Welcome! Let me give you a quick tour of my blog about product tours.
Over here, in this section, you’re going to find a short introduction about the general uses and importance of a product tour. This will include discussing the many needs for a walkthrough when teaching customers, prospects, or new employees about your product so they can utilize it to its fullest.
This section will hopefully grab your attention and encourage you to keep reading on.
In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn:
- The definition of a product tour
- Why your product needs a product tour
- How to make a product tour
- 7 expert tips to create a product walkthrough that converts
- Examples of expert product tours
- And more!
Thanks for coming on my blog tour about product tours! I’ll leave you here to keep scrolling on your own.
What is a product tour or walkthrough?
Somewhat like the tour that I attempted to give above, a product tour (or a product walkthrough) is a virtual guide that can help a person understand a SaaS product.
Product guides showcase how a digital product works, its benefits, and how to use it. It takes the user step-by-step through the product, teaching how to utilize all of its features.
Ideally, the guide is clear and concise so that the user can quickly and easily understand the product’s flow.
Why your product needs a product tour
You may be thinking: “What do I possibly stand to gain from a product tour?”
Well, it just so happens that a product tour or walkthrough can be useful in many different ways and various industries.
Here are a few ideas off the top of my head.
1. Use product-led growth in your marketing
Utilize your product guide to drive your product-led growth marketing strategy.
Give prospective customers the option to try your product themselves, understand the value it can bring them, and then decide to buy it. Embed your product tour on your website or in your marketing materials. Use it to walk your site visitors or marketing leads through your product’s tools that can be useful to them so that they fall in love with your product fast and fall in love hard.
You can learn exactly how to make one by checking out The Ultimate Product Demo Checklist for SaaS Companies.
2. Ensure your customers’ success
A guided product tour can be the key to optimizing your customer onboarding process and helping your customers utilize your product to the fullest. Use your walkthrough to take them on a step-by-step journey around the software so that they can learn how to maximize their experience of the product.
Spare them the pain of having to google “How to” guides and fumbling through the product by themselves, which can waste a lot of their time. Remove the annoyance of them having to submit countless support requests, which can waste a lot of your time as well.
After all, their success is your success. So the more they understand all the benefits of your product’s features, the more they can use it to improve their lives. And the more they improve their lives, the more they won’t want to stop using it—giving you a long-term, happy customer.
3. Speed up employee onboarding
Want your new employees to jump right in and start making an impact?
(I’m assuming you didn’t answer no.)
Then you need a good onboarding process. In fact, research by SHRM found that a good onboarding process is a key aspect to retaining employees.
An important step to a successful onboarding experience is getting new employees acquainted with your product fast. Give them an automated product tour that’ll show them exactly how to use your software and what they need to be doing. Keep it engaging so that they understand the product and can remember how it works.
4. Showcase new or unused features
Your dev spent hours rolling out amazing features and capabilities. But how can you get your users to enjoy them all?
(If you don’t know the answer by now, I think you may need to make yourself a coffee.)
A product tour, of course!
Walk users through all the new rollouts with an interactive tutorial so that they can begin using them immediately. You can also get users acquainted with tools that they aren’t yet using but that can positively impact their experience.
An interactive tutorial is far more interesting and engaging than an email or blog notification and will ensure that more people utilize the new features.
5. Upsell your premium features
If you have users that are already in love with your product, now can be a good time to try and encourage them to try your premium tools.
Create a product tour to walk engaged users through the many tools and features they aren’t yet paying for. Make sure you’re targeting the right people by basing it on your internal analytics and usage metrics.
A product tour can be a compelling way to create upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
How do I create a product tour?
Great freakin’ question.
The fastest and easiest way to create a product tour is with codeless product demo software like Walnut. Here’s how it works:
Capture your software’s screens with our browser extension.
Codelessly customize every aspect of your demo, including logos, data, buttons, text, features, and more.
