Little House Consultancy


We help ambitious companies with the strategy and management of their software, organisational and development projects.

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Some thoughts about Onboarding

There is often such a race for getting more and more leads that the conversion of these leads to becoming paying customers is often sidelined. In fact, even that statement is wrong. Really you want to see how many of your leads are paying for your product 6 months later! That is the metric that determines whether your business will be successful and make money. 

This blog post is more of literature review... I've brought together some useful links to read about the customer onboarding process. I've tried to pull out a few of the key statements (and occassionally edited them to make them read better out of context). I would still recommend reading the full article in each case.

As a summary, I think the key takeaway is to put yourself in to the shoes of your potential customer and make every effort to ensure they can achieve their goal. You aim of getting money out of them will then follow.

What does a successful Free Trial looks like for your prospect. And no… it’s not “they convert to a paying customer.” That’s YOUR definition of success; don’t confuse that with THEIR definition of success.

A customer is “onboarded” once they’ve achieved “initial success” with your product - consider this First Value Delivered (FVD).

Since your customers will achieve success on their own cadence, having a timed autoresponder sequence – when the technology is readily available to trigger based on milestones reached – is just irresponsible.

It is important not to mingle product onboarding with a traditional “help”.


  1. Passive tour
  2. Active Tour

  3. Video
  4. Slider explanation
  5. Explanation within interface

Don’t worry about secondary features or non-core integrations in the onboarding process. Leave the user something great to discover about your business later on. For now, focus on getting them engaged enough to want to learn about those extra features.

Clear path to completion - numbered steps!

Connect to team - encourage to get other users onboard.
    Do it early if they need their team
    Do it after WOW if not!

The purpose of a trial is to convince a potential user your product will deliver what they need for a price they can afford

1) Understand the different jobs your product is hired for

2) Understand what success looks like for each of these jobs

3) Design a path guiding them through the features that help them achieve this

4) Communicate with users to help them get there

5) Have an early warning system for new users

  1. Short-Term Retention—Week 1: Use the product more than once
  2. Mid-Term Retention—Week 1 to Week 4: Establish a pattern of usage
  3. Long-Term Retention—Week 4 and beyond: Rely on the product as an indispensable tool

You see such rapid drop offs in retention in the short-term phase—people can’t find the value and churn out immediately.

This recognition of core value is called the WOW Moment.


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