By Nishant Kadian

“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.”
– Peter F. Drucker

Mobile app marketing is different from various other industries. Someone might install the app and still not use it, which means you might create a customer and keep him. Yet, it is not doing good to your business. On average, a smartphone has 60-90 apps installed on the phone with only 30 apps used per month. If users are not even using your app, will they be paying for it?

The bridge between creating and keeping the customer is your app’s onboarding process. Onboarding is the point at which a user interacts with your app for the first time, and you can leverage the opportunity to guide them into a paying user later.

Most apps welcome the users with a series of screens where they try to inform the user on the app features and gather user details as well as preferences. As the first point of contact, the onboarding process can be a crucial moment for users, where they decide if they would like to stick through the free trial and evaluate to purchase the premium version at the end of a free trial.

A well thought onboarding experience means that your app has:

  • A lower churn or drop-off rate
  • Higher user engagement and more app actions
  • Faster conversion into a paying customer
  • Increasing customer LTV

All of these factors directly or indirectly contribute to your app’s revenue. In this piece, we are mentioning some quick ways to help align your app onboarding process for easier user adoption.

1. Smooth Onboarding with Clear Objectives

A smooth and friendly onboarding can mark the beginning of a long relationship with the customer. With a goal-oriented process, you can ensure that all steps and actions are in the right direction. Key goals of the onboarding process for a mobile app should be:

  • Educate the user about offerings of the app
  • Seek relevant permissions that help in the functioning of the app
  • Gather user details that help in personalizing their experience

2. Present Your App’s Value Proposition

By presenting the app’s value additions for users, you gain their trust and attention to guiding them through the process. To showcase the value proposition:

  • Focus more on the intent of the app than features
  • Highlight screenshots of app functionality
  • Subtle benefits of paid options

3. Maintain a Flow to Move Users Forward

Engaging flow experience with various steps in the onboarding process can increase adaptability, and the customer is more likely to complete the process. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Use Foot-in-the-Door Technique: Instead of asking all the details and permissions in one go, break it into various steps.
  • Include an Indicator: Indicator will make sure that the user is aware of how many more steps are there in the process. Closer to the final stage, the user will be more eager to complete the journey.
  • Find the Balance: While overloading the screen can scare off the user, an easy flow is more comforting. Also, too many steps in onboarding can be equally tiresome for users. So, reducing the number of onboarding screens to the least possible while maintaining the balance in free vs paid features.
  • Ask for Easy Information Early: Ask generic details that the user is likely to share easily in initial steps.
  • Offer an Opt-out Choice: To ensure the comfort of the user, you can offer them opt-out choices in some steps. You can ask them in the later stages of the app usage if those details are necessary.

4. Inform While Asking For Permission

Depending on the individual app feature, you might need various device permissions (such as push notification, location, reading messages, or access to storage) to function better or communication permissions to reach over email and SMS.

While asking for such permissions, inform the user how these permissions will deliver a better experience. As some users may be reluctant to share their information, provide them with the option to skip the details that are not necessary. Offering the skip choice can reduce the drop-off numbers significantly.

5. Practice Personalization

You can offer them the taste of personalization in the onboarding process, which can help understand how sharing information gives them relevant offering suggestions. Depending upon the app functionality, think of ways to identify the buying propensity of the user so that you can ask for relevant information and suggest the right solutions. It is important that you customize the personalization experience as per your app segment.

6. Offer a Welcome Gift to Guide Towards Paid Features

You can offer an incentive to the users when they complete the onboarding process. A relevant and timely offering can enhance the chances of engaging them in performing the first action. Just ensure that the offering is lucrative and habit building so that customer feels more interested in moving to the paid membership.

7. Monitor and Track

Keeping a close watch on onboarding analytics to determine how well you are performing with the onboarding flow and app. With A/B testing at various in-app events in the onboarding process, you can finetune the process to optimum results. You can even utilize a Demand Side Platform that is capable of working in tandem with different in-app events to run marketing campaigns accordingly and raise your conversion.

Wrapping Up with a Quick Checklist

To ensure that your app’s onboarding process is appropriate, you can use this checklist.

  1. Is the process more intent-focused than features?
  2. Is it as short as possible?
  3. Does it have the right CTA on all screens?
  4. It has a tracking code successfully implemented?
  5. Does it offer the choice to skip for not-so-important steps?
  6. Does it as for permissions before accessing any feature?
  7. Is it as simple as it can get?

If you are able to answer all these questions with a yes, you should be able to drive optimum results with your app.