Growth & Marketing

October 25, 2020

February 15, 2022

The state of the SaaS onboarding & signup flows: We analyze 50 companies

Table of contents

Are you working on creating (or improving) your SaaS registration form? Today we analyze the best practices among 50 well-known SaaS, with examples and direct links so you can find the inspiration and data you need, to make it as frictionless as possible.

Form display

When analyzing the way forms are displayed on their websites, we found that there are two main options — popup or inline —, plus combinations between them:

  • Popup forms (6%). Only a few websites display their signup forms as popups or modal windows. Figma and Vimeo are some of the ones that are using this option.
  • Inline forms (84%). The vast majority of the signup forms are embedded inline on the website, albeit in different ways. Within this group, there are companies like Zapier and AWeber that embed it directly on the homepage of their website, allowing the user to complete the process on this same page. However, the most frequent case is to embed it in a separate page specifically designed for it, like Asana and Amplitude.
  • Mixed display (10%). Companies like Shopify and ActiveCampaign choose to combine the previous options, placing the email field on the homepage and the next steps in a popup or on a separate page.

Signup pages

The 90% of the SaaS analyzed place the entire form (84%) or the second and following steps (6%) on a separate page, specifically designed for it, which is accessed from different CTAs on the web. 

Although there are almost as many types of signup pages as there are companies, we can divide them into 2 groups based on their content and structure:

  • Simple signup pages. The only content on this page is the form, usually displayed in the center of the page, and a logo, which takes us back to the homepage of the website. For example, Segment, Basecamp and Drift are currently using this option.

  • Marketing-driven signup pages. Apart from the registration form, these pages include content aimed at reinforcing the brand identity or the value proposition of the product. The most common contents on these pages are images and illustrations (63%), texts about the value proposition (51%), customer logos (14%), testimonials (12%) and very occasionally, videos (2%).

In general, the content of the page doesn’t change as we go through the steps of the form, although we have found an exception. HubSpot's signup page displays different content depending on the form step.

Form structure

When analyzing the structure of the forms, regardless of their display, we found the following characteristics.

One step vs Multi-step forms

Approximately three-thirds of the forms are multi-step (67%), like Zoom, SendGrid, and ZenDesk. So only a third of them have a single step (33%), like Segment, Toggl and Drip.

The average is 3 steps per form, although we found some cases that have between 5 and 11. Among these examples of forms with a higher average number of steps are famous companies like Gmail, Microsoft and HubSpot, who show a special interest in qualifying their new users during the registration process.

Number of fields

The average number is 6.4 fields per form although, as in the case of the steps, there is considerable variation between them, with cases reaching up to 20 fields.

In fact, Asana's form is the only one that just asks for an email to register, while the rest of the forms request more data from the user, either for access or qualification.

Top requested data

The ranking of the most requested data in the signup forms of these SaaS are:

Name, email and password fields lead the ranking of requested data, followed by the phone number and the name of the company. In addition to the data that appears in the chart, some of the forms request other data such as the company website, available budget, business type, user name or account name, language, etc.

Copywriting style

Just like the book a demo forms, the main copywriting style is simple or traditional (98%). Only a few of them opt for a conversational style (2%), despite being fashionable in recent years.

Although the conversational style has been considered as "more humanized", the truth is that it also entails a bigger effort in reading and a higher overall time when filling in the form. This actually impacts form conversion rates, which is the reason why most of the companies are opting for simpler text in their forms.

User verification

As for the user registration and authentication methods, two options clearly stand out in the SaaS forms: the classic email and password, and the social sign up features.

Email & Password

The vast majority of the analyzed forms request the creation of a password (96%) and, surprisingly, only a minority use a passwordless flow (4%), like Slack does.

Email verification

In addition to requiring a password, most companies verify the email (87%) by sending a magic link or temporary code to the user, albeit at different points in the process.

Most of them actually verify the user's email before creating the account (61%), while others do this after account creation (26%) and some of them don’t verify it (13%).

Phone number

In addition to the email, 38% of the forms request a phone number, although only in a few cases it is verified (2%). In fact, in the SaaS analyzed, it is only verified in those in which the use of the phone is an essential part of the service provided, like Twilio.

Social login

Surprisingly, less than half of SaaS (37%) offer the possibility to register using social accounts. The option chosen par excellence is Google (36%), followed by Microsoft (8%), Apple ID (6%), Facebook (4%) and Dropbox (2%). Plus 4% offering SSO options.

