How to Create a Click-Through Demo in Simple Steps?

Payal Gusain
9
min read
December 13, 2023

If we consider the current technology landscape, there are two types of technology buyers in the market – either “No thanks, I’d like to evaluate the product on my own” or “I’d like to get hands-on experience to make the final decision” kind. 

Both the buyers, no matter where they are in the buying journey, want to experience the product before they can give you a big, fat yes. But – they don’t want to talk to sales. A quick fix to the problem would be a self-recorded video. Just you, with a little round screen on the side, walking the viewer through a core sequence in the software.  

But why bother with a clunky, unprofessional video made for passive viewing when you can offer a clickable, interactive step-by-step experience? 

In this guide, we’ll show you five simple steps to build a click-through demo for prospective customers and drive product-led growth. But first, let’s get the basics right. 

What is a Click-Through Demo?

A click-through demo, also called an interactive product tour or an interactive demo, is a self-guided, interactive walkthrough of the software product. It guides the prospect to experience the product by clicking through and interacting with the demo in a step-by-step manner. 

Different Ways to Create Click-Through Demos 

Traditionally, demos were recorded using video editing tools or capturing screenshots. You’ve probably seen one too many demos like those. But modern-day product demo software offers two ways: 

  • Screen Recording: You can screenshot the different demo flows, but the result will be static. You cannot edit the recording later.
  • HTML Recording:  This type of recording is dynamic and editable. You can change textual elements, graphs/charts, logos, or images without upending the entire demo. 

Top Use Cases for Click-Through Demos 

Click-through, interactive product demos cater to the complete sales funnel. Below are four of its best use cases.

  • Product marketing: Marketing teams can embed short, guided tours on websites, landing pages, blog posts, or other resources to spread the word. It’s the best way of attracting leads and showing the product in action. 
  • Pre-sales: click-through demos are solid at speeding up the sales cycle. When sent to prospects before a sales call or to cold leads via marketing emails for nurturing, they can educate the viewer about the product and its core competencies.
  • Sales: Sharing the demos during discovery calls, at different POC stages, or as demo leave-behinds can potentially shorten the sales process. Upland Software, for example, used leave-behinds to improve sales velocity by 3x.
  • Customer Success: You can embed click-through demos in knowledge bases or how-to guides to better showcase the product value. They are also great for onboarding new customers. (We’ve also got a handy 101 guide on walkthrough tours for customer success teams.)
Alt text: Uses cases for a click-through demo
Source

5 Steps to Create a Click-Through Demo 

While there is no correct way of creating a click-through demo, we can boil the process down to five steps – broadly capturing the core elements and best practices. 

Alt text: Steps to create a click-through demo

Step 1 – Identify the Objectives, Personas, and Metrics

How are you going to use the click-through demo? 

As we discussed above, a product demo has multiple use cases for different personas. Focusing on one persona or use case will bring direction and flow to the demo. Focusing on many will make the creation process hellish. So, take a seat and ask questions along the lines of: 

  • Do you want to use the demo to generate leads? You could create a teaser-style, gated demo to nudge the visitors to book a demo with a sales rep. 
  • Should you create a click-through demo specifically for outreach campaigns? They’re known to improve the response rates by over 2.5x, but which flow should you pick? 
  • Can you share a quick demo before a discovery call to give a sneak peek? It can educate the leads and spare you the heavy lifting. 

With the objectives and personas locked, you will have a clear roadmap of how to pick the right demo flow and metrics to measure for successful iterations. 

Step 2 – Determine the Product Flows to Showcase 

You can showcase three types of flows to power conversions: 

  • Self-serve: This is not a guided demo. It allows viewers to click on what they find interesting to learn more, instead of providing a fixed path of steps to follow. They can enjoy a ‘self-guided’ user experience of the demo. 
  • Linear walkthrough: This is a simple, guided walkthrough of a specific feature(s) or the product. It takes the viewer through the core features or product flows.  
  • Choose your own adventure: This type of click-through demo combines two or more linear walkthroughs. Viewers can choose the option aligned to their needs. 

Each type of demo will fit a specific situation. For example, a linear walkthrough would make sense to tease the viewers and encourage sign-ups. This is what Nordics.io did by creating embeddable marketing showcases and increasing website conversions by 35%

Alt text: A screenshot of Nordics.io’s homepage
Source

However, offering a choose-your-own-adventure or self-serve interactive demos is better suited to product pages, where viewers can choose the flow they want to see. Case in point: Cognism

Alt text: A screen capture of Cognism’s product tour
Source

Pro Tip: When choosing the product flow to showcase, think from the viewer’s perspective, not the business’s. What are the key features they’d like to see? What’s the quickest win they can get from the product? Make sure to highlight those moments. Oh, and, go for a shorter demo flow. 8 to 12 steps is often the sweetest spot. 

