Get more SaaS subscribers with personalized onboarding videos

More and more SaaS founders and Customer Success teams use personalized welcome videos for their trial customers.

Done correctly, videos are easy to make and a great addition to your Concierge Onboarding strategy. In this post I’ll share best practices you can use to turn more trial customers into paying subscribers.

Why create personalized welcome videos?

Because selling SaaS subscriptions is HARD. The number of SaaS solutions is growing exponentially and your customers are faced with a bewildering number of choices. Few SaaS products can convert trial customers to paying subscribers with marketing automation alone.

Creating a video is one way you can still distinguish yourself and get through the noise.

Step 0 – Sign up for Intercom

Ok, obviously you don’t need Intercom to make videos. But no other platform has Intercom’s combination of tools, customer data and ease of sending personalized messages.

We recently decided to abandon our own app and relaunch All Aboard! on Intercom.

I’ll use Intercom screenshots to illustrate the steps below.

Step 1 – Qualify your trial customers

Making personalized videos for every trial customer is too much work – most of them won’t buy your product no matter what you do.

Double-down on the ones most likely to become paying subscribers. In our course we advise qualifying customers on 3 dimensions:

  • WHO are they? CTO of a Fortune 1000 company or a student?
  • HOW MUCH are they paying? Did they sign up for your Stripe Basic or Enterprise plan?
  • WHAT have they done? Finished signing up or bailed at the first screen?

You can make this decision based on data you send to Intercom and data they provide. Sometimes I do a quick Google search of the email ala


If you get < 10 trial subs a day you can just tag each one as low, medium or high. You can also filter them using Intercom’s Segments.


Ignore the lows and double-down on the highs. Do the mediums if time allows.

Step 2 – Quickly learn about your qualified trial customers

Take a few minutes and look up their business web site, blog etc. Take note of:

  • How to pronounce and spell their name and business.
  • Where they are located.
  • Hypothesize why they are interested in your product.
  • Identify the greater goals they could achieve with your product.

Step 3 – Know the next step you want them to take

Onboarding is sales – and successful sales means getting customers to take steps. A common mantra is “sell the next step”.

What one critical step do they need to take to maximize the probability of getting value from your product?

In my case that next step is getting them to schedule an onboarding call with me. If I can get the customer on the phone my odds converting them to a paying subscriber go way up.

Step 4 – Do the screencast with you in it

Do this quickly – no rehearsals, no edits. You don’t have time and it doesn’t matter anyway. Just prove you truly understand their business and really care about them.

Introduce yourself by looking into the camera and cover the following points:

  1. Close the distance – identify something about them, their location, business that you can use to make a connection to the customer.
  2. Hypothesize their problems and their goals – convey your credibility as a potential parter.
  3. Sell the next step – convince them to take action that gets them closer to their goals.

I use ScreenFlow and publish private links on YouTube.

Step 5 – Send a personalized message with the next step

Intercom really shines because you can do all of this from one interface. I use TextExpander to quickly insert copy and add the video link:



Here is an example of an onboarding video for ShootZilla, my friend Esther’s startup. (If you are a professional photographer you should check it out – they are a great team who really know the photography business).

I call out the moments when I use the key points:

  • Close the distance
  • Hypothesize problem
  • Hypothesize goal
  • Sell the next step

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