SaaS Product Tours: 11 Tactics & 18 Examples

There’s no better onboarding tool letting new users familiarize themselves with your product’s interface. Product tours are usually sets of tooltips (also called contextual tips) that highlight UI elements one by one. You can use them to point out the most important features or to teach people how to go through a process, showing what to do or where to click.

If you’re going for the former, you’ll most likely make the flow progress on a click of the “Next” button. But if you choose the latter, remember that learning by doing is more powerful and move users to the next step when they interact with your product. By making them experience the process first-hand, you have higher chances they’ll actually remember what to do or feel how easy it is.

What’s important, you don’t need to limit yourself to one tour. You can have, e.g., a main walk-through showing new users around the app, and then for each process they need to learn or feature they need to set up—separate tours.

And while having multiple product tours is totally fine, remember not to make them too long or text-heavy as nobody will remember any of it. The aim of product tours is not to explain each icon or link in a menu but rather highlight elements pivotal at this particular moment.

SaaS Product Tour Tactics

Skip the intro message

Letting people know what to expect from the tour might help you set expectations but during this user onboarding research, I’ve noticed that it felt totally different whenever I was asked to start a flow, compared to being thrown right into it. In the first case, you’re free to decide while in the second it feels like you have no choice and you just go with the flow.

Make it more personal

It’s common knowledge that introducing the human aspect to marketing tends to improve its results. So why don’t you try it out in your product tours too? Add your name and a photo to let users know who’s guiding them and create a more personal connection. And although most user onboarding software doesn’t have this option available out of the box like Intercom, it shouldn’t be that much of a hassle to do it manually.

Add images

a) for even more context

If you feel the text itself won’t be enough to explain what to do, add to your tooltips screenshots showing exactly how users should proceed.

b) to make it more engaging

Of course, images don’t need to have a purely informational role—they can also make your messaging more engaging. Follow Livechat’s onboarding example and add well-designed graphics showcasing your features.

Show progress

Number each step in the flow or add a progress bar to let people know how much is still left.

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Use a short survey to personalize further experience

An interesting idea from Pendo, user onboarding software. Because their setup involves a high-friction action (adding their code to your app), they first let users explore other features, and only at the end of the product tour do they introduce their Polls feature, asking if you’re ready to implement the code or if you want to see more. A clever idea!

Add follow-up actions

The end of a product tour doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to do or explore. Don’t leave users in a situation where they don’t know what to do, and suggest the next steps they can take.

Let users replay the tour: 

a) Use “Remind me later”

b) Allow to start the flow over

c) Link to tours from your Resource center

Focus on the bigger story rather than the UI

Not a classic example of a product tour, but I thought it’s worth adding it as a worthwhile alternative. Mixpanel’s user onboarding managers don’t teach you the interface showing where to click. Instead, they help you understand the most crucial concepts, and this way truly empower you to become successful.

18 Product Tour Examples

Discover interesting feature walk-throughs (also called in-app tutorials, product tour) examples to find inspiration for your own SaaS tour. Below you’ll find screenshots of tours with a short commentary.

Airtable product tour

What’s good about this product tour:

  • Introduces the main features in an easily-digestible form.
  • Allows for going back to previous steps.
  • Shows your progress through the tour.
  • Ends with a follow-up action: pointing to the Resource Center.

What’s bad about this product tour:

  • Elements are not highlighted enough (only a barely visible yellow border is shown around a feature).

ActiveCampaign feature explainer tour

What’s good about this feature explainer tour:

  • Is based on an example automation which doesn’t require users to set anything up. For more complex features like this, it might be a better approach vs creating it right away.
  • Helps users understand how it all works rather than explaining the UI.

What’s bad about this feature explainer tour:

  • Is text-heavy, with a high cognitive load.
  • Not very engaging—reading the copy I couldn’t be less excited to start using the product.

Ayoa product walk-through

What’s good about this walk-through:

  • Short and easy-to-read copy with the most important information in bold text.
  • Let’s you navigate back and forth.

What’s bad about this walk-through:

  • Progresses on click of the “Next” button making the user focus on reading rather than doing (which in this case could work perfectly).
  • No progress indicator.

Bluescape in-app tutorial

What’s good about this app tutorial:

  • Features descriptive images that help you understand what to do.
  • Is short and easy to understand.
  • Starts right away, without an introductory message.

What’s bad about this app tutorial:

  • The name Welcome tour could be changed to the benefit/outcome of going through it, e.g., Start creating (as says the title in the middle of the board).

Booksy UI walk-through

What’s good about this feature walk-trough:

  • Shows your progress through the tour.

What’s bad about this feature walk-trough:

  • Could teach you the process on a specific example, rather than just pointing out UI elements.
  • At first, two messages are shown at the same time (with almost the same text).
  • Low contrast of tooltips vs the main interface.

Chargebee embedded tour

What’s good about this product tour:

  • Lets you understand what you can achieve with Chargebee without prior setup showcasing a simplified demo.
  • The copy is engaging and makes one excited to try it out.
  • Seamlessly integrates the 3 setup options into the tour tying it to a specific feature.
  • Suggests a follow-up actions in the last step.

What’s bad about this product tour:

  • If you click through the steps quickly just reading the titles, it’s not entirely clear whether you set up your account or of it’s just a test drive.

Conceptboard intro tour

What’s good about this product tour:

  • Short, no bullsh*t approach.
  • Shows your progress and lets you navigate back and forth.

What’s bad about this product tour:

  • In fact, shown are 2 tours at the same time which creates confusion in terms of what to focus on.

Conceptboard web app tour

What’s good about this web app tour:

  • Makes you go through the process of creating the board and using the main features—thus experience the main value yourself.

What’s bad about this web app tour:

  • Has a few unnecessary steps which could be removed, making the experience smoother and less tiring.
  • The amount of text and elements in the tour make it hard to comprehend.

Hubspot contacts UI tour

What’s good about this product tour:

  • The tour lets you experience what it’s like working with Hubspot and efficiently goes through the main points without pointing out unnecessary features.
  • It’s based on dummy data so you don’t need to set up or import anything in advance.
  • The story make the experience more engaging.
  • Buttons are self-explanatory, telling you what’s going to happen next.

What’s bad about this product tour:

  • Some parts of the copy could be shortened or a bit more clear at the first glance (so that one understands the point without reading it all).
  • Adding links to additional content inside the tour can be distracting. New concepts should be introduced after users finish the tour.

Copper walk-through

Intercom conversations tour

What’s good about this in-app tour:

  • Adding the name and the photo of the guide make the tour more personal and friendly.
  • Is short and easy to understand.

Jira new feature design walk-through:

Livechat tour

Miro intro tour base feature walk-through

Shipbob onboarding tour

Freshdesk UI walk-through