SaaS User Onboarding Checklist to Follow

A clear customer onboarding journey map is essential for any successful SaaS company. SaaS user onboarding, what are the mandatory SaaS onboarding (KPIs) key point indicators to be followed? Should it be customized based on your target audience? Can user engagement increase or decrease based on their onboarding experience?

SaaS user onboarding is the process of assisting the user to get started and stay engaged in your SaaS app. A series of steps or processes that aid in incorporating a SaaS product into the user routine as easily as possible.

A clear and perfect customer onboarding flow chart for your Saas company, an ideal checklist that should be made mandatory for better reach and growth. Understand the nuances of elevating customer success with the perfect onboarding checklists with the right SaaS onboarding metrics and provide a perfect customer onboarding plan. There are a number of factors that need to be considered when formulating a perfect onboarding checklist, and you will find all of it here.

SaaS user onboarding checklist – Importance

Providing customers with effective onboarding tools in SaaS will ensure that they stick around and become long-term customers. Understanding the importance of digital onboarding best practises will give you an edge that allows you to gain a competitive advantage.

SaaS user onboarding checklist will allow you to identify the loops in the onboarding process before it can cause major damage. First of all, you need to know the importance of providing the best user experience while the user onboards. This will have a great impact on the user and create an everlasting impression on the user experience.

As stated earlier, a perfect SaaS onboarding flow assures more successful customer experience. But as an added benefit to the perfect SaaS client onboarding process, there are certain benefits you reap with it and they are mentioned below.

  • Increases user confidence
    During the process of new customer onboarding, the user needs to feel confident while using it. When you offer the user with the knowledge for using the software during the onboarding process, it will reflect in the percentage increase of user satisfaction.
  • Less or no customer support
    Do you know the best byproduct of having a perfect SaaS onboarding checklist? Yes, it is the lesser burden on your customer support team. The perfect customer onboarding framework will give your customers less opportunity to get in touch with your customer support team. It frees up the team to focus on harder to solve problems and helps them keep up with the demand.
  • Faster product adaptability
    By having the perfect customer onboarding journey map you provide the user with an opportunity to become reliant on your software. Remember, users who trust your product more will stay on longer with you to become a loyal customer.
  • Less Churn
    If you are here checking the SaaS onboarding metrics, then you will definitely know about churn rate. The lesser the churn rate the better your user engagement. It is evident that satisfied customers are less likely to churn. Lesser churn rate is a clear indication of how satisfied your customer with the SaaS onboarding process.

Know the different stages of user onboarding to deliver the best experience

There are multiple stages of converting a user into a loyal customer. Irrespective of the onboarding experience, there are five stages in a complete customer onboarding process. Each stage is vital and it directly affects the SaaS onboarding KPIs. CATDF, the five imperative stages of any successful SaaS user onboarding guide.

  • Conversion
  • Action/Hook
  • Trial
  • Deployment
  • Feedback

These are the five stages, and the checklist must be crafted and followed to meticulously meet the requirements of these five stages. Keep in mind that CATDF is the initial checklist on any successful SaaS. Meet the requirement in each stage and eventually they will result in the best possible SaaS onboarding checklist ever compiled.

Checklist for Client onboarding in SaaS – Successful Strategy

Speaking in terms of digital onboarding best practices, there are small things that can have a great impact on the entire process. SaaS welcome email examples can easily make you understand it. The SaaS sign up flow allows you to make better emails and this plays a crucial part in user onboarding strategy.

This part of the article not only contains SaaS onboarding KPIs but also information and nuances about a successful customer onboarding. Get hold of product onboarding best practices that can revolutionize the entire operation.

Alright, now is the time to jump on the user onboarding checklist bandwagon, buckle up as the pace is about to increase drastically.


Be honest and answer this question, how many times have you exited the page or SaaS website looking at the long signup form? Well, you now understood the imperative reason for having a signup process in your checklist. While formulating a SaaS user onboarding strategy.

You may have the best SaaS product, effective and user engaging website but when the signup form is long, you cannot expect more users to signup. Thinking about this in the long term process, your website signup will eventually become null. New customer onboarding is always a critical part for any well established or new SaaS organization.

Check the signup form when you’re ready to get started and make sure that the SaaS sign up flow is perfect and not confusing the user at any point. Ask for information that is absolutely necessary, this will reduce the process of complexity and increase customer engagement with the user. The result, the user engagement and desired result.

A vital part of digital onboarding best practices is the ability to make signup forms easy and also there should be a touch of positive reinforcement along the way. Have a separate place for holding and displaying your social signup buttons. It is a good idea to increase signup rates and they are easy to use and are familiar to most users.

