SaaS User Onboarding – Increasing Conversions By Closing The Success Gaps

Closing the Gap with your SaaS user onboarding

If you want to reduce churn and increase LCV during your SaaS user onboarding, you need to address your “success gap”.

The “success gap” is the space between what your app PROMISES, and what the user DESIRES. This concept comes from Lincoln Murphy.

What does this mean? That even if your SaaS user onboarding guarantees that your trials user are taking every functional step and actively using your product to completion… they might still not achieve their desired outcome.

Consider this:

If I want to take your kiddo to Disneyland (the happiest place on earth… still?), Disneyland has only so much control over the quality of the experience of your entire vacation.

You might have a great time while you’re THERE, but:

  • the plane might be delayed,
  • the hotel room might smell like wet dog,
  • and the car from the rental shop might break down on the freeway

Disneyland might be great, but the actual vacation can be a disaster.

So how do they close this “gap”? They provide a package that increases the chances you’ll have an awesome vacation.

  • You stay AT the resort, so you don’t even need to rent a car.
  • The rooms are scrubbed clean, so they smell like licorice and hot chocolate.
  • You can go on a Disney cruise where the ENTIRE experience is controlled by Disney.

The Disney cruise closes the “gap” almost completely.

How Can Your Saas User Onboarding Help Users Close the Success Gap?

This answer is unique for each SaaS. The key is understanding what your customers desired outcome looks like, so they are almost guaranteed to achieve what they want, with your expert help.

Here are a few examples:

Sujan Patel’s Mailshake:

Their promise is easy, simple, cold email outreach. The ultimate desire for the user is to close more deals. So Mailshake offers free guides and resources on how to create emails that convert to sales.


They promise a solution that makes user onboarding easier. The ultimate desire for their users is to increase conversions. So Intercom offers some very detailed guides on how to create a great onboarding experience.

Making sense?

Here’s a quick way to figure out your success gap:

1. If someone were to FUNCTIONALLY complete your product, what would that look like?

2. What is the ultimate DESIRE your user hopes to achieve by using your product?

Your success gap can be narrow, or it can be wide. Either way, it needs to be bridged in order for your users to stick around.

Once you close that gap, you’ll see churn reduced and an increase in LCV.