In this post we explore everything you need to know about multi-step onboarding flows with Webflow! The different types of flows, pros and cons, choosing your questions and a whole bunch more!
High Converting Multi-Step Onboarding Flows with Webflow
If you're building a web application or digital product, you'll know how critical the onboarding process is for user retention and engagement. Creating a high-converting onboarding flow is a delicate balance between asking for enough information to personalize the experience, without overwhelming the user. In this blog post, we'll dive into multi-step onboarding flows, focusing on how you can implement these using Webflow.
The Different Types of Onboarding Flows with Pros and Cons
Interactive, Multi-step Onboarding
This method involves taking users through a series of steps, often with interactive elements, to collect data and provide instruction. A new user is guided through a series of dialog boxes where they input their name, preferences, and goals before accessing the main dashboard.
Pros: Provides detailed guidance; captures necessary data in small chunks.
Cons: Can be long; may overwhelm users if poorly designed.
This approach provides contextual information or tips precisely when a user might need them while navigating the system. As a user hovers over a complex feature for the first time, a tooltip appears explaining its function and offering a link to a tutorial.
Pros: Offers information when the user needs it; less overwhelming.
Cons: May lack the structure some users need to understand the system fully.
This style incorporates videos that introduce key features or offer how-to guides. Upon first login, a short welcome video auto-plays to highlight the main features and benefits of the platform.
Pros: Easy to consume; visually engaging.
Cons: Limited interactivity; not ideal for complex systems.
Offers users a limited time to explore the full or partial features of the service, often followed by a prompt to subscribe. A premium news website providing 14-day free access to all articles and then encouraging users to subscribe for continued access.
Pros: Low user risk; great conversion opportunity.
Cons: Can encourage churn; resource intensive.
In this method, users receive a series of emails over time, guiding them through various features and best practices. After signing up, the user receives a sequence of emails over two weeks, each explaining a different feature or providing tips for effective use.
Pros: Allows users to onboard at their own pace; can be highly personalized.
Cons: Dependent on users checking email; risk of going to spam.
This method includes a variety of self-help resources like FAQs, documentation, and forums that allow users to onboard themselves. After completing the signup, users are directed to a resources page filled with FAQs, video tutorials, and documentation for self-guided learning.
Pros: Enables users to find answers independently; reduces support costs.
Cons: May lead to user frustration if not well-organized.
The Anatomy of a Good Onboarding Flow
The overarching goal of an onboarding flow is to smoothly transition new users from the point of entry to effective, satisfied usage of your product or service. During this critical phase, you aim to eliminate any friction or uncertainties that could hinder user engagement. A well-designed onboarding process educates users about the core functionalities of your offering, while also collecting essential data to personalize and enhance their experience.
Ultimately, the onboarding flow should build a strong foundation for a long-lasting relationship between the user and the product, fostering both immediate engagement and long-term retention.
Key Elements of a Good Onboarding Flow
Short, Concise Questions
Asking short and straightforward questions at the onset is crucial for keeping users engaged. These questions should be designed to gather the most pertinent information without overloading the user. For example, rather than a lengthy form asking for multiple aspects of a user's profile, you might begin with essential data points like name, email, and the specific problem they're looking to solve.
A welcome page is often the first interaction a user has with your product after signup. Here, you should provide a brief overview of what the product does and what the user can expect in their onboarding journey.
The data you collect during the onboarding can be instrumental in offering a tailored experience. For instance, if you're running a fitness app and the user indicates they're interested in weight loss, their dashboard could highlight features and content related to that goal.
Progress Bars or Indicator
Providing visual indicators of how far a user has come in the onboarding process can serve as a powerful psychological tool. A progress bar creates a sense of achievement and encourages users to complete the process. For example, after the user sets up their profile, a progress bar could show that they're 30% done with the onboarding, enticing them to continue.
For more complex platforms, interactive walkthroughs can be invaluable. These are step-by-step guides that take users through the essential functions of the app or site. For instance, in a project management software, an interactive guide could walk the user through creating their first project, inviting team members, and setting milestones.
By paying attention to these elements, you can create an onboarding flow that not only guides users through the necessary steps but also fosters a sense of achievement and personalization. The result is higher engagement, improved user satisfaction, and ultimately, better conversion rates.
