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SaaS Onboarding Software: What to Look For

To succeed in the SaaS market, you need good user onboarding software.

Companies that treat onboarding as an afterthought have considerably higher churn rates than companies that prioritize that initial contact with the user and invest in the right software. 

Your customers are your number one priority, and successfully onboarding them can be crucial to keep doing business. 

What do you need in onboarding software? Should you build it yourself or hire someone? 

Read on to learn more about user onboarding software and key features to look for.

Or jump to sections directly:

Why Do SaaS Products Need Onboarding Software?
What Is SaaS Onboarding Software?
Options for Obtaining SaaS Onboarding Software
What to Look For in an Onboarding Tool?
Beneficial Features
Saas Onboarding Tools to Check Out

Why Do SaaS Products Need Onboarding Software?

User onboarding and retention go hand in hand in SaaS and retaining customers is the lifeblood of SaaS businesses. 

You need to keep convincing users that your product is right for them, so they keep renewing their subscription. 

Great onboarding is the first step in that process.

During onboarding, you have to teach your users how to interact with your product and simultaneously show them that it will help them achieve their goals. 

If you do it successfully, you’ll create regular users who will integrate your product into their daily lives. That way, you’ll ensure regular income for your company for the foreseeable future.

With SaaS products, you must get the education aspect right. None of your potential customers have used your product before, so you have to approach them in the right way. 

Simplify the onboarding process and make it enjoyable.

An excellent example of how taking care of your onboarding process can help your company is Proposify. They completely redesigned their onboarding process and fixed the main issues that caused the most friction. 

Their biggest problem was overwhelming their users without properly demonstrating the value of their product. 

Instead of guiding their users, they focused too much on unnecessary design aspects. 

So the number of people who finished their onboarding was a mere 14%, which didn’t help their sales numbers either. 

They tried different things, but they also invested in third-party onboarding software from Chameleon

They ultimately decided it wasn’t for their product and built their own. 

Their onboarding process now has more steps, but they included a thorough and simple walkthrough to guide every new user so they can convert them at a later point. 

Their main goal was to get users to their Aha! Moment and close more deals. They outsourced some tools to help them and built others that better suited their needs. 

The result? Within a month, their conversion rates jumped by 5%. 

As you can see, great onboarding can educate your customers and let them know that they’ve made a great decision in choosing your product.

What Is SaaS Onboarding Software?

SaaS onboarding software helps you create custom tutorials for easier user onboarding. 

Features vary with each tool, but in general, they should provide you with guidance, communication tools, and analytics

Using SaaS onboarding software is an easy way to reduce the amount of time and money it takes to conduct successful customer onboarding.

After the successful integration of this software, your customers will learn how to do simple tasks, which will introduce them to the value of your product and encourage them to become regular users.

You must get the right software from the start because it’s tough to replace it with another one. 

Once you’ve created your onboarding flow, it is very difficult to change it. It’s a very sticky experience.

There are two stages in customer onboarding: the early stage and the scale stage.

The Early Stage

In this stage, you need to combine proactive and reactive approaches to onboarding. 

This will include email, help docs, and in-app messaging. Each has its unique uses, but the main point is to introduce users to your product and teach them to use its features.

Emails will keep your customer’s attention on your product. 

You get the picture.

Help docs are tools with which you create knowledge bases or help centers for your customers. 

They might have a general idea of how to use your product and still need help answering some questions. Here’s a beautiful example from Slack.


Finally, there’s
in-app onboarding which can include walkthroughs, tooltips, or checklists, helping to keep your customers engaged. 

They get your customers to their Aha! Moments and help them reach activation.

The Scale Stage

Once you’ve helped your customers learn about your product, it’s time to experiment. In the scale stage, you need more functionality. 

You need to know which features are stickier than others.

Now your onboarding software needs to offer A/B testing and detailed analytics so you can make a smart decision about product improvements.

SaaS onboarding software should help you educate your customers and provide you with relevant data on product usage.

Options for Obtaining SaaS Onboarding Software

We’ve already mentioned the relationship between good onboarding and retention. There is no way around it. You have to have a good onboarding process, and getting the right software is crucial.

Your question now is – how to set up an effective onboarding process?

Of course, you can always develop the software yourself so that you can control it and create it to your liking, but what if that’s not an option?

In that case, one route is to hire developers specialized in this type of product. 

Luckily, there is no shortage of highly skilled developers in the world. With worldwide availability due to remote work being more and more natural, people with the right skills are just a click away.

Experienced and skilled developers might understand how to create compelling product tours better than you do. But they’re also costly.

Another option is to purchase onboarding software off the shelf

Such solutions are readily available, and the market for them is becoming more and more competitive, which means more quality features and lower costs. 

