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In-Product Experiences That Drive Adoption, Onboarding, and Retention

If you’re a product leader or manager tasked with improving the product experience, you need to dig deep. To build long-term growth, you can’t just create a stellar product and walk away. You need to drive deeper product adoption, faster onboarding, and long-term retention.

We’re here to help you craft a product experience that enhances every level of your product. In this article, we reveal the secrets to driving onboarding, adoption, retention, and an in-product experience to elevate your product growth.

Why Your In-Product Experience Is Important

If you want to grow your product, enhancing the in-product experience isn’t just important—it’s your secret weapon. With a more competitive SaaS landscape than ever, you have to rely on an ever-improving user experience to grow. After all, according to Gartner, 85% of organizations have already adopted or plan to adopt a product-centric delivery model.

In addition to giving you a competitive edge, improving the product experience also drives upsells, cross-sells, and higher retention—all of which are cornerstones to growth in an industry that relies on trials and subscriptions to operate. What’s more, an excellent in-product experience reduces the amount of money and energy you spend on reaching new customers. Instead, you can focus attention on users who are already enjoying your product.

Where To Focus Your In-Product Experience Efforts

So, where should you be spending your time and energy? There are two magic numbers you’ll want to keep in front of you if you want to boost your product’s success:

  1. Time to value describes how long it takes before your users discover value in your product. The faster you can onboard users and get them to engage with the features they’re looking for, the sooner your company will see a return on that investment. That’s why quick onboarding and thorough product adoption are such important pieces of your product’s growth.
  2. Net dollar retention measures how much recurring revenue, increased income, churn, and paused business you’re getting from your solid customer base. You can boost net dollar retention by building a user experience that proves value early, increases upsells, and keeps users happy with your product for the long haul.

How To Perfect Your In-Product Experience

Ready to upgrade your onboarding, adoption, and retention efforts? Here are a few ways to improve your in-product experience:

Accelerate onboarding with product qualified leads. 

Companies have long been obsessed with traditional marketing and sales qualified leads. But there’s a better way to draw in new customers in the SaaS world: product qualified leads. These are leads who have already proven that they’re interested in using your product or making a purchase.

This approach chops down the time and energy you waste on leads who aren’t right for your product. Additionally, it speeds up the onboarding process and accelerates time to value by bringing in new users who you already know are ready to use your product.

Boost adoption and onboarding through a persona deep dive.

One major key to onboarding and adoption is understanding your personas along with their objectives. In-product data can be a major boost here.

For instance, if you dig into behavioral data and see new users are moving through sticky features slower than power users, there may be onboarding holes. In this case, you may want to add checklists, guides, or educational materials to help new users reach their objectives.

Identify expectation gaps and build bridges.

Mismatched expectations can sabotage your onboarding, adoption, and retention goals. Whether you’re trying to bring on new users, keep users engaged, or drive long-term users, narrowing the gap between expectations and experience is important.

How do you do it?

One great way to thin down the gap is embedding customer feedback loops into your product experience. This will put your finger on the pulse of users and their evolving expectations. From there, you’ll have the raw materials to fill in any gaps you identify.

Map your users’ path to enhance the full product experience. 

One of the best ways to increase adoption and retention is to learn from your users. By tracking your users’ path through in-product analysis, such as path analysis, you can spot where people are tripping up on the way to sticky features. From there, increasing adoption and retention is as easy as spotting and eliminating the barriers standing between users and your product’s best features.

For instance, imagine you examine user paths and see users are taking extra steps to reach a feature that should be picked up in a few clicks. In this case, you may decide to drop in an in-app engagement or guide to let the user know there’s an easier way. Every little improvement can end up enriching the experience, driving engagement, and keeping users logged in longer.

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