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6 Effective Tips for Delivering Personalized Product Tours

Imagine yourself to be the owner of a high-end clothing store. Instead of letting your customers browse racks of garments aimlessly, you’ve created a personalized in-store tour that guides them through the collection. Not only do you highlight the relevant items based on customers’ preferences but also offer personalized styling advice — ensuring they leave feeling satisfied and valued. 

Similarly, a city tour guide who understands their guests’ interests would create a customized journey, highlighting the relevant landmarks, hidden gems, and stories for each individual. 

These personalized tours have been a game-changing strategy for businesses worldwide — and the SaaS industry is no exception. 

Many SaaS companies offer generic product tours that fail to captivate customers, leading to confusion and a higher risk of churn. However, modern customers demand a more personalized experience, one that targets their pain points and demonstrates the product’s features and functionalities relevant to their roles, industries, and objectives. 

So, how do you deliver personalized product tours that boost conversion? This blog will discuss exactly that. Read on as we uncover the meaning, benefits, best practices, and examples of some unforgettable product tours across the SaaS industry. 

What are personalized product tours? 

Product tours are short, interactive tutorials that help new users quickly understand a SaaS product. They’re like having a personal assistant help you navigate through the product while introducing its workings, benefits, features, UI elements, and other functionalities. 

Product tours include a series of instructions and screen tutorials designed to showcase your product to users. They are typically presented to new users during their onboarding — after they sign up or log in. Without these, users are left to figure everything out alone, resulting in frustration and increased drop-off rates. 

Personalized product tours go a step ahead and engage users by catering to their needs, demographics, and industries. When implemented properly, customers experience the product value before deciding to subscribe to the paid plan. This level of personalization leads to increased product activation and reduced support requests. 

Below are the key benefits of leveraging personalized product tours for your SaaS product: 

  • New users remain focused and motivated throughout the onboarding process
  • Strong personalization makes the users feel valued and create a memorable experience, enhancing trust in the brand. 
  • Regular user interactions with key product features through tailored, ongoing tours further accelerate the adoption process. 

Let’s take an example. 

Upon signing up for a financial tool, users are prompted to enter basic information about their business, such as type of industry, annual revenue, and primary financial goals. Using this information, the tool’s product tour is customized to cater to each user’s specific needs and preferences.

For users in the retail industry, the tour may focus on features like inventory management and sales tracking. But, for consulting business owners, the tour will likely dive into features like project billing and client invoicing. 

Additionally, leveraging LLMs for financial services can further tailor the product tour experience. Let’s say a user likes no-nonsense, straightforward language. The LLM will skip the jargon and give them concise explanations on using the tool without any fluff. 

But, if financial analysis is the user’s comfort zone, the LLM may go deeper, offering more detailed explanations and advanced feature demonstrations. You can also leverage LLMs to design interactive chatbots to help users gain proficiency with industry-specific tools and trends. 

Dropbox shows a great example of using a personalized product tour. It segments users based on their primary use case, enabling them to see applicable features. 

The quality and execution of personalized product tours can make all the difference between a happy, satisfied customer and a confused, disengaged one. While implementing an effective product tour is crucial to win over new users, bad product tours can confuse them by showing too much information at once. 

Let’s dive into the 6 best practices SaaS businesses can consider for delivering effective personalized product tours to their customers. 

1. Plan your tour 

Crafting an effective product tour is like planning the perfect road trip — you need a clear destination in mind, a well-mapped route and the right stops along the way for a seamless journey. Below are the key steps for planning your product tours that can unlock the full potential of your SaaS product. 

Define objectives

Every product tour has a different purpose — to onboard new users, navigate existing users through a new design or feature, or guide customers in upgrading their product plan. Establishing clear objectives is crucial to creating content, messaging, and design that aligns with your users’ unique needs. 

Further, ask yourself what you are aiming to achieve from this product tour — whether it’s to boost feature adoption, increase product activation, enhance user engagement, or reduce onboarding time. Answering this will guide every decision you make throughout the planning process. 

Know your audience

Determine who the product tour is for. Consider factors like demographics, technical proficiency, and pain points. Having detailed user insights will help you create a tour that speaks directly to their needs and concerns. 

Identify key features

Take a deep dive into your product’s core functionalities. Determine which features need to be highlighted in the product tour and how you will present these for users to understand and master. 

