The guide to more impactful in-app guides

When it comes to in-app guides, more doesn’t always mean better. The best in-app guides have a clear goal and, more importantly, are aimed at improving users’ experience with your product. Whether you’re just getting started with in-app guides or are looking to level up your efforts, we’ve curated the ultimate inspiration for you here. See how some of our customers are leveraging in-app guides to truly make an impact for their customers (and their business).

Show free users what they’re missing

You can never go wrong with some old fashioned FOMO. The product team at SecurityScorecard set out to promote curiosity and discoverability around paid features that free users may not have known were available. They created an in-app guide to act as an advertisement for a feature available to paid users, and served the guide only to their free users.

The guide had something for everyone: a one-minute video about their Rule Builder feature, a brief overview of its capabilities and value drivers, and an option to be reminded of this feature at a later date. The team measured the guide’s success by looking at traffic to their pricing page (where the guide CTA led) since the guide was implemented and comparing it to the previous time period.

The results

Since the guide was implemented, traffic to SecurityScorecard’s pricing page increased 50%, and the team found that users who saw the “ad” were 115% more likely to visit the pricing page than those who didn’t see it. Finally, self-upgrades during this time period also increased, blowing past prior quarters’ number of users upgrading to the paid version of the product themselves.

Users who saw the in-app guide were 115% more likely to visit the SecurityScorecard pricing page than those who didn’t see it.

SecurityScorecard in-app guide
Guides best practice
Create in-app guides to raise awareness of additional functionality and leverage your product itself as a way of converting free users to paying customers. Nelnet logo


Create an on-demand resource center

The largest segment in one of Nelnet’s products didn’t have access to their knowledge base, and users from this segment made up the majority of the organization’s support call volume. So, the team got creative and used an in-app guide to stand in as a resource center for these users and proactively answer their most common support call topics.

Users can choose from five different topics, and click to see more detailed tips and best practices. But Nelnet didn’t stop there. They personalized the guide even further and tailored it four-fold to account for two different markets and both web and mobile experiences. And now, they’re using these guides as a jumping off point to provide more help, like showcasing feature enhancements that are relevant to this specific user segment.

The results

Implementing these guides made a positive impact both internally for the Nelnet team and externally for their customers. They saw improvements to their internal collaboration, and support call volumes decreased by almost 30% as they helped enable customers to self-serve answers to their most-asked questions.

The in-app guide helped decrease support call volume by nearly 30% compared to team forecasts.

Nelnet 30% datapoint
Nelnet in-app guide
Guides best practice
Think of guides as a way to educate users as they need it. Use product data to understand which workflows or areas of the product certain types of users need help with the most, and then tailor your in-app guides accordingly.        


Let prospects choose their own adventure

In an effort to personalize (and streamline) their free trial experience, the team at Aysling launched an in-app guide on their MagHub product’s trial site specifically for prospects logging in for the first time. It included a short welcome video to help orient users, and from there they could select a specific feature to learn more about.

The goal was to put users in control and make it easy for them to explore different areas of the product. Since free trials can often be overwhelming, this guide helped direct prospects to the specific product features the Aysling team knew were high-value and correlated with positive customer outcomes.

The results

This guide is helping the Aysling team move away from needing to give demos for the MagHub product’s main features–instead letting the product speak for itself and do the heavy lifting. The choose-your-own-adventure style means that in just two steps, they’re able to direct people to the area of the site they are most interested in. Even better: This data is a gold mine for their sales team as they plan their follow up talking points.

Aysling in-app guide
Guides best practice
Use in-app guides to personalize users’ experience by letting them choose their next step or source of information. Always be intentional about where your guides lead your users.        


Guide users to high-value features

Bloomerang’s product team wanted to encourage customers to activate a certain feature that comes free with their subscription. Rather than sending an email blast, they turned to in-app guides to let users know about this functionality when the nudge would be most relevant: while they were using the product.

In addition to informing users of the feature, the guide also includes a direct link to the page in Bloomerang’s app where users can activate it. After initially placing the guide on their home page, the team identified two other areas in the app where pain points might surface and where this particular feature could help.

The results

The Bloomerang team had multiple ways to see the impact of their work. The CTA in Step 1 of the guide had a 34% click rate, and the CTA in Step 2 (to actually activate the feature) had a 100% click rate. On a broader scale, 58% of accounts where at least one visitor saw the guide have activated the feature, and Bloomerang increased overall adoption by 25% in just 60 days.

The Bloomerang team increased awareness and overall adoption of the feature by 25% within 60 days of the guides going live.

