Growth & Marketing

June 14, 2021

June 15, 2021

8 User Onboarding Metrics to Track (+11 Handy Tools)

Table of contents

Let’s say you have gone through product discovery sessions and built a fantastic product stacked with helpful features and beautiful design elements. People seem to take interest and even make a purchase… only to bounce off to the competitors. 

It’s time to rethink your user onboarding practices. This post will help you better understand user onboarding metrics and overview tools that might come in handy.

User onboarding: what, who, why 

When new users first start using your product, they may not be aware of all its unique features just yet. The initial advertising may have hooked them, but that does not mean they know everything there is to do. 

User onboarding is a process that helps new customers learn more about the product and make it an integral part of their daily routines. 

Who is responsible for user onboarding?

Everyone on the team has a role to play: product managers, designers, customer support representatives, marketers, and developers.

The key here is to ensure that everyone is on the same page so that the user gets a unified message about your product. In this way, cross-team syncs are a must in establishing the user onboarding process.

Source: HubSpot

Why track user onboarding process 

By tracking the user onboarding process, you can see clearly where you fail to hook and retain your audience and, thus, find out what needs changing. 

As a result, you can: 

  • Discover an individual approach to each customer and increase conversions.
  • Learn how to inform best and update the users and, thus, boost engagement.
  • Find out what makes the customers bounce off and eliminate those triggers. 
  • Realize what prompts the users to upgrade to premium or pay for extra features.

11 helpful tools for tracking user onboarding 

These are just some of the tools to help you track and improve the user onboarding process: 


This handy service allows you to set up a qualitative onboarding process focusing on user verification and user qualification, data enrichment, and completely customized automations with any service with an API. With no coding skills, you can build customized forms, triggered flows for users, integrate the platform with other tools you use, and more.

It's a secure and flexible platform to improve registration security and UX, increase conversions, and build robust and smooth onboarding flows.

Google Analytics 

Perhaps, Google Analytics is the most widely used tool for the segment. It helps you learn more about your customers’ behavior and interaction with your product and website. 

Armed with this valuable data, you can make choices that would steer the users towards just the right page or button, improving conversion and retention statistics.


User feedback is precious when it comes to improving the onboarding process. Appcues allows you to do just that: gather user feedback by creating targeted in-app surveys. You can even group users based on their survey results and adapt your onboarding strategy to each group. 


With Amplitude, you can analyze various user cohorts – groups of users based on patterns in behavior and usage. As a result, you can tailor the user onboarding experience to each group without spreading yourself thin to please each user. 


Inspectlet enables you to track each stage of user onboarding in real-time. The tool provides session recordings, which help you determine where the user gets stuck and, consequently, which onboarding phase requires extra tinkering and optimization. 


FullStory, similarly to Inspectlet, delivers session replays and heatmaps to help you better understand how the customer uses your product. As a result, you can identify the customer’s pain points and promptly fix them for a smoother onboarding experience.  


Having an attractive and intuitive UI can help tremendously in user onboarding. With Mixpanel, you can test various UI elements in detail and see exactly how users interact with them. Learn what users do after they sign in to your product, where they get confused, and what makes them stay or leave.

This tool will help you to import all the user onboarding records and statistics into chosen databases or make cross-platform integrations. You can track all the required metrics in real-time. 

Then, visualize the data for a better understanding of the whole team. For example, you can simply use Google Sheets as a database to collect the metrics and use them for visualization.


It's an excellent time to implement a welcoming video tutorial or starting video guides in your onboarding sequence. Wistia is the platform to create and distribute such videos, embed them into blog posts, welcome emails, landing pages, etc.

Besides, the tool will help you analyze your videos, e.g., when users drop watching them and more. Eventually, you can improve the material, cut it, or add more engaging information.


This tool is about collecting user feedback. Of course, there's a free tool of such type – Google Forms. But the functionality of the Forms is pretty limited.

In turn, Feedier will help you to make the process efficient and interesting for users. It's not only about gathering all sorts of user feedback but analyzing the data thoroughly. With Feedier, you can collect and improve NPS, VoC, and touchpoints in the customer journey.


This solution is for companies still experimenting with user adoption strategies and onboarding practices. Optimizely can help you to A/B test different approaches to user onboarding and choose the most effective for your case. 

By creating and delivering content to new users with Optimizely, you can evaluate which onboarding option works best.

8 user onboarding metrics to track for sure

Now, you know the importance of user onboarding and how to track it. It's time to know which user onboarding metrics are the most crucial to follow. 

When you identify key metrics for user onboarding, make sure they're realistic and align with the company's general marketing and business goals. To know more about that, feel free to check this article.

Among others, the following 8 metrics are paramount to track and analyze.

