Building a Product for Product Adoption


The history of the Appcues product has been one of constant evolution. We believe in listening to our customers, eating our own cooking, and striving to build things people actually want (and love).

Through doing that, we continually discover new ways that we can help others create products their users love. What started as a simple tool for in-app modals expanded into a solution for onboarding, then further into user activation.

Now we see an even broader need for users throughout the entire product lifecycle—the need to improve product adoption for today’s fastest growing software businesses. 

Why product adoption?

As we talked with customers, we found the biggest bottleneck isn’t acquiring leads, it’s getting them to adopt your product.

Marketing can treat each of us like a special snowflake, but once we’re in the product, we’re all treated exactly the same.

It was obvious when we looked at their funnels. Significant marketing effort was being spent on acquiring new users, while the biggest point of leverage, the product, was largely ignored.

Acquisition vs adoption

Most companies waste 50–80% of new signups

And it’s not just volume, it’s quality too. Using data and sophisticated tools, marketing can treat each of us like a special snowflake, but once we’re in the product, we’re all treated exactly the same. Today’s marketing teams can deliver personalized, enjoyable experiences throughout a prospect’s entire lifecycle.

Why can’t product teams do the same for customers?

Building it the Appcues way

You don’t need to be a designer to know that higher product adoption is an outcome of a great user experience. Pretty early on, we discovered that the recipe to great user experiences could be boiled down to just three things:

  1. The ability to create beautiful, native-looking user interfaces.
  2. A way to personalize what each person sees.
  3. Feedback on how to improve #1 and #2.

Of course, building that all at once just isn’t the Appcues way—we validate the $%#* out of everything. Instead, we staged each piece as an MVP (minimum viable product) where each builds on the last to create a platform.


A lean platform is composed of MVPs that not just complement, they improve each other.

In April, we rolled out a brand new visual editor as part of Appcues 2.0 to let you build the interface of your dreams. This summer, we shipped improvements to targeting and segmentation to make personalization easy and limitless.

Now with Goals, you can see exactly how your Appcues flows affect the business KPIs you care most about.

Goals results.png

Know exactly how your experiments affect activation, retention and anything else you care about.

Changing the way products are built

The innovations that changed the marketing software landscape these last 10 years are finally extending to the entire user lifecycle, resulting in an overall better user experience. Adoption has long been a top-level KPI for today’s fastest growing, product-led software businesses—companies like Facebook, Slack and Trello—and Appcues now makes it accessible to everyone.

And like with everything else Appcues builds, you don’t need to be a developer or designer to use Appcues (though you’ll certainly feel like one while you are).

This is the next frontier for software businesses, and it’s obvious when we look at the history, bottlenecks, and technology available to us today.

So join the conversation, join the movement. Appcues is already changing the way hundreds (soon thousands) of software products are built and experienced, and we want you to be a part of that.

Software engineer from Hawaii. Majored in Journalism. Passionate about building Appcues and helping real people.

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