on the situation. For example, if you have a fitness app, you can have “bodyweight,” “home gym,” “commercial gym” presets. The user will choose a preset, which will automatically show them the best exercises for their situation.

Having questions and presets will definitely make the customer onboarding process much more comfortable, and the user will be more likely to continue using the app for a long time. So try to implement these into your SaaS, and see how it goes for you.


Strategy Tip #4: Offer Value Early

Your SaaS platform should present an easy-to-achieve victory early on. Take social networks, for example—most recommend you contacts as soon as you enter any kind of personal information. You have created a profile on a social network to socialize, and they immediately recommend you friends—it’s an instant, early victory. People don’t have time to stop their busy day to hear about your SaaS platform.

The sooner you frame your conversation around how you can solve one or more of their business challenges, then you are providing strategic value worthy of a phone call or email response.

Your software should do the same. If you have to build a custom meal planner, offer your customer an easy to make a seven-day plan right from the start. Once they see how easy it is to fix their nutrition, they will feel motivated and more likely to continue using the app.

You can do this for any kind of service, just offer something easy to do on the start, that will demonstrate the power of your app without bombarding the users with too many options.


Strategy Tip #5: Be Careful With Emails

Emails are an excellent tool for driving sales but are also very valuable in customer retention. But, you have to be extra careful, as you don’t want to spam people and chase them away.

Make sure you sen quality emails to users. Choose quality over quantity. For example, your welcoming email should have some information that will explain to users how to contact you, but also some tutorials that explain the most used features. That’s it, don’t push it too far. Ideally, if you are planning your sales to service handoff, you want to define very clearly when the service team takes over the new customer communications.

saas marketing channels

Later on, you can send more resources to your users, linking to the knowledge base, user forums, or your YouTube channel where they can find tutorials.

You can also send them promotions for similar apps your company has that might interest them. But be extra careful here, and don’t push it too far. Offer them a discount, or a promo code, but don’t oversell, just try to be helpful.

And keep things short and straightforward. Every email you send should have only one thing you want to address. As for the frequency, don’t take it too far. Once or twice per week is more than enough for most SaaS.



Our five onboarding strategy tips will help you retain customers. Implementing those is not too difficult, and it only requires careful planning and dedication. If you are not sure that you can successfully implement SaaS onboarding strategies on your own, don’t hesitate to contact professionals, and ask for help.

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