ThriveStack - SaaS Growth Insights
#20 — Activate Your Customers with PLG Simple Onboarding Techniques ft. Yaakov Carno

#20 — Activate Your Customers with PLG Simple Onboarding Techniques ft. Yaakov Carno

Insights, Strategies, and Outlook from Startup Expert Yaakov Carno on Strategies to implement Acquisition and Activation for PLG-First companies.

Yaakov Carno, a strategist in PLG and user onboarding, clarifies the intricacies of Product-Led Growth in this insightful podcast. He addresses the pivotal role of user activation in SaaS success, combining theoretical insights with practical strategies. His expertise offers valuable takeaways for SaaS companies seeking to optimize their PLG approach.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Castbox, Google and YouTube.

Key Timestamps

  • (00:00) Introduction to the podcast; focus on PLG activation and customer retention.

  • (00:37) Introduction of Yaakov Caro, his background in PLG, SaaS startups, and his journey in PLG.

  • (02:12) Yaakov's transition from sales to PLG activation and his learning process.

  • (05:57) Discussion on market trends in PLG and its increasing significance.

  • (07:01) Explanation of PLG and its importance in the current market.

  • (09:47) Challenges in SAS companies regarding activation and the 'insecure product trap'.

  • (13:47) Strategies for personalizing the user journey using data and analytics.

  • (17:10) Creating effective onboarding experiences and common pitfalls to avoid.

  • (22:12) Advice for early-stage companies on implementing PLG and managing features.

  • (26:59) The role of appropriate friction in onboarding for user attachment.

  • (30:09) Transitioning from traditional SLG to PLG models and associated pitfalls.

The Activation Challenge: Where Many Stumble

Activation is the pivotal moment in a customer's journey, yet it's a common stumbling block. Carno identifies key challenges:

  • Feature Overload: Overwhelming users with too many features at once.

  • Unclear Value: Failing to communicate the product's value proposition clearly.

  • Ineffective Onboarding: An onboarding process that doesn't guide users effectively.

  • Ignoring Feedback: Overlooking valuable user feedback that can enhance the product.

A Roadmap for Early-Stage SaaS Companies

For early-stage companies, Carno provides a roadmap to enhance user activation:

  • Simplify the user experience to highlight core functionalities.

  • Articulate a clear value proposition from the start.

  • Develop an intuitive onboarding process.

  • Regularly incorporate user feedback.

  • Educate customers to maximize product utilization and engagement.

Measuring Success and the Art of Strategic Friction

Carno stresses the importance of measuring activation success through metrics like engagement levels and conversion rates. Interestingly, he advocates for strategic friction in onboarding—introducing elements that deepen user engagement and filter out less committed users, enhancing overall user investment in the product.

Concluding Wisdom: Avoiding Pitfalls and Staying Adaptable

In his closing remarks, Carno reflects on common onboarding mistakes:

  • Overcomplexity: Making the onboarding process too complicated.

  • Disregarding User Feedback: Missing opportunities to align the product with user needs.

He emphasizes staying adaptable and user-focused. For further insights and guidance, Carno remains accessible through his blog and social media channels, continuing to support SaaS companies in steering the PLG landscape.

Where to Find the Guest:

Where to Find the Host:


  1. Product-Led Onboarding OS:

  2. PLG Visual Value Pack:

  3. Easiest way to get new users to activate:

  4. Why friction can help users convert quicker:

  5. How to figure out what users want:

  6. How to personalize user onboarding:

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