The SaaS Podcast
(Part 3) Improving User Onboarding for Your SaaS Product – with Pulkit Agrawal 
This is a 3-part interview with Pulkit Agrawal of Chameleon.
- Part 1: Finding & Validating Your Idea
- Part 2: Hustle Your Way to Early Growth
- Part 3: How to Onboard Your Users (You Are Here!)
Pulkit Agrawal is the co-founder and CEO of Chameleon, a platform that helps companies create better user onboarding. With Chameleon you can quickly build, test & deploy product tutorials and tooltips without writing any code. And it collects analytics to help you learn what your new users are doing and how you can improve the onboarding experience. The company was founded in 2015 and to date has raised $1.9 million in funding.
Highlights and Key Takeaways
It's not just about better design. There's a framework for success to user onboarding.
1. Decide Who's Responsible
- You need to assign responsibility for user onboarding to someone in your company. If there's no clear owner, then it will fall through the cracks and before you know it, no one will be thinking or doing anything about user onboarding.
- For an early stage startup, the founder may have to be responsible. For mid-size companies, it could a product manager or someone on the marketing team. For larger companies, it could be the growth team.
- It doesn't matter who's responsible for user onboarding, as long as someone is responsible for it.
2. Understand behavior requires motivation, ability, and triggers
- According to BJ Fogg, a behavioral scientist at Stanford University behaviors are a consequence of three factors:
- Motivation (that makes a user want to achieve a desired result)
- Ability (for the user to achieve that result)
- Triggers (to prompt the user to undertake actions to achieve it)
- For example, if the value proposition (motivation) is compelling, then the user will act with prompts (triggers) even if they find the user interface confusing. If the value proposition is unclear, the user will not act, even if the user interface is intuitive.
- Don't assume that an ‘intuitive' user interface, makes onboarding unnecessary. After people have signed up, they still need to be told about the value proposition (the why) as well as how to use the features (the how).
3. Figure Out Your User's Aha Moment
- The ‘aha' moment for your users is when they realize the value of your product and are ready to buy. At this point, they are also more likely to engage with you and tell friends about your product.
- Your onboarding goal should be to get your users to the ‘aha' moment as quickly as possible.
- Initially, you won't know what the ‘aha' moment is. So start with a hypothesis and test it. Identify your main value proposition and/or differentiator and use surveys or customer interviews to validate your hypothesis.
- When you're confident about the ‘aha' moment, then define the steps the user needs to take to get to that point. Then develop a plan on how user onboarding will help them take those steps quickly and easily.
4. Use a Combination of Channels
- With onboarding you can communicate with email, in-app messages and product tours. To be successful with user onboarding, you should use a combination of these channels.
- Use email to educate users through newsletters. And also use email to reach and re-engage inactive users.
- Use in-app messages to help users learn how to use your product and for important announcements.
- Use product tours to highlight specific parts of the user interface and to encourage users to act.
5. Analyze and Iterate Quickly
- User onboarding is not something you do once and then revisit in 12 months. It's something that you need to continuously measure and improve in order to increase user engagement.