The Best Kept Secrets About Digital User On-boarding

Most people have heard the phrase: “If a product is good enough, it will sell itself.” This idea, or some variation of it, is held in high regard by many businesses that pride themselves on delivering top-notch products and outstanding services to their customers. If an organization really has great things to offer, some people think that the marketing aspect is only supplementary.

However, the modern e-commerce scene has showed the key flaw in this type of thinking.

The digital world provides a level of convenience that has completely revolutionized the way commerce works. In order to successfully pitch a deal to a customer, a business must first gain their attention. This can be hard to do, given that so many websites exist, and users can only view so many of them. But even if a site does attract viewers, it can be hard to convert someone who is using a business’s webpage into a return visitor, a dedicated subscriber, or a paying customer.

But there is a trick to this:

Digital user onboarding techniques can be used by anyone, regardless of their budget or staffing limitations, to increase awareness about their business or organization and gain success. Whether a person is looking to sell physical products or simply build-up a viewer base for their online content, several strategies and tools exist to help make the process easier.

Understanding the Importance of Digital User Onboarding

Most people use websites every day. And given that human beings are creatures of habit, most people use the same websites every day. It can be hard to build awareness about a site and carve out a spot in the competitive digital world. But the low costs and lower barriers to entry of the web make this a worthwhile endeavor. Utilizing digital user onboarding techniques can help any organization be more successful. But what exactly is user onboarding?

Here are the basics:

User onboarding involves improving an individual’s success with a given product or service. After utilizing specific techniques to bring the product or service to the user’s attention, organizations can use onboarding techniques to ensure that users:

  • Understand the Key Benefits: Every product or service can potentially benefit someone in some way. But the internet is a fast-paced environment; according to Jakob Nielsen, a writer for NN Group, users can leave a webpage in as little as ten seconds if they don’t immediately see value in the site. User onboarding strives to promote key perks of a given product or service and get them across the user.
  • Feel Excited About the Product or Service: Whether it’s a custom t-shirt, an insurance package, or even a weekly newsletter, getting a person excited about a product or service is one of the best ways to ensure they pursue it. A user who is excited about potentially finding what they need will be more likely to stick around.
  • Know How the Product Can Benefit Them: User onboarding seeks to use the pre-established key benefits not simply to build enthusiasm, but to show users how these benefits could improve their lives. If a customer is able to see a direct benefit in the product or service they’re viewing, they are more likely to subscribe, make a purchase, and become repeat users of a website.

The digital world can be tricky to understand, as boosting traffic to a site and getting the word out can sometimes seem hard or even hopeless. By utilizing the proper tools and techniques, it is possible not only to boost a website’s visibility but to ensure that those who use it are able to find what they’re looking for.

Popular Digital User On-boarding Techniques and Strategies

The first step in giving users a great experience is to know exactly what they’re looking for. If a website is able to get traffic from users specifically looking for their featured content, products, and services, there is a good chance they can help on-board those users effectively. But let’s say, for example, a customer is looking for a business newsletter. What sort of values might they seek?

Here are a few:

First, a person may want access to the most modern stories and articles. Second, they may want links to products and services which are discussed in the articles they read. And finally, they may look for information about new businesses trying interesting ideas. If a content creator wants to attract these types of users, they may advertise their newsletter as having the following characteristics:

  • “The most up-to-date content!”
  • “A promoter of relevant products and services to improve businesses!”
  • “Interviews with the owners of new and innovative businesses!”

If a user is made aware of these three facts quickly, they will likely stay on the page longer. When they’re able to see that the page can fulfill their needs, they will likely feel more enthused about exploring the rest of the site and seeing exactly how the service is presented to them.

Which leads to:

The onboarding — if a user is able to see how this exciting service can help meet their needs, they are likely to engage. In this case, users may be able to find out information about how they can subscribe to the newsletter, what platforms/formats the newsletter is available on, and any extra content they may be able to receive for becoming a subscriber.

Easing the Process for the Developer

Digital user onboarding offers many perks, and it can greatly increase the chance that a business or organization can help acquire more subscribers, customers, and users. But some may be wondering exactly how to implement these types of changes. There are software packages available today which can help individuals promote their offerings and spread awareness across the web in an efficient manner.

This means:

The result will still be the same — the developer will still be promoting their own product or service in the way they choose. However, in addition to providing a better result for the customer, the process of onboarding users can also be made much easier for the developers. Utilizing software tools can help users have a better experience and increase the chances that they will be on-boarded into repeat users and customers.

Digital On-boarding Tools: The Basics

There are many types of tools available to help those who have an interest in digital user onboarding. One of the most basic (but underutilized) tools is SEO strategy. By utilizing keywords on a website in a given amount, it is possible to help the site perform better in a given search engine. But when a user finds a website, they may also be introduced to a brand that could meet their needs.

Branding is an important aspect of building up a dedicated base of users. By creating a branding badge and setting up social media profiles to share said badge each time a link is shared, an organization can become more easily identifiable to a user. This means that each time new content is shared, the brand badge is visible to create an even greater level of awareness about the organization or business in question.

There’s more:

When a user actually gets to the website, they may look for assistance in finding out what they want to know. There are plenty of techniques which can be used to help improve a user’s experience in an effort to on-board them. These include:

  • Tutorials and Samples: Whether a user is interested in trying out a product or just seeing what it is all about, tutorials and samples are a great way to help them understand the value of a product and find out just what it can do for them.
  • Email and Chat Support Services: Sometimes a user can leave a website, because they aren’t able to troubleshoot a problem themselves. Kissmetrics details here how live chat can provide many advantages — but if a site doesn’t have this capability, even a support email address can sometimes suffice.
  • Social Logins: Many people will get excited about a product or service, only to be deflated at the prospect of creating a new login. In the fast-paced digital age, letting users have the option to log into a service with their social media username and password can incentivize them to make the jump.

In conclusion, there are many aspects of digital user onboarding that are secrets — this is because not many people understand how these simple, affordable strategies and tools can help them boost traffic to their website and reach more users. However, by understanding these strategies work and how they can be implanted, anyone can improve the experience that their users have.

Originally published at on August 22, 2016.