Why interactive demos are better at engaging potential users than video demos
How user engagement impacts user signups
How to storyboard your product's Aha! moments
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
An interactive demo tool you can embed on your website
A website personalization platform that connects to your CRM
A data enrichment tool to identify key contacts within accounts
Creating a category is tough—brutally tough.
For every success story (inbound marketing, office communication, file synchronization), there are a dozen flops. To make matters worse, some companies face a harder challenge than others.
Natalie Marcotullio, Head of Growth & Operations at Navattic saw just how hard category creation could be with one of their customers, a training manual platform. The company faced a bunch of unique problems:
Many ICPs: They sold to HR, operations, and functional teams. Buyers had different pain points, needs, and goals.
Slow Time to Values (TTV): They helped people onboard, train, and ramp up employees faster. Educating buyers on the product’s value took a while.
Multiple Products: The product consolidated a bunch of legacy tools into one system. No one likes messing with an established tech stack… even if that tech stack is garbage.
They had to do something to overcome status quo bias and entice users onto their free tier product.
Their first idea was simple: Show the product at work. They shot a slick product demo fronted by their founder and CEO. They embedded the clip on high-intent landing pages, and then… nothing.
Engagement metrics stayed flat, and trial signups didn’t move.
Time to try something different.
Around this time, they came across a course on value-first onboarding. It recommended giving users Aha! moments before their free trial.
(An Aha! moment is when someone realizes the value of your product. Think back to when you saw Dropbox sync a file for the first time or when you sent your first Slack message. Aha!)
The course recommended embedding an interactive demo on your website. Unlike product videos, interactive demos allowed users to use the product and personally experience the aha moment.
By showcasing a curated and expedited version of what it feels like to be within their product, the company believed they could increase trial account signups.
Storyboard Aha! moments
The Navattic team helped the company identify key Aha! moments for their ICPs. Remember: your product's Aha! moments are a collection of 3-5 of the features or experiences that new users get really excited about. If you aren't sure, ask your sales team what features they show off during new demos.
Team leaders: Edit company-wide processes from a central platform, creating a single source of truth.
HR leaders: Automate onboarding and scale effortlessly from five to 500 people.
Ops leaders: Create policy and process templates, keeping internal SOPs consistent.
Using a storyboard template (get your copy here), Natalie helped them map out the interactive demo. Alongside aha moments, she added tooltips and “choose your own adventure” style decision trees.
Build your interactive demo
Using Navattic, Natalie converted the storyboard into a demo. (Navattic’s a no-code solution, which meant they could move fast without a dev team.)
Comparing the interactive demo to the earlier product video, Natalie highlights three key differences.
Product videos often feel overly polished. It’s a curated tour rather than the real product. Interactive demos feel like you’re using a real tool.
Videos place the CTA at the end. (In this case, a “Try free” button.) The problem was, they only got one shot… if the user made it to the end. And a lot of viewers left before they hit the CTA.
Interactive demos allowed Natalie to place CTAs throughout the experience. The demo introduced a feature and showed a CTA. It introduced another feature and showed a second CTA. Each time, the buyer could choose to go deeper into the demo or convert into a free trial.
And third, personalization.
Product videos are linear and generic. Everyone sees the same thing regardless of who they are. The interactive demo had a “choose your own adventure” structure. People could investigate the features that interested them and ignore the ones that didn’t.
Natalie and the company’s marketing team felt confident the demo would work, but they knew users would be the real judge.
Set up an A/B test
Using Mutiny, they set up a simple A/B test:
Control (50% traffic): A landing page with a video demo
Variant (50% traffic): A landing page with an interactive demo
Here’s the control:
And here's the variant:
The design changes were minimal—and that was intentional.
“When running A/B tests, it’s important to focus on just the parts you want to test,” says Natalie. “We only changed a tiny bit of copy to focus on the impact of the interactive demo.”
They ran the experiment for a month and then pulled up the results.
As a product-led company, their primary success metric was the free trial signup rate. The interactive demo delivered big time.
Signups jumped by 450%.
But the test delivered more than quantity. They were also measuring activation rate, meaning how engaged and healthy users were.
At the one- and seven-day mark, they found that users who came through the interactive demo were 100% more engaged.
Unsurprisingly, engaged users were more likely to convert into paying customers.
“Users got a chance to experience what they're signing up for rather than just watching it,” Natalie explains. Within the interactive demo cohort, the free trial to paid conversion rate leaped by 175%, resulting in new customers and revenue.
Learn from Brynne Burgess at Sprig how to approach segmenting your self-serve and enterprise website visitors.