It should also be noted that only 18% of the forms offer more than one of these options, including services such as Zapier, Zoom, and Trello.

Spam blocking

Although most of the cases analyzed (63%) don't use Captchas or reCaptchas to block spam, there is a considerable percentage of SaaS that do use them.

Between these two options, the most used one is the reCaptcha (33%). It usually appears in a corner of the signup page or as the "I'm not a robot" checkbox in the form.

Residually, we also found some Captchas (4%), based on texts and images. However, its use is not recommended as it usually has a negative impact on form conversion rates.

Payments and pricing options

If we look at the pricing and payment options, we see that there are different options that are not incompatible with each other.

Freemium vs. Free trial

Nearly three quarters of SaaS offer a free trial (71%), with a duration between 7 and 30 days. This is the case of companies like ActiveCampaign, Basecamp, and Salesforce.

About a quarter have a freemium model (27%), like Figma, Slack, and Evernote. This means that they offer at least two pricing options: a free one plus a paid one with advanced features.

Some specific cases offer both (2%) a freemium model and a free trial of the paid plan, like AdRoll does.

Payment details

Although a free trial is available, 19% request payment details from the user for when the free trial is over. This is the case of SaaS like Hootsuite, Marketo, and AWS.

Post-registration behavior

Once the registration form is completed and submitted, there are some triggered actions that are common to many of the SaaS analyzed.

Onboarding screen & Account settings

After form submission, 74% display an account setup form which usually includes questions to also qualify the user. Asana, Workplace, and Mailchimp are good examples.


90% of signup processes automatically log in the user. Although surprisingly, there is still 10% that asks for credentials again to allow the user to log in right after registering.

Onboarding flow

After the signup and account settings flow, 73% SaaS display onboarding content to guide their first interactions with the interface. Products like SendGrid and HubSpot opt for a homepage with a checklist and different calls to action to guide the user.

While others like Slack and Close opt for a guided tour through the interface of the product.

Welcome email

In addition to the account verification email, more than half of the SaaS, send the user a welcome email (68%) with a message, tips and resources to guide their first interactions.

Email sequence

In addition to the welcome email, although to a lesser extent, some SaaS send an email sequence to the user (39%) to facilitate their activation and promote key features.


Based on this analysis, we can summarize the best practices in the following points:

  • Signup page. 90% of SaaS have a registration page to which different CTAs on their website and landing pages are redirected. These pages have different designs and content, but are usually aimed at reinforcing the value proposition around the form.
  • Multi-step forms. 67% of forms are multi-step since, in addition to credentials, they include some field to qualify the user without requesting too much information. The average is 3 steps and 6 fields per form. Only big companies like Google, Microsoft or AWS offer longer forms, with more friction.
  • Social login. Only 37% offer the possibility to register using social accounts and the option chosen par excellence is Google. Also, only 18% of the forms offer more than one, among which are usually found Microsoft, Apple ID, Facebook and Dropbox.
  • Email verification. 96% of the SaaS request the creation of a password and 87% verify the email, by sending a magic link or temporary code to the user, albeit at different points of the account creation process. Only 4% use passwordless flows. 
  • Free trial. 71% offer a free trial with a duration between 7 and 30 days, while only 27% offer a freemium model and some specific cases (2%) offer these two options combined. However, only 19% request payment details from the user in the form.
  • Account settings. 74% display an account setup form which usually includes questions to also qualify the user after form submission. This allows for a more frictionless signup and attempts to qualify users once they have created an account.
  • Autologin. 90% of registration processes automatically log in the user after the form submission and the account settings process. Avoiding prompting users again for the credentials that they have just entered reduces a lot of friction in the process.
  • Onboarding flow. 73% SaaS display onboarding content intended to guide their first interactions with the interface, right after the registration and account settings flow. This usually consists of a checklist and different calls to action to guide the user, or a guided tour through the product interface, and a welcome email.

Does your signup flow look like this? If not, we recommend that you do some tests with it to see if by implementing any of these options you can increase your conversion rate.

Thanks to Arengu, you can quickly replicate and iterate your flow, in order to A/B test it in record time. Request a demo to analyze the friction of your form with our team plus all the possible improvements, or sign up free and share your results with us.

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