\ ˈȯn-ˈbȯrd-iŋ \

The process brands use to educate and engage brand new users to keep them around for the long haul.


Getting a potential user or customer to know you exist is a huge first step. Getting them to download an app? Harder, and a wonderful milestone. But it’s what comes next that really counts. Many people who download an app will never open it, or will open it once but never return. To get them to come back, brands need to create a process—known as onboarding—to take them from brand new user to loyal customer.

An onboarding plan can use various channels—email, push notifications, opt-ins, various other channels—to capture a user’s attention and keep them coming back to hopefully to achieve conversion again and again. A good onboarding flow asks users questions, it introduces them to your app’s best features, it gets each user’s permission to stay in touch, and it’s your opportunity to prove you’ve got your stuff together and will be a fun/useful/rewarding (whatever your schtick is) asset to their digital world.

“We tested three different versions of our app’s onboarding flow before we found one that significantly improved new user retention.”