First impressions can mean everything. If your customer has a bad first interaction or struggles to get started with your product, they may not be a customer for long. The time between acquisition and first success is critical; it can mean the difference between churning or becoming a happy customer. The key is knowing acquisition does not equal success, especially in software. Onboarding helps propel your customers from initial sign-up to basking in the glow of their first success with your product.
What is customer onboarding?
If you’ve ever watched a “Getting Started With” video when you signed up a for a new software subscription, that’s onboarding in action. Onboarding is sort of like a grand tour, some handy-dandy tips and a welcome message rolled together. But the point of all onboarding comes down to getting people to use your product. Unless people are using your product, they won’t want to keep paying for it. They won’t even want to keep a free app installed unless they’re using it.
Enter video. When given a choice between video and text on the same page, 72 percent of people prefer using video to learn about a product or service. It’s been said that a good onboarding video makes users comfortable with your product or service. A great onboarding experience sparks curiosity. And the very best onboarding creates an a-ha moment that makes you feel you’re in exactly the right place.
Today, we’re taking a look at 20 of the best customer onboarding videos we’ve ever seen, so you can keep more customers in your win column. Let’s get the ball rolling!
1. A few key steps to get started (Xero)
Xero accounting software smartly focuses their onboarding video around a few key tasks that are crucial to getting started, which helps new customers avoid overwhelm. Financial and accounting SaaS companies can greatly streamline operations for users, but they do require a fair amount of set up on the front-end. Xero makes sure new customers don’t get stuck in a no-man’s land of not setting up their service and not understanding what it’s for.
2. Walking you through your first task (Canva)
In this onboarding video, Canva walks you through creating your first design using their software. By centering their video around completing one task successfully, they’ve smartly avoided the boring features parade. Because who cares about what a bunch of features do? Your customers want to know what your service can do for them. Canva’s fast-paced onboarding video takes you through each step of creating a design and points out fun add-ons to inspire you to get designing.
3. A mini-movie walkthrough (Band)
The onboarding video for the Band app is like a mini-movie. It opens on tiny people seen overhead who break out into groups. The video follows the activities of one group using the app to better communicate and share with each other, plus doing fun things like planning events and picking restaurants. By the end of the movie, it’s easy to want to join in the fun.
4. Friendly tips for your first trip (Uber)
Uber’s onboarding video covers more than just how to take your first trip. It gives drivers the kind of handy tips they’d only know after having completed a number of rides. If you’re a driver who stumbled over your first few trips, you may be tempted to abandon Uber’s driving service altogether. Uber helps drivers reach their first success with a conversational tone and helpful hints that feel like we’re getting advice from a trusted friend.
5. Lively instructions for a complex product (Penki)
Some onboarding experiences are more complicated than others. The Penki app creates 3D images with an iPhone and a camera set to long exposure. Not easy to explain. Much easier to show in a video. This live action onboarding video shows the clever creations possible with Penki through delightful instructions that flash across the screen.
6. Savvy tips worth getting excited about (GrubHub)
One of the potential pitfalls for a GrubHub driver? Driving on an empty stomach! This live-action onboarding video is narrated by a GrubHub driver on a typical delivery run — all the way from hopping in his car to pick up at the restaurant to delivering to the customer’s door. Right at the open, he promises some cool tips and tricks that keeps the audience hooked. The tips are underlined with catchy on-screen visuals, great for watching with no sound.
7. Walking in the footsteps of a real user (Sphere)
The Sphere app promises a “real experience” of one user from the moment he decided to sign up for the new social networking app. At five minutes, it runs on the long side, but it does give viewers a comprehensive experience of the app that would have been impossible to get so quickly any other way. In written format, this amount of information would’ve gone on for days and been tedious (at best!).
8. A pretty quick glimpse (Ipsy)
Ipsy is a beauty shopping app that rewards you for purchasing on the app. This animated/live-action hybrid video introduces customers to the benefits of shopping for beauty items with Ipsy with a friendly narrator named Madeline. The video style is candid and more like one person talking to another person about a new discovery they’ve made. Clocking in at less than 30 seconds, this is one fast-paced intro that covers all the important points, yet teases the beautiful bonuses of Ipsy. A great example of leaving them wanting more.
9. App tutorial video (Tasker App)
If you’re just getting started on TaskRabbit, you’ve got a lot to learn about getting hired on the network (and using the app). This live-action onboarding video walks you through the basics of setting your availability and getting hired for your first task with. Although this is the typical close-up of a phone, it’s warmed up with a background of tools and upbeat music. By the end of this video, viewers will know everything from how to work with clients on the app to getting support from TaskRabbit if you hit a snag.
