Do you know how many WordPress themes are out there on the market?
But there are some items in our inventory, that can be called special.
Here I’m not going to tell you that we’re producing the best WordPress themes on the net (even though we are), but I am going to tell you about one thing about which most WordPress theme manufacturers don’t give a toss.
This subject originates from the software development world, and it’s called a user onboarding or customer onboarding.
According to Jackson Noel, user onboarding is something like this:
In the world of software, user onboarding is your user’s initial experience with your brand, product, and people. It spans from the moment someone starts to sign up for your product, until the moment they realize how your product is going to improve their life, i.e., their “WOW moment”. The goal of user onboarding is to help users find your product’s core value and benefit from it regularly.
At this point, I’d like to talk about few things that help us rock at user/customer onboarding. If you’re lucky to be a TemplateMonster vendor, and you produce/sell website templates, you need to take care of your clients, but not treat them with a lack of courtesy or respect.
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How Did We Get Into User Onboarding
It all started back in 2015, when we released the multipurpose WordPress theme Monstroid. This is the theme that kicked some ass back in its time.
Okay, let’s just back up a moment.
Why Would You Need Customer Onboarding?
The main objective of onboarding is to guide users through the process of using your product, whatever it is, to the point where they finally have their “Aha! Moment”.
Definition of an “aha” moment
- a moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension
In the context of WordPress themes, this is the moment when the theme is completely installed: all of its plugins, sample data, and everything that’s needed to make it look like the demo on our website.
In our case smooth installation was provided by the theme’s Installation Wizard that does everything for you, just a few mouse clicks are separating the user from a fully-installed template.
This is how it works in the Monstroid WordPress theme
And this is what we have in the Monstroid2 WordPress theme
Here’s an example - the famous 5-min WordPress engine installation, which for me, is the brightest, and the best example of user onboarding.
5 minutes and you’re done.
What’s More Important
User onboarding is a fundamental component of the customer acquisition cost (CAC), i.e., the cost of converting a potential user into a paying customer.
Here’s an example in the context of our Monstroids - when each of these themes was released, there was a huge number of WordPress themes on the market, but we gave our users a tool that worked, and we kept it spinning like a child's top.
I dare say, we created a truly amazing tool that helped EVERYONE install a template, without opening documentation!
Developers fell in love with our installation wizard even more than end-users, and that’s because this tool helped them save more time when building a website for a client. That is why they came back frequently to buy some more Monstroids [here I’m referring to the non-GPL Monstroid], CAC is often deadly, but we’ve designed and built our own CAC fountain of youth.
When you don’t have an efficient onboarding process, you have to spend a lot more money on interactive marketing approaches, trying to reach your users, and prove that your product is better than comparable things they can find in Google search results.
Fortunately, as a company operating in 2017, you’re well situated to learn from the mistakes and groundwork of other companies - which may come in handy.
I think we can call this “The TemplateMonster Onboarding Manifest” because this is a set of rules that we follow to rock at onboarding.
Now Keep Silent and Pay Attention!
Effective product onboarding is a mix of education materials for users about “how to use”, “what it is”, “what value it provides”, “how one can start using it”, and so on. You need to provide your users with brief info regarding all these points.
So here are the five methods that helped us create a rocking user onboarding system, of which we are incredibly proud!
What’s more, these things helped us maximize customer conversion and retention rates.
Used Duct Tape and Reduced Friction
To help our users figure out what’s what, we had to follow a few steps that have rewarded us a hundredfold.
We’ve reduced the following things:
- excess copy,
- lengthy text-based explanations,
- unnecessary form fields,
- and even frivolous features in the template itself (this helped us increase the likelihood that new users, who have chosen our template on the basis of a recommendation, are about to use it enthusiastically.)
First of all, we’ve designed a product page where we stuck to the basic features of the product and made a product page with a sticky bar where the “Buy Now” button used to be, as well as a number of call-to-actions inside the template, that were leading a client to the cart.
We’ve reduced all those text-heavy explanations and opted for the screenshots and videos.
And the last thing - we’ve presented only one feature per explanation screen.
We’ve Provided Users With a Clear Indication of the Progress
According to the Kissmetrics blog, people like using progress indicators. Technology users in particular experience greater satisfaction and demonstrate higher engagement levels when asked to work on tasks in which progress indicators are provided.
So when you start installing our Monstroid theme, you will find a sleek progress bar, that shows the percentage of installation [of the theme’s files].
One very effective and easy way to simplify the onboarding process is to incorporate social network sign-ups (and sign-ins) and use them in place of comprehensive registration (and login) fields.
One-click social sign-ups are becoming more and more popular these days, making it extremely easy for users to register for your product or website without actually having to fill out any of their personal information.
As social sign-ups remove barriers to registration, they are also an example of strategy #1 above, i.e., reducing friction.
This is the reason why we’ve incorporated a login with the Facebook button, to create an account.
Another great strategy for successfully guiding new users along to the “Aha! Moment” is to create and offer actual user cases, i.e., practical examples showing others using the product and receiving substantial benefits from doing so.
We have a friend from Edmonton, who’s a big fan of Monstroid2. John had a lot to say about the Monstroid theme, and that’s why we have a series of interviews with him, where he has described all the ins and outs of using this theme.
But the most important things that lead users to the “Aha!” moment, are the reviews.
Above is one of the latest reviews that a client left relating to the Monstroid theme. 61% of online shoppers read reviews before making a purchase decision, and they are now essential for all eCommerce websites.
Brief Helpful Tutorials
Finally, users appreciate products that offer brief, uncomplicated, and straight-to-the-point tutorials that show them how to use the features of the product they are going to buy.
Gmail, for instance, offers interactive tutorials that “spring into action” as a new user moves about his/her Inbox and starts exploring different features.
Dropbox uses a similar system to help acclimate new users to the platform.
Check out our Monstroid tutorials from the TemplateMonster help section.
More Monstroid tutorials
I hope these five methods will help you optimize your product onboarding and maximize your customer conversion and retention rates.
We have another user onboarding solution that you may like. It helps you update your website in a few clicks, and it's called JetImpex Dashboard Plugin.
This plugin finds updates needed for your plugins or themes, installs them in the blink of an eye, and checks if the updated version is compatible with your current settings. You might think, that that’s all, but, actually, it’s not!
Jetimpex Dashboard is also a perfect solution if you need to backup your theme files and customizer settings!
Jetimpex Dashboard makes automatic backups, so you can easily restore a more stable version of your website if it's needed. Both manual and scheduled backups are available.
Don't forget to write something in the comments section.