How to Measure the Success of Your Onboarding Process_background

It is reported that Insufficient onboarding causes 40-60% of post-signup users to drop out of the software industry. (Source)

The onboarding journey is your initiation into the heart of a product. But how do we know if this voyage is a success? Enter Onboarding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – the compass guiding you through the seas of activation and retention. 

In this article, we’ll unravel the importance of measuring onboarding success, explore the link between precise measurements and an optimized user experience, and set sail into KPIs.

Onboarding KPIs

Onboarding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are like measuring tools that help us understand how well people are getting used to and enjoying a new product or service. They tell us whether the introduction or initiation process works effectively and how much users like or use the product.

Importance of Measuring Onboarding Success

Did you know that efficient, high-touch onboarding experiences are linked to a 7.4% increase in revenue during the initial 18 months. 

Onboarding, the process of introducing users to a new product or service, is pivotal in shaping their initial experience. The significance of measuring onboarding success cannot be overstated, as it directly impacts two crucial aspects: activation and retention. 

Whether the user is an existing customer familiar with your brand or a freemium user exploring your offerings, effective onboarding sets the tone for their journey.

Existing Customers

A seamless onboarding experience enhances activation for existing customers, ensuring that they swiftly adapt to new features or updates. It's about making the transition so smooth that users integrate new elements into their established usage patterns effortlessly. 

Effective onboarding processes can increase customer retention by 50%. (Source)

This activation process is vital to prevent disruptions in their engagement with the product and keep them invested in the brand.

Freemium Users

On the other hand, for freemium users, the onboarding process is their first taste of your product or service. A successful onboarding experience can be the deciding factor for these users to stick around or explore alternatives. 

It's not just about introducing them to your features; it's about creating an experience that captivates and encourages them to become long-term users.

Imagine navigating a ship without a compass – you might eventually reach your destination, but the journey would be uncertain. Similarly, precise measurements act as the compass in the onboarding KPI process. They provide clear direction by offering insights into how users interact with your product during this critical phase.

Optimizing the user experience is a dynamic and iterative process. It involves understanding user behavior, preferences, and pain points. Precise measurements, such as KPIs, give you the necessary data to identify areas of improvement and success. 

Whether it's analyzing user adoption rates, time to first value, engagement metrics, or post-onboarding behavior, MeltingSpot offers a roadmap for refining and enhancing the onboarding experience.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Onboarding

In the nuanced dance of onboarding, selecting the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is akin to choosing the perfect instruments for a symphony. Each note, or in this case, each KPI, contributes to the harmonious execution of an effective onboarding strategy. 

The significance lies not just in choosing KPIs arbitrarily but in selecting relevant ones that act as strategic guides, allowing businesses to measure and assess the effectiveness of their onboarding processes.

User Adoption Rates

Picture the onboarding process as the unveiling of a new destination. User adoption rates measure the enthusiasm with which users embrace and incorporate the features of a product into their daily routines. It's not just about introducing these features; it's about ensuring users wholeheartedly adopt and integrate them into their workflows.

One notable metric within user adoption rates is "Time to Activate." This metric measures users' speed from being introduced to the product to actively engaging with its features. It's a stopwatch capturing the moment users transform from curious spectators to active participants in their product journey. 

Time to First Value

The user journey is a dynamic quest for value, and "Time to First Value" is the stopwatch marking the pivotal moment when users reap tangible benefits from a product. Evaluating this metric involves understanding users' efficiency in deriving significant value. 

For instance, let's consider a mobile app that helps users track their fitness. If users can easily understand and use the app to log their first workout quickly, that's a quick "Time to First Value." It's not just about introducing the app features; it's about users swiftly gaining real, meaningful benefits, like tracking their progress right from the start.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement is the heartbeat of any successful onboarding KPI journey. It's not just about guiding users through the initial steps; it's about creating an environment where users actively participate, connect, and immerse themselves in the product or service. 

To take your customer success initiatives to the next level, consider integrating MeltingSpot, our customer education platform trusted by 1000+ SaaS organizations, which empowers businesses to boost the onboarding KPI journey through valuable features and engagement strategies. 

Forum and Discussion Group Participation

In the bustling domain of online communities, measuring user participation in forums and discussion groups becomes a valuable gauge of onboarding success. Forums are spaces for conversation and dynamic hubs where users exchange ideas, seek guidance, and share experiences. 

By quantifying user engagement in these spaces, MeltingSpot assists businesses in gaining insights into the depth of user involvement and the community's role in supporting the onboarding KPI process.

