Last updated on July 6th, 2023

Onboard your Customers the way you Onboard Friends to Netflix

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar
Onboard your Customers the way you Onboard Friends to Netflix

How did you onboard a friend to Netflix, Spotify, Instagram or another app you
use? You probably put everything into it, showing them what you loved about
it, what they'll love about it and how to get going. Below you'll see why one
to one onboarding is how you discover and learn about most apps and how to do
this effortlessly using the latest tech.

Related: Don't Guess at User Onboarding. Steal What Others

Here are some facts we can probably all agree with

  1. People don't read all our onboarding emails. The open rates prove that.

  2. They don't all watch our awesome explainer video.

  3. Many are not going to figure things out reading through help files.

Now consider this.

When you first heard of Netflix, Spotify, Instagram etc, did you instantly
sign up the first time it was mentioned?

Probably not.

Someone personally directly or indirectly onboarded you and that's why you

Here's how someone really signs up, subscribes and stays with an app



A friend shows me a clip on Youtube of a Netflix series they like.

It looks cool.

I sign up to their free trial and watch that one series and a couple of

I'm considering cancelling at the end of the month.

Another friend tells me about 2 more series that I might like.

I watch those and Netflix recommends a few more and after a while they keep
releasing new seasons and I keep my subscription.

My friends onboarded me one to one. Netflix took over later.



Someone's at a party and is playing their music list via Spotify.

It's a bad music list.

I want to change it.

Another friend goes over and plays their favourite list. I like that.

I want that.

She says 'You gotta get on Spotify'.

How much is it? Is it all the songs? Can I download them? Really?

She answers a few more questions, shows me a few more lists and features,
reminds me a week later and I download it and start a trial. She reminds me of
that great list from the party and I add that, I listen, I add some more that
Spotify recommends and I'm subscribed likely for life.

She onboarded me one to one over a week.



"Look at my story on Instagram"

"Wow, that's cool, I didn't realise you could do that"

I sign up but don't use it much and I find it a bit irritating.

Friends nearby laugh about something on instagram. I go view it. It's another

I dislike instagram but somehow my usage has increased and I'm heading towards
creating my own stories.

Several people collectively onboarded me over weeks.

Macbook Air


I use an Acer laptop.

It has windows.

It gets viruses.

Someone shows me how light their mac is.

They sit next to me and never seem to plug it into the power socket.

They tell me they don't know which virus protector it comes with.

They tell me it has not crashed.

They slip it into their tiny bag and go home.

I get a mac.

I onboard people to Netflix for free but for my own app, where each customer
is worth $3,000, I hope they watch my video?!


It's madness I tell you!

Take a brief look at the maths.

Let's say a customer's life time value is $3,000.

They need 5 minutes of one to one time to learn how to use the app or they'll
move on.

“If you think education is expensive, try estimating the cost of

Howard Gardner

I spend 5 minutes with each person and I'm making $36,000 an hour I would
have otherwise lost.

Even if I spent three separate 20 minute training sessions with each
customer over a month, I still make $3,000 an hour.

You can't show people your app one-to-one by asking them to install screen


Founders can convert 55% of the people they talk to through manual user
onboarding strategies


Onboarding people one to one is a nightmare to set up and get going with.

Scheduling a good time via back and forth emails? No thanks.

Set up conferencing with screen sharing? Ask them to download software? Hope
it all works? Stressful misuse of life.

Blurry and laggy screen? Hell no.

15 minutes to set up a 5 minute walk through?

No, this is not how it should be when most of the apps are now on the web.

One to one onboarding using co-browsing is something customers have never seen


This is what you do for modern web based apps.

When your customer needs support or an onboarding walk through, use a
co-browsing tool to instantly see
their screen and highlight where to click

No downloading.

No set up.

One click and you see them on your app and start guiding them.

You can do this from live chat tools like Intercom, LiveChatinc etc too.
Upscope co-browsing integrates with them so when
someone needs help, click once to see their screen and start guiding them.

If you want to formalise it, do as follows:

  1. Add a 'would you like a walk through' link throughout your web app.

  2. That links to Calendly which automatically does
    all scheduling for you
    for every walk through.

  3. At the time of the meeting, click once to begin co-browsing and highlight
    which buttons they should click while talking them through it. See them
    build muscle memory there and then.

Co-browsing is 'no-download' screen
where you see the user on your
website in one click.

Most co-browsing tools have a highlighter to show the user where to click.

Old school screen sharing was made for desktop apps, co-browsing with
highlighters are becoming default for web based apps.

What happens once you have this in place?

Let's say a team member goes from 0 to doing 5 of these walk throughs a day.

That's 100 per month.

You'll see that the people you onboarded are consistently at the top of your
product usage stats
. Your MRR grows. Your churn rate for those users

Here's what's weird.

Your sign ups don't increase at first but all the stats are looking better.

What else happens?

The speed at which you get product feedback and make positive changes is

Try it and measure what happens next

There's a 2 week free trial.

You'll feel the difference on day 1 and it only takes minutes for your team to
install and get going with.

Get a 2 week free trial of Upscope co-browsing here.

If you want to learn more about the who, what, where and why of co-browsing,
then read our ultimate guide.

A timely reminder. Companies that grew into billion dollar platforms did it
session by session

I know most people are looking for our “one top tip” or the magical “hack”
that got us customers, there really isn’t any one thing. We grew email by
email, Skype by Skype, webinar by webinar, and looking back I can’t distill it
down to any one thing.

Des Traynor, Co-founder Intercom

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.