Onboarding is the process of converting a brand new user into a fully “activated” user. For example, the onboarding flow may start by asking the user for their email and end once they’ve created a profile and added seven friends.
Onboarding is surprisingly powerful because it doesn’t just increase your conversion rate from signup to active user. It impacts how long people stay, and thus increases their lifetime value.
To start, eliminate as many steps as you can and simplify any remaining steps in the account creation flow. This process immediately improves conversions. Next, look at what your most successful users have in common. You can optimize the onboarding flow to get more users to behave like these most profitable customers.
Facebook found their most successful users add at least seven friends in the first ten days, so they re-optimized the entire signup flow around this metric. These users experience greater value from the product, and engagement metrics go up across the board. In other words, they get hooked.
Onboarding is about more than signup conversion rates; it’s a critical element in increasing engagement and customer lifetime value. The first few hours of each customer’s lifecycle can permanently alter your company’s financial trajectory.