So, when you opt for onboarding software for your SaaS, you can save time and money, which you can then invest in acquiring customers.

There are certain things you’d have to shell out for in advance to secure future growth, and investing in good onboarding software is one of them.

The one thing you should never do, however, is to go without an onboarding program

Your product is here to serve your customers, and they will have no problem ditching you for someone who will make their onboarding experience smoother and more enjoyable.

What to Look For in an Onboarding Tool?

With so much choice in the onboarding software world, how do you choose the right one? 

Of course, you should look for what’s best for your product, but some universal guidelines can help you trim down your list of choices.

First, you need to look for tools that don’t require much technical knowledge. You want something simple that doesn’t need coding and that everyone can use and maintain. 

You didn’t go with a developer for a reason, so why would you bother with something you need extra time to learn?

One key aspect of the onboarding process is customer segmentation. So, you should choose a tool that provides a personalized experience for your customers

This will later help you optimize your onboarding process and gather more relevant data regarding customer personas.

Then, your ideal onboarding software needs to offer a variety of guiding tools. 

It’s unlikely your product has only one feature, so you will have to utilize various onboarding elements to fully onboard a user. Think about tooltips, surveys, and checklists. 

Together they create the best onboarding experience. Airtable is one of the SaaS tools that use an abundance of elements for successful user onboarding.

The next thing to look for is successful integration with your product. 

You’re probably creating a brand with your product with distinctive colors and style, so you have to look for a customizable tool to fit them into your product.

Finally, a good onboarding tool should give you access to analytics to measure performance. 

For example, to better understand your UX, you need to measure completion rates and see your onboarding software’s effectiveness.

Good onboarding software needs to be simple, customizable, and full of practical elements to create a unique and cohesive onboarding process.

Other Beneficial Features

Pick onboarding software that has extra features to make your business more productive.

We’ve gone over the necessary things a good onboarding software needs to have, but there are solutions out there with beneficial features that can help your company in other ways.

Find onboarding software with easily accessible guides. 

Don’t forget about customer support while you’re looking for the right software. It’s an essential factor that has high stakes in customer retention and satisfaction

Never make assumptions about the level of knowledge your users have, and invest in software with an excellent tool to implement guides that are available 24/7.

Another thing to consider is software that allows you to create custom walkthroughs and product tours. 

When you invest in a code-free editor, you can easily create guiding content that will fit your brand and product. Again, you will save resources without skimping on quality.

It’s also important to think about communication in your onboarding software. 

You want as many channels as possible, but it’s best to focus on what the software can give you in-app. Look for software with features that allow effective communication and collecting feedback from users.

Finally, think about how you are going to get paid after the user signs up. One thing that you shouldn’t overlook is finding good billing software

You can find solutions that will easily integrate with your website for payment processing. 

Third-party onboarding solutions come with multiple features that comply with local regulations and are an excellent option for businesses with a smaller budget.

Regpack embeds payment processing and integrates with any website, so you don’t have the upkeep problems that come with an in-house system.

Additional features in good onboarding software can make your company more productive without paying the top dollar for it. 

Saas Onboarding Tools to Check Out

If you’re still confused about where to start looking for good onboarding software, don’t worry. 

Here is a short list of tools for you to check out. Help your customers reach their goals with these onboarding tools.

Apty offers tools that help you build product walkthroughs and on-screen guidance that will reduce churn and support tickets.

Appcues helps non-technical users create personalized onboarding flows, including tooltips, in-app surveys, and product tours.

User.com provides an omnichannel communication experience with tools for marketing, sales, and management.

Pendo offers product usage analytics and customizable onboarding flow that requires a bit more technical knowledge.

Userguiding is a user-friendly solution that requires no coding experience and helps you create onboarding guides and templates. Their features include analytics, hotspots, and NPS surveys.

RegPack helps companies automate user registration, manage payments, and embeds everything on your website. Users can also create subscription and payment plans while providing in-depth analytics to measure churn and offering detailed reporting on all transactions. 

Userpilot reduces time to value with a personalized user onboarding experience.

Help Hero is a low-cost and beginner-friendly solution that helps you create interactive product tours that will get your users to adopt new features faster.

Chameleon provides a solution that will manage product engagement, user onboarding, support, and feedback.

Intercom focuses on developing customer relationships through in-app messaging that manages all your interactions with customers. 

Conclusion 

Finding the right onboarding software can be difficult. You want it to integrate with your existing product successfully, and you want to make it simple and easy. 

Neglecting to implement a user onboarding process is not an option. 

If you look for third-party solutions with features like no-code editor, omnichannel communications, easy customer segmentation, and billing, you’ve made the first step in improving your retention rates. 

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