Product-led onboarding

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about product-led onboarding—what it is, why it's effective, and how you can create a smooth onboarding experience for your users.

What is product-led onboarding?

User onboarding is the critical process of getting new users introduced to your product. It's also one of the most important aspects of the user experience (UX). A great onboarding process will reduce friction, increase conversions, and help you keep and grow your customer base.

Product-led onboarding is a methodology for designing and delivering customer onboarding experiences that are driven by the product itself.

Product-led onboarding is a part of a new wave of Product-Led Growth. Product-led Growth Strategy.

Product-led growth is a business strategy that relies on using your product as the main vehicle to acquire, activate, and retain customers.

With product-led onboarding, your goal is to use your product itself to guide new customers through the process of learning how to use it. This can be done through things like sign-up flows, guided new user onboarding journeys in-app tutorials, and product tours.

Product-led onboarding vs sales-led onboarding

Sales-led onboarding

Sales Led onboarding - is the opposite of product-led onboarding. Users can not access the product by themselves and face the wall. The only way for the user is to connect with the sales team and have a demo.

Customer-led onboarding

There is one more type of user onboarding is customer-led onboarding. You probably could catch it from the definition that in the center of it is the customer.

Customer-led onboarding is the type of onboarding that focused on customer needs and is driven by customer behavior. Customers who would love to get into the product directly can have this opportunity and the ones who prefer a demo can have it.

These onboarding strategies can coexist and be used simultaneously.

Why create product-led onboarding?

Product-led onboaridng fights high costs,churn and low conversion and engagement rates

Product-led onboarding has many benefits that can help businesses improve their user experience and conversions. By focusing on the product first, businesses can provide a better experience for their users from the very beginning.

This, in turn, can lead to increased engagement and loyalty. Additionally, product-led onboarding can also help businesses save time and money by reducing support costs. Product-led onboarding is a fantastic way to create a positive first impression of your product.

By focusing on the customer's needs and providing a seamless onboarding experience, you can increase customer satisfaction and retention rates.

What are the best strategies to create effective product-led onboarding?

Product-led onboarding strategies

Low-hanging fruit

Make the first user experience a low-hanging fruit for your users. Let users experience your product even before creating an account or submitting an email.

**User journey in that case:**Experience a product--> Understand the value -> Create an account

Why you should try it for your SaaS?

It is simple that you can gather more data without the "account creation barrier" and clearly see if users find the product valuable. You also get an initial understanding of what they use product for.

If users don't see enough value or it does not solve their problem they will not create an account. This will be an opportunity for product improvement.


Keep extra value behind the bar. You need to create some trigger why users would love still create the account. If you provide all without the account, there will be no motivation to have one. For example, do not provide saving option.

Aha moment

Product-led onboarding is all about creating that "Aha" moment for new users. It's the moment when they suddenly understand what your product is and what it can do for them. The best scenario is if the user is wowed by the product's capabilities.

To create a "Wow" moment, you need to focus on two things: the user's needs and the product itself. Figure out what the user needs to know in order to understand your product, and then design an onboarding experience that will deliver that information in an engaging way.

With product-led onboarding “Wow!” moment can be as close as possible. A good example is Intercom. To get the value from the product you need first to embed a snippet inside your software. So, the smart product-led intercom onboarding showcases the value even without it. It shows you examples of data analytics and communication before you got through the hard part-adding the code to your own software.

Product-led onboarding Intercom example

Intercom alternatives

0 Time to Value

When we need to speak with the sales team, our time to value increases. But not with product-led onboarding, if it is done right. Anticipate the value your customer needs and design an onboarding process that will bring them closer to that goal.

A/B test it

If you're not A/B testing your product-led onboarding, you're missing out on a key opportunity to improve your conversion and engagement rate. By testing different versions of your onboarding process, you can identify which elements are most effective in getting users engaged with your product.

Once you know what works, you can optimize your onboarding process to ensure that more users stick around and become paying customers.

With the product-led onboarding approach, you can easily A/B test different onboarding flows and journeys for your users. Create easy-to-use journeys and see how the conversion and product usage change depending on it.

Here is an example of two user journeys that can be located directly in the product.

Iterate continuously to improve the led-by-product onboarding process.

Personalized product-led onboarding

To use the whole potential of the product-led onboarding utilize the possibility to create personalized user journeys. Use data to personalize the experience. New users should feel like your product was made just for them.