Bloomerang's 25% data point

Guides best practice
In-app guides don’t only have to have one home. Remember to think through all the places in your product where users could benefit from the information a given guide provides.        
Bloomerang in-app guide


Support new customers at scale

Like all support teams, Energage support members can only be in so many places (figuratively speaking) at once. To better enable quick onboarding for their customers who forgo dedicated support and are managed through a one-to-many approach, Energage leverages in-app guides to bear some of the load.

Energage created a four-step onboarding walkthrough for the set-up portion of their employee engagement survey, and segmented to only show the guide to the appropriate customer base. The team also created a fifth guide that appears for users who dismiss the guide in step one and after they answer “Yes” or “No” to “Was this series of guides helpful?” in step four. This final guide gives customers the option to schedule a call with a member of the Energage team if they need additional help.

The results

Energage initially hoped this guide would help educate users about a key aspect of their product. However, in support of their ongoing efforts to improve the customer experience, the team decided to measure success by support case deflection. So far, they’ve seen that, on average, customers who viewed this guide submit a lower number of support cases. And that translates to better time-to-value, as customers are able to get the data they need to make critical business decisions, faster.

Guides best practice
Segmenting in-app guides allows you to deliver messages and information that’s hyper-relevant to different subsets of your user base.        
Energage in-app guide
Energage in-app guide


Collect feedback—and take action

After overhauling a feature that needed to be upgraded, the ShippingEasy team attached an in-app poll to gauge user satisfaction with the changes. Nearly two-thirds of users rated the updates a 4 or 5 out of 5, but they used the lower ratings as an opportunity to hear directly from customers about how they could improve.

Users who responded with a 1, 2, or 3 were presented with a field to provide feedback on what they didn’t like about the changes to the feature. From there, the product team created a second poll that showed an animation of a prototype fix for one of the problems users mentioned, and asked whether or not users thought it would be a good approach.

The results

The first poll the ShippingEasy team created had a 55% response rate, which was significantly higher than results from previous email communications. The second poll (shown to users who gave lower satisfaction ratings) had an 83% response rate, and 71% of those respondents approved of the proposed enhancement. This gave the product team the validation they needed to move forward with these additional changes.

The ShippingEasy team’s second poll had an 83% response rate, with 71% of those users approving of the feature enhancements they proposed.

ShippingEasy 71% data point
Guides best practice
If you learn something about users (or their feelings about your product) through one in-app guide, use a second one to dig deeper and get to the root of how you can improve their experience.        Inseego logo
ShippingEasy in-app guide


Proactively answer users’ common questions

One of Inseego’s legacy portals had not yet been updated to their latest and greatest interface, resulting in an overwhelming number of calls to their support team. What’s more, the requests were predominantly simple in nature–questions like, “What sales code should I use?” or “What should I enter in the user name field?”

Luckily, their technical writer devised a solution that was equally simple in nature: create in-app guides to educate users on the most common subjects of these support calls. After identifying the UI elements that generated the most calls, he created 16 lightboxes and tooltips to address these repetitive inquiries–and users and the Inseego support team were better off because of them. Call it a win-win.

The results

After implementing these guides, the Inseego support team saw a huge dropoff in calls related to this particular portal, going from dozens (or even hundreds) of calls a week to practically none. The guides had thousands of views, with the most-viewed guides being those that addressed the simplest inquiries.

Guides best practice
Utilize a variety of guide types to get your messages across. For example, create a one-time lightbox guide for important information and then duplicate the content in a tooltip so the information is available whenever users need it.
Inseego in-app guide


Provide how-to content in-context

The product team at Cartegraph set out to onboard users onto Cartegraph Capture, a feature in their Cartegraph One mobile app that allows users to collect an infrastructure asset in the field by simply taking a picture. In order to drive repeat adoption of this feature, they created a four-step guide that shows users how to take a photo that will generate a high likelihood of success.

The creation of this guide also provided the added benefit of replacing a legacy, hard-coded walkthrough their development team had built in the past. Now, they can tweak the guide whenever they need to without relying on development resources.

The results

The Cartegraph team is measuring success for this guide by the growth and repeat users of the Cartegraph Capture feature. In the last six months, feature usage increased by 28%, and the number of accounts using this functionality rose by 40%.

Within six months, the team increased usage of the Cartegraph Capture feature by 28%, and increased the number of accounts using this functionality by 40%.

Cartegraph 28% data point
Cartegraph mobile in-app guide
Cartegraph mobile in-app guide
Guides best practice
When it comes to in-app guides, don’t set it and forget it. Make sure you’re measuring success and tweaking guides based on your users’ reactions and behaviors.
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