App Onboarding 101: How to Create a Killer Strategy to Boost User Engagement and Retention Rates

Unlocking the Power of Onboarding: How it Can Make a Huge Difference in Boosting App Retention Rates

If you're building an app, you know how important it is to keep users engaged. 

Let's be honest. It can be challenging to make that happen. 25% of users ditch an app after only one use. But don't worry. There's hope. Good app onboarding can make a huge difference. It can boost retention rates by up to 50%. So, if you want your app to rock, you need to nail your onboarding game.

Still, trying to figure out where to start? No worries, we've got you covered and will try to showcase specific use cases for app onboarding 101, from what it is to how to create a killer strategy and some tips to help you along the way.

So, what exactly is app onboarding? It's introducing new users to your app and helping them understand how it works. This can involve a series of screens or tutorials that walk users through the app's features and functionality. The goal is to make users feel comfortable and confident using your app so they keep returning and ultimately convert. 

Why is app onboarding so important? Because it can help create a positive user experience, enable users to understand the app's features and benefits, and increase the chances of users returning to the app. By guiding users through the app's functionality and providing helpful tips and instructions, onboarding can reduce user frustration and increase user retention. Effective onboarding can also build user trust and loyalty, leading to increased engagement, better reviews, and higher ratings. If you want your app to succeed, you need to nail your onboarding.

There are different types of app onboarding, depending on the needs and goals of your app. For example, you can use interactive onboarding, which uses animations and videos to help users master your app's functions. Progressive onboarding is another option that provides users with onboarding information as they use the app. This helps prevent overwhelming users with too much information all at once. Gamified onboarding is a fun and engaging way to introduce users to your app's features and can be great for apps aimed at young people. Conversely, minimalist onboarding provides users with only the essential information they need to use the app. Finally, personalized onboarding tailors onboarding information to users' particular needs and preferences.


Finally, what are the benefits of app onboarding? For starters, it can drive user engagement, improve retention rates, enhance the user experience, and even drive revenue. By helping users understand how to use your app, you can increase their comfort level and encourage them to explore its features. This leads to higher engagement, loyalty, and better retention rates. Plus, by creating a positive user experience, you can establish a stronger connection between the user and the app, ultimately leading to more sales.


Knowing all this, what are the failure points of onboarding? They typically fall into four categories: 

Linear Thinking - Funnels are often looked at in silos. This is reflected in a NUX "Start to Finish Mindset," leaving gamification for later and only addressing retention at the core loop's behavioral level. 

One Path Option - This occurs when there's a single exit point to the NUX, with steps numbered and hard-locked sequenced, pushing any segmentation to post NUX / core loop.

Obvious Steps - Most onboarding flows let the user know exactly where they are in the flow and even number the exact step they are in. This creates uncertainty about the onboarding duration and prevents a better usage of achievements from testing initial breakpoints. 

Users in the Driving Seat - Companies tend to inform roadmap from behavioral data. Believing in the original premise of the funnel becomes a secondary thought, which makes a convoluted onboarding experience. Failure to guide outcomes leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy on impact metrics and creates non-directional rewarding moments. 

How can you solve these? We had a speaking engagement at a Growth Summit where we covered steps to address these issues.

Work With Hyper

Ready To GROW? Let's Chat 💬