Product Managers and Product Marketers come to us when they realize they need an interactive walkthrough or a product tour for user onboarding. However, we advise our new customers to consider task-based user onboarding. That is, instead of “onboarding features” try “onboarding goals.”
Your product and service value proposition addresses the overarching pain points and needs for users, with your products many features and capabilities. How can you make that tangible for new users without overwhelming them? Tours should offer clearly articulated benefits. Each tour topic can break down a lofty goal into manageable tasks. These tasks- representing the tangible value of your product - get your users on the path to success.
In this article, we look at how to lead your first-time users to the highest impact features to them experience the value of your product.
If you’re creating user onboarding content for new users, you’re probably thinking about feature adoption.
We noticed that when product managers and product marketers start using Inline Manual, they dive in deep. They create multiple interactive walkthroughs and product tours with 20 or 30 steps. They pull users across their application with enthusiasm: Here’s this feature! Here’s that feature!
It’s is a classic mistake in product marketing, to focus so much on the bells and whistles of product features rather than the benefits and results that users need.
It also presents a danger. A long product tour is tricky to maintain and hard for users to follow. Long tours present information out of context. You may show them configuration options or features they don't even need yet. Because of that, long product tours also run the risk of failing to demonstrate the key value of the product at all.
Turn the tables with your user onboarding content and look at onboarding from the user's perspective. Users don't need learn everything about your product when they first sit down with it. They have a specific problem, and they want to solve it. How can your web application help? To help them, make a reaching goal the result of your first tour.
Start creating your offer by articulating the user’s goals.
Next, connect those goals to tasks they can complete and actions they can take right now in your application.
Then you must narrow it down. Choose one to start with. An ideal task would be something which has a clear result or end point. Then the final step will demonstrate: “HEY! You did it!”
Now, make your offer by providing a clear motivation. Rather than a vague “Welcome tour” - you invite users to gain a tangible benefit.
Here are some examples:
The offer is the first part of your first onboarding walkthrough or tour.
Keep these three parts in mind when you’re planning your tour. KISS it. (Keep it simple, stupid.)
For example, say you have an application with brilliant analysis tools, but users can’t see how they work until they connect to a data source. Your interactive walkthrough can prompt the user to authorize the integration. Then show them the results. In these quick three steps, they get to that “A-ha! Moment."
The great thing is, if this is your first user onboarding tour, then continue to build these task-based tours. Collect them in the Widget where users will refer back to them later.
It seems to make sense to focus on feature adoption during free trials. However, that perspective makes it difficult to communicate value. Turn the table and look at it from the user’s perspective. Instead of long product tours, you should start with the simplest tour and make sure it’s goal-driven.
Starting with the offer is important. In this way, you invite to opt-in to taking a tour, so you’re not highjacking their experience. Then when you’re finished, you get another chance to reiterate that benefit and put it in the context of your overall product value proposition.
When your free trial users see that the benefits outweigh the cost, they are closer to conversion. We’ll look at communicating that value in our next post next week.
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