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Examples of user activation
Priya Nain8/11/23 2:32 AM7 min read

6 Real-World Examples of Successful User Activation

In a bustling digital age, signing up for a new software or platform is as commonplace as sipping our morning coffee. But think back to when you last tried a new app or tool.

Did you dive in headfirst and master it, or was there a specific moment that made you think, "Ah, this is why I need this!"?

That magic moment, that delightful realization of the software's potential, lies at the heart of what the SaaS industry calls "user activation."

User activation is the journey a new user takes from signing up to achieving the promise the product had made that is related to their goal.

It's a critical metric in the SaaS business model, as it signifies that users have grasped the basic functionalities of the service and have seen firsthand the value that it provides. This can lead to increased user engagement, higher conversion rates from free to paid subscriptions, and improved user retention.

In this blog post, we will discuss some examples of user activation that have been successful in the SaaS industry. We will also provide some tips on how to create your own effective user activation journey.

6 Real-world Examples of Successful User Activation

In the vast SaaS universe, success stories of user activation stand out as guiding stars for companies navigating the intricate process of onboarding. Let's look at a few compelling examples.

Awesome Screenshots

This is a desktop app to take screenshots and recordings. Even though Awesome Screenshot is designed for everyday users, its approach to getting people started can teach a lot to businesses too.

Here's what they do: When someone first tries out their tool, they're shown a few quick steps to get going. Imagine being shown a mini-tour of a new game or app, making sure you know the basics before you dive in. Awesome Screenshot's guide is super short and friendly, so it doesn’t feel like homework.

The clever bit?

At the end of their guide, they nudge users to add their tool right to the top of their Chrome browser. This is like bookmarking your favorite website so you can jump back to it without searching. Now, the next time someone wants to grab a screenshot, all they have to do is click on the Awesome Screenshot icon they've just added. It's right there, ready and waiting!

That simple click becomes the moment of magic. Users instantly understand how easy and handy the tool is. It’s like learning the shortcut to a move in a game; once you get it, you keep coming back. They've not just learned about the tool; they've experienced its convenience firsthand. And that's when they truly get on board, ready to use Awesome Screenshot whenever they need.

This is a great reminder that sometimes, the best way to show users the value of a product is to guide them to discover it for themselves. It’s a little journey that, once completed, makes users think, “Oh, that’s how it works. Neat!” And that realization? That’s the golden ticket to having them come back again and again.


When hosts first sign up to list their space on Airbnb, they're taken through a detailed yet intuitive process. The platform prompts users to add photos, describe their space, and set up their calendar.

What's remarkable here is how Airbnb provides tips on how to make the listing more attractive, like suggesting competitive pricing based on local data.


The hosts experience the promise of the product for the first time when theysee their completed listing and realize how professional it looks, making them confident in their ability to attract guests.


Slack, a team collaboration tool, understands that its real value is experienced when teams communicate. On signing up, users are greeted with a friendly bot that explains the basics of the app through a conversation.


As users interact with the bot, they learn to send messages, create channels, and use integrations. By the time they invite their team, they're already comfortable with the platform and can see its potential to simplify communication.


Upon joining Spotify, the music streaming app, users are prompted to select their favorite genres and artists. Based on these preferences, Spotify immediately creates a 'Discover Weekly' playlist tailored to the user's tastes.

This personal touch gives users an instant, curated music experience from the get-go. When users hit play and hear a song they love, it reinforces why Spotify stands out from other music services.



When you first sign up for Dropbox, a cloud storage solution, they don't just throw you into their platform.

They guide you through a simple, interactive tutorial. As part of the onboarding process, users are encouraged to upload a file.

Once you do, Dropbox instantly shows you how to send it to anyone.


The moment users realize they can have their files sent anywhere, anytime, they're hooked. It's this seamless accessibility that differentiates Dropbox and gets users to appreciate the platform's core value.


This language-learning app does a brilliant job from the outset. New users pick a language and are immediately thrown into their first lesson. The app uses gamification, letting users earn points and level up.

Within minutes, users have already started their language journey, translating simple phrases and getting immediate feedback. This instant immersion into learning and the progress they see compels users to return and continue their lessons.

Tips for Creating Your Own User Activation Journey

Diving into the user activation process is a transformative journey for both your users and your business. Here, we’ll expand on each tip, offering practical ways to implement them, and sharing what pitfalls to avoid.

Clearly Define Your Activation Goals

Understanding your activation goals is like setting a compass bearing for a voyage. Start by analyzing the core features of your product that truly resonate with the value it promises. It's essential to conduct user research or surveys; these will give insights into what users are genuinely seeking from your product.

The idea is to pinpoint that magical moment when users realize the product's worth.

However, it’s a delicate balance—while ambition is good, setting too many goals can leave users overwhelmed, and being too vague won't provide a clear direction for your team.

Ensure your goals are precise and aligned with your product's value proposition.

Make it Easy for Users to Get Started

The onboarding process is the user’s first interaction with your product, making it pivotal. The smoother this initiation, the higher the chances of retaining the user.

This entails an intuitive process with lucid instructions, perhaps enhanced with tool tips or tutorial videos. The sign-up or login process should be as frictionless as possible—a cumbersome start can quickly deter potential long-term users.

Always keep the user's convenience at the forefront, and remember, simplicity is key. Continuously seek feedback on the onboarding process and be ready to adapt and refine.

Personalize the Experience

In today's digital landscape, users seek experiences tailored to their unique needs. This calls for segmenting users based on behavior, preferences, or even demographics.

By doing this, you can customize content or feature suggestions, ensuring users feel understood and catered to. Modern tools, like AI and machine learning, have made adaptive learning and predictive personalization a reality, but it's vital to use these with sensitivity.

Personalization should feel organic and never to the point where users feel their privacy is compromised.

Use Gamification and Reward

Adding elements of gamification can make the user journey engaging and, dare we say, fun! Points, badges, or rewards for completing tasks can significantly enhance user involvement. Introducing friendly competition via leaderboards or community engagement can be incredibly motivating for users. Tangible rewards, be it discounts or added features, can act as added incentives.

However, it’s essential to ensure that these gaming aspects remain simple and align with the primary purpose of the product. Their role is to enhance the experience, not overshadow the product's core functionality.

Final thoughts

As we navigate the ever-evolving digital landscape, it's vital to remember that the journey you offer your users can be the difference between fleeting interaction and long-term engagement. Every click, every prompt, every guided experience shapes their perception. But while it's one thing to understand the importance of onboarding, it's another to craft an experience that truly resonates.

This is where a partnership with Inturact can be transformative. Inturact specializes in helping B2B SaaS companies create memorable onboarding experiences that don’t just stop at user activation but lead to enduring retention and growth.

We understand that every company is different, so we take a personalized approach to our work. We'll work with you to understand your specific needs and goals, and then we'll create an onboarding experience that is tailored to your audience.

So, as you ponder over the best way to elevate your user’s journey, consider reaching out to those who've mastered the art.

After all, growth isn’t just about acquiring users; it's about turning them into your advocates and loyal customers.