Often, horizontal SaaS companies overwhelm first-time users with vast features and end up struggling to get them to reach the “aha” moment.
One key to successfully onboard users is to treat this elusive “aha” moment as a series of valuable moments in the onboarding flow, not a singular event.
In this guide, you’ll learn what the “aha” moment really is. We’ll also feature three aha moment examples to illustrate this new concept.
What an “Aha” Moment Really Is
An “aha” moment is a series of valuable moments a user goes through to experience the value of your product, often in a free trial or freemium plan.
There are three key milestones to achieving the “aha” moment, according to Ramli John, in his book, Product-Led Onboarding:
- Moment of Value Perception: User interacts with your business for the first time and starts visualizing your product in the context of their situation (e.g., watching a video ad on YouTube).
- Moment of Value Realization: User experiences your product’s value and achieves their goal.
- Moment of Value Adoption: User uses your product daily and integrates it into their workflow.
We’ve got loads to unpack here. Let’s illustrate how this looks with a contact scoring tool like Breadcrumbs.
- Moment of Value Perception: User sees how Breadcrumbs score contacts across the customer lifecycle.
- Moment of Value Realization: User connects all customer data into one place and builds scoring models to identify actions and attributes that impact revenue growth in sales funnels.
- Moment of Value Adoption: Marketers, sales team, product team, and customer success reps identify qualified leads and profitable customers with zero guesswork.
Notice how an “aha” moment is not a singular event. And note again how it begins before the user becomes a customer.
The “aha” moment is a series of steps that form a value path.
The more users reach the activation event, the more you increase trial-to-paid conversions. Consider using a fully featured contact scoring system like Breadcrumbs to identify these sales-ready leads.
Here’s how it works:
- Connect your data sources with Breadcrumbs
- Determine what makes a sales-qualified lead in the Fit model (e.g., +10 points if CMO in $50 million ARR company, +5 points if manufacturing industry)
- Determine what makes a sales-qualified lead in the Activity model (e.g., + 15 points if uses product every day, +10 points if visits pricing page 3 times within the past week)
- Choose your lead score threshold (e.g., 70)
- Set the scoring model live
All scoring information will be sent back to your CRM, notifying you of every sales opportunity.
You can also use Breadcrumbs to identify other qualified leads (e.g., product qualified leads), customers with cross- and upsell potential, and churning customers.
Grab your free account to increase your conversion rate across the entire customer journey today.
3 Aha Moment Examples that Successfully Onboard Users
In this section, we further break down what the value moments look like in three horizontal SaaS companies.
How Sendlane’s “aha” moment looks like:
- Moment of Value Perception: User learns how they can unify their email and SMS marketing under one roof, while enjoying world-class customer support.
- Moment of Value Realization: User sends their first email and SMS message based on customer behavior and data.
- Moment of Value Adoption: User creates multi-channel experiences with pre-built email and SMS funnels automatically.
Sendlane has come a long way.
Originally an email marketing platform, it grew into a robust eCommerce marketing automation suite with a range of features: SMS/MMS, website pop-ups, and a dynamic review collection tool.
Jimmy Kim, CEO and founder of Sendlane, discovered his product’s “aha” moment after interviewing his sales prospects and customers.
On top of asking about their struggles and goals, he’d also probe deeper into customer objections. “If they don’t want to buy today, I’d ask them why,” says Kim. “You need to learn what will make them switch.”
More importantly, the CEO stresses, ensure you’re solving a problem for a specific user segments. “Identifying and focusing on who you’re building for are very important.”
Based on our conversations with marketing and sales leaders, we learned early on: businesses that chase the wrong ideal customer profile (ICP) end up wasting billions every year.
Analyze customer data across your marketing, sales, and product stacks to highlight the attributes and actions that accelerate revenue today.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Connect your data sources with Reveal
- Select a customer segment that means success for your business (e.g., all customers on the pro plan)
- Reveal your results
You’ll end up with a dashboard similar to the one below. Note how it shows a detailed list of industries you should target (e.g., SaaS companies are the most profitable segment, having converted over 60%).
Update your ICP accordingly and share it widely with everyone in the revenue marketing team.
Grab your free Reveal account to identify your most profitable customers today.
How Wordable’s “aha” moment looks like:
- Moment of Value Perception: User learns they can publish their Google Docs drafts to WordPress in one click.
- Moment of Value Realization: User publishes their draft to WordPress with formatting and presentation intact
- Moment of Value Adoption: User streamlines publishing workflow, saving tons of time and publishing costs.
Wordable over-served its wrong market and underserved its right market in the early days.
The team realized their best customers were not solo bloggers, but large companies publishing content at scale.
“Our in-app user metrics helped us understand how frequently people were using our product and how long they were using it for,” shares Jeremy Moser, the co-owner and advisor of the one-click publishing software.
While the former used the product only once a month, the latter were using it daily for longer periods of time.
“The metrics gave us a moment of clarity into our product’s value.”
Note: this goes back to our previous point. You want to double-, triple-check you’re going after the right customer segment. Grab your free Reveal account to focus on your most profitable customers today.
Wordable’s pivot to bigger companies impacted its product and pricing models. Not only did the startup increase its pricing, but it also took on a hyper-focused approach to feature development.
How SquidVision’s “aha” moment looks like:
- Moment of Value Perception: User learns they can track specific buttons and links that led to the first transaction.
- Moment of Value Realization: User adds landing pages to SquidVision to start tracking revenue data for every call-to-action button, link, and blog post.
- Moment of Value Adoption: User identifies which button, link, and content work best and optimize them for more conversions.
SquidVision is a revenue heatmap software that shows how much revenue your individual clicks and buttons are generating.
Founder Adam White discovered his product’s “aha” moment in demo video calls:
“Because our feature doesn’t exist in any other heatmap software, it’s critical we show that to the customer as soon as possible.
We saw the expression and the part of the demo where they responded positively.
Often it would be obvious because for the first part of the demo, the customer would just listen. But when the aha moment came, they would make an audible confirmation that they now understood what the app does and why it’s valuable”Adam White, founder of SquidVision, on the moment customers recognized his product’s aha moment
The product demo isn’t the only channel to gather customer feedback. You can also send surveys to identify which features resonate.
White recommends these two simple questions:
- What feature in the app is the most useful?
- What feature in the app do you use the least?
Analyze the common themes.
Highlight the popular features in your product’s in-app user onboarding sequence.
You’ll also want to capture the voice of customer data from the survey and include them in your copy, content, and sales pitch.
Determine Your Product’s Value Moments Today
The “aha” moment starts before users become customers. To activate them in the onboarding process, create a series of valuable moments that lead them to experience the value of your product.
Of course, analyzing analytics in user onboarding alone will not reveal your product’s “aha” moment. It also requires in-depth conversations with your best customers.
So do that!
And once you’re ready to improve your trial-to-paid conversion, grab your free Breadcrumbs account here.
Our fully featured contact scoring platform gathers your existing marketing, sales, product, and CX data into one place.
Use Breadcrumbs to identify all qualified leads, at-risk customers, and buyers with upsell potential across the entire user journey, with zero guesswork.
What is the “aha” moment?
An “aha” moment is a series of valuable moments a user goes through to experience the value of your product.
In the book Product-Led Onboarding, the “aha” moment is broken down into three key milestones: moment of value perception, moment of value realization, and moment of value adoption.
How to identify your “aha” moment?
Most of the startups we spoke to recommend analyzing in-app user metrics, video demo calls, and customer interviews.
What metrics should I track to find my “aha” moment?
This would require a whole new article! In general, focus on engagement metrics and retention rates.