Webinar Attendance and Participation

Educational webinars are the classrooms of the digital era, and assessing user participation and interaction during these sessions offers a unique perspective on onboarding KPI quality. Webinars provide a structured platform for users to explore the product's functionalities, features, and best practices deeper. 

Attendance and participation metrics in webinars serve as a barometer for users' eagerness to invest time in learning about the product.

Beyond mere attendance, the level of interaction during webinars—questions asked, polls participated in, and engagement with the presenter—reflects the degree of user interest and comprehension. High levels of interaction suggest that users are not only present but actively absorbing the information, indicating a positive correlation between educational content and effective onboarding.

User Feedback and Satisfaction

User feedback is the heartbeat of any successful onboarding strategy. It serves as a guide to businesses through the intricate landscape of user experiences. 

MeltingSpot assists with user feedback and satisfaction and emphasizes the crucial role of assessing the effectiveness of onboarding, underscoring its significance in understanding user sentiments and shaping and refining the onboarding process to meet user expectations.

Surveys and Feedback Forms

Surveys and feedback forms emerge as powerful tools to comprehend user experiences during onboarding. MeltingSpot provides a structured means to collect users' opinions, insights, and suggestions. 

Strategically designed and distributed at key touchpoints throughout the onboarding journey, MeltingSpot surveys act as windows into users' minds, revealing their perceptions, challenges, and areas of satisfaction or discontent.

The value of surveys and feedback forms lies in gathering raw data and obtaining qualitative insights that quantitative metrics may only partially capture. Open-ended questions allow users to articulate their experiences in their own words, offering nuanced feedback that can uncover hidden pain points or highlight standout features. 

By systematically integrating MeltingSpot, businesses can paint a comprehensive picture of user satisfaction, enabling them to make informed decisions for refining and enhancing the onboarding KPI process.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) for Onboarding

Measuring the overall recommendation of users after the onboarding journey provides a quantitative and holistic view of satisfaction. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the compass pointing to the likelihood of users recommending the product to others. It's more than just a number; it reflects users' emotional connection with the product during onboarding.

NPS typically involves a single question: "How likely are you to recommend our product to a friend or colleague?" 

Users respond on a scale, and based on their ratings, they are categorized as promoters, passives, or detractors. The strength of NPS for onboarding lies in its simplicity and the actionable insights it provides. Promoters highlight areas of success in the onboarding process, while detractors signal potential areas for improvement.

By regularly measuring NPS with the help of MeltingSpot, businesses gauge the success of their onboarding strategies and uncover opportunities for growth and enhancement. A high NPS indicates a positive and recommendable onboarding experience, while a lower score encourages businesses to reevaluate and refine their onboarding practices for sustained user satisfaction and loyalty.

Post-Onboarding Behavior and Product Usage

The journey doesn't end with successful onboarding; it merely marks the beginning of a user's interaction with a product or service. Post-onboarding behavior is the guide that steers businesses through the ongoing relationship with users. 

MeltingSpot helps you to understand and analyze user behavior after onboarding and provides invaluable insights into a product's long-term success and sustainability.

User Retention Rates in SaaS

In Software as a Service (SaaS), measuring user retention rates takes on added significance. For this purpose, MeltingSpot seamlessly assesses the percentage of users who initiate their journey during the onboarding period and, crucially, continue to engage with the product over time. 

In the domain of SaaS, where the subscription model thrives, a high retention rate is not merely an indicator of successful onboarding; it's a testament to the ongoing value users find in the product. 

Feature Adoption Rates

The journey of a user with a product extends beyond the initial exploration. Evaluating feature adoption rates sheds light on how well users integrate and utilize the full spectrum of a product's functionalities. 

Post-onboarding, users explore the depths of what a product offers and feature adoption rates provide a measure of how effectively they embrace these additional elements.

Accelerate Growth and Scale Your Customer Onboarding with MeltingSpot

MeltingSpot hosts conferences, round tables, and workshops and connects industry leaders and enthusiasts across three continents. Uncover the secrets to a successful onboarding post-onboarding experience and ensure your users are satisfied. CLICK to elevate your onboarding strategy!


As we draw the curtain on our exploration of onboarding KPIs, the success of onboarding is not a destination but a dynamic journey. By understanding user adoption, engagement metrics, user feedback, and post-onboarding behavior, you can chart a course toward an exceptional onboarding experience. So, hoist the sails, follow the compass, and set your system for onboarding success with MeltingSpot.

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