7 Tips to Optimize Your SaaS Onboarding Process

Two of the best metrics for gauging a software-as-a-service company’s performance are churn rate and free trial conversion rate. If either (or both) of these metrics indicate that your subscription figures are lagging behind your sales goals, there’s a good chance your SaaS onboarding process is to blame.

A great SaaS onboarding experience will set a positive tone for the entire customer journey. Conversely, a friction-filled onboarding process can leave a user questioning why they signed up for your solution in the first place.

Perfecting your SaaS onboarding strategy will require some trial and error. However, it’s possible to accelerate your continuous improvement journey and develop an onboarding process that reduces churn and maximizes ROI.

You don’t have to spend hours conducting painstaking research or exploring your competitors’ SaaS onboarding tactics. The Insights ABM team has done the legwork for you and compiled seven great tips that you can use to enhance your customer onboarding experience. 

7 Tips and Tricks to Streamline Saas Onboarding

Without further ado, here are seven simple steps for improving your SaaS onboarding process.

1. Set a Great First Impression

A prospective customer’s initial interaction with your company will shape their perception of your brand and its SaaS solutions. If you make a good first impression and engage them right away, they’ll be far more likely to make a purchase.

Furthermore, highly engaged customers spend 60% more per transaction, which means getting off on the right foot will encourage consumers to opt-in for premium subscriptions or upgrades.

While there are many ways to leave a lasting initial impression on a potential customer, the best strategy involves targeting them with high-quality marketing content. 

Educational blogs or captivating service pages can showcase your brand’s professionalism and authoritativeness. Once you snag a user’s attention, you can draw them deeper into the sales funnel. 

2. Provide Learning Resources

New users are bound to have questions about your platform and its capabilities. While it’s important to have a support team in place, most users aren’t going to want to contact your agents to resolve simple issues or answer basic questions.

Instead, many clients will seek out self-service tools and learning resources. Hopefully, you’ve planned ahead and put some easy-to-digest educational materials in place.

If not, it’s well past time to remedy this particular SaaS onboarding shortcoming. Create a learning center and publish it in a conspicuous location on your website. This content will be invaluable to new users as they familiarize themselves with your SaaS solution and its various features.

3. Follow Up with New Users Early and Often

Did you know that 75% of new user churn occurs during the first week after sign-up? In light of this fact, it’s vital that you follow up with new subscribers early and often. 

Make it a point to connect with them via email from day one. As part of your welcome email, provide a brief rundown of your SaaS onboarding process and include links to any resources they may need to help them on their journey.

Granting your customers easy access to your educational content will empower them to drive more value from your SaaS solution and soften the learning curve. 

4. Showcase the Value of Your Solution

Let’s be real — there are likely several SaaS solutions on the market similar to your own.

While developing a superior product will certainly help you win the hearts and minds of consumers, simply being better than your competition isn’t enough. You must also showcase the value of your solution and demonstrate why it’s the right choice for your audience.

The most obvious way to do this is to provide trial members or quality leads with access to discount codes. Offering a discounted subscription fee for the first month following a trial can encourage users to take the leap and sign up. However, you should also highlight the value of your solution in other ways.

For instance, let’s say that your application has a unique feature that your competitors don’t offer. You can draw attention to this functionality in your marketing and onboarding materials. If you can combine better features with a strong price point, you’re sure to boost your retention rates.

5. Assess and Improve Your Processes

SaaS onboarding isn’t a “set it and forget it” process. If you want to optimize onboarding and enhance the customer journey, you must apply the concept of continuous improvement.

This means tracking and analyzing core metrics such as churn rate, trial member conversion rate, and customer average lifetime value. Analyzing these key performance indicators (KPIs) provides actionable insights you can leverage to improve your onboarding processes.

If you’re losing most of your subscribers during the first week of their trial period, you may not be providing enough learning resources and support during this critical juncture. On the other hand, if many trial members are canceling at the very end of their trial period, pricing might be the issue.

Once you’ve determined what’s causing churn, you can take steps to remedy the issue. After implementing the necessary changes, reassess your SaaS onboarding process and continue to monitor the aforementioned KPIs. Repeat this process as often as needed to achieve your business goals.

6. Talk to Customers who Churn

Reaching out to customers that churn may be the last thing you want to do, but it’s necessary if you want to find out why clients are canceling their subscriptions. It’s also a central component of your continuous improvement initiative. 

When speaking with past customers, try to find out what they liked and disliked about your onboarding process. Be objective when analyzing their feedback and allow them to elaborate. 

Dissatisfied customers can shed light on deficiencies with your support model or the product itself. They can help you examine old problems from a new perspective as well. 

Who knows? This strategy may be the missing link to creating a seamless SaaS onboarding framework.

7. Look Beyond the Trial Period

Discussions about SaaS onboarding often focus on the trial period. While most onboarding begins during the free trial, this critical customer journey doesn’t end there. 

New users won’t master all of your solution’s various tools and features in a single week or during a month-long free trial; they’ll continue to learn and explore your SaaS software for the entirety of their relationship with your organization.

With that in mind, make sure you support your customers throughout every phase of your relationship.

This means offering more advanced educational resources to long-time users and periodically checking in with your customer base to let them know you’re still working to provide a great user experience. 

Set the Stage for Seamless Onboarding with Insights ABM

Insights ABM is a full-service marketing agency that serves a wide range of industries, including SaaS providers. Our dynamic team can help you develop a comprehensive marketing strategy that supports customer success and sets the stage for frictionless SaaS onboarding. 

As part of these services, we can work with your team to develop how-to guides, new user resources, educational materials, and other content that will deliver value for readers. Additionally, we can enhance your lead generation capabilities and expand your reach in the digital marketplace. 

If you’re seeking a marketing partner that understands the unique challenges your industry faces, connect with Insights ABM. We look forward to helping you overcome your greatest growth barriers through strategic marketing.

Joe Cantu

Joe is a digital marketing strategist and media buying/planning leader with 13+ years of expertise in marketing strategy and program management, omnichannel campaign delivery, brand building, data analytics, and customer experience/UX optimization. He has helped drive growth for industry-leading clients, including F500/F100 firms.