3 Easy Onboarding Tips to Help You Get It Right From the Start

Todd Grennan By Todd Grennan Sep 23, 2015

If your brand is serious about mobile, you need to be serious about your onboarding campaign.

As Appboy CRO Myles Kleeger recently explained, sustainable long-term relationships with your customers are an essential component of mobile success. Apps that showcase their value to new customers from that very first session are in a strong position to retain, engage and monetize their audience over the long haul.

Not all onboarding campaigns are created equal. These best practices will help you get the most out of yours:

1) Keep your onboarding brief and focused

You only have one chance to welcome a new customer – that means it’s essential that you get it right the first time. By keeping the process short and highlighting the app features that are most likely to engage customers and keep them coming back, you’re maximizing the benefits that onboarding can bring. Once customers are actively involved, you can provide more detailed guidance using in-app messages and other outreach channels.

2) Ask new customers to opt-in the right way

An effective onboarding should persuade new customers to opt-in for push notifications and essential data sharing. People are most likely to opt-in when the benefit of doing so is made clear to them, so it’s important to showcase in your onboarding how agreeing to receive these messages and provide access to personal data will improve their use of your app.


Because customers who opt-out often struggle to update those settings if they later change their mind, it’s smart to make use of custom opt-in prompts – these prompts only trigger a device’s official opt-in prompt if a customer has indicated they do want to opt-in, making it easier to convince them to give you access at a later date.

3) Use messaging to encourage onboarding completion

Not every customer who begins your onboarding process will complete it. Maybe they were busy that day or distracted by a notification from another app. But just because they didn’t finish onboarding doesn’t mean you should give up hope.

Research conducted by Appboy over a two and a half year period found that sending even a single push notification to new customers who haven’t finished onboarding increased retention by 71% over a two-month period. Apps that paired a push notification with an email, in-app message or News Feed Card had even more success, seeing retention rates rise 130% over the same period. That makes multi-channel outreach an easy way to boost both the effectiveness of your onboarding and your app’s long-term prospects.


These best practices are just a starting point. If you’re ready to dig deeper, check out Appboy Academy for a detailed look at the ins-and-outs of onboarding optimization.

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan is a New York-based writer and editor. When he's not writing about mobile marketing, customer retention and emerging technologies for Braze, you can find him trying to read his way through every Wikipedia article related to World War II.

Related Content


How Braze Supports the Flexible Identification of Both Known and Anonymous Users

Read More

Amplifying Marketing Impact: How Braze Supports Migration Excellence

Read More


XING Leverages Braze Content Cards to Onboard and Educate

Read More

4 Best Practices for Making the Most of the Braze Integration and Onboarding Process

Read More