Over recent years, companies have made massive strides with the digital experiences that they deliver to their customers but many struggle to provide the same digital experience to their employees. Whether it be enabling employees to perform tasks and serve customers faster, automate data collection to drive certain behaviors, or better communicate internally, digital tools can serve a variety of functions to help employees perform their roles more efficiently and effectively.

As the focus on internal tools continues to grow as part of digital acceleration efforts, companies are faced with the challenge of ensuring employees can unlock the value they expect from these tools. The first of these challenges is building a product onboarding strategy that sets users up for success from their first login.

How do you create a product onboarding strategy that maximizes the impact of internal tools?

It starts with the delivery method

With the proliferation of internal tools, training costs have also been on the rise. The 2019 Training Industry report indicates that 88% of companies increased their training budget or kept it the same, and the cost of training per employee was more than $1,500. Between the time employees spend in sessions and the travel costs associated with instructor-led training for a global, distributed workforce, it’s evident how tools training can quickly become an expensive activity.

As remote work increases and the nature of work dramatically evolves, companies are finding the need to evaluate new product onboarding delivery methods. Generally, product onboarding is delivered and achieved three different ways:

1. Self-discovery: This approach lets the employee explore and discover the product on their own without guidance. While this may work for certain users, this approach increases the risk that employees may not be following the desired workflow or don’t know how to take full advantage of all the functionality.

2. Human assisted: This method relies on live product training sessions, email training campaigns, or external help documentation to guide users through the product. While this approach provides detailed support, these methods may be more time-intensive and costly. It’s also important to do these sessions close to when a user is actually accessing the product to ensure the training feels relevant and information is retained.

3. Automated in-app: Quickly becoming an industry best practice in this new remote environment, this strategy provides in-app onboarding walkthroughs and tutorials. In-app guidance provides just-in-time support, can be customized, and helps accelerate time to value for the employee. This approach, however, may require some shifts in the existing onboarding process and ownership.

While companies may often use a mixture of these three methods, embedding user onboarding into your internal tools is proven to increase employee satisfaction, lower costs, and even enable your employees to provide a better experience to your customers.

Pendo provides code-free in-app onboarding to help users capitalize on the benefits of in-product onboarding while not taking critical time away from internal development teams. For those who may be new to in-app onboarding, we’ve surveyed some of our most successful customers to help you get started.

Starting with the why and the who



  • 主要機能の認知度と定着化の改善
  • Drive specific critical workflows
  • Highlight a new feature or process


Next, you’ll want to assess the group of employees receiving the message. Consider the following questions:

  • プロダクトを使用するユーザーの目標は何ですか?それをもとにオンボーディングウォークスルーでどの機能を強調表示するかを指定します。
  • ユーザーの技術的習熟度はどの程度ですか?習熟度をもとにコンテンツで提供する詳細レベルを決定します。
  • ユーザーが好む形式は何ですか?ユーザーの好みに応じて、文章のコンテンツだけに頼るのではなく、他のコミュニケーション形式(gif画像や動画など)を選択します。
  • How do they like to learn? Different messaging layouts require different types of engagement. For example, a required onboarding walkthrough demands more user attention than a small tooltip that is activated via a mouse hover. Having a hypothesis on whether your users prefer a more proactive or reactive engagement approach will help inform your in-app onboarding strategy.



Re/Max used Pendo to onboard their network of 130,000 agents across 110 countries. Josh Stengl, manager of technology engagement and consulting explained that tailoring their onboarding to different types of users was critical to making their onboarding a success: “We wanted to make sure that we have a platform that is both robust and easy to use. Guides range from really simple—how to add a contact into the CRM—to more granular—how to set up something called task plan automations. So, it really hits all of our different users and what they’re trying to learn and experience in the system.”


Step-by-step guide to building onboarding guides for employees in Pendo


Pendoの[ガイドを作成(Create Guide)]ページに移動する


Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - How to create a guide


Step 2: Select a guide layout


Pendo : アプリ内オンボーディングを始める - ガイドのレイアウトを選択する

Remember that the best onboarding experiences are comprised of multiple guides, and these layouts are most powerfully used in conjunction with one another. By combining passive tooltips with more active multi-step walkthroughs or lightboxes, you can empower the user to discover information in a manner that works best for them. This multi-faceted approach also helps ensure employees have the information they need when and where they need it most, leading to less frustration and faster task completion.





This step is where the majority of the work takes place. Prior to completing this step, you’ll want to have a perspective on which features or elements you’d like to highlight in your onboarding walkthrough. When you’re first getting started, it can be helpful to provide a navigation overview so employees know where to find core features and can better understand how to use each section of the application.

At first, deciding which features to highlight will be primarily based on hypotheses and what you understand as the critical transactions or workflows for your employees. As you become more advanced, you can analyze feature usage to better understand which features will result in higher satisfaction and efficiency. One benefit of in-app onboarding with Pendo is that you can quickly iterate and test as you learn more about which guides are most successful.


Verizon Connect logo

The team at Verizon Connect used Pendo to revamp the onboarding experience for their fleet management software. One of the product managers on the product, Jon Young, realized that their initial onboarding experience needed to be simplified in order to have greater impact: “We’ve kind of evolved the whole onboarding process to say ‘Let’s not take them from point A all the way to point Z, when really they just needed to get somewhere in the middle to actually start getting some value out of the software.” Using Pendo, the team was able to redesign and deploy their entire onboarding experience in 60 days.


Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - Guide overview page


Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - The Guide Designer

Once you’ve launched the Visual Design Studio in your application, you can easily tag the page element or feature you want to anchor your guide to and adjust the styling to be more consistent with your application. Within this page, you can also adjust text on the guide, add buttons, call to actions, or potentially insert an image or video. Finally, you can adjust what actions will occur once the buttons on the guide are clicked.


Put yourself in the onboarding flow with your employee by using language like “Let’s” and “We” and providing clear directions to encourage behavior: “Let’s start by entering a contact together. Her name is Ana.”





Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - Guide activation methods



Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - Automatic guide activation


Pendo : アプリ内オンボーディングを始める - バッジガイドのアクティベーション

ターゲット要素(Target Element):ガイドが紐づけられているフィーチャーまたはページをユーザーがクリックした際にこのガイドが表示されます。特定のフィーチャーやページの使い方などを紹介する際に便利です。

Pendo : アプリ内オンボーディングを始める - ターゲット要素ガイドのアクティベーション



Applying a segment to the guide will ensure that the onboarding walkthrough only reaches the users it’s relevant to: new users. As you get more experienced building onboarding flows and begin to understand the benefit of nuance, segmentation will be the secret weapon that allows your in-app training to become increasingly personalized to a particular employee’s role or department.

セグメントは、さまざまなメタデータやプロダクト使用状況データポイントを基に作成できますが、ここではまず、「訪問者の初回訪問(visitor first visit)」というメタデータフィールドを基に、新しいユーザーセグメントを作成します。

Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - Create and apply a segment




Pendo: Getting Started with In-app Onboarding - Schedule a guide


What comes next?

Once you master the basics of building in-app onboarding flows, the options of what you can do with in-app engagement become limitless. As you progress along your journey with Pendo, you can experiment with more advanced behavioral triggering, personalization, and knowledge base tools to ensure you’re delivering the right resources to your employees at the right time — all without engineering requirements.


Keep reading