Make the best signup forms in each and every single step. Signups hold an inevitable place in SaaS onboarding checklist. Make sure that all the points are monitored and clear while launching your SaaS website.

Login Screen

The first step in converting users into loyal customers is the login screen. You should have definitely come across saying “first impression is the best impression”. It perfectly fits the case of a SaaS user onboarding guide. The impression of a login screen will be the first thing that

Your login screen holds an important SaaS onboarding metrics space, Make sure that the login screen is never empty and is presented with only the vital information for users to create login or signup in case of an existing account. Having an effective login screen can go a long way in customer onboarding journey map, it can capture user attention in a short span of time.

Make sure that before your SaaS website hits the digital spectrum, your login page is perfectly crafted. Always, start off with a welcome message, a special greeting and allow the customer to know that they mean more than just customers. Now, coming to the crucial part of any SaaS login page, the “LATER” button. Come on, guys, allow the user a choice to decide what they want, don’t push them into something.

Think from their perspective and you will understand what it is all about. In the words of the famous rapper Eminem, “walk in others shoes to understand the world from their eyes”. This will give you an opportunity to understand about both the sides of the coin.

Welcome Email

Don’t even think about selling your products in the welcome email. Never commit that mistake, it can prove to be costly. Make the welcome emails the beginning of their best experience with your SaaS store. Check, re-check and make sure that your welcome emails for new customer onboarding is not pushing them towards sales.

The welcome emails should be simple and crafted with utmost precision. It should guide the customers in their future journey. The primary focus of this email should be making the customer stick with your product. Before crafting a welcome email, keep this scenario in mind, what will you do when your loved one visits your house? You warmly welcome them or ask for their wallet?

A simple welcome message, a couple of lines about your SaaS product and finally a CTA button. It should be how your welcome email should look, nothing fancy or product promotion. Welcome emails as the name suggests is an opportunity to introduce yourself to the new user. Never sell anything in the welcome email, it will totally collapse the customer onboarding journey map.

Product Walk Through

One of the most important SaaS onboarding KPIs to lookout for is “Product Walkthrough”. This is the part where things will get serious, a place where you will make the user understand the concept of using your product. If your product walkthrough is designed perfectly then it will fetch you more loyal customers but if not then definitely things will start to go south.

A kind of holy grail, where new users are converted into loyal customers. Providing a perfect walkthrough consists of three imperative steps that can intensify the process. You have the opportunity to choose the best one that suits your user onboarding strategy.

  1. Walkthrough using short videos
  2. Walkthrough using online manual
  3. Step by step walkthrough using animation and screenshot GIFs of your product
  4. Interactive product walkthrough
  5. Use of Artificial Intelligence in Walkthrough

These methods are proven to be effective, but depending on the user onboarding guide you are planning to choose the best one. Understand the impact this part has in gaining loyal customers. The entire SaaS onboarding flow is heavily dependent on this particular part, if you make a small mistake here then it is downhill from there on.

Pro Tip:
Our in depth analysis about the nest onboarding method had a clear winner and that is “interactive content”. Majority of the digital space is following this and the engagement rate is astonishing. Just saying 🙂

Keep the product tour simple and don’t try to explain too much or all at once to the customer. It will result in boredom and users leaving you at a rapid pace. Provide the customers with only the essential information they need to know about the product.

Also, mentioned earlier, the interactive content type is gaining a lot of traction. So why not include a part for customers to interact with what you have provided in the product demo. This is confusing, isn’t it?, well let me put it this way.

Once the product walkthrough is finished, why not follow it with an interactive gaming quiz or simple task then will allow the user to evaluate their understanding about the product. You can also gamify the experience, give users a sense of progression, guide them in learning the product you are offering.

Guiding users in understanding your product better will offer them their “Eureka” moment in the journey of understanding.

Metrics and KPIs

Now, coming on to the most important SaaS onboarding KPIs that has the potential to change the way you encourage customers. When new customer onboarding is taking place then you need to look out for these metrics. In a customer onboarding flow chart, the metrics mentioned below hold top priority.

The SaaS client onboarding process is extremely beneficial.Become indispensable to the user and encourage the user to upgrade or just keep paying. For the perfect customer onboarding framework you need to know what is working and what isn’t. Know what the user is doing and how you can improve their experience.

The essential onboarding metrics are placed around

  • Frequency of user logins
  • Engaged time per session
  • Features user like and don’t

These are the must know factors for delivering the best experience for any new customer onboarding to your SaaS website.

