Onboarding types

Around 60% of free users visit your service and product only once and never come back. As a rule, the problem is the same: people see no value in your product. This means that you not only need to increase traffic to your website but also convert visitors into paying customers and keep them engaged as long as possible. 

This is where onboarding comes into action. Continue reading to learn about the onboarding definition and types.

What is onboarding

Onboarding is the process of helping your clients, customers, and users get acquainted with your product. Onboarding results in long-term relationships, improved retention, reduced churn rate, growing customers’ engagement, and increased LTV. It involves the user’s orientation, adjustability, education, and training with the aim of improving their experience with the product. 

The onboarding process can involve the following elements:

  • Some supporting tips that open while registration and logging in
  • Technical support, customer support, sales support, customer success teams who help clients and leads get most out of your service and products
  • Email, in-app, and website guides and tutorials

To get most from onboarding, you need to:

  • Make your service or product so that your clients can orient themselves 
  • Supply adequate training (how-to and detailed video tutorials, step-by-step guides, etc.) that is supportive of your clients
  • Provide value to the customers using the product
  • Limit the learning curve and enhance the customers’ retention

The onboarding process is important for the customer’s journey as it determines the relationship between you and your client. Also, it defines the customer’s satisfaction and retention. 

Today, the digital world bristles with competitors and alternatives. So once you gain a new client, onboard them and prevent them from moving to your competitor.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution as each industry and each brand differs from each other. For example, the onboarding process for a B2B SaaS platform that caters to enterprise customers will vary from that of a B2C-oriented web app.

There are no problems with the onboarding process when you know exactly the aim of your business. Focus on your goals. If they are multiple, define the most important ones, and work on the customer’s experience improvement. 

Why is onboarding important?

In brief, I’ve mentioned a few points about the onboarding importance points above. Yet, numbers speak louder than words. So let me and science prove the importance of onboarding to you. 

Proper management of the onboarding process guarantees happy customers:

  • Converting new customers into loyal ones
  • Satisfied clients are more open to talking about you: the word of mouth still works great
  • Strong business relationships and improved LTV
  • Decreased churn rate, regular payments, higher ROI 

It’s undeniable that onboarding not only happens to be but also is beneficial and worth doing.

Types of onboarding

The onboarding process includes a variety of actions and methods implemented altogether. The three main types of it are emails, in-app, and website onboarding. 


Onboarding emails are a set of emails sent to new users after their subscription. Create them to assist users on how to use your product, build trust, provide important information about the product or service, and inspire them to take action.

There exist 4 categories of onboarding emails:

  • A welcome email or a set of emails are sent to a subscriber to set the connection between you and build trust
  • Send re-engagement messages to reduce the churn rate to the least and get the lost clients back 
  • Share educational emails to help new customers and clients get through with your platform or service 
  • Evaluation emails push the clients to the next stage of your communication, conversion (book a demo, refer to friends, upgrade, etc.)

Retaining users after signing up requires extra effort and dedication. You will benefit from onboarding emails as you can implement a personalized approach. Moreover, you can build an email drip campaign with onboarding emails. This will help you educate clients and provide valuable information to them.

In-app onboarding

If you own an app, either web, mobile or PC, you need to onboard your clients too. In-app onboarding teaches your clients how to use the app, and it takes several forms. These are the welcome screens that display when the app is launched, highlighted buttons and pop-ups that help the users learn how your app works, detailed video-tutorials that explain the features of the app, etc. 

At most, create the best first impression by the app to stick in the user’s mind and keep them loyal. If you fail, they may never come back. 

Website onboarding

The website onboarding needs to meet a few visual and informational requirements. As users may get frustrated or even angry if onboarding is not user-friendly or even worse, complicated, you need to design your website in a correct way. All aspects of the website onboarding are to be clearly defined and helpful.

These include browser and push notifications with some tips, live chats, FAQs, and Knowledgebase. All they in one package work great. They are supportive of newcomers from the very first step of registration and move them forward.

A few tips on the website onboarding:

  • Write short actionable tips for new users while registration
  • Create advanced registration forms (ask for as much information as you need to later use it for onboarding emails)
  • Provide 24/7 customer care team to help users solve their problems
  • Create easy-to-find Knowledge Basea along with FAQs to answer all the questions your clients may have about your service or product
  • Add a form to book a demo
  • Offer a downloadable freebie

How to improve onboarding

Improving the onboarding process can be quite difficult considering thousands of things that need improvement. But, if you have a list of tips at hand, it becomes far easier. 

Build the onboarding strategy

Consider the user’s onboarding as a process. Technicalities are not required here but ensure that it is straightforward from start to finish. There are three main points:

  • Think of outlining the complete user journey
  • Define the exact issues your product can solve
  • Onboarding is not about sales, it is about building relationships.

Limit the steps in your onboarding process

Once you have outlined your onboarding process, improving it becomes less strenuous. The next step is to identify all the irrelevant to the process actions. Test how real users undergo the onboarding process. To check user sessions and difficult stages, use tools like HotJar or FullStory.

Be fast to support

You need a team of support that helps clients deal with your product. What is even more important, you need a large team to be fast and not make your users wait long hours for the answer. Additionally to that, the support team needs to be people, not bots. Finally, identify the perfect email frequency. So you will be able to onboard them and solve the problems before they appear. 

Be relevant

Content marketing is what helps you hold onboarding successful. Whatever type of content you share, videos or blog posts, webinars or PDFs, it should be relevant to the recipient. This content is one of the things that defines the onboarding results. 

Make your default settings reasonable

Products usually come out best when they meet the user’s demands. Always make sure that the default settings for product features are reasonable enough. For example, the user’s profile image, time zones, and bio are not primary. They can be overwhelming as you have little time to convince them of your product. Develop ideal defaults for settings that can be edited in the future where users don’t have to manage from the onset.

Gamify every stage of the onboarding process

There are many ideas involved in the concept of gamification. It is usually difficult for convincing new users to complete a series of steps in the onboarding process but stating the number of steps and the end goal can be beneficial. Also, the more the onboarding process is interactive, fun-filled, and enjoyable to them, the higher the chances you can lead them to the final stage of the sales funnel. Everything depends on your particular product, though progress bars and checklists are versatile elements. Make sure your clients have a fun-filled experience.

Combine all under one roof

Onboarding is a rather complicated and multicomponent process. To get most of it, you need a large team to implement all the above-mentioned tips:

  • An email marketing department to compose and send onboarding emails
  • A design team to create an appealing and user-friendly interface and emails
  • A customer care or support team to assist in using your service

Only when combined all together, you will onboard to the fullest!

Guest Post By : Helen Holovach

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