How do I know I’ve correctly defined my onboarding process?

The onboarding process is the process that users go through from the moment they create an account, to the moment they receive the promise of your product.

But how do you know if you’ve defined that promise in the right way?

It is important to note the consequences of an inaccurate understanding of the promise that you and your product are trying to offer: Users that don't receive the promise of your business should have no reason to return to your product.

This means that their retention rate will drop towards zero in the first week, or very soon after these users create an account. 

Check this report in order to know: What is the retention of the users who didn’t finish the onboarding process?

The retention rate of the users who finish the onboarding process should be much higher. Check this report in order to know the retention rate of your onboarded users: What is the retention of the onboarded users?.

How do we correctly identify the end-moment of the onboarding?

If you only focus on this verification mode that utilizes retention rates, you could fall into the trap of setting the onboarding moment way too far; and only because you want to see a high difference in retention rates between users that perform that action (the one that would represent the end of the onboarding), and users that don’t perform that action.

Let’s consider this example: After creating an account, users that perform Action A have a retention rate of 50%. After two weeks, users perform Action B, and they have a retention rate of 70%. In both cases, users that don’t perform Action A or Action B, have a retention rate that leads towards 0% soon after creating an account. For context, both actions could represent the promise of your business. 

So, which action should represent, in this case, the end-moment of the onboarding? In this context, ( both actions would represent the promise of your app, have a retention rate towards 0% for users who don’t perform them) Action A should represent the moment when the onboarding ends because it is happening sooner than Action B.

An onboarding process that takes too long to complete is harder to optimize. When you create a new marketing campaign, you don't want to wait for weeks, or even months, in order to know if you are bringing good quality leads to your product. You want to validate the quality of a lead, preferably on the same day (or week) they create an account.


Within InnerTrends, we usually set Action B from this example as a goal. That way we can analyse its performance, and also see the retention rate of the users that reach this goal.

What do you do when you have a high retention rate for users who have not onboarded?

Let's say that you’ve defined your onboarding process, and you have a strong retention rate of all of the users that finished the onboarding process.

But when you check the retention rate of the users that didn't finish the onboarding process, this rate doesn't go towards zero. You have a stable retention rate here as well. 

What do you do in this case? 

This means that these users find value within your product that does not match the promise/value that you had originally defined for your onboarding process. They have other, worthy reasons to return to and use your product.

This is a clear sign that you should revisit the definition of your onboarding process.

To identify what exactly makes those users return to your product, you can use InnerTrends to identify What is the difference in actions between onboarded users that return and those that churn?

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us