Yotpo's growth team created onboarding flows that have increased new user engagement (42%), new feature adoption (300%), and retention rates (50%), directly contributing to the company's growth.
Yotpo is one of Israel's fastest-growing tech companies. Their goal is to help businesses use what real customers are saying to build trust and drive growth.
Over the last six years, the company has explored different channels and partnerships to create an easy-to-use, trustworthy platform for user-generated content. They help over 200K online businesses generate and use content like customer reviews, photos and Q&A, to grow their own companies.
Recently, Yotpo's growth team turned their focus to getting new users to understand the product and keep coming back for more. We spoke to Omer Linhard & Yoav Aziz from Yotpo's growth team to find out how they're driving product adoption.
By testing different onboarding flows, Yotpo saw incredible results:
Greater engagement: The number of unique new users generating reviews grew by over 42%.
Increased feature adoption: After launching a flow to show users how to install their reviews tab, they saw installation numbers for that feature grow by around 300%.
Improved retention: 1-week new user retention grew by 50% and 2-week retention grew by over 60%
Yotpo increased the number of activated users and grew retention by showing users how to be successful with their product. Here's how they identified problems and opportunities, how they implemented new onboarding flows, and their impressive user activation and retention results.
1. Identifying problems and opportunities
Omer and Yoav have been sharply focused on growing the number of “activated” users. For them, this means getting new users to quickly see the value of their UGC platform, and build habits to keep using it on a regular basis.
Their guiding metric? Increasing the number of activated users—even more important, they said, than revenue. When users saw the value, they knew that the revenue would follow. The first challenge was getting them hooked.
For this reason, the team started thinking about their onboarding process.
“We watched a lot of videos inside of the product and saw that users were completing the installation inside the admin and then they were lost. Completely lost... There was no one to guide them and they would leave.”
They knew some things were broken, and saw two main problems:
After installing Yotpo, users would land on the admin page and not know what to do next. The team suspected that users didn't know what initial steps to take to start monitoring and showcasing user reviews.
Feature adoption was low. The team believed that the features' names alone weren't descriptive enough to show their value.
Around the same time they were thinking about these growth experiments, Yotpo was planning to release a self-service plan that would enhance their free product and create a dedicated plan for growing self-service stores. Since there wouldn't be a salesperson holding the user's hand, getting them to quickly see Yotpo's use cases from the product alone was critical.
“We understood that there were problems with the UX and with the onboarding itself—so we understood how important it was to quickly fix those UX problems with a good in-app guidance tool.”
There were a few considerations that the team had to take before they started experimenting:
They needed to use a flexible tool that would allow them to test out flows without actually writing any code into the product.
It was important for them to be able to easily share the data on users' activity to different internal teams, like marketing and engineering. Integrations with tools like Segment could really help with this.
The team chose to use Appcues to start building their onboarding flows so that they could test whether better onboarding would really help them improve product adoption.
2. Testing Onboarding Flows
Though there are tried-and-true user onboarding best practices that can guide testing, the best onboarding process is going to be unique to a company and its users. That's why it's so important to test different flows and measure changes in user retention and engagement. These results can then help the product and engineering teams validate which flows to code into the product to drive the greatest product adoption.
This was Yotpo's approach—and they knew exactly where to start. The growth team saw from watching FullStory session replays that users didn't know what to do immediately after they installed the product. They saw confused clicking and erratic navigation—users had no idea what was going on.
“The first problem to tackle was giving our users clear guidance for their next action.”
By launching a new welcome flow, the team wanted to solve this problem by giving users immediate steps to follow that would show them exactly how to use the product.
Designing this new welcome flow forced the team to really define what they meant by “activation.” They defined an “activated user” as someone who had both installed Yotpo's review widget on their site, and generated at least one review.
With this in mind, the team could craft a welcome flow that directly led users to complete these two actions. They used a combination of in-app and out-of-app onboarding techniques.
Here's Yotpo's first-run user onboarding flow:
In addition to creating an onboarding sequence and tooltips that the user could follow in the product, the team created emails that users would get after leaving the app that would encourage them to reach their milestone.
They connected the Appcues onboarding flow to Customer.io with the help of Segment, and were able to trigger emails to users based on where they were in the in-app onboarding flow.
This ensured that users got the most relevant emails at the most opportune times. The Yotpo growth team saw that about 70% of users completed the onboarding flow when they created this new sequence.
“Once we saw that we were getting amazing completion rates of 70%—or more—just for the onboarding flow, we started creating flows for all of the major features.”
The success of this welcome flow validated the team's efforts to overhaul their onboarding. Next, they started adding flows for other actions and milestones.
They created flows to show users how to use all major product features. Each flow would trigger when a new user hit the appropriate page, or when they accessed it via Appcues' embeddable flow library:
They also created mini-tours of the product that customer service could send to inquiring users before they even got on calls with them. These helped reduce the amount of support required to answer common questions.
One of the most successful new flows that they created was to help the finance department. The flow was triggered when customers were overdue on paying their monthly bill. When customers were reminded to pay their bill with this sequence, the team saw that almost 68% of overdue users paid their bill that day. This is a huge step towards increasing retention, because according to SaaS pricing consultancy Price Intelligently, as much as 20-40% of user churn is from delinquent credit cards.
The team even surprised themselves with some of their results. For instance, they recently added a new last step to their welcome flow which prompted users to upgrade their plan. They saw that these brand new users, who had only been in the product for about 7 minutes, were actually clicking to upgrade at a rate of about 1 new user every day. The team suspected that after being guided through everything, these users felt confident upgrading right away because they understood how helpful the product would be.
These new flows were a huge breakthrough moment for the team. Before, the only way to engage new customers had been through email, which most users didn't even open up. Now, they could target customers directly when they were using the product, in the right context, with the most relevant advice.
3. Results in user activation and retention
Creating a strong definition of user activation and crafting onboarding flows around specific milestones helped Yotpo see enormous results from their new onboarding flows for self-serve users. We've broken down their results below:
After launching their new welcome flow, the team saw 1-week new user retention grow by 50% and 2-week retention grow by over 60%. These numbers refer to the number of people coming back after 1 and 2 weeks.
The number of unique new users generating reviews grew by over 40%.
After launching a flow to show users how to install their star ratings feature, they saw installation numbers for that feature grow by 45%.
After launching a flow to show users how to install their reviews tab, they saw installation numbers for that feature grow by around 300%.
The number of active users visiting 2 days a week increased by 30%. They also saw increases in number of users visiting 3 days a week and 4 days a week.
These stellar results haven't just improved product adoption—they've given the team some critical takeaways.
For one, the team saw that better user onboarding wasn't just bringing in more customers. It was bringing in valuable and “addicted” customers who were eager to learn and use the product.
The results also helped to validate the value of onboarding to the entire team. These quantitative results, in addition to the qualitative session replays that showed smooth user movement throughout the product, demonstrated that these flows were making a huge different to users' success. Without Appcues, Omer Linhard said, “activation would decrease dramatically, which would impact revenue and lead generation.”
The next step is to make these onboarding flows permanent parts of the product. The growth team is now working with the development team to code these flows into the product itself. Thanks to the tangible improvements that the growth team demonstrated, this has become a priority because the entire team can understand what a difference onboarding makes.
Eric heads up Marketing at Appcues. When he isn't helping companies become more product-led, he’s likely to be found keeping up with his wife and 2 children, exploring the White Mountains with his dog Barley, or fermenting things at home.