How To Create Effective Customer Onboarding Videos

Karina Kasparova
April 26, 2023

A new purchase equals a sale, right? 

Not according to the majority of your consumers. 

A whopping 55% of people return a product because they don’t understand how to use it. If you think software’s any different… 80% of users have deleted an app because they didn’t know how to use it. 

Onboarding new customers is one of the most important things a growing company can focus on improving. In fact, over two-thirds of companies already have a dedicated customer onboarding team. 

When you optimize onboarding, you can increase revenue astronomically. Not only do you reduce the number of refund requests, but you can also increase repeat purchases and upgrades. 

Video is known as an effective tool in the customer onboarding process because it’s: 

  • Effective in explaining complicated concepts
  • Preferred by visual learners 
  • Can provide a demonstration of how to achieve a task 

What’s more, video significantly affects purchasing decisions.

Hubspot’s report on how videos positively impact customers’ purchasing decisions.

So if you are here to learn how to improve your current onboarding process and customer experience, you’re in the right place. Let’s jump right in!

What does “customer onboarding” mean? 

Customer onboarding is the practice of welcoming new users and introducing products or services.

It’s the first interaction: the ultimate welcome message. The onboarding flow (sometimes known as the customer experience map) is designed to eliminate confusion, help customers achieve their initial goal of signing up, and provide great customer support from day one.

And what is a customer onboarding video, and where do you use them?

And onboarding videos appear to new users early in their customer journey. This means they’ve likely just bought the product, have started a trial, or initiated an account. 

Onboarding videos typically explain how the product works, the benefits of its use, various use cases, and how the user’s life will improve. 

You can use onboarding videos anywhere, but the most popular places are welcome email sequences and in-app onboarding flows. 

Welcome email sequences

Welcome emails are the perfect place for a friendly video explaining your service, how it works, and what users will get from it. You can include an initial welcome video or drip out how-to videos over the next few days to help new users understand how your product works. 

Learn how to add videos to your emails 🧐

Keep reading to find out why video is so effective in email and how you can use it in your own campaigns.

In-app onboarding sequences

After a customer has signed up or started a trial, it’s up to you to get them to actually use your product. In-app onboarding videos are typically step-by-step how-tos that help a new user learn what to do next. They’re often complementary to the email videos mentioned above.

How do customer onboarding videos help improve retention?

An effective onboarding video gives new users that “eureka!” moment. 

1. Video helps users realize the value of your product/service faster

Helpful videos build trust and value for your brand and your customers at the start of the customer onboarding process. It clearly shows the potential of your services and empowers users to start setting up their account/product in the easiest way possible. 

2. Video helps you retain more new customers

If customers don’t understand how to use your product, they’re gone. Most likely never to return. A good onboarding video educates and guides customers and helps them understand and explore at their own pace. Engaging videos strategically placed throughout the application can reduce customer churn.  

3. Video can increase your retention rates over time

The onboarding process is not only about more than just new customers. If your customers upgrade to new features, a friendly onboarding video describing what’s changed and how to use their new features can keep them coming back for more. 

4. Leverage video data to further improve trial-to-customer conversion rates

Want to know if your onboarding videos are effective? Simply compare the number of churned users who did not watch your video to the number who did. You can easily see what’s working and what needs your team’s attention.

5. Video helps give the impression of an excellent customer support team

People are willing to pay more for services if they’re well-supported. Customer onboarding videos create an open dialogue and can reduce customer support costs.

5 Types of customer onboarding videos you can make

Every customer onboarding video is a chance to optimize the onboarding process and gather performance data. Here are the different types of customer onboarding videos you can make:

1. Welcome onboarding videos

This video covers the basics, sets expectations, and shows the steps ahead. It’s a great way to guide new customers, show a friendly face, and build trust that your product will pull through on its promises. 

Welcome videos typically feature a person and a brief product walkthrough. You’re not focusing on actually teaching users how to repeat the steps; you’re: 

  • Making them feel good about their initial purchase or trial start. 
  • Explaining in greater detail what they can achieve now they have your product/service.

If you’re feeling stuck or confused as to what your welcome video might look like, check out this AI video that was generated with Synthesia: 

Synthesia for Customer Onboarding videos

2. Setup onboarding videos

A setup video exists to help your customers reach success quickly and efficiently. It can focus on one or more tasks. 

For example, a SaaS company’s setup video might include how to create its first project and import data from integrations. A product company making flat-pack tables might consist of an online setup video teaching the users how to put their new table together. 

Synthesia for how-to videos

3. Tooltip onboarding videos

Tooltip onboarding videos are included in text-based tooltips and follow microlearning principles. They are an interactive video type that typically appears when a user is going through a welcome wizard. These videos add deeper detail for users that might need a bit more handholding to understand the feature or task. 

Learn how to create microlearning customer onboarding videos

Did you know that microlearning can increase the speed of development by 300%? Keep reading to learn how to create your own microlearning videos in 5 easy steps.

