There are a lot of crucial user onboarding mistakes being done out there and I believe the biggest mistake might be thinking that there is only one single best onboarding scenario.
According to what I have experienced so far this is not true;
First of all, The process should be full of mistakes!
Mistakes are good when building a user onboarding process
What defines a mistake is another option which is performing better than the current scenario which you used to believe to be the best. So you must have more than one option to distinguish what are the mistakes and what is the best performer.
When you run out of mistakes and everything looks reasonable to you, you are most probably underperforming with your onboarding flows!
This does not mean that you should be focusing on doing mistakes, of course not 🙂. But you should be aware that there is always a better performing option waiting for you out there! And this should be your self-driving force.
Without analyzing the success, onboarding is in vain
To make all of your efforts meaningful, you have to make everything trackable and have measurable results. So the first real mistake is not being aware of what you are trying to improve and not being able to assess the situation.
You should be setting trackable processes and create measurable funnels to see how your current onboarding process performs and compare it to the next alternative. There are some good alternatives to complete this task such as Google Analytics, Woopra, Mixpanel or Amplitude.
Choose your KPI before building the onboarding process
Once everything is measurable, it is time to define what your Ultimate Goal for the onboarding is, this could be in terms of engagement, signing up or subscribing. Please do not forget! Your Ultimate Goal could also change during the course and it will probably be changing a lot. With each metric measurable, you will find correlations between events that will lead to a more desirable outcome for your business. To feed your Ultimate Goal you should set Sub-Goals, those will be the ones leading the process till the end.
The second largest mistake for me is not having a specific goal, you and your team should gather together to define the goals in the first place.
Communication with your users is to increase Net Promoter Score
Do not try to interpret the meanings behind your visitor’s actions, try communicating directly with them instead. While making user tests let them speak out what they are actually thinking. And do not try to put yourself into their shoes to create an onboarding for them, when you have the chance to talk to them directly.
Interpretation should be kept as minimum as possible while optimizing a process, try providing real communication with tools like Intercom, Zendesk, Drift or Tawk. To let your users express themselves without communicating you can use feedback tools like HotJar or AskNicely.
Onboarding is even stronger with gamification
An onboarding process should be letting users know about their progress and achievements within that platform. You have to make them sure that the onboarding is for their own benefit and will lead to greater benefits in the future with the great control over the service that you provide.
Try using onboarding checklists and achievements that unlock with a successful onboarding. You may also provide little prizes for the ones that are successfully onboarded such as small discounts or additional features.
User onboarding software are very efficient
Time is precious so you have to be agile. Creating onboarding flows and product walkthroughs is a real tough task for your developers. Tracking analytics for those flows is another strong problem. Create and test your flows quickly so that you can make your way to the next better scenario in no time.
User onboarding tools are great solutions for such a problem. You can create product tours that drive your users in action and let them complete real-time tasks without coding with UserGuiding. You can track the analytics of your guides to define where the bottlenecks are and when you do it, you can always restructure your next onboarding scenario quickly and easily.