Hacking the Product Adoption Process

The product adoption process is one of the hardest parts of running a SaaS business.

Getting your prospective customers to try something new by switching to your product, regardless of whether they’re comfortable where they are, is a tall order in any market, but in B2B SaaS it's even harder, because there's often an explicit cost to switching.

Done right, product adoption makes the customer see the value of your product above others in the market and open all kinds of doors for your sales and marketing teams.

What is the product adoption process?

The product adoption process is usually broken down into four stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Evaluation
  • Conversion

Keep in mind that adoption can only be realised when the value of your product outweighs the cost and effort required to make the change. It’s not only the new users that you need to win over, but you must also help your existing customers continue seeing your product’s value.

Here are five fun methods to try if you’re not getting the anticipated results:

1. Improve the onboarding experience

Successful user onboarding shows the customer more than how to do things or where to go; it also shows them how to gain value from the product. Consumers use various products to achieve different results like to make money, save time, connect with other users, etc. and you’ll guide them to their specific goals through onboarding.

There are plenty of product adoption tools available that will help you to customise your onboarding using factors like the features the customers used, the number of times they visited your website, their in-app behaviour and more. This way, you’ll be able to create an onboarding experience that resonates with the customer’s goals.

Onboarding differs from one organisation to the next, as goals, job skills and needs differ, but the following tips will help you to build a top-tier process:

  • Automate where you can – The onboarding process can be fairly taxing, so alleviate some of the burdens by automating policy education, video training and forms.
  • Keep it personal – Any anxieties can be eased when you keep it personal. For example, you could greet the customers using their names as a reassurance that they are important to your business.
  • Make it interactive – When assimilating a new customer, make the process interactive to ensure that they are fully engaged during onboarding. You can use stories, music or games to facilitate the product adoption process.

2. Use live demos and webinars to train and upsell

Webinars are already popular in lead acquisition since they enable you to provide video content interactively, where viewers can participate in the presentation and ask questions. These same features are what make live demos and webinars the best tools for product adoption.

Then again, these tools provide a visual, interactive means for training both existing and prospective customers on how to use your product to achieve their goals. The video format used in webinars makes it easier to show, rather than tell, your customers what your product can do for them. And the best part is that they can interact with the presenter.

Live demos, on the other hand, are effective for upselling additional products or higher tier plans to existing customers. Live demos walk customers through the entire sales workflow, which proves to viewers that using the product is as simple as you promised in your pitch. You wouldn’t be able to achieve similar results using any other medium, which is why live demos and webinars are effective for visual demonstrations.

3. Re-engage clients using segmented email marketing

Emails are quite effective in marketing, and they can also be useful in product adoption, but segmentation is what makes them great. Overall adoption of your product can be enhanced if you send the right emails at the correct time during lead cultivation, onboarding and product discovery. Also, conversions will be increased at each stage.

For example, you may want to use the email platform to upsell new features that come with a price upgrade for customers who have not yet accepted your offer. Additionally, you may also want to encourage the customers who have already upgraded to engage with the new features and implement them into their daily routines.

Instead of just sending mass emails to all your clients, it’s advisable to identify your user segments. One segment can consist of customers who joined through a discounted app promotion and they don’t have access to the new features yet. For users with plans about to expire, you can send targeted emails customised to match this segment for a successful product adoption process. The other segment may consist of customers with access to the new features, but they aren’t active in using them.

There are countless email tools you can use for a successful marketing campaign. Select one that will allow you to send customised messages and autoresponders to the targeted segments. The trick here is to understand your clients enough to identify all the vital segments and then invest time to connect with each segment uniquely.

4. Include a call-to-action (CTA) in support/customer success team email signatures

This is a simple yet effective strategy that works both as a product adoption and marketing tool. Let your teams interacting with new customers include CTAs and prompts in their email signatures to get new customers to purchase your product or encourage adoption.

This method is also subtle and inconspicuous because your customers already expect that your email signature will contain some form of personalisations or credentials. It allows you to place strategic prompts in all the emails you send out without the recipients feeling like you’re spamming them.

There are several tools for rolling this out throughout your entire company. The main goal here is to drive engagement with your product, and this can be achieved in several ways:

  • Use it as a press release
  • Name drop a renowned person or brand as your connection
  • Mention a recent achievement or award you've won
  • Ask your customers if they’ve already used your product or a specific feature yet
  • Include CTAs to upgrades and new signups
  • Suggest an informative and relevant blog post

Many companies have used this method to boost their product adoption process. For example, HubSpot used the strategy to promote its Inbound 2016 Conference; the email signature that they used was viewed more than 210,000 times helping to contribute to the success of the sold-out event.

5. Use ad retargeting to stay on top

Statistics reveal that less than 2% of first-time visitors to your website convert because the rate of conversion of cold visitors is fairly low. Regardless of the efforts you put on product adoption, the majority of visitors will leave the website without purchasing a product or leaving their contact information.

So, what can you do to retain these leads? The solution is to retarget your ads. Not many people will click-through your website unless they have indicated a certain level of interest in your products. Ad retargeting enables you to get your offers, content, value proposition and brand in front of your visitors repeatedly.

For example, you could use Instagram ad retargeting to promote offers and discounts to users who had visited these landing pages in the past. You can also use this technique to promote an unused feature to your existing clients or prompt them to watch a training video that ensures product adoption.

Ad retargeting can result in extraordinary conversion boosts when used correctly, with many organisations reporting conversions rates as high as 1,000%.

Here are some ideas for creative ad retargeting:

  • Combat sales objections through advertisements
  • Showcase the products you know your prospective customers are interested in
  • Push your visitors to take the plunge by using urgency
  • Offer coupons and discount codes
  • Encourage those who abandon their carts to complete the checkout process
  • Showcase complementary products to existing customers to cross-sell
  • Remind existing customers how much they love your brand


Each of these five strategies can increase product adoption when executed alone or together with others. Regardless of the methods you use, treat the product adoption process as a dedicated pursuit, instead of combining it with other tasks such as customer retention or lead acquisition. Although the process may be a bit complex, you can still succeed by measuring and normalising adoption across your client base by segment. Invest time in prospective customers who have already visited your website, but left without leaving their details or completing a purchase. Lastly, <b>share the adoption information with your customers</b> so that they can know the value they’re getting from the purchase and how to benefit from any other additional features available.