SaaS Signup Flows: 26 Tactics & 32 Examples

Signup (setup) flow and user onboarding

Before reaching their first “Aha!” moment, users often need to setup something up. This could involve tasks like connecting an integration, inviting teammates, or adding a logo. To streamline this process, many companies use so-called setup flows (also signup flows or after-signup flows), which are an extension of the signup page.

But what if your software caters to diverse needs or user groups? At signup, pinpointing the exact actions to suggest might be challenging. In such cases, instead of guiding users through account setup, it might be effective to ask questions and tailor recommendations based on their responses. This approach could be as direct as asking about the problem they aim to solve with your app and offering related templates or pre-filled forms in return.

On the other hand, you can focus the flow solely on lead qualification. This type doesn’t necessarily enhance the user experience; instead, it aids the company in assessing the user’s value to the sales team based on their responses.

26 Tactics to improve the signup flow conversion

How does it work? Right after creating an account, a user is taken to another page before entering the product itself. In most cases, it’s visually different from the signup page what gives you the feeling you’ve entered another phase.

Let’s see what design and conversion rate optimization tactics we can use to drive user activation.

Increase motivation right from the start

Before you can start using Booksy you need to complete a 12-step setup flow. To boost your motivation, they inspire you to imagine your business thriving, and show the future where you can focus on what you enjoy the most.

saas signup flow motivation boost

Manage expectations

If your app’s setup is time-consuming, think about setting clear expectations like Stripe does. Before presenting any forms, they inform users about the duration and the specific information required for the setup. You can also let people skip the setup and dive into the app.

saas signup flow managing expectations

Keep one action per screen

Minimizing cognitive load is a fundamental strategy to remember. By keeping the number of actions per screen to a minimum, users will smoothly complete the process without even realizing it. Confluence does an amazing job combining one action per screen with clean design.

Mark the first step as already done

Leverage the completion bias by marking the first step as already done. Highlight to users that they’ve completed the initial stage of the process, which is often account creation. This tactic plays on the psychological desire to finish what has been started, encouraging users to continue through the setup.

saas signup flow completion bias

Add an “imaginary” step

Datapine takes the previous tactic to the next level by indicating that users have completed not just one, but two steps. The first being finding the right software.

Indicate progress 

This is an essential feature for just about any user flow. Use a progress bar or a list of steps to let people know how much they’ve completed and how much is left to do. It helps users stay on track and understand where they are in the process.

Allow to skip harder-to-complete steps

For instance, in Booksy, completing a profile typically requires adding a photo of your workplace. But what if you don’t have it readily available? It’s better to let users finish the process without it, so they can start exploring the app right away and add the photo later when it’s convenient for them.

signup flow skip steps

Make your flow as long as needed

Feeling pressured to keep your flow short? It’s a common concern, fearing users might drop off if it’s too long. But here’s the thing: if you keep the steps relevant and easy to follow, most users will stick with it.

Your main goal is to reduce the time it takes for users to see value (TTV) and get them closer to that “Aha!” moment. So, feel free to make your flow as long as needed, ensuring it’s still user-friendly and efficient. This way, you’ll smoothly guide users towards that satisfying first moment of realization.

Split it into two separate flows

If your signup flow feels too lengthy and complicated, take a cue from Moz. They’ve found success by splitting their flow into two separate ones. This approach can help users navigate the process more easily and reduce the feeling of overwhelm.

Ask what they want to achieve

Why not just ask users about their goals when they start using your app? It’s a simple way to tailor the experience to their needs and boost your activation rate in the process. By understanding what users want to achieve, you can provide a more personalized experience that helps them get the most out of your app.

Ask which features they are interested in

Along the same lines, you can also inquire about which features users are interested in and then provide them with an appropriate onboarding checklist or direct them straight to the relevant page. Remember, the fewer steps it takes to reach the end goal, the better.

signup flow choose features

Introduce an Aha! moment right away

Time to value is crucial. The quicker users understand what they can achieve and how it all works, the better. Take CloudTalk, for example. This call center app nails it. Right from the start, they give you that first “Aha!” moment by providing a new phone number. Then, in just a few steps, they let you experience the app through a demo phone call—no setup required.

Make them feel something positive

Every question can be presented in multiple ways. For example, Mailjet could simply ask, “Which department do you work in?” and provide two buttons. However, by adding pleasant images representing each persona, they create a positive feeling just before users enter the app.

Invite for an onboarding call

Sales-assisted onboarding boasts a significantly higher conversion rate compared to pure automation. According to Ramli John, it’s 3-4 times higher (Product-Led Onboarding).

That’s why it’s crucial to ensure that your qualified leads have an easy way to schedule an onboarding call with one of your agents. You can achieve this by embedding a calendar widget like Chargebee does or by adding a link to another page as seen with Whatagraph.

Suggest upgrading the subscription

In many cases, users can select a specific subscription plan directly on the signup page. However, if later in the process you determine that a higher plan better fits their needs, it’s a good idea to suggest upgrading the subscription. Dropbox employs this strategy in their flow, seamlessly guiding users towards a plan that better suits their requirements.

Offer a discount for adding a credit card

Requiring users to add their credit card upfront can be a major conversion killer. However, what if you simply suggested it, offering something valuable in return?

Import existing data from other sources

The less effort you require from users, the better. One way to achieve this is by automating the setup process. For instance, you can import existing data from other systems that users have already configured.

