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Lesson 7

Advanced Onboarding: Turn Cold Signups into Addicted Power Users




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Costumers are great. Returning costumers are better.

You’ve gotten people to sign up for your product, and make their first purchases.


Now it’s time for the last core system to kick in. Your ultimate goal isn’t just customers. You want repeat, long-term customers, and the best way to get them is to have an effective system in place for introducing new users to the value of your product.

It costs 5 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to keep an existing one, and the reason A LOT of startups fail is because the get a big mass of customers during a growth hack fuelled marketing push, but then lose most of them due to a poor onboarding experience, poor customer service, or short-sighted marketing practices.

Did you know that on average, from all the app installs, 70% of the users are gone after 3 days?

No wonder Sean Ellis — the man who coined the phrase ‘growth hacking’ — said that “50% of development resources should be spent on onboarding.”

Onboarding is the process of converting signups into addicted power users

This is absolutely essential for your growth! “The only users that matter are the users that you retain”

Fully onboarded users are GREAT because:

  • They tell their friends (virality)
  • They experience a lot of value, so they’ll actually stick around and keep using your product (retention)
  • They’ll pay you more
  • They’ll just be happy. Which is why you started that business in the first place: to make the world a bit better.

In short you want to build up a happy user base! Here’s how you do just that:

Lesson 7 :: Turn Cold Signups Into Addicted Power Users

They key to creating an amazing onboarding experience is to really, REALLY understand your customers. Shift your perspective for a second.

They’ve just bought your product. Now they have certain expectations.

During the sales process, you’ve created and shaped those expectations. You made claims. You made promises. You created a picture of how much easier or better life would be after they purchased from you.

Now, you need to fulfill those promises, and honestly, you need to overdeliver on them.


Onboarding is a 4-step journey that you take your customers on:

  1. Point A: the current state
  2. Point B: the end state
  3. Milestones along the way
  4. Obstacles that it harder


First, we have point A.

This is what we call the “Current state.” This is where your users are at when they’ve just gone through your sales funnel and bought an initial product.

It’s almost entirely made up of expectations


Then we have point B.

This the end state. This is the point where users have fully experienced the core value of your product.



In order for them to go from A to B, they need to reach certain milestones. In onboarding terms we like to call those milestones “magic moments.”

Magic moments are “aha” moments where the puzzle comes together in the mind of a customer, and they realize how much value your product can offer them. For example:

  1. Milestone 1: “Ah this looks cool”
  2. Milestone 2: “Now I get it!”
  3. Milestone 3: “This solves my problem perfectly!”

Every milestone comes with a positive feeling and encourages the user to keep moving forward. But of course, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows on this journey. There are also some obstacles...



Obstacles are -- as the name suggests -- anything that’s between your user and their next milestone. For example:

  • Account creation (which doesn’t add value in itself)
  • Installing the code snippet
  • No friends in your social media channel
  • Confusion about how a certain feature or flow works
  • A mismatch between expectations and reality


Magic Moments Roadmap

Your job is to ensure that your onboarding process helps users navigate these obstacles, so they can hit their milestones and experience magic moments.

To keep track of this whole process, we developed a system similar to our risk roadmap from Lesson 3.

Create Your Magic Moments Map

What you need to do is create a roadmap of all the magic moments a customer needs to experience along the way from point A to point B.

Next, identify the obstacles - the pain points, friction points, or points of confusion that can inhibit your users from reaching a given milestone.

Once you have an understanding of the key milestones and the potential obstacles for each milestone, you can create an onboarding system that will help users navigate the obstacles and successful reach each milestone along the way to becoming power users.

To dive further into the onboarding process, we’ve put together a full guide on the subject.

Click 'Learn More' to grab this and every guide we’ve created as part of our Ultimate Traction System.

To building business empires,