There could be different formats of product-led onboarding, for example when different users get different tooltips and support materials. Alternative to it is when users can click through and depending on their selection follows different onboarding flows.

So, the whole onboarding journey adjusts to user selection.


Keep track of user engagement when performing personalised user onboarding. Maybe a new type of user has joined your project, so onboarding needs to be tailored in accordance to their preferences.

Create your own personalised product-led onboarding on Marbleflows

Brand it

Product-led onboarding in its formulation already has an idea of being branded as your product. So stick to it! Use the software which allows you to design and style your user onboarding and provide templates and 50k+ design variations. It is always good to provide some nice footage, onboarding icons and illustrations. Here is an example of Docusign user onboarding.

Product-led onboarding Docusign example

The importance and benefits of product-led onboarding

There are many benefits to using product-led onboarding for your business and company growth. By providing a great user experience from the very beginning, you can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, while also reducing churn.

Product-led onboarding can also help you to acquire new customers and grow your business. By making it easy for new users to get started with your product, you can increase conversion rates and boost growth.

Product-led onboarding checklist

Is product-led onboarding the right choice for my company's onboarding?

If you consider designing product-led onboarding look at our checklist.

Product-led onboarding checklist

To better understand if your product or service fits the product-led onboarding you should answer six main questions about your product and company.

Question 1. Is your product SaaS?

Question 2. Can users access it without the support or demo? Question 3. How complex is your product?

Typically, more simple SaaS products win the most from product-led onboarding. As they do not need any additional sales team support in product adoption. Such companies like Hubspot and Intercom which provide a number of different products focus on contacting directly with the user via phone or email.

Question 4. How scalable is your product? Question 5. How much customization does your product need? Question 6. Do your customers need significant handholding during the onboarding process?

The perfect team for your product-led onboarding

Every team in the company has different responsibilities in product-led onboarding and gets their own benefits from it. Typically,  six core departments are involved in the product-led onboarding design.

Product-led onboarding team

Product teams

Product teams play a core role in designing the onboarding process, selecting the software, and planning the whole content part.

Customer success teams

Customer success teams bring significant input about the content part and user needs.

Customer support teams

As customer support team is responsible for the problems which users face, they can bring these insights for the first time user onboarding.

Marketing & growth teams

The main metric for the marketing teams is to increase conversion and qualify the leads. For them, it is essential to build the easy process of getting inside the product.

UX design teams

UX teams focus on the whole user experience and as soon as onboarding becomes a part of the product they are responsible to align to create an onboarding experience that seamlessly aligns with their product’s workflow.

Development teams

The involvement of development teams depends on how you decide to build the onboarding. If you build it in-house, it requires extensive development, and if you are using an effective no-code product-led onboarding tool, it requires much less time to create.

How to create product-led onboarding?

Use our template to create a product-led onboarding connected to your website and software. It consists of 7 simple steps to bring your users as close as possible to the product.

1. Gather personal details

This can be relevant if you only generate an account and after gathering editions information. It can be name and some additional details.

Product-led onboarding Airbnb example

2. Create a welcome screen

This is one of the first things new users see after they created an account. It should be a simple and nice welcome screen. It can explain what your product does and why it is valuable.

Product-led onboarding template

3. Understand why users selected your product

The best product-led onboarding gathers personal information about user roles and needs There are some examples of questions:

  • What will you be using Canva for?
  • What are you planning to do in Notion?
  • What do you want to build today? (Webflow)

3. Invite your team

Invite the team member or identify if your user planning to use software with the team member is a crucial step in product-led onboarding. Most companies who identify that their product brings more value if the whole team use it, add these step in their onboarding process.

4. Tour for product-led onboarding

The tour is a series of short, interactive tutorials that teach new users how to use your product. A product tour can be the next step in product-led onboarding for users.

5. Navigation and support

The final step before leaving users in the product can be to explain where they can find more help and resources or contact support.

6. Closing screen

The final screen is the closing screen.


Product-led onboarding is a fantastic way to improve the user experience for your customers and ensure that they have a positive first impression of your product.

By focusing on the customer's needs and providing a seamless onboarding experience, you can increase customer satisfaction and retention rates. If you're looking for ways to improve your product's onboarding experience, consider implementing a product-led approach.