Asynchronous customer onboarding has become a fast-growing segment in SaaS, with platforms like Supademo, Dock, Journey, and Flowla helping increase activation and product adoption for fast-growing software companies.

While in-app product walkthroughs and app tours have been around for decades, asynchronous, out-of-app customer onboarding is a fairly nascent use case - and a prime opportunity for SaaS companies to wow their customers.

With asynchronous, out-of-app onboarding, users can quickly learn about a product's main features and benefits and be trained without the hassle of multiple meetings and calls.

After onboarding over 5500 users at Supademo, here are some tactical lessons/insights on how to create an onboarding experience that guides customers to success.

Lessons learned from implementing async customer onboarding

Customer onboarding doesn't need to be a long and windy path.

Interactive onboarding dramatically increases engagement

We have found that interactive onboarding (i.e. guiding customers click-by-click using tools like Supademo or Dock) increases completion rates by over 50% when compared to static PDFs or lengthy videos. This applies when the interactive guides are clear, engaging, and have a natural flow that clearly demonstrates product features and benefits.

Making onboarding async and self-paced

A lot of SaaS platforms force customers to walk through a sequence of in-app tours immediately after signup. When we tried this ourselves, we noticed that the majority of folks dismissed or snoozed and never came back, leading to lower activation. But by making onboarding self-paced and easily accessible at any time, activation and completion rates improved dramatically.

Creating multiple entry points for onboarding

Adding interactive onboarding through multiple channels was effective - like embedding within support docs, sharing as a link within email onboarding sequences, or adding to in-app modals. This helped us "meet customers where they are" when they were high-intent and ready to onboard.

Keep walkthroughs short

Make sure the product walkthrough is concise and to the point - ideally modularized enough to be less than 10 steps per walkthrough for maximum engagement;

Mistakes to avoid in async customer onboarding

  • Not keeping onboarding concise: It can be tempting to squeeze as much detail into onboarding as possible to help drive adoption. However, each additional step in onboarding led to dramatic decreases in activation.
  • Not using easily editable materials: While video can sometimes be a great tool within onboarding, we found that these were very hard to keep updated as our product changed. In contrast, each slide on Supademo is easily editable - with changes propagating down to every referenced link and embed.

Asynchronous customer onboarding is a powerful tool to enhance customer success. By adopting the lessons we've learned and avoiding common mistakes, you can take full advantage of this approach to impress your customers and drive product adoption to new heights.

Snapshot of interactive product demos in action

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