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Why your onboarding and signup sucks

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March 18, 2021
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Why your onboarding and signup sucks

Let’s face it, your signup and onboarding process could use some work. Why else would you be reading this article? Maybe because you want to make sure that you’re doing everything right? Well then, I commend you.

The truth is, most signup processes suck. 

In recent years, our precious CRO and marketing efforts have slowly migrated to the hands of others through a natural process. It happens. As your product grows, more teams want to get involved, and soon enough you go from working for a small startup to working with a large group of people who all think their opinions matter (and they do).

Over time, our precious signup process went from email and password to every possible datapoint imaginable. Does this sound familiar yet?

Thankfully, with the rise of UX design, user advocates have slowly shaped the signup and onboarding process to reduce the friction when someone signs up. Whether yours offers a free trial or just a one-time fee, here are three issues most products and services have with signup and onboarding and how to solve them:

Asking for too much information

Ever sign up for a product and think, “Why do they need to connect with my Facebook profile?” or “Why do they need my credit card?” We’ve all been there, and unfortunately, most of the time that information isn't needed. Yes, it might make the signup process as simple as “one-click signup,” but deep down, some companies use “Dark UX” Practices in these cases.


Let me explain. If you offer a free trial, Don’t :clap: Require :clap: a :clap: Credit Card. Most businesses do this and say, “We won’t charge you. Cancel any time!” But what they mean is, “We hope you forget to cancel so we can charge regardless.” And that doesn’t create a Raving Fan. There, someone finally said it.

So how do we fix this?

Well, we start by only asking for the information necessary to create an account. From there, let the user slowly add additional information over time, at their convenience. If you have customers starting e-commerce shops that require credit card or 3rd party payment information to accept payments, don’t require this until they turn their shop live. Or maybe notify them about the need to add these details after they’ve added items to their shop (These are called micro interactions).

These customers are more likely to feel in control of their experience. And as you build brand loyalty, they will be more willing to give you information rather than feel forced to give it up.

Declutter your signup screen

Do you or someone you know suffer from excessive clutter in their signup process? If so, call today.

Jokes aside, the signup process needs to be clean and clutter-free. We instinctively want to fill those pages with testimonials, bright colors, fancy animations, navigation bars, etc. The truth is that none of those matter to that particular user in their part of the buying process.

If they’re on your account creation or signup screen, the user is already interested in purchasing your product. They don't need more convincing. If anything, more testimonials and clutter will distract them from completing the signup process and lead to second-guessing.potentially make them second guess.

Fixing this is the signup process is relatively simple but often overlooked.

Ensure that essential information - like testimonials, pricing charts, comparisons, and more - is easily accessible on your website. People rarely make purchases without looking at a few competitors. Make your information easy to find and simple to navigate, leaving room for your signup process to remain clutter-free.

Removing any navigation will prevent a user from leaving the process once they’ve arrived. Customers might be distracted by the additional options at the top or bottom of the page and click around, losing their place in the process and causing more frustration. 

A new perspective of your onboarding process

Your onboarding process (product tours, emails, etc.) was probably written by someone in-house or by the product owner who knows the product inside and out. That’s the first mistake. While it's great to have someone who knows the product build the product tours, you need to have a proper UX Writer’s help. UX Research should be talking with users and testing to make sure that you're highlighting the correct information and using the language they understand. As a new customer, nothing is worse than logging into an app, going through a tutorial, and finding out you're more confused than you were at the start.  

Do you currently segment your customers into buckets? Do you provide customized product tours based upon a user’s persona?

You want to segment your users into proper user buckets and send the appropriate content for their personal journey. These buckets could depend on personas or skill level; it’s up to you.

But keep in mind, you wouldn’t want to show a business owner the same product tour you would show a Subject Matter Expert (SME). A business owner is interested in analytics and data synthesis, where the SME is interested in the advanced features your product has to offer.

At 3Digit, we always start with strategizing a game plan. We analyze the data and go on the ground level to talk with users and find out precisely what they need. We can build complex and specific product tours and campaigns for active users within customer relationship management platforms such as Intercom. 

Want to make a change to better your onboarding experience and reduce your Abandonment Gap? Schedule a consultation today!