A project management tool might include features like a task board, calendar, and real-time communication tools. Understanding how these features align with users’ pain points can help you craft a tour that resonates and provides maximum value. For example, you can showcase how the task board enables them to visualize their team’s workload and assign tasks accordingly. 

Map the user journey

You might be using the best product tour software out there, but it won’t deliver the desired results if the user journey is not thoroughly understood. A comprehensive user journey involves the various stages users go through when interacting with your product — from initial awareness to long-term loyalty. 

By documenting this journey, you can understand your users’ goals, pain points, and behaviors at each stage of their experience. Further, you can pinpoint the critical touch points where the users are most engaged, motivated, or facing a specific challenge. This way, you can not only put the users at the center of your planning process but also design product tours tailored to their goals and contextual needs. 

Decide the structure

Next, decide the optimal sequence to present the information for an intuitive learning experience. It should feel natural, helping users navigate from basic features to more advanced functionalities. Crafting a structured product tour helps build users’ confidence and familiarity with the product, rather than bombarding them with too much information at once. Plus, they can explore advanced features with better understanding, enabling long-term adoption. 

For example, the sequence for a project management tool looks like this: 

  • Overview of the task board
  • Demonstrating task creation and assignment 
  • Exploring team calendar and its integration with tasks 
  • Walkthrough of real-time collaboration features, like comments, notifications, and mentions. 

2. Select the right UI pattern

UI patterns in your product tours serve as signposts that can help the users navigate through the product tour in an organized manner. These can provide users with a clear roadmap of the tour, outlining the available options and guiding them through each step of the journey. Plus, these reduce confusion as users know where they are on the tour and what actions they can take next, guaranteeing a user-friendly experience. 

Below are some UI patterns you can leverage in your product tours: 

Modals

Modals are user interface elements that temporarily overlay content on the main page, in the form of a dialog box or popup window. Modals typically appear in the center of the screen and immediately grab the users’ attention. 

You can use modals to: 

  • Display a welcome message when a user first enters the tour. 
  • Convey important information at the start of the product tour. 
  • Introduce and highlight crucial features and capabilities within your product. 
  • Deliver important announcements, updates, and notifications to users during the tour. 
  • Collect user input, such as preferences before and feedback after the product tour. 

What’s more? Integrating explainer videos with these modals can take user experience to another level. This video walkthrough upon signing up can help users quickly grasp the “what” and “why” of your product, boosting engagement and conversion. 

Kontentino, for example, uses a modal pop-up to welcome its new users to the platform. 

Another great example is Dropbox, a cloud-based file-storage platform. It also integrates an intro video with its modal for a seamless experience. 

Tooltips 

Tooltips are square or rectangular-shaped boxes that appear when users click on or hover over certain elements within the product tour. 

These small, contextual messages are excellent for providing a quick overview of a specific feature or functionality within a product. For example, when a user hovers over a button or icon, a tooltip can appear explaining what the button does and how it benefits the user. 

Tooltips often include call-to-action (CTA) buttons to help users know where to click next to access additional features or move to the next step. This way, these UI elements encourage interactive learning by allowing users to explore features at their own pace. 

Asana, for example, uses tooltips to guide its new users through its product capabilities. 

Checklists 

A checklist is another powerful UI pattern that uses psychological and cognitive principles to enhance user experiences. Humans have a strong desire to make progress and feel a sense of accomplishment. Checklists provide a visual representation of this progress, allowing users to track their goals through multiple tasks.

For a product tour, checklists outline the required steps or tasks in a sequential order. Breaking down complex processes into manageable tasks can reduce the user’s cognitive load. Plus, ticking off an item on checklists motivates them to stay engaged, knowing that they are making progress toward a specific goal. 

For example, when onboarding new users to your project management tool, you can create a step-by-step guide, mentioning the following tasks: 

  1. Create your first project 
  2. Invite team members
  3. Assign tasks 
  4. Set project milestones  

Here’s a great example from Behance. This visual representation helps users understand what key actions they need to complete to become proficient with the product. 

Another interesting example is from Grammarly. It uses a CTA button in its onboarding checklist, prompting the users to start the tour. 

