7 Onboarding Must-Haves to Increase SaaS Signups

Follow these onboarding best practices if you’re looking to increase your SaaS platform signups

Hannah Duckworth
Dark Matter Digital


The SaaS industry is hot — and is forecasted to reach $82.6 billion in revenue this year (2020), after an 11.6% ramp up from 2015. If you’re planning on launching a SaaS product or putting more marketing dollars into your existing product, great! We want to give you some quick tips on how to make sure your prospective users convert to your platform.

Best Practices to Increase Your SaaS Signups

Having a great SaaS idea is one thing. Having a great SaaS product is another. Your idea can solve problems, educate the world, and save businesses money, but if users aren’t getting on to your platform and using your product, none of those things will ever matter.

By creating a frictionless and robust onboarding process, you can:

  • Increase your signups
  • Reduce user churn
  • Gain necessary info to make your product’s user experience better
  • Build up trust and reputation

With that said, let’s dive into some best practices around SaaS user onboarding:

Informative Marketing Page

When it comes to onboarding users, don’t leave all the heavy lifting up to your product. You should rely on an informative marketing site or landing page to drive consideration for your product. Your landing page should achieve these 4 goals:

  • Catch the prospect’s attention
  • Educate them on what your product does
  • Convince them that they need your product to solve their problem
  • Allow them to convert

Your landing page should make it absolutely clear what your product does. If a prospect finds a competitor that quickly describes a solution to their problem faster than you do, you’re likely to lose. For more detail on the 4 points above, read this article about creating converting SaaS marketing pages.

Separate Landing Pages for Multiple Products

If you’re a SaaS platform that has multiple products, it’s best to differentiate them between individual multiple landing pages. Trying to cram all the information about multiple products into one page can be confusing. Instead, build out individual product pages for each offering. Each landing page should follow the brand of the overall company, but be different enough from each other to be distinguishable.

Atra provides a clear distinction between product offerings while maintaining a cohesive brand and selling point
photo: atra.io
photo: atra.io
photo: atra.io

Make Converting Easy

If you give your users the ability to do one thing, make sure it’s to convert. Don’t overwhelm your users with different options of what to do and where to go — keep your eye on the prize and narrow them in on completing the goal. Conversion CTAs should be placed through your website and give a clear signal of what the user is about to do, for example, “Sign Up,” or “Enroll Today.” Don’t put conflicting CTAs next to each other, for example, “Contact Us” and “Sign Up Now.” This distracts from the main goal, which is to sign up.

After you’ve clearly outlined where your users can convert, make it as EASY as possible for them to complete the mission. Signing up for your product should be simple and straightforward. Depending on what type of product you offer, you may or may not want to collect more or less information when signing up.

Squeeze Page

Once they’ve entered into the funnel, don’t let them out ;). Rid your onboarding process of all distractions and miscellaneous options that may lead the user to divert from the funnel. Provide a simple experience with one goal — to complete the sign up, subscribe, checkout, etc. Retail sites commonly use a squeeze page to guide users throughout the checkout process without any distractions. Once a user goes to ‘checkout,’ the retailer doesn’t want to risk that shopping cart being abandoned. Use the same methodology for your software signup process.

Outdoor Voices is a clothing retailer with a great example of a squeeze page. Once you click checkout, you are taken to a page stripped of all actions but to ‘Pay Now’. No second guessing now! Even the navigation is gone, and very little emphasis on going backwards.

Outdoor Voices Checkout Squeeze Page

Documentation and Education

We’ve learned that a ton of a product’s success lies within educating the user. When we implemented documentation, including tutorials, for the Atra platform we saw a 97% increase in users who used the platform immediately or shortly after signing up. This caused repeat users to increase, as they followed along further with documentation and become more comfortable with the platform. If you don’t give your users enough information at first, they may drop off and never feel comfortable coming back again. Make sure not to hide your documentation behind authentication, either.

Another way to educate your users is through a walk-through of your product. Helpful hints and tips, or ‘how-to’ buttons in chronological order can be super helpful for a first-timer. YouTube video walkthroughs are great resources to have, and help your SEO, too!

Amazon Web Services might be the most robust example, but they are a great resource for documentation inspiration.

AWS Documentation
Stripe’s documentation is front and center on their landing page

Pre-Filled Dashboards

When a user completes your onboarding process for the first time and finally lands on the dashboard of your product, it can feel pretty disappointing and confusing to land on a page of empty charts, even if subliminally. It’s worth gathering as much information as possible during the onboarding flow so that you have something to show the user upon their first arrival to your product. You may not want to gather ALL the necessary info during onboarding, as that can become too tedious and distract from the main goal. Gathering 1 or 2 data points however can make the first impression much stronger.

If collecting data during onboarding isn’t an option or doesn’t make for a good user experience, make sure your user knows exactly what to do once they arrive at the platform to continue their setup. To avoid confusion, put instructional overlays over charts, and disable the ability to click around on something that is empty and will return null answers.

Mobile First

Finally, make your entire conversion funnel mobile friendly. You may have an enterprise software that’s built for desktop, but that doesn’t mean your users are built for desktop anymore. Now that the majority of all internet traffic happens on mobile devices, it’s safe to assume your prospect is going to want to sign up from their phone. Even if your users will be using your product on desktop, allow them to sign up via mobile. If your dashboard isn’t mobile-friendly we totally recommend you work on that in the future, but in the meantime, display a polite success message after signup that reminds them their best experience will be on the desktop site.

Atra’s onboarding and services are mobile-friendly allowing for frictionless signups and activity

Let us know your other onboarding tips in the comments below.

Dark Matter Digital is a product studio based out of Seattle, WA.

We build products smarter, better, faster, AND stronger.

Need help getting a project off the ground? Email hannah@drkmtr.marketing.