Onboarding Audit and Roadmapping Session

“Every time I think about onboarding emails I realize there’s another layer of complexity that I don’t understand.”

Sure, it may be true that your product is technically ready to go as soon as people verify their email…

…but you struggle to get customers to show up for the formal walk-through that will help them learn all of your features.

And sure, even though you know you should create a drip campaign to follow up with people who sign up but didn’t read your welcome guide, test out your features, or even sign into your product…

…it seems like no one in-house can agree on how many emails to send, what they should say, and when you should send them.

So every time you sit down to rewrite a landing page, optimize an email, or plot a new onboarding flow…

…you hear a voice in the back of your head telling you that you’re wasting time chipping away at tiny parts of a massive problem.

And that tiny voice is right.

Onboarding is a multi-horned beast — and you can’t tame a dragon one fireball at a time.

You’re tired of low free-to-paid conversion rates. But you’re not sure how to get your team on the same page. You’re not alone.

You might be testing. You might be researching. You might even be talking to users. But your leading indicators are lagging and your free-to-paid conversion rates are stagnating…and you might be wondering whether all those other companies bragging about their free to paid rates are full of it.

Here’s the thing: when it comes to onboarding, the biggest problem most organizations face isn’t a technical challenge — it’s an organizational challenge.

Because onboarding is hard to classify, it’s hard to tell who should be in charge of it.

After all: what *is* onboarding??

Is it a piece of the marketing funnel, and therefore part of the marketing team’s responsibilities?

Is it product education, and therefore the product team’s purview?

Is it the first step toward customer success, and therefore the job of a CSM?

If you have a team dedicated to guided onboarding, are they also in charge of getting people to pull out their credit cards and upgrade at the end of a trial?

Or maybe onboarding emails are the purview of one department, in-app messages belong to someone else, and a third team is in charge of designing tests. If that’s the case, how do you make sure everyone stays on the same page?

Who “owns” the customer experience during the first 7, 14, or 30 days?

Who is the captain of the onboarding ship?

The truth is that the job of helping new users get started can’t happen without a little bit of help from your whole team.

And that means you need buy-in from teams across your organization…

…which is easier said than done.

Even if your entire team says that they’re ready to put in the work to optimize your onboarding messaging…

…it can be hard to convince other departments to give you the data you need to do it

…it can be impossible to get buy-in when teams think that all you’re doing is “wordsmithing”

…and if you don’t have a culture of collecting and using voice of customer data and user research, you might face blank stares from colleagues who don’t understand why you need more than a few days notice for projects that could take a month.

Onboarding Roadmapping helps you step off the “project piecemeal treadmill” and start executing an actual strategy to help your customers get started.

You can build a plan yourself. You can schedule meetings, beg for data, and attempt to convince your colleagues to give you the latitude to run tests and the runway to get projects done — while still balancing all of your existing responsibilities.

Or you can get help.

You can let me be the bad guy.

You can let me be the one to insist on data, realistic timelines, and customer-driven onboarding.

You can let me give your team a research-backed strategy for helping your new users get started.

When you hire me to audit your onboarding and build a roadmap, here’s what I do:

  • Interview at least one stakeholder from product, marketing, customer success, and any other team involved with onboarding
  • Audit your toolset to see what you’re tracking, what you’re aren’t tracking correctly, and what you absolutely should be tracking
  • Put all of your customer research into a single central place and pinpoint missing gaps
  • Assemble your onboarding team task force so that everyone knows who’s in charge of QAing mails, who’s in charge of setting up triggers, and who’s in charge of syncing data so we know whether our campaigns are working
  • Prioritize your most painful onboarding problems and set a plan for starting to address them

What does that actually look like?

At the end of the audit, here’s what you get:

  • Custom strategic 90-day roadmap breaking down onboarding into 5~6 different research- and email-sprints
  • Defined roles for each member of your onboarding task force so that everyone knows who is responsible for what activities during onboarding
  • A single central dashboard with all of your customer research in NomNom, a customer feedback tool that you get 1 free month of access to with your audit ($200 value)

The audit is currently priced at $4899. It takes me between 3 and 4 weeks to complete. Then I present your final report and plan.

If you want, you can hire me to execute that plan.

Or you can hire someone, train them on your product, train them on conversion copywriting, and let them implement it for you.

Your call — after I present your plan, it’s yours.

What isn’t included?

This packaged service is a great way for you to learn more about why your new users give your product a try…

…and a great first step if you want me to come in and optimize your trial messaging.

But actually executing this plan happens later (and takes a lot more time).

To that end, there are several activities we’ll begin after the audit that aren’t included in this engagement. They include:

  • Writing your emails
  • Plotting your sequences
  • Conducting customer interviews (though I may ask you to transcribe recorded interviews you already have)
  • Pinpointing your customer success milestones or leading and lagging indicators (though I may uncover some initial hypotheses)
  • Reviewing or auditing your existing copy (though you can add a copy audit if you like)
  • Designing anything (though I can refer you to world-class designers)

Do I need you to do anything?

I’ll do most of the work. That said, this session is as much about setting a strategy as it is about defining the roles your team members will play in building and launching your onboarding email campaigns.

For your onboarding audit to be successful, you’ll need to:

  • Show up for your kickoff call
  • Add me as a user to several tools, including user behavior tracking tool, your customer ticketing software, your pre-sales support chat, your marketing automation software, and any other tools I request
  • Introduce me to your teammates and let them know that I want to hear from them in a 1-on-1 interview
  • Get audio files of existing customer interviews transcribed using Rev.com
  • Show up for your presentation call
  • Bring an open-minded attitude and be ready to learn from your customers.

Most importantly, you’ll need to do all of this by the deadline I specify.

I promise you this:

If you aren’t satisfied with your audit or roadmap for any reason, I’ll book you a consult with another SaaS onboarding expert for them to review the data we gathered and give you their opinion — and I’ll pay for it out of my own pocket.

That means if you’re not happy, you get to keep the data analysis and the plan I build for you — and get someone else’s opinion on it.

Is it time to stop spinning your onboarding wheels?

If you know you should be mapping the customer journey for new customers…

…and you need help figuring out how that journey begins

If you know that useful onboarding is one of the most important parts of customer success…

…and you know that the best way to get help is by working with someone who specializes in onboarding.

If you know that optimizing your trial is the key to turning strangers into customers…

…and you’re ready to finally start seeing those free to paid conversion rates go up.

Then it’s time to answer some tough questions. It’s time to stop guessing and actually know:

    • What makes one segment of your users more likely to upgrade than another
    • What your best prospects care about
    • How to set up a foundation for optimizing your onboarding as a single functioning unit — instead of optimizing a page here and there and hoping for the best
    • How to build out that strategy to get more free-to-paid conversions
  • When you’re going to undertake which onboarding projects
  • Who within your organization “owns” your SaaS trial 

If you knew the answer to these questions, might that feel…like a relief?

…like you don’t have a scary problem to hide from anymore?

…like you’re actually helping the people you got into this business to help?

Managing customer onboarding can be a challenge…

…but it’s one you can overcome.

If you’d like me to help you get buy-in to finally address onboarding, tell me a little bit more about you in this short inquiry form.👇

I want to start a proper onboarding strategy