Step-by-step guide to creating product walkthroughs for B2B SaaS

February 29, 2024
Jamie McDermott

Creating a product walkthrough can be a powerful way to showcase your product's features, and increase perceived product value to your users.

Understanding how product walkthroughs form part of your overall onboarding strategy will help create cohesive and intentional user experiences.

In this guide, we've partnered with Product Fruits -- the user onboarding platform that drives results-- to walk you through the entire process of creating a product walkthrough, from choosing the right tool to promoting your finished product.

By following these steps, you'll be able to create a high-quality walkthrough that informs, engages, and delights your audience.

What are product walkthroughs good for during user onboarding?

Product walkthroughs guide new users through a product in a structured and engaging manner.

By promoting an interactive learning experience, walkthroughs expedite users' understanding of the product, which reduces the time it takes for them to realize its value. 

And, product walkthroughs address user questions and concerns proactively, which contributes to a smoother onboarding process.

As Jamie, CEO of Flow Agency puts it, "I think the product walkthroughs are great when there are multiple steps required to perform an action to an end to get an end result. They are really good when there's a sales lead approach."

Through personalization, feature emphasis, and feedback collection, product walkthroughs facilitate not only initial adoption but also ongoing support, empowering users to confidently integrate the product into their workflows and fostering long-term satisfaction.

4 Common mistakes when creating product tours

The steps and process can get a little complex and messy when it comes to creating walkthroughs. 

Here are the most common problems we see when implementing a product walkthrough:

Lack of trust in the customer

The most common mistake is not trusting your users. When you don't trust your users, you risk putting in extra and unnecessary steps because you don't believe they'd be able to find their way.

This lack of trust can also lead to over-explaining and giving too much information, which can overwhelm and confuse the user.

As Daniel Musialek, Director of Marketing at Product Fruits says “Don’t show your users a million things at once. It’s better to focus on the most important feature, and the optimize the onaboridng journey towards it”. 

Broken product walkthroughs

Product walkthroughs that don't take into account the users' end goal, or try to make up for a shoddy platform will only worsen the user experience.

A product walkthrough that doesn't directly show users the important features of a platform can quickly lose their interest, and increase the risk of churn.

Relying too heavily on product walkthroughs

Only focusing your onboarding to product walkthroughs ignores ‌users that prefer self-serve onboarding. Yes, product walkthroughs are a great user onboarding tool. But, it won't magically convert users if it's implemented in isolation without supporting features and content.

If you rely too heavily on product walkthroughs, you ignore all the instances users might need support as they self-navigate on a new platform.

The "one-size-fits-all" approach

If you don't take into account different types of users and their varying levels of familiarity with the product, your product walkthrough quickly becomes pointless.

The one-size-fits-all approach does not cater to the specific needs and preferences of each user. This can lead to frustration and confusion for users who may feel overwhelmed or lost while trying to navigate through the product.

Step-by-step guide to creating product walkthroughs

Here's the steps we recommend to create walkthroughs that are helpful and converting.

Step One: Start with a user checklist

Use an internal user onboarding checklist to cover all the aspects that include user and platform understanding, current status, goals, and to-dos to help create a list of action items.

With a checklist, you can identify what is the destination of the use, and how does the product become a puzzle piece to solve their challenges.

Then, use that checklist to identify the most important steps.

Step two: Research and understand the user's perspective

The user's needs and goals should be the North Star when creating the steps, order, and highlights of a product walkthrough.

As Jamie mentions, "I think perspective is essential, as in order for an audit -- you need to understand what your users are experiencing."

When doing your research, Jamie reinforces the need to fully define:

  • What users are doing at the moment
  • Why they are performing certain actions
  • What is currently being offered as an onboarding flow

By doing so, then "We then create jobs to be done statements, and that helps us to understand how to speak to users in a sort of more targeted, personalized way. And then that's a good kind of starting point".

Step three: Map out the process

Once you have a clear understanding of your users and their goals, the next step is to map out the onboarding process.

This involves breaking down the journey into smaller steps and identifying key touchpoints where users may need guidance or support.

Start by creating a flowchart or diagram that outlines the different stages of your onboarding process, from initial sign-up to completion of key tasks or actions.

This will help you to visualize the steps involved and where each product walkthrough card should be included.

Tip: Product walkthroughs that go over three cards are 38% more likely to be completed compared to six-step tours.

Step four: Create content for each card

Plan out the content for each step of the walkthrough process. This involves creating a clear set of instructions or explanations for each part of the walkthrough.

Your content should introduce the product and its key features, highlight the benefits of using the product, and address any potential pain points or challenges that users might face.

Here are some tips when creating ‌content:

  • Use active voice instead of passive voice.
  • Use short sentences and paragraphs.
  • Avoid using too much technical jargon.
  • Use bullet points or lists to make your points easier to read.
  • Play around with media like images, screenshots, or videos to add visual aids to the explanation. Plus, media increases time spent by 9%.

Step five: Choose the right tool for the job

Creating a product walkthrough starts with selecting the most appropriate tool for your project.

With many product tour software options available, it's essential to carefully consider your needs and preferences to make sure the chosen tool aligns with your goals.

Here are a few key factors to keep in mind when making your decision:

  • Features and Functionality: Keep in mind that your product walkthrough needs to be part of a larger onboarding flow that involves other onboarding elements in order to support the user throughout the entire experience.
  • Ease of Use: The tool should be user-friendly and intuitive, allowing you to create your walkthrough efficiently without extensive technical knowledge.
  • User segmentation and custom rules: Consider if the tool allows you to segment users and create custom rules for different user groups, so you can personalize the walkthrough experience for each user based on their specific needs.
  • Analytics and tracking: It's important to choose a tool that offers analytics and tracking capabilities, so you can measure the effectiveness of your walkthrough and make improvements as needed.

Step six: Check everything twice

Double-check your product walkthrough, checking the grammar, spelling, order, and that each functionality works.

There’s nothing worse than a product walkthrough that is full of spelling errors, it takes away from the experience and the importance of the message.

Tip: Test it out on users with fresh eyes. Listen to their feedback and see what caught their attention. Then, finetune the walkthrough with their feedback.

You only get one first impression -- make it count. 

Considering 95% of users have abandoned a platform the same day they installed it because they couldn’t find the functions they needed, you need to really prove your value immediately.

Don’t leave it up for chance. Every single interaction is an opportunity to drive your users to paying customers.

Are you looking to drastically reduce churn and drive user activation? Book a call