Add and customize annotations to guide your user through the product experience.
Share a link to your finished product tour with your user so they can try out your product on their own time or embed your product tour on your website for everyone to try.
Use your product tour analytics to understand your users’ needs and how they used the product/new features.
Top 5 Qualities for Effective Product Tours
Let me give you a brief unsolicited history lesson: When Microsoft rolled out Office 97, users met Clippy. You may remember this annoying paperclip, who would tap on your screen and offer you really unhelpful advice whenever you needed it the least.
While he was intended to be a helpful tool to guide users through the software, most users hated him because his advice was often too basic, he popped up at seemingly random times, and interrupted users with their main tasks.
He was eventually removed from Office XP in 2001.
So what’s clear from Clippy is that product tours can go very wrong. In order to avoid a product tour that’s as annoying as Clippy was, make sure your product tour has the following 5 qualities:
1. Easy to use
If your product tour isn’t super intuitive and easy to follow, you may need to create a product tour to walk people through your product tour. And then, if that’s not clear, you may need to create a product tour about your product tour that shows your product tour.
Ok, you get my point. The whole point of the product tour is to simplify things, not to make them more complicated (like I just did).
Use your product walkthrough to show your users exactly how to use the product - where to click, what it affects, how to move from stage to stage, and more.
2. Well structured
“Where am I going and how am I getting there?”
Don’t make your users need to ask this question.
Create a clear structure for the tour that lets users smoothly and intuitively slide through it. This is especially important if you’re trying to show many different tools within the same walkthrough. Make sure your users understand what they’re learning, what they’re trying to accomplish, and what they stand to gain.
3. Not too dense
We know your product is fascinating and has many cool tools and gadgets and we love that for you. But when it comes to a product tour, less is more.
If you start explaining and showing every small thing, your users are going to be overwhelmed with information and most likely bored to death. Keep your tour limited to the most important features that are vital to your product so that your users don’t ditch you halfway through and head over to the ice cream stand.
Or, an even better idea, break it up into a few product tours so that users can master each skill individually.
A product tour can be the most boring thing in the world if you don’t put a little heart into it.
Have fun and create an engaging walkthrough that will delight your users. While you may be inclined to think this is a “nice-to-have” quality but not essential, let me assure you: if your users enjoy the experience, they will stick around all the way through. And they can only truly learn what you’re teaching if they’re there to see it.
5. To the point
People have places to go and things to see. Well, during COVID maybe not, but the point still stands.
Capture your users’ attention and quickly show them what they need to see. Remove all the unnecessary fluff. Try to consolidate your steps as much as possible so that you don’t waste any of your users’ precious time.
7 Tips for Creating Product Tours that Convert
Product tours are a great way to boost your sales, onboarding, or employee success—but only if they’re done right.
Here are a few tips if you want to make a product tour that converts.
1. Make it interactive
Spare your users from reading long explanatory articles (sort of like this one). Don’t show them a video or let them get away with just clicking next, next, next, next, finish.
If you do that, your prospect will look like this:
Instead, use a platform (like Walnut) that gives users an interactive experience where they can try the new product or new features for themselves as they explore them. Give them the full product experience that’ll leave them looking like this:
Wouldn’t this whole blog be a lot more exciting if it wasn’t a blog at all, but an interactive experience? I know I’d be having more fun.
2. Personalize it
Nothing attracts my attention more than my very own name. And a product tour that is personalized just for me is something that’ll deeply impact my likelihood to engage.
This is especially true when it comes to the sales industry, where customers expect a certain amount of personalization. According to a study by Segment, 71% of consumers express some level of frustration when their shopping experience is impersonal. So try not to piss off your prospects by giving them an impersonal buying experience.
Instead, use a platform (like Walnut) that lets you easily create demos and personalize your product tours.
3. Lead with value
Users want to learn about your product only if it’ll enhance their lives. So when you’re explaining your product, make sure it’s clear from the outset of the journey what the user stands to gain in terms of value.