Keep in mind that when it comes to customer success onboarding checklist the metrics and KPIs you follow will have a great impact on identifying the loops before going live. As mentioned earlier, the digital onboarding best practices revolve around these important metrics. Each step pushes towards delivering the best onboarding experience for every single user.

Completion Rate

As the name suggests, completion rate denotes the number of users who complete the onboarding process. Completion rate occupies an important place in SaaS onboarding KPIs.

Think about it for a minute, when the user starts to leave your SaaS app without even completing the onboarding process, then will there be any inclination revenue or business growth? The simple answer is no, the initial metric you “must” have in your checklist.

Make sure that the first step of your long journey is precisely placed. Know the exact number when it comes to completion rate, if it is low, find the reason for it. If the number is high, then put some effort into making it higher.
In the majority of the cases, if the completion rate is low, then it will be the result of an unnecessary complex signup process. So, make changes according to it and allow your customers to engage with your SaaS website and product. The first step is SaaS sign up flow and it needs to be completely in accordance with complete SaaS onboarding flow. There are some bad SaaS onboarding examples out in the market, make sure that you never commit any such hideous crime while welcoming a user into your spectrum.

Completion Time

Time taken to complete the entire onboarding process. Before you make a mark in the digital space, you need to know the time taken to complete your entire onboarding process. Think of it as the beginning of a better customer onboarding framework.

It is simple, when your completion time is higher then eventually the user onboarding process is tedious and boring for a customer. Make it engaging and interesting, a crisp and short onboarding process will kindle your user customer curiosity. Be sure that only the essential and mandatory information is provided in the onboarding stages. While planning user onboarding strategy, you need to allocate a separate section for this.

Before you make the move towards digital onboarding, check the time it takes to complete the entire onboarding process. Ask the question “will a user be willing to spend such time onboarding?” answer this question honestly and it can be a revelation in the onboarding process.

Usage Time

Your onboarding process is errorless and completely engages your customer. Now comes the crucial question, “how long do your users use your application? Are the users using it more and more or it is a steady declining graph?”

When the usage time is low, it clearly indicates that the users are feeling that they are deriving any benefits from the service. You need to monitor it and find the reason for it. Usually, a check-in email or message or an in-app notification might help get them back on track.

Make sure that usage time is often checked and is on the higher side always. When the usage time starts to drop, then it is time for you to take drastic action for rectifying it. Be sure that you are in constant connection with your customer in understanding the requirement for making the process much easier and user engaging.

Time to Value

This particular SaaS onboarding KPI is closely related to completion rate and time, which we will discuss in the next section. How long does it take for the user to get from your service what they installed it or logged into it for? Shorter and more effective onboarding can help users achieve this value sooner and without being overwhelmed with information that they don’t immediately need.

In a SaaS environment, time to value is important. They determine whether the user is providing enough attention to your service and products. When planning a SaaS client onboarding process you need to check the time a user spends on our platform. This will be a crucial factor in planning for the future progress of the organisation.

DAU – Daily Active Users
Daily active users, a much needed and vital SaaS KPI in both website handling and onboarding checklist. The number of DAU must be always on the positive side and it should increase at a steady pace.

Plan a proper schedule for checking your daily active users and make it an important task to monitor the reason for decline, if it happens. If there is a decline in daily active users count then you need to identify the reason for the drop. If the DAU is left unnoticed then it will definitely lead to the decline in your onboarding process as well as audience engagement rate.

A clear customer onboarding journey map must include a special place for identifying DAU. There are some exceptionally performing tools in SaaS space which help in determining the DAU without much effort.

Remember, when you can measure something, then you have the opportunity to improve it. Therefore make a clear SaaS onboarding schedule including the checklist for daily active users.

Progress Bar

The best example of small things making drastic improvement. A progres bar will allow customers to know the distance to their destination. As a digital user you should have noticed a progress bar while onboarding on a platform. The progress bar can be a graphical representation or a percentage bar but they should function properly and should not distract or mislead the user.

This metric holds an important place in customer success onboarding checklists. Checklist for onboarding will include a progress bar and there are certain conditions where the progress bar will encourage the customer to finish the entire process. While onboarding, the user will find it time consuming to complete the entire process, but with the progress bar you will let the customer know that they are close and a couple of steps away.

Chat Support

In recent times, there is a drastic increase in the use of AI chatbots. Have you ever given a thought about using them in assisting a customer while onboarding? Well, think about it now. If you have implemented an AI for chat support then you should check if the chatbot is working perfectly.

If you think from a customer perspective then you will get a set of questions that are required to be answered for making the onboarding process easier. For example, a user onboarding guide will be in need of explanation in certain areas. Instead of using resources for it, why not make use of the AI chatbot technology.