Apart from these, you can leverage numerous other UI patterns to enhance the effectiveness of your product tours. These include interactive walkthroughs, explainer videos, and progress bars. Each pattern has its unique features. However, the key is to choose the right ones that align with your specific goals, user needs, and product complexity. 

3. Use interactive elements 

Understanding a new product can be intimidating. Plus, static product tours and manual instructions often leave users feeling lost and frustrated. This is where including interactive elements in your product tours comes into play. These elements allow you to retain users’ attention from start to finish, guiding them step-by-step through the product’s key features. 

Quizzes, animations, and interactive videos are a few interactive elements you can use to promote active learning throughout the product tour. 

Quizzes 

Quizzes are a fantastic way to engage users and ensure they’re absorbing the information you’re presenting. 

Suppose you’re onboarding users to a finance tool. After walking them through the process of setting up a new account and connecting their bank accounts, you can present a short interactive quiz challenging them to select the most relevant details to include, such as bank information, preferred account type, and more. 

The beauty of this approach is that it not only solidifies the user’s understanding of the process but also helps you gather valuable feedback on their overall grasp of the product’s functionality. And the insights you get can help you answer questions, such as: 

Are there specific steps that users find complex? Do certain user segments struggle more than others? This information enables you to continuously optimize product tours, address pain points, and tailor content to better suit users’ needs. 

Animations 

Animations are a powerful interactive element that can breathe life into your product tours. These don’t just look great — but also help captivate users and clarify complex processes and key concepts. 

Look at how Pry, a SaaS finance tool, used animations in its product tour video to create a visually appealing and educational experience for new users. 

Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzJaA3gI42k 

Chanty’s product tour also employs animated images and characters (a dog named Rufus) in the modal pop-up to further captivate users’ attention. 

Interactive videos 

Last but not least, you can also leverage interactive videos to demonstrate how specific tools or workflows operate or tell a compelling story about your product and its benefits or use cases. 

That’s exactly what Loom is doing in its product tours. 

4. Keep it short and simple

According to a report, the average product tour completion rate is 33.5%, with users normally spending 154 seconds on each tour. The report also suggests having no more than four steps in your product tour for a higher completion rate. Further, keep the word count of each step up to 23-25 words only. 

These numbers highlight the importance of creating short, streamlined product tours that keep the customers invested until the end. The longer the tour, the more overwhelmed your users will be, and you’ll see a reduced completion rate. 

For example, Grammarly is a content editing tool that guides new users through a 4-step product tour, where each step is short and easy to scan. 

6. Allow the users to skip and snooze 

A product tour is like a museum exhibit. However, just as a museum wouldn’t force visitors to follow a mandatory path and stop at each display for a set time, SaaS companies shouldn’t push users to complete the full product tour. If you keep the tour mandatory, users can not only get frustrated but also abandon your product before giving it a fair chance. 

This is where the “skip” and “snooze” options can help. 

Some users are already familiar with the product while others want to pause and revisit the tour later. Providing these options to users gives them a sense of control over their experience. They can decide when and how they engage with the tour, rather than feeling forced to complete it. 

In fact, a report shows that offering a snooze button in your product tour can encourage 3% of the users who initially exited the tour to return and complete it later. 

Hence, this level of personalized experience boosts feature adoption and product activation. Plus, it allows the users to explore features and functionalities they might have missed out on during the first tour. 

So, include the “Skip” button just like Canva does. 

7. Offer additional support 

No matter how comprehensive your product tour is, it has its limits. It can’t answer every question or provide detailed guidance on more advanced features.

That’s why it’s crucial to have additional support at the end of the tour. 

Providing easy access to support documentation, FAQs, live chat, and a responsive support team can keep the users informed and engaged with the new and existing product features. Further, this empowers them to continue the relationship with your product and explore its full potential, while also reducing the burden on the support team. 

Summing up 

Much like a five-star restaurant that considers its guests’ needs and provides an exceptional dining experience, SaaS companies that invest in personalized product tours are guaranteed to stand out, gather loyal customers, and achieve sustained growth. 

Generic product tours, on the other hand, can be a major turn-off for most users. It’s like being at a restaurant with a one-size-fits-all menu that doesn’t cater to your tastes and preferences. 

Hence, the key is to treat each user as a VIP and make them feel valued, empowered, and eager to continue their journey with your SaaS solution. This way, you’ll win them over and inspire them to become your long-term brand advocates.

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