Building an Engaging Click Through Product Demo

16 minute read

Now more than ever, buyers expect to “try before they buy.” In fact, your product can be your best lead gen tool.

However, many of the tools sales teams use can be cumbersome and boring:

  • Free trials with too many steps cause prospects to give up before reaching an “aha moment”
  • Traditional sales-led demos alienate today’s buyers who want a self-service experience
  • Video tours lack a hands-on feel, are hard to customize, and are expensive to produce

So, how do you give prospects an engaging hands-on product experience?

Click-through product demos. Interactive demos shorten time to value while providing an engaging prospect experience.

Learn what a click through demo is, why you should use one, and how to create a winning click through demo.

What is a Click Through Demo?

A click through demo, otherwise known as an interactive demo, is an interactive product experience that lets your prospect get hands-on with your product. It is entirely no-code and doesn’t require prospects to log into your app to see your product’s value.

Using click through demo software, you can:

  • Replicate your product experience without coding to give prospects the “look and feel” of a live product
  • Overlay guides to educate and quickly demonstrate your product’s value
  • Create a sharable link to share with prospects or embed on your website

And, unlike a full in-product tour, most click through demo software is low or no-code, enabling marketers and reps to create, update, and share product value quickly.

6 Steps to Create a Click Through Demo

Here’s how to create a winning click through demo yourself:

Step 1: Choose Your Use Case

The first thing you need to decide is where and how you’re using your interactive demos.

The main use case for click through demos is as a CTA on your website. But a major benefit of interactive demos is that they can be used at every stage of the sales funnel and beyond.

According to our State of the Interactive Product Demo data, the most popular use cases for top-performing demos were:

Use Case Graph

But don’t feel like you’re limited to just one use case. Navattic customers build 20 demos on average — across all available use cases. Here are some other ideas:

  • Blog content: Inserting interactive demos in your blog content can improve dwell time and accelerate prospect education
  • Ads: Interactive demo-based ads can improve click-through rates and decrease cost per lead while driving engagement
  • Partner enablement: Interactive demos can teach partners what they need to know about integrations, new feature releases, and existing product functionality
  • Conferences: Giving a live demo of your product can be risky — interactive demos help your sales team bring your product to life without worrying about technical issues

Step 2: Collect Internal Assets

After you’ve chosen your use case, you’ll need some inspiration for your demo. Internal resources like sales calls, customer calls, slides, and one-pagers are great jumping-off points for demo content.

If those don’t exist, host a brainstorming session with your CS, Sales, and/or Product team. They can share what they think are the most powerful “aha moments” — when users realize the value of your product.

A good way to identify these moments is to think of points in the sales or onboarding process where users:

  • Understand exactly how the product will help them
  • Experience the core value of the product
  • Achieve something quickly that would have taken them hours in their old workflow

Resource: Step by Step Instructions to Turn a Video Into an Interactive Demo

Step 3: Create a Storyboard

With the information you’ve gotten from existing content and colleagues, you’re ready to build your demo outline. Start by writing out each step, incorporating between 2 and 4 “aha moments” throughout.

Once you’re done, run through all the steps yourself a few times to confirm the main takeaways from each piece of content match what you’re conveying in the demo. Then share your rough sketch with your peers.

Tara Quehl, Product Marketing Director at Demandbase, recommends asking for feedback from other team members who have more exposure to prospects and customers and can provide unique insights that you may not have access to.

Reviewing your storyboard now allows you to make changes earlier in the process and streamline the build. And it gives you an opportunity to generate excitement and get buy-in from other departments before the demo is publicly shared.

Resource: High Converting Interactive Demos Tips from a Copywriting Expert

Step 4: Build Your Demo

Once you’ve got an approved outline, it’s time to start building. In Navattic, demo builds are fairly straightforward, but there are ways to speed up the process.

For example, some customers find that task batching—writing and inserting all CTAs at once, for example—dramatically decreases how long it takes to create demos. the time it takes to create their demos.

After you’ve got a rough draft, jazz it up a bit more by:

  • Playing with various theme colors
  • Repositioning your tooltips for better UI
  • Refining your copy to prompt conversion

If you’re struggling to refine your own demo, we can offer a second pair of eyes. Simply reach out to support@navattic.com to schedule a demo review.

Resource: 3 Tips to Speed Up Interactive Demo Builds

Step 5: Decide Whether to Gate

If your goal is lead generation, you may want to gate your interactive demos.

But if your goal is education or awareness, ungating is your best bet, allowing you to get as many eyeballs on your product as possible.

In fact, our State of the Interactive Product Demo research showed that 72% of top-performing demos did not use a form.

Ungated demos had 12% higher completion and 5% higher engagement rates on average.

Resource: Should You Gate or Ungate Your Interactive Demo?

Step 6: Iterate

Your first click through demo probably won’t be perfect. And there is always room for improvement.

After your demo’s been live for a while, use Navattic’s native dropoff reporting to see where people might be getting stuck or disinterested.

Sydney Lawson, Product Marketing Manager at Athennian, uses Navattic Analytics to see where those stopping points are and tweaks the parts of the tour leading up to that point to make sure folks aren’t getting confused.

Make a point of going through all of your demos yourself to diagnose any problems and make small adjustments that enhance the user experience.

Resource: Stats from our State of the Interactive Demo 2024

Click Through Demo Software

Below, we list several click through demo software options along with their advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which one fits your use case best.

Navattic (Interactive Demo)

With Navattic, any team member can create HTML/CSS demos — without the help of engineering. Our product is flexible, supporting interactive demo builds for:

  • Mobile apps
  • Desktop apps
  • Web-based tools

And we integrate with a whole suite of other tools, such as: Hubspot, Salesforce, G2, Twilio Segment, Marketo, and Google Analytics to extend the ROI of your interactive demos across your marketing and sales tech stack.

