How to Optimize Your SaaS Customer Onboarding

Take a data-led approach to optimize your onboarding process and make changes with high impact

Align your team on the correct onboarding definition

Say what? Back to the drawing board and start with the definition? Yes, that’s how important it is. The correct definition, as well as team alignment on it.

How you correctly define the onboarding process: Onboarding starts from the moment a person creates an account, and is completed when the customer has experienced the promise of your product for the first time.

The promise of your product is the value that can be realized by the customer as a result of using your product or service.

The onboarding process also includes “technical” requirements that users need to complete to experience the value of your product (or your product’s promise). E.g. adding subscribers before sending an email campaign.

Team alignment: Now, once you have your onboarding defined, you’ll want your entire team to discuss and agree on this. It’s crucial that your entire team is … well, on board with onboarding, and what the process entails for customers. Once you have that, and go through the framework below, you’ll  know what needs improving and how.

What framework do we apply to uncover improvement opportunities?

We use product analytics pre-built reports from InnerTrends.

The insights derived from the reports will guide you in your quest. Read on.

Find out how people are experiencing the promise of your product for the first time

A very simple and quick thing you can do is look at: “How many users or accounts have started onboarding, and how many have finished it.” But then you need to dig deeper into the data. You need to analyze the onboarding time, how accounts convert or drop off during the onboarding process, and what influences their behavior. Let’s dive in.

What pre-built InnerTrends report you need to look atHow are accounts converting during the onboarding process?

This is a pre-built report that’s automatically mapped to the onboarding process of your users, from the moment of sign up to the moment they experience the promise of your product for the first time.

The onboarding funnel automatically highlights your biggest problem, thus opportunity, in fixing your onboarding process.

You can automatically sync the information of people that drop off during the onboarding process with your marketing automation tool for better targeting.

Identify the product features that are most likely to help people onboard at higher rates

Knowing the onboarding step where you lose the most accounts is only the beginning of the battle. Knowing which actions and features in your product influence people to finish the onboarding process is winning the battle.

You can do that by accessing the report: What actions do accounts perform between the onboarding steps? in InnerTrends.

Segment the onboarding process performance based on persona or marketing channel that drove people to discover your product.

Discover how long it takes people to experience value with your product, and time your onboarding emails based on that

Understanding how long it takes to finish the onboarding process is crucial in timing any intervention you’d like to implement through automated email campaigns or manual interaction.

You can do that in InnerTrends by applying the report: How long does it take to onboard a new account?

See the influence of emails on getting people to finish the onboarding process

Once your email program for optimizing the onboarding process is running, you want to make sure that it’s moving the needle for your business. Monitoring the conversion rate of the emails is not enough, as those conversions could have happened anyway.

InnerTrends lets you see the true impact of your emails by comparing the behavior of people that open emails with the behavior of people that don’t open emails.

Activate the integration of InnerTrends with your email service provider and load: How do emails influence accounts to finish the onboarding process?


Product analytics is not just about tracking metrics within your product – it’s about providing meaningful insights into problem areas and steps you can take to improve them. Hopefully, this guide has provided a good framework for improving the onboarding experience using InnerTrends pre-built product analytics reports. Even if you are strapped for resources, as a product manager, you’ll understand top priority areas that need fixing for maximum impact.

Check out more resources and see how you can:

Achieve product-market fit using data
Increase free trial to paid conversion
Improve retention and product usage

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