Customer Success Battle 1: Demo Videos vs. Interactive Tutorials

Customer Success Battle 1: Demo Videos vs. Interactive Tutorials

First in a series of daily postings where we compare the popular onboarding tools

Whenever a user signs up for your service, regardless of whether it is a mobile app or a SaaS application, it doesn’t mean that they will use it immediately. The user onboarding flow doesn’t end with the registration of the user. In fact, once you have gained their attention, and they have signed up for your service, you need to get them to use your app as quickly as possible to avoid abandonment.

According to a recent study, it was found that as many as 20 percent of installed apps are only used once. Also, if your users don’t receive sufficient information to get them started with your service, they can get frustrated and leave your service without even trying it.

That said, it is important for SaaS vendors to get users onboard as efficiently as possible while not complicating their learning curve. The process of familiarizing your customers with your product or service is referred to as onboarding. There are various methods available through which you can reduce your abandonment rates. — In this article, we will talk about two particular methods, namely demo videos and interactive tutorials, and reveal how you can use them to reduce abandonment and increase trial conversion rates.

General Concepts of Onboarding

The onboarding process starts as soon as your user launches the app.

The process should be short enough to keep the user engaged, but long enough to provide sufficient guidelines to get the user familiarized with your service.

In your onboarding flow, you should only focus on providing them information about the most important features (core) of your product or service.


Cisco Systems has recently made forecasts suggesting an increase in the number of online video consumers to 1.5 billion by the end of 2015. With such growth of video usage, businesses ought not neglect the use of videos as an effective marketing technique.

Besides that, videos can also be used as an onboarding technique, to familiarize new users with the functionality and interface of the product or service. This technique is actually very common these days and continues to become even more popular mainly because the combined audio/visual components tend to be more effective in conveying the intended message to the user.

Demo Videos and User Onboarding

Videos are a powerful tool and can be used to provide a short, yet effective, demonstration of your products and services. This approach has several advantages:

First, it can be used to provide your potential customers a quick glance of the features and benefits offered by your product – which is important to get them to sign up.

Secondly, once they HAVE signed up, another demo video can help them get started with your app’s UI and features. Some companies send a video embedded in the Welcome Email to enhance the onboarding process.


If we look at Google Play Store, we can see that many app designers offer a demo video that offers a brief explanation of what their app offers, thereby helping users to decide whether or not they should download it.

Whatever the case may be, the fact that videos are powerful in engaging users cannot be denied.

When creating a demo video, you will have to make sure that you deliver all the necessary information as quickly as possible without boring the viewers. Even a two minute video can be enough if you plan everything right.

Interactive Tutorials Onboarding Technique

A common method of getting users onboard is the interactive tutorials approach. In this method, users are given a short tutorial to help them get acquainted with the app’s UI. The various screens inform users about the benefits and features of the service.


One great example of this technique is the onboarding flow of Mailbox app for iOS. This app starts off with interactive tutorials that effectively describe the features and benefits of the software to the user.

Interactive tutorials aren’t limited to mobile apps. In fact, they are quite common on web applications as well. The tutorials offered as part of the onboarding process help new users to learn how to make their way through the application’s UI.

Creating Interactive Tutorials for Getting Users Onboard


When creating interactive tutorials for your service, you have to be sure to incorporate the following into your tutorial:

  1. Start by explaining the core value – this is the moment that can leave a lasting impression (hopefully a good one). Make sure that you explain only the core concept of the service to excite your users and get them to proceed through the tutorial.
  2. Explain the functionalities of your product/service –the whole point of the tutorial is to get new users to understand your UI, and the features offered by your software. Since these are static screens, you need to point out the basics of the software and how users can benefit from them.
  3. Implement the interactive part – after you’ve explained the basics of the service to the user, you should get them to interact with the tutorial. People learn better by doing. Just make sure that you make the tutorial easy to understand and clutter-free.

Creating tutorials is easier than ever; you can bring down your onboarding costs significantly by using a tutorial builder.


Conclusion: Demo Videos vs. Interactive Tutorials

When these two techniques are compared, it becomes apparent that each of them have advantages and disadvantages.

Consider demo videos; they can be used for a variety of purposes and can be quite engaging as well as entertaining. You can use them to entice users to sign up for your service after providing them an overview of the features and benefits of your service. You can even make a video tutorial to show them how to use your service.

When it comes to mobile apps, it’s not always a good idea to embed a video into the app. It becomes more practical to go with interactive tutorials that can allow users to learn as they do things. Creating interactive tutorials has become quite simple, thanks to the available tutorial builder apps. You can use such an app to create tutorials for your SaaS applications and successfully increase your trial-to-paid conversion rates.

The whole point of any onboarding process is to simplify things for anew user.You should choose a particular technique based on your needs, and the specificsof your products and services. For example, some applications do not require an onboarding experience at all; it gets cumbersome for users to have one – take the Flashlight app for example; it’s so simple that users can easily figure out what to do.

That said, interactive tutorials are the way to go for mobile apps, as well as web applications, as they help people learn by doing. Demo videos, on the other hand, are more expensive and do not have the same level of quality (either visual or audio). They are also harder to make than interactive tutorials, which can be created by even junior web designers, or by people who have no coding experience at all, using’s interactive tutorial builder.( Enjoy a 14-day free trial now by clicking here. )’s interactive tutorial builder offers various benefits including easy creation of tutorials as well as behavioral analytics and insights to help SaaS vendors improve their customer conversion, engagement and activation rates.

Which method do you think is ideal in your case? What technique does your company use to get users onboard? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment below!

Read the second post in a series of daily postings: Custom Designed User Onboarding Vs. User Onboarding Software