Choosing Your Onboarding Questions
The questions you pose during the onboarding process serve a dual purpose: they help in personalizing the user experience and provide valuable data for your company's analytics. Crafting the right questions can equip you with insights for customer segmentation and targeted marketing down the road.
Example: A Pet Food Company
If you're running a pet food company, the types of questions you may want to ask during the onboarding include:
What type of pet do you have? (Dog, Cat, Fish, etc.)
- Does your pet have any dietary restrictions or allergies?
- How frequently do you buy pet food?
- Do you prefer dry food, wet food, or a mix?
These questions not only inform the company about product preferences but also aid in segmenting the customer base for future promotions or new product launches.
Number of Questions
It's essential to strike a balance with the number of questions in your onboarding flow. Too few may result in insufficient data for meaningful personalization, while too many can overwhelm the user and increase dropout rates.
Types of Questions
Depending on your goals, you might include a variety of question types:
- Product-related Questions: These help you understand how a user intends to interact with your product. For example, asking "What is your primary goal with our service?" can provide actionable insights.
- Marketing-related Questions: Understanding how the user discovered your product can inform your marketing strategies. Questions like "How did you hear about us?" are typical here.
- Purchase Intent Questions: These help gauge how likely a user is to become a paying customer. Questions like "How soon are you looking to make a purchase?" can help in this regard.
- Demographic Questions: These questions collect basic information like age, gender, location, or occupation. This data can be useful for understanding the general profile of your user base and tailoring marketing strategies accordingly. For example, "In which industry do you work?" or "What is your age group?"
- Technical Proficiency Questions: Understanding a user's comfort level with technology can help you tailor the onboarding experience to meet their needs. For instance, asking, "How would you rate your technical skills?" can inform whether to offer a simplified or more advanced onboarding process.
- Psychographic Questions: These delve into the attitudes, values, and lifestyles of users. Questions like, "What's most important to you when choosing a product like ours?" can give you insights into what your customers truly care about.
By carefully selecting your onboarding questions, you can collect information vital for both user experience enhancement and business analytics. The key is to align the questions closely with your broader business objectives, ensuring that each question serves a specific, strategic purpose.
Creating a Multi-Step Onboarding Flow in Webflow: An Overview
Without a Template
- Design Elements: Use Webflow's Designer to draft the essential elements of each onboarding step, possibly utilizing modals to separate each stage of the process.
- Form Fields: Add various form fields such as text inputs, checkboxes, or dropdowns to collect user data.
- Conditional Visibility: Set conditions to dynamically display each step or modal based on user actions.
- Interaction Triggers: Add triggers like button clicks to transition between steps or modals.
- Data Configuration: Ensure data fields are set up for efficient collection and analysis.
- Publish and Test: Make your onboarding flow live and perform rigorous testing to ensure it operates as expected.
With a Template
- Template Selection: Pick a Webflow template that includes an onboarding flow or a similar multi-step process.
- Template Customization: Adapt the template in the Webflow Designer, altering its steps or modals as needed.
- Modify Form Fields: Replace or customize the form fields in the template to align with your specific data collection needs.
- Update Conditional Visibility: Ensure that the template's conditional rules match your onboarding steps, including the use of modals if applicable.
- Interaction Triggers: Review and, if necessary, modify the interaction triggers that move the user between steps or modals.
- Data Configuration: Similar to the custom approach, check that all data fields are correctly labeled for data collection and analysis.
- Publish and Test: Once you've modified the template to your satisfaction, publish it and run tests to ensure it functions as intended.
Both the custom and template-based methods offer robust customization capabilities, including the use of modals for a cleaner, less disruptive onboarding experience. Choose the approach that best aligns with your project needs and expertise level.
What to Do After Onboarding
The onboarding process is just the first step in the user's journey with your product or service. What follows is equally crucial in retaining customers and ensuring they make the most out of what you offer. Here's what to focus on post-onboarding:
Once a user has completed the onboarding process, they'll typically land on the main dashboard. Make this experience as intuitive as possible. Clear layout, simple navigation menus, and quick access to help or tutorials can make a world of difference in user retention and satisfaction.