When crafting the perfect product tour, ask yourself at every move: Is this helping my users understand the value of my product or feature? Will they understand it quickly or do they need to go through a few steps until they get it?
To this point, make sure your product tour covers all the ways your product can offer value. This includes the ways your product can be integrated into other software and fit in smoothly with the prospects’ workflow.
4. Don’t be boring
Consider the difference between these two product tour openers:
Use your product tour to inspire excitement in your users. Create your product tour on a platform (like Walnut) that lets you personalize your guides, and play with the formatting to keep your users engaged.
5. Add gifs, photos, and videos
But if you really don’t want to be boring and you really want to stand out, you can do even more.
Spice up your product tour’s guide with engaging media. Maybe include an intro video of yourself welcoming your users to the tour or a funny gif to put a smile on their faces.
Don’t just tell your users “Yay,” show them “Yay.” Like this:
Utilize the tools available to you (on a platform like Walnut) to maximize the experience for your users. A more interesting and fun experience will leave users wanting to click through, ensuring higher engagement and better conversion rates.
6. Include a hovering CTA button
Do whatever you can to capitalize on this tour.
Keep your users’ eyes on the prize with a hovering CTA button that leads them to the next step in your process. Depending on your use of the product tour, this button could encourage users to “Try Out Our New Feature” or “Request a Demo” or “Integrate Our Software”.
If you’re creating your product tour on Walnut, you can include this on every slide or only at the end of the tour so your users know what to do next.
7. Easily splice guides to solve specific issues
Sometimes you’ll have new customers who need help with specific parts of the client onboarding process or prospects who are interested only in certain features in your product.
Instead of bombarding them with information that isn’t relevant to them, quickly chop up your tutorial to feature only the parts that matter. This can be done easily on Walnut and can make your product walkthrough more engaging and boost conversions.
Examples of Expert Product Tours for Inspiration
Contractbook’s optimized on-site tour
Contractbook used Walnut to embed a product tour straight onto their website.
In this product tour, the guides include an avatar of the “tour guide” to put a face behind the voice. The product tour also includes a CTA on the bottom of the page to encourage site visitors to take the next step.
In this picture, you can see what happens if you decide to close the tour and scroll through the page yourself. You can choose to rejoin the tour whenever you want by clicking the tab on the bottom of the screen.
In an attempt to lighten the mood, they incorporated some much beloved superheroes to add a playful element to an information-packed tour.
If you want to see more, check out their full product tour here.
SimpleLegal’s precise walkthrough
When it comes to a product that deals with topics that are as sensitive as legal operations, it’s crucial to not accidentally leak any customer information during your product tours or demos. SimpleLegal used Walnut’s completely safe sales demo environment to make sure the experience was secure.
Check out how the product tour automatically dims the rest of the screen to center the users’ attention specifically on the feature they are exploring. They then add an annotation that clearly explains what the user is looking at.
The guide also takes the users step-by-step through the different sets of data you can track on their platform, explaining what each of them is and why it's important.
If you want to see more, check out their full product tour here.
Walk users through your product (and walk your product into their hearts)
With the right product tour, your users will learn how to utilize your product and fall in love with its features.
Whether you’re using a product tour to optimize your customer success management, utilize the product-led growth trends, or boost your marketing materials, a product tour can be what you need to take your business to the next stage.
But creating a product tour can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly. Well, at least they used to be. With Walnut, creating a product is, as they say, “easy peasy lemon squeezy.” (Seriously what is the deal that saying?)
Check out Walnut to learn how our platform can be used throughout the buyer journey.
Get started on enhancing your product tours. Book a meeting with Walnut now.
(Disclaimer: Unlike our usual style, this post was written in first person to give you the feeling of being on a personalized product tour. I assume that if you're reading this it means you we succeeded in keeping you engaged all the way to the end, so I guess it worked!)