4. Demo onboarding videos

A demo video is used when you’re in the process of welcoming new users. It can be shown before they sign up or immediately after. Your sales team can do a live demo video or record and email it directly. They show how one might practically use your solution in day-to-day operations.

Here's an example of a demo video of the platform Synthesia STUDIO. 👇

Synthesia STUDIO Product Demo

5. FAQ onboarding videos

An FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) video answers basic questions about your product or service. These videos are typically 1-2 minutes long and are designed to help viewers understand more about what you offer and how you work. 

You can use a FAQ video to resolve questions that block a potential customer from signing up or making a purchase. They can be hosted on your homepage, features page, pricing page or sent via email.

4 Tips and tools for creating great customer onboarding videos

You might need more than one onboarding video to reduce churn and increase revenue.

Or if you’re a fast-paced startup, you’re in the unenviable position of updating your customer onboarding videos as frequently as your features set. 

Either way, technology has the answer. Here are our top tips and tools that make creating videos a breeze. 

1. Use a screen recorder

A screencast is a digital recording of your screen that can be used to create an explainer video. Screencasts often show the exact steps involved in a process and how to use a new software application.

Screencasts are easy to create and edit, and they offer a high level of flexibility when it comes to creating explainer videos. 

Tip 💡

Here’s a video that walks you through creating a screen recording with Synthesia.

How to: use the screen recorder

2. Use video templates

With professionally designed video templates, you can quickly scale up video content creation while maintaining your company's corporate identity. Templates typically include stylistic features, like your logo and corporate colors.

3. Do video onboarding with talking head avatars

Recording yourself or an actor requires a bunch of effort. You must set up cameras, lighting, microphones, and a backdrop — all before you even hit record. This is where animated talking heads can really help you scale your video production process. 

Software like Synthesia will generate a AI talking head that looks like a real person from just a script. This means every time you need to make changes to a video, you can change the script, and you’re ready to go.

It’s not that hard to create a talking head video — even if you don’t have any equipment! Read the blog post below to find out how.

4. Use text-to-speech to create videos

There are hundreds of applications that can turn your written script into natural-sounding voiceovers with a range of accents and languages. Using Synthesia, you can even overlay this voice over with a talking head animation to create a realistic-looking presenter. Check out the video below to see how you can create videos in any language.

Learn more about our text-to-speech feature | Synthesia

How to create your own customer onboarding videos

Step 1: Create a clear plan and goal

Book some time with your team and go through the onboarding process as a new user. Before making your customer onboarding videos, consider who your new users are, what they care about, why they need your service, and what makes them churn. 

When planning, ask yourself: 

  • What is the first milestone I want new customers to reach? 
  • What is the purpose of the onboarding video? Is it to welcome, educate, and build trust with new users? 
  • When will this video appear in the customer journey? 
  • How will this video be shown? Are there additional text elements I need to create around it?
  • What tools or software do I need to make the video content?

Step 2: Script your user onboarding video

You don’t want to bomb new users with information. The best customer onboarding videos get the point from the start. An onboarding video script that quickly introduces users to a new tool should be around 90 seconds long.

In your script, walk the user through your value proposition and product features.  If you need to break videos up into bite-size content, ensure you share that content with new users at the right time.

Step 3: Record & edit your video

Record your screencasts and live-action footage, and create any CG elements or animations. When editing, remember that the visuals are just as important as the script in conveying information. Ensure you don’t confuse the viewer with too many fast transitions or cut shots.

Tip 💡

While traditional video productions are expensive and time consuming, AI video generation is an excellent alternative.

Using an intuitive tool like Synthesia, you can jump right into creating and editing your onboarding videos today.

Step 4: Set the scene with music 

You can add background music to make the video feel more produced or “put together.” Any background music for an onboarding sequence should be soft and upbeat. 

Step 5: Add subtitles for your onboarding video

The benefit of subtitles is two-fold: you will accommodate people who prefer to watch a video with the sound off, and your onboarding video can be used by the deaf and those hard of hearing. 

With AI video generators like Synthesia, you can automatically generate Closed Captions to help improve the accessibility of your videos.

Step 6: Distribute your video customer onboarding content

YouTube and Vimeo are popular hosting platforms because they are free, add to your SEO footprint, and are easy to use. Once uploaded, you can easily embed your video using the HTML code provided by YouTube and Vimeo. 

For best results, keep an eye on the analytics to track the success of your onboarding video. Once you’ve clearly understood its performance, it’s time to update, iterate, and improve. 

Start improving your retention with onboarding videos

So there you have it – five types of customer onboarding videos and steps for creating your own great video. Still, stuck on getting started? No problem! We can help with that. 

At Synthesia, we believe in the power of video to help businesses grow, so we’ve created a free AI video tool that makes it easy for anyone to create professional videos. Just select a template and edit your script. It’s that easy. Create your free video here.

Frequently Asked Questions