A clear indication of the recent market growth indicates that chats during the onboarding stage will allow users to be more interactive and it increases audience engagement.

Retention Metrics

You should measure retention within time periods to give you an idea of why customers churn. If you lose most of your customers during the first week of onboarding, you may consider tweaking your welcome messages and enticing new users to sign on quicker.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Your NPS gauges customer loyalty by how likely your customers would be to recommend your service to another person. Consequently, it’s the customer feedback survey that is most closely correlated with revenue because very few things will impact your business like a customer referral.

Supporting Documents

Manuals are the primary source of educating a customer about what you are offering to them. A clear SaaS user onboarding guide will have a great impact when compared to any other resource. But it needs to be short and informative. There are clear indications that supporting documentation will increase audience engagement and number of users onboarding too.

An interactive product walkthrough is short and simple but sometimes users might need something long and comprehensive to fully understand a function, so provide them with it. Having in-depth documentation for users in need will harm no one.

Option to Exit

Check if you have provided the user with an option to save the progress and exit in the middle of the process. This act with respect to user convenience, you are giving them an option to continue the process at the time of their convenience. It increases the trust and credibility factor for your SaaS product or service among the large audience base.

This criteria needs to be satisfied when you are performing the final checks before launching into the web. There are numerous factors in play and this is one of the main SaaS onboarding KPIs that can fetch you a loyal customer and a lifelong user.

Analysis of client onboarding checklist

By now, you will have a clear understanding of the customer onboarding flow chart. An in depth analysis of the checklist will allow you to know and identify new SaaS onboarding KPIs and metrics that can change the way you perceive the process. A perfect customer onboarding plan should touch all the bases and must be perfect in every aspect of the onboarding process. With all the SaaS onboarding metrics in the checklist, you need to analyze their performance.

The moment you start analyzing a checklist, you will definitely stubble upon hidden gems that can be added to your initial checklist. There are numerous options available when it comes to enhancing your onboarding checklist. But there are certain points that need to be kept in mind when you are planning on delivering the best onboarding experience.

Focus on these points to make the best of your onboarding checklist.

  • Preparation of necessary onboarding materials
  • Automated email sequence
  • In-app tips setup
  • Simple and intuitive process
  • Never overwhelm users
  • Schedule an onboarding call
  • Understanding your target audience
  • Clear expectations
  • Deliver the value
  • Constant communication
  • Customer centric targets
  • Seek to impress
  • Measuring the success of onboarding

These points should be the primary focus of your SaaS customer onboarding flow chart. A clear, confident user experience is required to make the best out of everything. A proper checklist will allow you to maximize the way you are working with your customer in increasing the revenue. Make every single one of your onboarding processes easy and special from a user perspective. With a clear structure and ease of use onboarding process, the process is effective in converting users into loyal customers.

Best Onboarding checklist tools

Creating a perfect customer user onboarding guide requires a ton of effort and it can be burned some at time. Therefore to make the onboarding process easier and checklist effective there are some tools in the market. We have some of the best performing tools that can assist you and deliver the best customer onboarding journey map.

  • Email Onboarding – Intercom
  • UserGuiding
  • Shepher.js

Apart from these tools there are some simple yet extremely effective platforms that revolutionize the way you onboard users. Some of the best performing platforms are

  • Inline Manual
  • Walkme
  • Nickelled
  • Evergage
  • Userpilot
  • Appcues
  • Auth0
  • Hopscotch
  • WhatFix

Make use of these platforms and tools if you are looking for some additional help. There are numerous methods which you can use to identify the perfect checklist for delivering the best user experience from every single aspect. Make the customer feel at home and never fail to engage them at every opportunity you get.

Final Words on Onboarding Checklist

Remember, customer onboarding is not initiated when someone purchases a product, but when a potential customer comes in contact with your brand. You have the best SaaS KPIs and follow a rigorous customer onboarding flow chart but the moment you fail to treat a potential customer as a loyal customer, you start to go backwards. Every single encounter you come across is an opportunity to gather audience information to create an effective onboarding experience.

Be determined to build a seamless experience at every single touch point. Take the time to align with your marketing, sales, and service teams, always keeping the customer at the center of your efforts.

Author Bio
Balaji Venkatesan 
Balaji Venkatesan
Passionate and Experienced Content Writer with a keen interest in technology. Interested in amalgamating words and technology for better and simple understanding. Strong communication and goal-oriented individual with an eye for detail. Always curious and happy to learn new things. Blockchain Enthusiast|WordPress Learner|SaaS Environment|Cryptocurrency Follower|eCommerce product Enthusiast