Fetch logo based on provided email address

Following a similar tactic to the previous one, rather than asking users to upload their logo themselves, you can leverage logo APIs available or scrape their website based on the domain in their email address (applicable only for business emails).

Shuffle the order of the steps

Who said you need to ask for the email address and password right at the beginning? Quite a few companies included in the research seem to be experimenting with leaving these fields for the end of the flow.

This approach has both pros and cons. On one hand, you’re able to introduce small “Aha!” moments faster. But on the other hand, users will expect it anyway, and at every step, they’ll know that there’s at least one more step to go through.

Delay the email address confirmation

Asking users to confirm their email address before accessing the app can indeed be a real conversion killer. Even if you don’t see a big drop-off at this point in the funnel, it definitely lowers the motivation and mental energy needed to explore your product.

Congratulate at the end

It’s not all about reducing friction. Take the example of Booksy (the first point on this list), where they focus on boosting users’ motivation. You can apply a similar strategy at the end of the process.

Congratulate your users and make them feel like they’ve achieved something significant—it’ll energize them for the journey ahead. Let your creativity shine here; a simple “Well done” might not suffice. Consider how Freshdesk showers confetti all over your screen—I’m already excited to see what awaits inside!

Show what they’ve already achieved

Just like Freshdesk, Recruitee also offers congratulations at the end of the process. However, there’s one “tiny” difference. Instead of evoking emotions, they appeal to your reasoning by outlining what you’ve achieved so far. Both approaches have their merits, and it’s up to you to decide which one you prefer, or if you prefer either at all.

Tie each step to its desirable outcome

Don’t just expect users to follow your instructions blindly. Instead, tie each step to its desirable outcome by showing users what they’ll gain in return.

Signup Flow Examples

If you’re seeking inspiration for your signup flow, you’ve come to the right place. Explore the best signup flow examples and see how UX designers from leading SaaS companies approached creating their user registration flows. Interested in tactics to boost your product adoption? Dive into 26 ideas outlined in the article below.

Asana’s signup flow

What’s good about this signup flow:

  • Every step in the flow is designed to personalize the user experience.
  • It concludes with a project setup, shortening Time to Value.
  • Helps you understand what you can achieve with Asana and how it works.
  • Each step is very easy to complete.

What’s bad about this signup flow:

Autopilot’s signup flow

What’s good about this signup flow:

  • Is focused on setting up the account.
  • Introduces the first Aha! moments; for example, on the second slide, you’re reassured that Autopilot is suitable for your type of business. Then, you can find your billing platform, and on the subsequent slides, you personalize your default email.

What’s bad about this signup flow:

  • There’s a high number of steps and fields to fill in. I assume Autopilot’s crew sees these steps either as crucial for a smooth experience later on, or treats them as small Aha! moments. Yet from my perspective, the whole process was a bit too long. Is it really the right time to ask for the address or a credit card?
  • There’s no progress bar.
  • The copy on the first slide could be more inspiring and exciting, focusing on the benefits of using Autopilot.

Better Proposal’s signup flow

What’s good about this signup flow:

  • Easy-to-complete steps.
  • Descriptive button copy.
  • Allows you to upload your logo and shows a preview of the proposal.

What’s bad about this signup flow:

  • The first step seems like an unnecessary click.
  • On the last step, it would be better to show available options rather than require users to type themselves.

Biteable’s registration flow

What’s good about this registration flow:

  • Easy to complete, with one action per screen.

What’s bad about this registration flow:

  • What does “the best experience possible” mean? The copy should be more specific about what will happen.
  • Doesn’t provide any value right away.

Calendly’s signup flow

What’s good about this signup flow:

  • Short, low friction flow.
  • Prepares the account for the first use.

What’s bad about this signup flow:

  • Some texts seems to unnecessarily clutter the design, increasing the cognitive load.
  • Low contrast makes it harder to focus.

CloudTalk’s user registration flow

What’s good about this user registration flow:

  • Delivers value in the very first step—you are given a number, for free, right away!
  • Features a demo call, where new users can experience the full value without setting anything up. Amazing!
  • Explains in one clear sentence what CloudTalk is.
  • Submitting business information is included at the end of the flow, when your motivation is already high.

What’s bad about this user registration flow:

  • I imagine the second step could be divided in two for easier comprehension.

Connecteam’s signup flow

Deputy’s signup flow

Dropbox’s signup flow

See your competitors’ onboarding flows or check out my top picks.

Have a sneak peak into your competitors’ apps or check out the best user onboarding experiences out there. It’s up to you!

See 220+ Onboarding flows

Encharge’s signup flow

Fleetio’s signup flow

Flock’s signup flow

Fullstory’s signup flow

GanttPro’s signup flow

HelpCrunch’s signup flow

Insightly’s signup flow

Leadfeeder’s signup flow

Lightspeed’s signup flow

Lucidspark’s signup flow

MaintainX’s signup flow’s signup flow

Need more inspiration for your design?

Pollfish’s signup flow

Recruitee’s signup flow

Sendinblue’s signup flow

ShippyPro’s signup flow

Shopify’s signup flow

Smartsupp’s signup flow

Social Animal’s signup flow

Survey Monkey’s signup flow

Tidio’s signup flow

Webex’s signup flow

Whatagraph’s signup flow