Free trial to a paid version 

Many SaaS companies provide subscription-based services, where user onboarding plays a paramount role since the client can easily cancel their subscription in the next cycle. Many of those companies also offer free trials to introduce their service and, hopefully, make it irreplaceable in the customer’s life. 

If you plan on offering a free trial, you must monitor how many people eventually decide to upgrade to a paid version and how long it takes. 

If the conversions are low, you will need to re-consider your entire user onboarding strategy. If the conversions are regular but take longer than expected, you may want to improve the time to complete the onboarding metric by educating your audience about the product’s benefits.  

Time to complete onboarding 

The time to complete onboarding is when the user fully comprehends the value of your product and is comfortable using it independently. 

How long does it take your customers to learn the product? If that number is excessive, perhaps, your product is unnecessarily complicated, or you need to offer more tutorials and training for the users. 

Many people are strapped for time, so they can learn to use your product quickly and effectively. If they can’t, they may want to look for simpler, more intuitive alternatives. 

User engagement and product adoption  

To improve customer retention, it is essential to keep track of user engagement levels. If the user does not interact with the product, they have not adopted it yet, making them more likely to drop it soon. 

Important questions you need to ask:

  • How often do customers use your product? 
  • What is the average time a customer spends on your product? 
  • What level of engagement is expected from them (daily, weekly, monthly)? 
  • Why do they use some features more than others? 
  • Should you remove certain features altogether or are they simply in dire need of improvement? 
  • Perhaps, the users simply need a video tutorial or training to start using the neglected feature. 

It is always better to ask the users directly via a feedback form or a survey rather than trying to guess why a part of your product is not working as intended. In addition to onboarding, feedback is a powerful tool in continuous product discovery. 

Churn rate after one week

What percentage of users drop your product after a set period? According to Upland, 1 of 4 users stops using an app after the first day. This metric is critical to track, while the calculation is simple:  

the number of customers lost within a particular timeline divided by the number of customers gained at the start of the exact timeline

To check if your user onboarding strategy is working, monitor the churn rate within the first 7 days of product acquisition. It will not tell you what exactly is wrong, but, at least, you will know where the problem lies. 

If needed, you can experiment with a period, say, checking churn rates after 3 days or 1 month.

Each onboarding stage goals

To pinpoint the problem, it is helpful to set a goal for each onboarding stage. By monitoring those goals, you can learn where you face the most attrition and, thus, what must be changed ASAP. 

Users are expected to perform different actions on each onboarding stage. They may want to read more about your product when they first encounter it. They may like to connect to the sales team at a more advanced stage and learn more about the product’s exclusive benefits and features. 

It’s important to know at what stage the users tend to drop your product. If it is at the initial encounter, perhaps, your landing page or welcome email needs re-working. If the users bounce off later on, your customer support and sales team may require some up-training.  

Daily active users vs. monthly active users 

How many people sign into your product on a particular day? How many of them use your product every day throughout the month? 

This metric shows whether your customers can derive value from your product in the long term. If your product fails to provide value over time, you will need to either go back to the drawing board or re-work some of its features. 

Sometimes the customers are simply unaware of the product’s value. This can be attributed to misleading marketing or poor communication during the onboarding. 

To boost the ratio, make sure your marketing strategy is truthful but also exciting. In addition, it should be easy to connect to your sales and customer support team.  

Customer response rate

Many customers may have questions about your product functionality and other specifics even though you present FAQs and related documentation. When it comes to new users, they will likely need extra information and personal touch from your side. 

By tracking response rates to surveys, feedback forms, and other forms of questionnaires you send to new customers is the way to understand how new users use your product and how to improve onboarding if needed. 

This metric is about how you listen to your customers and act according to their inquiries. The collected insights may help you refine your customer success practices and onboarding of new users.

Problem-solution rate

Sometimes questionnaires and surveys can't guarantee that you'll prepare and deliver solutions to all the frequent cases that customers experience. New users can ask lots of clarifying questions and complain. Naturally, they need answers to those questions/complaints and need them timely. 

It's a bad practice to ignore complaints. That’s why you need to be ready to accept and respond in real-time. Problem-solution (or escalation rate) is a metric that shows the quality and quickness of your response to users' dissatisfaction, misunderstandings, and other frustrations. 

Track the time between a complaint received and processed as well as the number of successful cases. It will help deliver a better onboarding experience, show users that you care, and impact their loyalty.


User onboarding is all about conveying the value of your product and convincing the customer to stay for the long term. Successful user onboarding requires you to learn your customer by using numerous available tools and tracking valuable analytics such as churn rate, the ratio of DAU to MAU, user engagement, etc.

You might like to read

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our email newsletter to receive article notifications and regular product updates.