To find opportunities for onboarding optimization, ask and analyse this: "How are users converting during the onboarding process?"

Once you’ve defined your onboarding process, the first thing you'll want to examine is how users are converting during the onboarding process. 

In other words, how are users flowing, step-by-step, through the onboarding process, and at what step are you losing the most users? 

In an ideal scenario, you should not be losing more than 10% of users between any two steps.

The "How are users converting during the onboarding process?" report in InnerTrends will build that funnel for you automatically, based on the business concept definitions your company used when your InnerTrends account was set up (If you want to see the exact definition, click on the sticky widget in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, and check the onboarding section).

How do we analyse the data in this report?

An important aspect of this report is that, like almost every other report in InnerTrends, this is a cohort-based report. This means that when you select a specific period, we automatically collect all of the accounts created during that period, but we report the onboarding status of these accounts regardless of when that happened (even if it is outside of the selected period).

There are two elements to this report. 

1. The first is the trended onboarding funnel

For every optimization you apply, this trended funnel will show the immediate impact - increase or decrease - on a specific step. There are two ways to view this trended funnel: with absolute numbers, or with percentages. 

Viewing the chart with absolute numbers will show/tell you the quantitative increase or decrease over time - if more or fewer users completed a step or not. 

Viewing the chart with percentages will tell you if that quantitative change is also a qualitative one - if the onboarding conversion also increased or decreased in time. 

The above images show that the number of users who started the onboarding process significantly increased, but the conversion rate actually decreased. This means that the new users that we brought into the app were of lower quality. 

2. The second element of this report is the aggregated funnel, which starts with the total number of users that create an account, and goes step-by-step toward the number of users who finished the onboarding process.  

For every step of the funnel you can see:

  • How many users dropped off at that step, and did not complete any of the following steps.
  • How many users continued to the next step. 
  • How many users skipped an onboarding step.

A large number of “ users who skipped the previous step” means that a large group of your users expected the onboarding process to flow differently than how you intended for it to flow.

This is the first indication that you should reconsider the order of the steps, or if that specific action is representative of a step or not. For some users, the way you think that the onboarding should flow does not make sense.

The onboarding steps should be represented by those mandatory actions that users need to perform in order to get to the promise of your app. They represent a linear funnel, not a branched funnel, letting users choose different paths. 

Still, users might have, after a specific step, the possibility to choose different options. These options should be tracked and analysed as actions that happen between steps, and not as steps, per se. 

You can see the impact of the actions that are performed between steps in this dedicated report: What actions do users perform between step [x] and the following one?

How to optimize the onboarding process?

This report will also detect the onboarding step where you are losing the most users automatically. This step is your biggest opportunity to fix your onboarding process. By focusing on mending a single problem,  you increase your chances of fixing or improving the issue, and have a major, positive impact on your overall onboarding process. You’ll also have the chance to see this impact within the trended funnel: an increase or decrease of users that perform this broken step. 

In most cases, it is not recommended to change the entire onboarding process (or large parts of it), because more often than not, it’s a time-consuming process, and you’ll end up with the same onboarding conversion rate, or an even worse rate. 

In order to learn how to fix or improve the step with the highest drop-off rate, you should analyze all of the actions that users are performing after this step by checking this report: What actions do users perform between step [x] and the following one?. This will give you the ammo you need to start an optimization campaign.

You can also check the time users spend between steps, in order to see if there is any unwanted blockage or jams (report: How long does it take to onboard new users?).

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