The use of tooltips can further smooth the transition from the onboarding process to actual usage. These small informational pop-ups can guide the user through various dashboard features, explaining what each function does and how to use it. Tooltips can be set to appear on hover or click, offering just-in-time information without overwhelming the user.
Some users may require a more in-depth explanation of certain features. Offering tutorials—whether video or written—accessible from the dashboard can provide a more detailed guide to your product. These tutorials can be modular, allowing users to pick and choose what they want to learn more about.
Email Targeting for Inactivity
Despite a successful onboarding process, some users may not immediately engage with your product. In these cases, automated email targeting can play a crucial role. If a user has signed up, completed the first task but then not returned, an automated email can be sent to re-engage them. The email might offer tips on how to get the most out of your product, remind them of unfinished tasks, or provide incentives like discounts or premium features for free for a limited time.
Examples of Good Onboarding Flows
Here are some great examples of user onboarding flows that showcase some of the tips included above:
Onboarding with Grammarly begins with a form asking about what goals you have with your writing.
It then asks demographic questions based on what your answer to the first question was – a strategy that can help develop much more precise personalization to the further aspects of the onboarding process.
One extremely interesting facet of the onboarding process is a question asking about the users familiarity with generative AI tools (like ChatGPT). This aligns with other advertisements on their homepage highlighting a new generative AI writing tool. Embedding this question in the onboarding clearly associates the product with the new tool from the first introduction.
At the end of the onboarding flow, the user must select between downloading a desktop application or a Chrome extension – the specific options relating to choices you made earlier in the flow.
This is a great example of how an onboarding flow can be used to learn about your customer and to provide an experience tailored to their specific needs.
At Memberstack, our onboarding process is directly linked to actions that we need our new users to take from their first signing up to our site. When you sign-up for an account, the first thing you see is a modal that tells you to create an app (with a name and some important technical information about how you plan to use the software).
Once you’ve done this, we then include a quick tutorial of how to get started, and a checklist of things to do to get started and a progress bar tracking how much has been done.
The onboarding form for Webflow begins with the typical suite of questions about how you plan to use their platform. This is especially important for Webflow, given the wide variety of potential uses that are available to users.
The onboarding form also provides opportunities for variations in the way products are sold to people. Webflow offers discounts on memberships for students, and so the onboarding form provides a space for them to segment you into that bucket from the beginning.
Once you complete this form, you are immediately put into a design environment as popups give you a tutorial of key features. This is a powerful way to ensure that all users immediately know the basics of how the editor works.
The onboarding form for Duolingo is especially unique and effective because of the way that it encourages users to create an account. Before ever inputting an email or password, the app asks you the language that you want to learn.
The form then asks a series of questions that provide demographic and psychographic information about who the potential user is.
The only mention of an actual signup is here – where it is framed as a suggestion as opposed to a requirement. After this, the app moves you directly into a Duolingo session in your selected language.
This is so unique because it enables users to see exactly how the product works without needing to make a commitment to it. The idea is to get people hooked so that they actively make the choice to stick around as opposed to just making an account because it is the thing that must be done.
This model wouldn’t work for all companies, but it does highlight the interesting possibilities of an onboarding session.
Clonables to Get Your Onboarding Form Started
Here are two cloneables that you can use to get
Multi-Step Onboarding Form
This three-onboarding form takes down key demographic information about the user signing up and ends on a form where an email and password are inputted. These forms can be modified to fit your needs and can be extended based on the things that you want to include.
Three-Step Onboarding Flow
This form does many of the same things as the form above – although it uses a column design instead of a modal. This cloneable also provides the opportunity to upload key profile information from the very beginning, including a company name and a profile picture.
The onboarding process is more than just a formality; it's the critical first impression that sets the tone for your entire relationship with a user. From selecting the type of onboarding flow that best suits your product to carefully crafting the questions that will guide user segmentation and experience, every choice matters. Whether you opt for a multi-step interactive approach, a free trial, or even gamified onboarding, the goal remains the same: to provide users with the best possible start to their journey with your service.
And remember, the onboarding process doesn't end once the user completes the initial steps. Dashboard navigation, tooltips, tutorials, and targeted emails all play a crucial role in keeping the user engaged and setting them up for long-term success. Luckily, tools like Webflow make it easier than ever to implement these elements, with various cloneable templates available to accelerate your design process.