Save your customers with website onboarding

Save your customers with website onboarding

How many users who have registered on the site or downloaded the application will still be a client of the company in three days? The answer will depend on the area and service, but often no more than half of the original number. After three to six months, the picture usually looks even sadder.

One of the reasons why potential customers lose their interest in the product is poor-quality onboarding or its complete absence. The modern user is spoiled for choice. 

If left without help, he will not understand the complex interface on his own, but will simply go to a competitor. Especially if each new user is met there by an accessible and unobtrusive onboarding.

Onboarding: what is it and what is it for?

Save your customers with website onboarding

Airplane passengers hear the usual “Welcome on board” or “Welcome aboard” before takeoff. From this “on board” came the word onboarding. A user who registers on the site or installs the application is welcomed as an airline passenger who goes on a trip.

Goal: to make sure that he stays with the company for as long as possible.

Quality onboarding helps:

  • Explain the nuances of using the site or application.
  • Segment users and provide an experience that meets their needs.
  • Talk about additional features and benefits.
  • Motivate to take action.
Onboarding, unlike a support service or a personal manager, is always available. You don’t need to call or write anywhere and anyone, but this method solves many problems no worse than people. 

There are also downsides: today, companies have to get more and more creative with onboarding so as not to annoy customers with it.

Read Also: The struggle for user attention: How to improve the behavioral factors on the site

Onboarding Methods

You can implement onboarding on your website or app in different ways. Many options have already become familiar to active Internet users, and their absence on the site or in the application can be bewildering.

Teaching Screens

When a user enters the application for the first time or when registration is completed on the site, a training window or several will open. 

They contain information on the main functionality of the site or application, showing important buttons and "chips" that allow you to use the service to the maximum.
website onboarding
Gmail uses a modal window to welcome new users to their inbox.

Important: the modern sophisticated user is annoyed by onboarding according to the “Captain Obvious” principle. When they see something like “click Next to go to the next step” on the screen, most will move on… to the next site.

 For the same reason, you should not make such training onboarding mandatory. It is better to leave the user to close the window and go directly to the service.

Identification of user needs

In some cases, the trajectory of the user’s movement through the site or application is different. It depends on his experience and needs. Then onboarding is convenient to use to identify them.

This method is often chosen by educational resources. On the welcome screen, the user is prompted to answer a few questions. 

website onboarding
Headspace’s asking users a handful of persona-establishing questions.
For example, by registering on the website of the school of foreign languages, indicate your level of proficiency. Depending on this, you can get to the page for beginners or advanced.


A popular and simple onboarding option that the user sees not on the site, but in their mailbox. It is much easier to implement than others. The letter can include recommendations on using the service, links to articles that will be useful to a beginner, and other information.

The efficiency of this method is lower than that of others. Welcome e-mail can get into spam or simply not attract the attention of the mailbox owner, who receives dozens of mailings every day. In addition, the “chips” of the site or application will be more visible on the page itself, and not in the letter.

Visual videos

One of the most effective types of onboarding. Why write long when you can show quickly? Videos with a “squeeze” of the most important information about the product are usually watched by users willingly. In this format, it is easy to make the necessary accents, effectively emphasize the merits of the product.

The disadvantages are associated with the complexity of this method. It’s quite difficult to create a good video, but they won’t watch a simple one. In addition, this option puts the site owner in a strong dependence on the Internet speed of the user. If it is low, there will be no onboarding.


Welcome screens can distract the user from the main thing – the site or application itself. With contextual hints, this situation is impossible in principle. They appear when you hover over a specific part of the page, and the visitor immediately sees what’s what.

The introduction of such onboarding is always preceded by serious work. First you need to study the “bottlenecks” on the site or in the application, as well as formulate advice concisely and clearly. If everything is done correctly, the effect will exceed expectations.

Empty space

This method is also called stubs or blank screens. When registering on any site, the user sees a blank page, which he is immediately invited to fill out.

A long call is usually not required. The visitor enthusiastically fills his profile, providing the necessary information and “settling down” on the site. The void must be filled. Marketers have long and successfully used this law of life.

Such onboarding reduces the number of visitors who change their mind in the first hours after registration. It is more difficult for a person to abandon an already completed profile.

Completed page

The user cannot know what his profile or personal account will look like before he fills in the information. But the result may seem uncomfortable to him, and he wants to spend less effort on filling it out if you don’t know what will happen. The so-called demo-entities or demo-accounts – filled pages – help to avoid these problems.

The user has just registered and has not filled in anything yet, but already sees the result. Having understood for himself all the functionality of the service, he closes the demo page and proceeds to filling out his profile.

The main disadvantage of demo entities is that they are time-consuming to create. Since there are usually many options for using the site, it will not be possible to show them all in one example. But it’s a good way to highlight the main benefits.

Game Onboarding

The type of onboarding that users generally view positively is gamification. Anyone who has just registered is offered to go through an educational game. As in others, you need to go through levels in it, you can see your result and even get certain virtual bonuses.

This path is often used by various training courses. For the successful completion of the game, you can get a free lesson or access to exclusive materials. Gamification is not an easy variant of onboarding. 

To make the game exciting and useful, you will have to spend a lot of effort and money. But the result, if implemented successfully, pleases: the user is imperceptibly “drawn” into the process and more willingly returns to the site or application.

Read Also: Negative reviews on the Internet – how to deal with them

Summing up

Choosing an onboarding option is only half the battle. It is important to configure it so that the user is comfortable. Therefore, the introduction of technology should begin with a thorough analysis of the preferences and experience of the audience.

Often, success requires more than one onboarding option, but several. In this case, the audience is segmented by the level of knowledge and immersion in the topic, which allows you to provide the best result for each group.

Finally, onboarding shouldn't be too intrusive. If the user is tired of prompts, he is unlikely to want to return to the site. Close the learning window and get to the point - the sacred right of every visitor to a site or application, which is important to remember.

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