Amid countless mobile apps and little time to catch attention, app marketers should naturally focus on making a good first impression through mobile app onboarding.
This is the initial step where users get to know the app, and it can decide if they’ll stick around or leave. Think of onboarding as the main showcase of how different app parts come together. It’s like giving users a great experience to explore the app or bombarding them with annoying requests and messages that make them leave.
App User Onboarding in 2023
As if that wasn’t ample, a user must successfully navigate your onboarding process, fully swayed by its attributes, unique selling points (USPs), and the overall user interface and design, to be enticed to return for more interactions.
That implies that your onboarding procedure should address privacy concerns, highlight your product’s distinctive features, and effectively showcase functionality smoothly and persuasively, leading the user to provide their login details upon completing the process.
This is no straightforward task right from the start. Unfortunately, in 2023, numerous companies are grappling with the challenge of harmoniously integrating all these components into a seamless user experience due to the intricacies entailed.
Despite expending substantial resources to attract users through paid acquisition strategies, many brands today are stalling at the pivotal touchpoint of them all: the onboarding process itself.
5 Steps You Must Take To Have a Smooth User Onboarding
Simply put, making users happy while using an app is becoming crucial. With a good start through app onboarding, users will enjoy their time and keep using it. So, right after downloading, everything about getting started should be easy so the app doesn’t get deleted.
Below, I’ve outlined five main steps you should always take when it comes to an efficient user onboarding process.
1. Define the Main Features
Aside from welcoming new users to our app and thanking them for selecting our service, a well-designed onboarding process also helps new users get started with the app.
It’s important to remember that our product isn’t as familiar to users as it is to us. We interact with our app daily and fully grasp how it functions, which might lead us to assume it’s just as clear for users.
The idea of “always welcoming the users” isn’t far from reality because users don’t have the time to figure out a new product on their own. However, we can guide them on how to use our mobile app effectively. By highlighting key features and directing them toward specific actions, we have an opportunity to help them understand and use our app successfully.
From a product standpoint, this approach can be incredibly beneficial, as it ensures users quickly familiarize themselves with the core features that will capture their interest and keep them engaged with the app. Keep in mind if users don’t grasp the app’s value, they’re likely to abandon it.
2. Request Permissions
In the last few years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of safeguarding privacy and user data. The GDPR regulations were initially introduced, followed by the widely discussed ATT and iOS14 controversy, which has likely gained awareness across the mobile industry.
As a result, this heightened focus on user data has prompted app developers to request user consent for tracking and acceptance of privacy agreements.
These requests typically need to be presented during the initial session, right after downloading the app and sometimes are necessary for app functionality. In this scenario, having a user onboarding process can aid in creating pre-permission screens that explain the reasons for users to grant permission for tracking and sharing their data with us.
Always provide an explanation (using a pre-authorization screen) for why the user should agree, commonly referred to as the WIIFM principle – What’s In It For Me, as marketers term it.
3. Enhance the Opt-In Rates for Push Notifications
Push notifications are the most potent strategy for mobile marketers aiming to amplify user involvement and sustained interest.
A widespread understanding prevails that iOS opt-in rates are low, resulting in many customers remaining beyond direct reach. This circumstance translates into many missed prospects and potential gains slipping through our fingers.
Similarly, well-structured user onboarding holds the potential to address this challenge through the incorporation of a preliminary authorization screen, inquiring whether users desire to receive messages from us. If they agree, we can present Apple’s accredited opt-in prompt. If not, a delayed presentation of it can be considered (as advisable).
It is crucial to acknowledge that if a customer declines Apple’s authorized prompt, it cannot be displayed again. In such circumstances, the sole avenue for consumers to opt-in for push notifications would involve activating them within their phone settings – an action that, as we are well aware, tends to be rather impossible.
For the push optimization pre-authorization page, there’s a key principle to adhere to – ensure transparency about the reasons users should welcome receiving push notifications. This transparency is essential for boosting opt-in rates, a primary factor from a marketing standpoint to maintain user engagement, facilitate conversions, and encourage app return.
4. Gather User Choices and Registration
Information and data play a vital role in a market driven by results. The more we understand our consumers—grasping data points and their interests—the smoother our interactions with them become (such as suggesting their preferred products or enticing them to return to the app).
We have two choices for gathering user preferences—passive and active approaches.
The passive approach involves studying the user’s in-app behavior, including how they interact with the app (their choices in watching, playing, purchasing, and more). Now, the alternative is to seek this information proactively.
One active method to collect information is by incorporating user registration or account creation during onboarding. Let’s consider a simple example—placing account creation as the second step in the onboarding process alongside a preliminary screen.
This approach conveys to users that creating an account is straightforward, offering them enhanced access to the app’s features. This establishes a compelling value proposition for users to opt for account creation.
Ensuring user-friendliness in the registration process is vital, so offering various options for creating an account (via email, Facebook, Google, and Apple logins, perhaps even phone numbers) is beneficial.
A crucial point to note is that users should have the option to skip this part, preventing any sense of feeling “trapped.”
5. Test Contextual Onboarding
Emerging trends indicate a shift towards breaking down onboarding processes into modular components, allowing users to select and organize them according to their requirements. This approach ensures that the right message reaches the relevant user at the right moment.
A foundational principle for many app marketing strategies is hypothesis testing. If integrating push notifications (PNs) opt-in during onboarding disrupts our user journey, then the prompt should be presented at a different stage within the app’s journey.
Experimentation can encompass factors like WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), user onboarding durations, tone of voice, and more. The possibilities for enhancement are numerous and can solely be uncovered through constant testing.
Before we conclude, there’s an essential point to mention. In user onboarding, paying attention to your tone of voice is crucial. The onboarding process within the app presents a valuable opportunity to connect with users in a friendly manner.
Furthermore, determining the data to collect during user onboarding is related to the nature of the app. While gathering information, prioritize data that contribute to crafting a tailored customer experience and facilitates personalized and relevant CRM communications.
Feel free to come up with multiple ideas, subject them to testing, evaluate their efficacy, and iterate through testing until you identify the optimal solution for enhancing your app experience.