Building an Engaging Click Through Product Demo

Randy Frank
February 09, 2022

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

There are a number of ways to give prospects a taste of your product, from free trials to video tours and more.

However, many of the tools sales teams use can be either cumbersome or not engaging:

  • A free trial can involve many steps to get started and prospects may give up before they ever reach the critical “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 can be expensive to produce and update

What’s the alternative?

Click through product demos shorten the “time to value” while still providing an engaging experience for prospects.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • 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 is an interactive product experience that lets your prospect get hands-on with your product.

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
  • Customize tours for specific verticals or customers

And, unlike a full in-product tour, click through demos are a no-code solution that are quick to create, update, and share, enabling you to demonstrate your product’s value right away.

Why use a Click Through Demo?

A click through demo is a key tool for shifting towards product led growth (PLG).

Traditional sales-led growth is a top-down strategy, where sales reps qualify prospects and walk them through the product’s features and benefits.

This approach can be costly, time consuming, and inefficient. It also doesn’t match the behavior of today’s buyers, who want to self-serve and discover the product’s value for themselves, on their own time.

Instead, many of the world’s top software companies (such as Slack, Dropbox, and Zoom) have adopted a PLG approach.

A click through demo fits into PLG by highlighting specific features and capabilities in a guided product walkthrough. It gives prospects a hands-on, interactive opportunity to discover the product’s value.

But what if you’re not product-led (or not yet)?

Many companies can be deterred from PLG because their product isn’t designed for it. Considerations may include:

  • Complex products which may be confusing or overwhelming without proper onboarding
  • Products where extensive integrations are needed in order for value to be apparent
  • Products that touch sensitive data that prospects are unwilling to give access to during a free trial

A click through demo is a great way for companies facing these scenarios to enable a more product led approach. A click through demo gives the user freedom to explore the product on their own time, while also providing necessary guard-rails to ensure prospects can see value and avoid risk.

Use cases for click through demos

Another key benefit of creating click-through demos is that they can be used at every stage of the sales funnel, and beyond.

Top of funnel

Click through demos are excellent tools for raising awareness and creating excitement, which is the core goal for prospects at the top of the funnel.

Use cases for top of funnel include:

  • Outbound email marketing
  • Google ads
  • Social media ads
  • Content marketing CTAs

In each of these use cases, directing prospects to your click through demo enables users to learn more and educate themselves on the details of your product.

Middle of funnel

Once your prospects are in the middle of the funnel, they’re already aware of the product and interested. The goal at this stage is to convince prospects to convert by reminding users of the product’s value (or drawing their attention to features they may not have discovered yet).

Use cases for middle of funnel include:

  • Retargeting campaigns
  • Website embeds
  • Social media posts

Bottom of funnel

Once a prospect reaches the bottom of the funnel, they’re at the decision-making stage. Because of the ease with which you can customize your click through demo, you can create highly targeted demos from your prospect at this stage.

Use cases for bottom of funnel include:

  • Internal demos matching specific use cases for prospect
  • Post-demo leave behinds which can be shared with decision makers

How to build an immersive Click Through Demo

In building a great click through demo experience, there are a few key items to consider:

Plan your story

Before creating your click through product demo, carefully plan out the correct messaging and application components you want to focus on. For example, you might want to consider:

  • What are your top “aha moments” that you want prospects to see?
  • What stage of the funnel is your click through demo targeted at?
  • Are you targeting your demo at a specific vertical?

This planning will be valuable in helping you keep your theme consistent and showcasing the correct product value propositions.

Another good question to ask yourself at this stage is “What action do I want prospects to take after interacting with the demo?”

There are many possible calls-to-action that you might want to include as part of your demo. These might include:

  • Request a full product demo
  • Start a free trial
  • Sign up for a free account

Pick your audience

There are multiple audiences who might encounter your product from technical champions to decision makers. Different aspects of your product will resonate with different buyer personas.

It’s therefore important not to try and build a demo for everyone, but to create different click through demos for different buyer personas.

Here are some common ways to differentiate between your demo’s intended audience:

  • End User vs Admin: Is your demo targeting end users or admins? End users will be more interested in use cases that speak to their needs, while admins will want to see how your product can be configured and adapted across user groups.
  • Vertical: Is your demo targeting a specific vertical? Think about what features speak to users in finance vs those in manufacturing, for example.
  • Department/ Function: Is your product useful in more than one function? If so, can you illustrate use cases that will speak to specific departments such as HR, marketing, or finance?

With the help of click through demo software, it’s easy to create custom demos for your different personas so that you can get the right messaging to the right people every time.

Stay to the point

The click through demo is a unique opportunity to highlight feature benefits to call out the real value a prospect is looking for in a solution. However, a lengthy click through demo can quickly lead to drop off and lack of user engagement.

Instead of trying to cram in every last feature, plan to highlight 2-4 “aha moments”, which are the moments when your prospect really “gets” how your product can solve their problem and save them time. If you don’t know what your “aha moments” are, you can:

  • Survey existing customers/power users
  • Dig into your data (e.g. customer behavior, value metrics)
  • Shortlist and test different moments to see what resonates and converts

Another benefit of a click through demo is to signpost your prospects to the information that is most directly relevant to them. Using checklists you can guide users through multiple product demos that they can access from a single list.

This allows users to control their journey through your demo–skipping information that isn’t relevant, going back to re-explore areas of interest etc.

Choose your medium

When creating a click through demo, choosing the right medium is essential to create an immersive end user experience. Common options for click through demos include slideshows, product screenshots, and interactive product tours.

Slideshows

It’s possible to use software such as Google Slides, Powerpoint, or Canva to create interactive slideshows that can mimic your product’s environment.

The benefits of using slideshows include:

  • Familiarity: Your team may already know and understand the software well
  • Low cost: You may already own software licenses or be able to use free software
  • Proof of concept: You can test making a click through demo without investing in new software

However, the drawbacks may outweigh these benefits:

  • Time consuming: Creating a click through demo in software that wasn’t designed for the purpose can take much longer
  • Lower production value: Your final click through demo may not showcase your product to its best
  • Limited options for interaction: You may not be able to create as flexible and immersive a tour as you want

Screenshots

Using product screenshots to create a click through tour has the advantage of being familiar, easy, and cheap.

However, there are serious disadvantages to this medium:

  • Not interactive: Static images prevent users from feeling as though they truly know the product
  • Time consuming: Screenshots take time to capture and must be updated manually each time the product interface changes

Interactive demo builder tools

Interactive demo builder tools help teams to create dynamic and responsive click through tours. Demo builder tools are:

  • Designed to create demos: The right tools make it easy to craft your tour
  • Immersive: Use dynamic features to help prospects experience the product “hands on”
  • Easily customized: Simple to update with new features or to target towards specific verticals or user personas

However it’s worth noting that there are some drawbacks to click through demo software:

  • Time to set up: Teams will need to be trained on new software
  • Learning curve: Teams will need time to understand how to make the most effective demos using software.

Click through demos are helping sales and growth teams 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.

See an interactive demo of your product.Request a free demo build from our team.