Use These Top 7 Customer Onboarding Practices to Effectively Promote a Digital Product

Let's look at seven customer onboarding practices that should be used to promote digital products.

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By Alexandr Khomich

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Imagine that you visit a store to buy a new smartphone. A seller quickly packs the gadget you have chosen without explaining the terms of use and warranty conditions, takes money and shows you the door. Most likely, such an attitude will leave you embarrassed. Consumers expect not only friendly service during sales but also support when they use products. This rule also applies to digital solutions. Without an appropriate onboarding strategy, a business loses money.

Do you know all the features of the apps you are buying? You can understand the subtleties of working with a platform only after you have used it for a long time. Not everyone has enough attention and understanding of how to interact with a digital product. The retention rate reaches 34% on the first day of use. In a month, it drops to 2.3-13.3%.

Carefully thought-out onboarding allows you to stop customer churn. It involves planned activities to accompany consumers after they have purchased products. Onboarding helps them learn more about chosen solutions and understand how to use them with maximum benefit.

The right onboarding strategy aims to make it easier for consumers to interact with a product at every stage of the customer journey. You should focus on seven advanced onboarding practices to accompany the consumers of your digital product. Let's look at seven best practices for customer onboarding when selling digital products:

Related: 7 Strategies to Revamp Your Customer Onboarding

1. Find out the needs of the target audience

To understand how to help your clients, you should know why they need a certain product. Marketers must understand:

  • who the clients are;

  • what consumers want from the product;

  • what problem users want to solve with its help;

  • what functions of the platform are a priority for them;

  • what can prevent a person from using the product;

  • and reasons for rejection.

Once the marketing department understands the above details, they can control the user experience and stop churn.

2. Simplify the registration process

Onboarding begins when a user opens the registration form. Therefore, if your marketing team sees that many people abandon your site at the start, they should optimize the form. To do this, they need to do the following:

  • Simplify the registration process by eliminating unnecessary questions. Therefore, request only the most necessary information — additional details can be clarified later.

  • Split the registration process into several steps. If there are many questions, divide them into pages so you won't deter users with information overload.

  • Enable one-click registration via email or social networks.

3. Send a welcome email with a product link

After a user registers on your platform, thank them for choosing your brand. The customer will thus understand that they are valued and taken care of. To grab the attention of consumers, use video instructions, interactive tours, chatbots and webinars.

4. Help users with the first login

Even if a user carefully reads instructions, they may be confused when they first log into the system. Therefore, you should prepare them for the "first encounter." Create a step-by-step guide or setup wizard. For example, you can greet visitors and start a mini-tour of the product functionality, as implemented in GoToWebinar. For each section of the application, users receive a short explanation of how to work with the system.

Related: 3 Ways To Improve Your Client Onboarding Process

5. Don't stop customer support

After greeting your users, stay in touch with them. Provide them with instructions and valuable advice (e.g., blog articles, video reviews, FAQ). Conduct online lessons or webinars so that they can hone their skills.

You can interview people by sending out questionnaires by e-mail. This will help you understand whether the onboarding process is going in the right direction. Users will give feedback on whether they enjoyed the onboarding process. This way, businesses learn how to improve it to increase user satisfaction.

6. Use onboarding automation software

It takes a lot of work to create the most favorable customer onboarding strategy, remember to send emails, collect feedback and adjust the whole process. It is extremely difficult to keep track of such an information flow. It is even more challenging to skillfully organize and systematize it. Therefore, you should automate onboarding so as not to delay the workflow.

To automate maintenance, you can use such platforms as Tidio, Whatfix, Typeform and so on. It's a great addition to staff management software, expense management software and other business tools.

7. Measure the onboarding result

How do you know if the customer onboarding process is going well? You can measure its effectiveness and find out whether the result corresponds to your goals. A target website's analytics dashboard may be helpful and convenient. The statistics will tell you how many people use the product, how many leave after trying to get acquainted with it and at what stage the churn occurs.

By focusing on visits, conversions and bounce rates, a business improves its onboarding process. Thus, it reduces the bounce rate, and it is easier for customers to interact with the product.

Related: How to Turn Strangers into Loyal Customers With User Onboarding

Why customer onboarding is important

A business is an organism that needs support to grow and develop. Customers are the main source of it. Onboarding is necessary to:

  • Prevent customer churn: If the purchase process is too complicated, about 74% of users abandon a business for a competitor.

  • Maintain the value of a product: For 58% of users, it means the personalization of the customer path, which is achieved through onboarding.

  • Improve customer skills: Up to 75% of consumers want companies to consult them on interaction with products at each stage of onboarding.

  • Increase brand loyalty: About 86% of people will be loyal to a company that provides onboarding content.

According to a study by Rosetta Consulting, engaged users buy 90% more often, spend 60% more and become the "backbone" of a business.

To successfully promote a digital solution, it is not enough to properly advertise and sell it. If you implement a relevant onboarding strategy, your clients will find value in your product. It will help you teach consumers to use it for personal purposes, easily achieve the desired results and hone their skills. Otherwise, if users don't get the advantages of your platform, they will find market analogs. By choosing the seven customer onboarding practices listed above, a business will build a strong bond with its consumers and turn them into brand followers.

Alexandr Khomich

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO of Andersen Inc.

Alexandr Khomich collects and works with data in a diverse set of interests across machine learning, finance, and technology. Currently, I work as a CEO at Andersen. Being a part of the IT family for years, I aim at transforming IT processes in support of business transformation.

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