So you work at a great company, and your company delivers an exceptional product. Even so, it may be no simple task to convince users to engage with your software on a consistent basis. Sure, in some cases the product speaks for itself.

But most of the time, people don’t quickly change their daily routines. They need to be shown that investing time in your product is worth their while.

It takes more than a great marketing plan to make this happen. It takes features built into the software or website that subtly encourage users to come back again and again. This, in a nutshell, is how user onboarding happens.

But what are these features? In this article, we’ll look at four key factors in increasing user engagement and thereby speeding up the onboarding process.

1. Educate the First-time User About Your Product

The first time a user encounters your product is critical, because their user experience will often decide whether they’ll ever return to your SaaS. So strive to make engagement with your software immediate, simple, and fun.

What are some ways to do this? For one, you might want to introduce your product with a how-to app. Include a highly visible Help section in case they get confused, as well as a toll-free customer service number. Or, instead of all these, you can use an online guidance platform, such as WalkMe.

If possible, let them customize aspects of the service right from the beginning. This will give users a sense of agency and creative control.

Finally, introduce your product in a way that tells the reader a story. Giving users a narrative to latch onto, rather than just offering technology, will help them engage with the product and increase the likelihood of onboarding.

2. Learn from the Success of Others

Don’t hesitate to turn to other companies to see what they’ve done to engage users. There are numerous success stories out there – Twitter, Tumblr, Google, the list goes on – and insights can be gleaned from all of them.

For example, the meteoric rise of Twitter was fueled by an important Aha! moment.

As one recent article reports, Twitter began to take off when its executives discovered that users who followed enough people on the site (more than 5-10) were much more likely to become regular users.

Studying other companies’ breakthroughs regarding user engagement will help you to achieve your own.

3. Prioritize the Visual Experience

Another cue you can take from successful SaaS companies is the way their sites look. Compare the websites of major success stories in the SaaS industry. Notice any similar features?

Most successful websites are relatively minimalist, without much visual clutter. Clean lines are attractive and aesthetically pleasing, and make your SaaS look professional. Don’t be afraid to use negative space (think of Google’s homepage!).

In general, you don’t want to scare off a potential user by confusing them. Your product/website should make it easy and intuitive for them to sign in and begin engaging with the product. In this regard, large, bright logos and simple, easy-to-find click-throughs will work to your advantage.

4. Use Social Logins

Another way to simplify your website is by incorporating social logins from other sites rather than forcing users to come up with a new username and password for your product. This process always entails the danger that the user will be lost. According to one recent study, 92 percent of users who forgot their logins to a site ended up not returning to the site.

There are more reasons to use social logins, however. The same study cited above also indicates that most users (52 percent) find that using social logins results in an improved online experience. Social logins also allow you to personalize your SaaS for each user. Customized content generally tends to make users feel good about their online experience.

One study found that 6 in 10 users believed that they knew more about, and had positive feelings toward, SaaS companies that provided customized content than those that did not.

Social logins not only let you personalize UX, they potentially provide access to each user’s list of friends or followers, thereby expanding the reach of your product.

There are many other ways to increase user onboarding via user engagement, but these four are all critical aspects of the process of improving in onboarding, and should be taken into account.

If handled well and given the time they deserve, these steps will combine to help create an engaging and memorable user experience – which is the most important ingredient in the long-term success of any SaaS.