Growth Hacking Beast Mode: How I Tackle Onboarding Immersion [FREE FRAMEWORK TEMPLATE]

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Whenever I start a new Growth Hacking contract in the post-launch environment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the depth and complexities of various industries. Generally, the product I’m about to work with is a result of years of careful planning and production. If I’m lucky, the minimal viable product they’re hoping to validate in the market is a simple response to an observed market pain point, and the AHA! moment is ever-present, works like magic, and is the weapon they’re using to hook early adopters in.

Download Onboard Mapping Template (2)

Be it B2B, B2C, C2C, C2C, or SaaS, I’ve worked on such diverse sets of product releases over the years, it’s almost impossible to systematically execute the same approach to each product. Couple that with the range of diversities in subject matter, product-solution/product-market focuses and niche demographies, you’re basically starting with a blank slate each time you start a new contract.

So when I find correlations or similarities between contracts, I jump at the chance to create some type of framework to help me achieve consistency and speed of integration.

One factor that presents itself each time, is the need to onboard with each new product I’m working on. This happens to establish familiarity with the product, the users that already or will use it, and sets up a foundation for experiments on the conversion and retention fronts. For me, Growth Hacking onboarding typically involves the following processes, give or take:

  • Review problem-solution research
  • Review product-market reseatch
  • Review user personas
  • Review user journeys
  • Review product assets
  • Immerse into product conversion and usage processes
  • Define key aspects of funnel friction

I found that creating a visual map of the entire product signup and usage processes (much like the UserOnboard.com Teardowns) and presenting unfiltered commentary on my first use of the product, ensured I was able to see the product from the perspective of a new, uninitiated user. This creates an opportunity to pay careful attention to, and record, any confusions, frustrations, observations and criticisms of the process without being too heavily influenced by the product if I were to already be an avid user of it.

The process depends on the medium in which the product exists, but in all, you need to capture screenshots of every step in the signup and usage of the product itself. From a mobile device, simply a screenshot of each step of the journey is perfect. Then just upload it all to Google Drive/Dropbox or email it to yourself. For the web, l I’ve found Jing by Techsmith helpful to achieve this in a pretty efficient manner.

Once you have all the screenshots, simply arrange them in a document to outline the journey each user currently takes through the product, as well as taking note of any notification settings and how notifications actually work to bring users back to the app.

When these are all laid out, focus at least 10 minutes of your time in trying to pick apart each individual screenshot, and writing your thoughts and comments against the screenshot. These will form the basis for any potential A/B test you aim to do to increase the effectiveness of the conversion and retention processes.

I’ve created a powerpoint template I use for a typical onboard mapping process I use (for this example, I’ve used Instagram’s Hyperlapse app), and it’s yours to use for free!

Download Onboard Mapping Template (2)

Do you have any special processes when working on a Growth Hacking project? Share them below!

~ Tomer Garzberg
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