How’s your on-boarding process?

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This is a topic that’s been front of mind for me recently. It is a genuine challenge for startups to quickly build a relationship with a customer to the point where the customer has that ‘bingo!’ moment. 


The moment where they see and experience the real value in your product.

When you pause to think about it, this has to be one of the most fundamental aspects of building a successful startup business.


It definitely feels to me like far too many young businesses rely on an email sequence to onboard customers. “How do you onboard customers?” is one of the key questions I would ask a founder, were I an investor. I think the response here would say a lot about how the business is operated.


I too have developed (what I would say is) a lovely email sequence to get new clients up to speed with working with me and the process we’ll go through. But is it really doing the best it can do to show them the value I deliver?


(Btw I have no problem with email – it’s incredibly effective in driving awareness and sales – but I think on-boarding can be improved using other channels).


What about your business? Is your on-boarding really good enough? If you’re signing up trialists, some of whom may eventually become incredibly valuable customers, are you taking the right approach?


Some of the things that have got me thinking about this more and more recently:

Opening the new book by Matt Lerner and reading the anecdote in the first chapter about how, while at PayPal, they realised they needed to provide a more human on-boarding experience for customers with high potential – adding $100m additional revenue in the process.


My recent experience with tech businesses and the lack of basic information they provide in their email comms.


My meeting this afternoon with the founder of  hppypeople who, refreshingly, prefers to onboard new trialists in person.

I guess the real risk with your on-boarding is the potential business you might lose. Lost potential business by not giving each new customer or trialist the very best chance of finding the joy you have built into your product or service.


Take a look at your stats. What % of new sign-ups stay with you beyond a certain point? Whatever this figure is, I am sure there’s room for improvement, right?

Can you segment your new sign-ups? Screen and qualify in order to at least channel those with the most potential in terms of lifetime value into a more ‘vip-style’ on-boarding experience?


Are you able to test your on-boarding experience by running some experiments with different pathways and seeing what results that brings?

Feels like a lot of good business is potentially being chucked away here.


What are your thoughts and experiences with on-boarding?

Would you like to learn how to run your own research?

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