So you built a software application successfully? Great, that’s good news. But are you confident that you can convert sign-ups into active users? Are you sure your app can onboard users smoothly, convince them of its unique value proposition (UVP), and get them to start using it from the get-go?
Before you answer those questions, take a look at the stats on user onboarding:
- 25% of apps are abandoned by users after the first use itself.
- 77% of people uninstall an app within 72 hours of installing it.
We don’t want to sound negative but the truth is that user onboarding is a sore point with app vendors. They often find it challenging to retain and turn first-time users into loyal users.
That’s why, in this post, we will explain 5 effective tips for user onboarding, with relevant examples from super-successful apps.
Let’s get started.
How Can You Onboard Users Successfully: 5 Tips
Here are the best practices of user onboarding that every app developer should follow:
- Keep Things Simple
In a Clutch survey of 501 app users, 72% of respondents said that a quick and simple onboarding process plays an important role in their decision to keep using the program.
Keep the onboarding steps to a minimum and ensure that they can be completed within a minute. Ask for personal contact details (mentioning reasons why they are needed) and show only essential UI elements in the first use. Try not to overwhelm new users by asking them for unnecessary permissions.
For instance, a movie-booking app needs only location-access and SMS-sending permission. They should skip requesting permissions for contacts or camera. Those can come at later stages once users are comfortable and confident of the app.
WhatsApp’s user base is unbeatable. According to their CEO, Jan Koum, one of the biggest reasons for the app’s success is its simplistic onboarding process.
The app self-detects the SMS with the verification code that is sent to first-time users. This means users need not leave the app interface and dig through their inbox for the SMS.
- Allow Skipping Steps
Many tech-savvy users don’t like to be hand-held through the onboarding steps. They like to explore their new installs themselves. To such users, give the option to skip whole or part of the onboarding process. There is no burning need to take them through the grand tour when they are impatient to try the app for themselves.
Vevo, the popular music-streaming app, found that logins increased by 10% when they included the “Skip” button in their app. If you’re not clear about your users’ preferences, conduct usability testing with different variants of the onboarding flow. Then, deploy the variant that works best for your users.
Slack puts users in the driver’s seat by giving them a “Skip the Tour” option in every screen of the onboarding stage. Users can move to the main interface as soon as they feel confident enough to start using the app.
- Ask for Permission
It’s a good practice to ask permission before sending push notifications to new users.
The Clutch survey we cited earlier found that 4 out of 5 users like to know why an app needs to know their personal details, payment preferences, or device permissions. In fact, this small step can improve opt-in rates in a big way.
Letgo is a reputable portal for buyers and sellers of used items. Instead of accessing users’ inboxes directly, they send notifications to them every time a customer expresses interest in their listed items. In this way, users feel they are in control of their app engagement.
- Demonstrate Value Instantly
People install your apps for a reason. They have certain expectations from your app. If the app is unable to fulfill these expectations promptly, customers churn quickly.
So, think of an efficient way to demonstrate value to new on boarders: set up a features carousel, product walkthrough, or new-user registration. Just focus on showing what benefits uses derive from the app.
Venmo is a payment wallet with social-sharing capabilities. It lets users share their payment histories with friends. To reinforce their app’s credibility, on the first screen itself, Venmo shows social proof about how popular and reliable their platform is. This inspires confidence from new users who are apprehensive about sharing their payment info with a new app.
- Provide Incentive for First Conversions
Encourage users to keep using your apps, give them incentives to convert for the first time.
For example, you can provide exclusive features or promo codes to users who fill out the registration form or make their first purchase. Other incentives can be loyalty points or in-app credit.
Uber’s food-delivery brand, UberEats, make the onboarding process really frictionless for new users.
As soon as users register, they are welcomed with a coupon for a $20 discount on the first order. If that’s not enough to entice users to order, a list of nearby restaurants displays on multiple screens.
We can not help but emphasize how critical your user onboarding process is. If you’re able to onboard users painlessly, take it as a big win. With the app space getting crowded and apps competing for user attention, your onboarding process can help you get a competitive edge.
So, think up an efficient process to onboard new users. A/B test your onboarding models to find the best fit for your users and apps. Don’t hesitate to steal your competitors’ onboarding model if it’s good. You need a proven onboarding strategy to get your app up and running in no time.
Do you have any questions about any of the above strategies? Drop them in the comments and we’ll answer soon. Watch this space for more revelations about app development and onboarding.
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