Best for: Mid-market or enterprises that want to use interactive guided demos across their entire GTM motion

Pros:

  • No-code: Our product is all drag and drop, making it extremely easy to use. According to one of our customers, “The platform is incredibly easy to use, and has thoughtful tools like allowing you to quickly edit out sensitive data and highlight certain components. It was very low lift (less than a day!) to launch our first demo, embed it into our website, and start tracking leads.”
  • Analytics: On the backend, you can see how buyers are interacting with your interactive demo, whether you gate it or not
  • A hands-on team: As mentioned above, we offer on-demand demo reviews for all customers.

Cons:

  • Live demo options: Our focus on ease of use and fast deployments means we don’t specialize in overlays or click-anywhere demo sandboxes for live sales calls — those can require a longer technical set up.

Loom (Video)

With the rise of product-led growth, video platforms like Loom have become an increasingly popular marketing tool for SaaS companies. Loom is a free screen recorder that captures data from your camera, microphone, and desktop screen.

Best for: Brief explainer videos for your website or for personalized emails to later-stage prospects

Pros:

  • Showcases your product’s look and feel: Static screenshots and slideshows don’t give users a true picture of how your product features fit together.
  • Allows you to show multiple features: In a video, you can easily show multiple aspects of your product at once.

Cons:

  • Low engagement: Product demo videos don’t enable leads to interact with your product — a key element of a product-led sales process.
  • Time inefficient: Recording and editing just one Loom video can be a significant drain on sales, product, and customer success time.
  • Obsolescence: Product features can quickly become out of date, and redoing your product demo videos every time there is an adjustment can be overly expensive and time-intensive.

Arcade (Video + Screenshot)

Arcade is a screenshot-driven demo software tool. Beyond capturing screenshots, Arcade also allows GTM teams to weave in video and audio clips they’ve captured through the product’s Chrome extension. For an extra fee, users can trim, speed up, and edit their videos.

Best for: Short how-to demos for social media or help articles

Pros:

  • Ease: Taking screenshots and videos is quick and easy to do.
  • Compatibility: You don’t have to worry about responsiveness or mobile availability.

Cons:

  • Time-consuming: Screenshots take time to capture and must be updated manually each time the product interface changes. Editing videos takes even longer.
  • Expense: Arcade charges extra for editing and has seat-based pricing, making it tough for startups to adopt.for larger teams to adopt.

Reprise (Interactive Demo)

Reprise users can build three different types of demos — plain walk throughs, live demos, and sandboxes. Most companies only need one of those options. But for those that need all three, Reprise is a great all-in-one solution.

Best for: Large, complex demo environments for live calls

Pros:

  • Versatility: As mentioned, Reprise has multiple demo options depending on your needs.
  • Live demos: Sandbox-type environments give users an opportunity to use your product in real-life.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Reprise has a steep learning curve for marketers, SEs, and AEs, which lowers adoption and time to value
  • Errors: Sandbox demos open customers up to the kinds of errors you can get in live environments.

Tourial (Screenshot)

Tourial customers use screenshots and video capture to create product walk-throughs for prospects and existing customers. These demos can be shared over and over in sales leave behinds, on websites, and in blogs.

Best for: Chrome extension-based apps or pre-live production apps

Pros:

  • Familiarity: Everyone knows how to take screenshots, so there’s not a lot of learning that needs to be done to get up and running.
  • Good for extensions: Video-based tours like Tourial showcase mobile and Chrome extension functionality, drag-and-drop, and other actions that HTML capture can’t pick up.

Cons:

  • Not interactive: Static images prevent users from feeling as though they truly know the product.
  • Low customizability: Demo builders can’t easily edit or personalize their demo environment data.

Click Through Demo Examples

To give you some inspiration, we’ve pulled several examples of how companies are using interactive demos on their websites.

Vitally

Vitally, an all-in-one customer success platform, dedicates an entire section of their website to interactive demos:

Vitally interactive demos

Building a library of various demos and adding filters for each core Vitally feature helps users find and walk through their exact use case.

And the demos are fairly in-depth, previewing to users just how much value they could get from the tool, thereby increasing the chances they convert.

Guru

Guru, an AI-powered enterprise intranet, uses click through demos throughout their website to pique prospects’ interest and boost their engagement.

On the homepage, users are invited to take a product tour in a CTA above the fold and in a button in the upper right corner.

Guru website

The tour opens in full-screen on a new tab, taking users through Guru’s browser extension and chat tool integration, as well as its intranet and wiki capabilities, showing them exactly how Guru can uplevel employee productivity.

Guru interactive demo


After several steps, the Guru marketing team asks if the visitor wants to continue the tour or watch a demo, giving their prospects multiple options for learning about the product.

Writer

Writer, a generative AI writing tool, takes a similar approach to Vitally, using a whole page of their website to promote interactive demos.

As the user scrolls down, they can see multiple interactive demos showcasing various Writer use cases — from drafting press releases to summarizing earnings calls to creating product detail pages.

Writer website

Users can easily find the interactive demo they’re most interested with the industry filters the Writer team conveniently provides on the left-hand side of the page.

Writer keeps these demos short and to the point, maximizing the chances prospects get through the entire demo and decide to either run through another one or book a call with the Writer sales team.

Writer interactive demo

Click through demos are helping SaaS sales and growth teams everywhere build better product demos. A click through demo provides enough of a framework to showcase product functionality while giving users the freedom to explore and uncover their own aha moments.

If you’d like to see how other B2B SaaS companies are leveraging interactive demos, check out our Customer Showcase.

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