5 User Onboarding Hacks

Your finished SaaS looks great and you’ve put in the effort to attract a wealth of new users, but how do you make sure your users stay interested and keep coming back for more?

User onboarding is critical for success but getting users to adopt your software for the long haul can be tricky if you don`t use the right tactics.

Here are five hacks to help with user onboarding.

#1 – Push Messaging Instantly Reaches Users

The great thing about the push message is that it reaches out to the user instantly. It’s an effective way to contact the user while your software is still on his/her mind and help guide him/her through any potential problems.

The important thing with push messages is to be specific.

If a user is having trouble syncing his Facebook profile, for example, then your push message should offer guidance with that issue. Push messages let you deal with potential user problems immediately and increase the likelihood of the user adopting your SaaS.

 #2– Actively Engage Your Users Via Social Media

Social media is a great way to make your software a part of your users’ lives. A study by Mashable found that U.S. citizens spend more time on social networking than on any other online activity. This is a great opportunity to get them interested in your software.

In early 2012, Gartner advised clients that the emerging need to support customers on the Internet and social media, as well as on mobile devices, was having a profound impact on future planning.

Connecting with users over social media is a great way to keep them thinking about your software, and it’s also great for advertising new features or capabilities your software has to offer.

#3 – Offer Online Guidance to Simplify the Online Experience

Online guidance is a great way to encourage users to adopt your software. Tools such as WalkMe’s interactive self-guidance technology make a better experience for users. This technology allows you to break down complex tasks into simple step-by-step instructions, guiding users through your software with easy-to-follow tip balloons.

With online guidance, your users won’t be confused as to where to go or what to do next, leading to an easier and more efficient experience for them and a greater retention rate for your business.

Online guidance also allows you to direct users where you want them to go, letting you make the most of your SaaS and converting free users to long-term paid ones.

#4 – Email Messaging is Great for Retaining Long-Term Users

While the push message is great for instant delivery and directing users to your software right away, email messages are a good solution for retaining long-term user and winning back users who haven’t used your software in a while.

Make sure your email messages have something to entice the user to adopt your SaaS. Talk about any new features you may have implemented or, if applicable, mention that some of the user’s social media friends are now using your software. The email message is your chance to convince the user that your software is worth continuing to use, so make it count.

#5 – Offer Incentives to Keep Users Interested

Everyone loves new and free stuff, and your users aren’t any different. One of the best ways to adopt users or keep them interested in your software is to offer an incentive. This can be as simple as advertising your software’s new capabilities or providing a code to unlock a new feature in your app for free.

On incentivizing user adoption of portals, Gartner reports:

Organizations must use incentives to attract and engage portal users. Incentives can be positive or negative, ongoing or one-off, and intrinsic or extrinsic. The most productive and sustainable portal adoption is gained through positive, ongoing, intrinsic incentives — that is, when using the portal becomes a reward unto itself.

Incentives like these show your users that they are valued customers, while also generating increased interest in your software. This combination is a great way to increase user onboarding.

Get Your Users Onboard

While user onboarding can be tricky, there are a variety of ways to encourage users to adopt your software. With these hacks, users will have the incentives and guidance they need to become long-term users of your SaaS.

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Omri Erel
Omri is the Head of Demand Generation, as well as the Lead Author & Editor of the SaaSAddict Blog. Omri established the SaaSAddict blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to SaaS and cloud migration.
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