Product Management

User Onboarding—What to Measure


Now that you have a solid understanding of user onboarding and have found your WOW moment, it’s time to get to work. Before optimizing your onboarding flow, it’s a good idea to take some measurements. In this post, we’ll cover simple things you can do to define and track your success.

Target KPI (your WOW moment)

Now that we know what our product’s WOW moment is, the first thing we want to know is how it’s doing. This one is pretty straight-forward: how many customers are completing this event? Make sure to record this data in an analytics provider like KISSmetrics so you can visualize the data later.

Since we’re planning to make this activity a crucial part of every user’s onboarding, our goal should be to see this number increase over time. To know whether or not your (assumed) WOW moment rings true with customers, try to get a significant number of users to complete that step before drawing conclusions.

Cohort engagement

Plain and simple: great customers have great user onboarding experiences. They’re more likely to use other parts of your product and stay engaged with it longer.

Overall product engagement should be a key success metric, and it’s best visualized as a cohort report. Make sure you have a strong understanding of how your WOW moment is affecting overall engagement, and be on the lookout for other actions that seem to be driving engagement up too. Your real WOW might not be what you first expect.

Lastly, be sure to remember when you made changes to your user onboarding flow so you can track how each cohort behaves over time.

KISSMetrics Cohort Reports are pretty sweet

Smoking guns

User onboarding doesn’t end with a credit card transaction. While you’re in the analytical mode, take the time to track and analyze behaviors you suspect are key to customer success. Here are a couple of non-obvious things of note:

Social factors

If you’re a B2B company, see if having more users in an account has a positive effect on metrics like churn, engagement and even evangelism. For consumer products, this would be the number of social connections (aka friends) a user has.

Customer experience

If your company offers amazing customer support, make that shine. Learn how interactions with support affect a customer’s behavior, and consider doing it proactively if you’re seeing positive gains.

Think outside the funnel

It’s easy to get caught up in analytics and conversion rate optimization, but it’s important to keep the end user in mind. Create an amazing user experience, one that excites, motivates and retains your customers. Once we’ve found our WOW moment and know our baseline, we can begin bringing that awesome experience to more customers, sooner in their user onboarding.

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

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