10. A world of enticing benefits (LifeWorks)
The LifeWorks app is a platform that enables companies to reward their employees. This video gives audiences a delightful romp through all the benefits that come with the LifeWorks app, from exclusive shopping discounts to gift card rewards. This client onboarding video even resembles a swoon-worthy Instagram feed at times. Who wouldn’t want to dip their toe into one of these picture-perfect vignettes?
11. Learn how to travel better (Garuda)
The Garuda Indonesia travel app tutorial video shows a person using the app while enjoying a cup of coffee. This live-action onboarding video shows how to book flights and take advantage of all of Garuda’s benefits. Choose your favourite seat. Get a mobile boarding pass. Check in online. Save with exclusive promo codes only on the app. The video shows you the great travel benefits possible with lively on-screen animations — all while enjoying a delicious latte.
12. Discover a new way to collect (Gemr)
Gemr is a community of collectors and an online marketplace for selling collectibles. In their customer onboarding video, Gemr gives a fun glimpse at some of the brightest perks for joining. Show off your treasures. Add to your collection. Connect with other collectors who share your interests. The video makes wise use of screenshots that show off the website’s sleek interface (enticing enough to make any serious collector seriously contemplate joining). At a little over one minute, this fast-paced video hits all the high notes without getting bogged down in the log-in details and minutia.
13. Artfully animated walkthrough (ExperienceFellow)
Ever had a nightmare travel experience? The ExperienceFellow app gives you a platform for reviewing hotel check-in, flights and more. Uniquely drawn, this animated customer onboarding video has block-print-looking people that are generic enough for anyone to imagine themselves in the stories the video tells. The artful colour palette is also striking with its limited hues, just orange, blue, black and white.
14. Put customers in the story (Revolut)
You could explain your features in a boring bullet list… or you could tell people a great story. The live action onboarding video for Revolut follows an attractive millennial around on her globe-trotting adventures. Along the way, you get to see everything the app can do, like exchange money across the globe with no hidden fees. During the story, key Revolut features are highlighted with screenshots of the app at work. It’s packed with a-ha moments, all in just a little over one minute.
15. Sell the simplicity (Rubberstamp)
Rubber Stamp is a software service that makes approving purchase orders a breeze. The animated onboarding video for Rubber Stamp opens with an alluring invitation to “experience the simplicity.” Although the service has many features, the video smartly focuses on simply creating a purchase order. At just over 30 seconds, this is a quick shot that leaves you wanting more simple solutions. A quick listing of additional features at the end makes a great parting shot.
16. Drill down on one key benefit (HoneyBook)
Sometimes less is more. HoneyBook’s customer onboarding video centers on the amazing potential for getting leads with the software. Customer onboarding is often an introductory looksy around at everything, but it doesn’t have to be. If there’s one particular feature that’s particularly valuable to your customers, that may be enough to hook them — without overwhelming them with too many steps and details.
17. Make your customers heroes (Cintas)
Cintas gets the story right with their onboarding video. They make their customers the hero of the story (complete with a bright, red cape!). This charming client onboarding video clearly explains the service and generates excitement in the process. It’s easy to imagine a customer having their own a-ha moment watching this video. Nailed it!
18. Get things rolling (Slack)
The Slack customer onboarding video starts with showing the exact buttons to invite people to Slack. They wisely advise new users to choose only two integrations to start. (It’s hard to be thrilled about using a new product when you’re completely overwhelmed.) Slack gets it. The video offers a solid orientation, plus ways to transform your workday that make it easy to get excited about using the chat software.
19. How one organisation uses it (Basecamp)
Basecamp’s customer onboarding video is a mini-case study of how one company uses Basecamp to keep their projects organised. The video opens on a screenshot and an explanation of just what Basecamp is and does. It’s a great reminder to never assume people (even clients) know what you do. Although basic features are covered in the video, they’re discussed within the context of the company’s story. A+ for clear introduction that would make almost anyone comfortable using Basecamp’s tools.
20. Beautifully animated support (Twitter)
This beautifully animated customer onboarding video is designed to help make people feel more comfortable using Twitter — by helping protect them against harassment. It’s not flashy in the sense that it’s promising exciting ways your life will change after using Twitter. The video is just beautifully focused on supporting people who may be experiencing the downsides of social networking, and helping them conquer their trolls.
Optimise your onboarding video now!
Remember, if your customer struggles to get started, they may just ditch the whole thing. Savvy marketers look beyond acquisition to retention and lifetime value.
Onboarding helps transform your customers’ first impression of your company into a great one by doing one of these three things:
- Making users more comfortable with your product or service
- Sparking curiosity and excitement about your offering
- Creating a-ha moments that clinch the deal
To find out more about onboarding with video, including popular methods, successful examples and creative tactics, see our Ultimate Guide: Onboarding Users with Video.