Step 3 – Assemble a Video Storyboard for the Demo  

With the demo flow determined, assemble a storyboard to guide the creation of the click path. It should cover: 

  • Narrative:  Your demo should tell the story of how the viewer (Hero of the story) can overcome obstacles (Pain points) and achieve success (‘aha-moments’). It should be pieced together logically while keeping the engagement in mind. 
  • Features: Showcase the core features of your product and how they solve the viewer’s pain points. 
  • Use cases: Identify the best use cases for the different user personas your product caters to and highlight those. 
  • Guides: Tooltip buttons, Hotspot, Lead form, Text modal, or media modal – Which type of guided steps will best convey the narrative? They will decide how the user experiences the actual product. Find a detailed overview here.  
  • Call to action: What is the next best step after completing the demo? Find out and use it to write a persuasive CTA. 

Step 4 – Record & Customize the Demo Flow 

If the storyboard gets the green signal, start recording the different product flows. Think logically about the sequence of steps, top features, and ‘successful moments’ to highlight. Put simply, the demo flow should be value-oriented. 

This is the base of the click-through demo. 

Next up, customize to add the interactive, ‘clickable’ elements. Style the tooltips with engaging and informative descriptions, use hotspots to guide the user, match the branding, and add other customizations.   

Quick Tip 💡 Design the beginning of the demo to catch the viewer’s eye. This is crucial for engagement. For example, our very own website demo starts with a fun welcome message and sets the expectation for what’s to come.

Alt text: A screenshot of Storylane’s website demo

Step 5 – Track & Optimize Demo Performance 

Finally, share the click-through demo. But before you do, consider two things:

  • You can share the demo internally to gather initial feedback. This can be the first layer of iteration.
  • List down the metrics to track: leads captured, number of views, engagement rate, conversion rate, etc. It will make the optimization process easier for later.

Once the above two things are ticked off the list, you’re ready to rumble. Add the demo to the selected channels (website, marketing emails, blog posts, and more) and track performance to refine and improve the numbers. 

Best Tool to Build Click-Through Demos 

A demo creation platform like Storylane can simplify the process of creating a click-through demo. Use its HTML editor (which comes with a browser extension) to capture dynamic screens, style with guided steps, and personalize the demos for multiple personas. 

5 SaaS Companies Doing Amazing click-through Demos 

Why start from scratch when inspiration is all around? Here are five click-through demos SaaS companies are following: 

1. Clari’s Revenue Platform Tour 

Alt text: A screenshot of Clari’s click-through demo.
Source

What we love

  • A simple, linear progression made for easy viewing.   
  • The use of storytelling makes the copy more impactful.

2. Gong’s Product Tour 

Alt text: A screenshot of Gong’s click-through demo.
Source

What we love

  • Tooltip button descriptions are crisp and clearly state the benefits.
  • Excellent use of hotspots to highlight features.

3. Toplyne’s Interactive Product Tour 

Alt text: A screenshot of Toplyne’s click-through demo.
Source

What we love

  • Welcome message lays out the key pains the product solves. This makes the viewer curious to know more.
  • Offers a secondary CTA to schedule a custom demo. Even if a viewer doesn’t see through the end, they’ll still see the CTA. 

4. Fulcrum’s Product Demo

Alt text: A screenshot of Fulcrum’s click-through demo.
Source

What we love

  • Use of sample data gives the demo environment a real-world feel. 
  • Persona-driven storytelling makes for a highly engaging customer experience. 

5. Pulley’s Interactive Tour 

Alt text: A screenshot of Pulley’s click-through demo.
Source

What we love

  • Use of a fictional example to demonstrate the use cases.   
  • A combination of demo overlays and tooltips lets the view follow without stress. 

Conclusion

And there you go. Just follow the five simple steps above to build your click-through, interactive video demos. You won’t get it right the first time around. But timely feedback and proper iterations will get you on track in no time.   

Better yet, build a sample demo to test out the steps. Sign up for a free trial with Storylane and get the creativity going.  

Q1. What is a click-through demo?

 A click-through demo is an interactive, self-guided demo designed to help the potential customer experience a product step by step. 

Q2. How do you make an interactive demo?

Here are 5 simple steps to create and share an interactive demo.

  1. Start by sketching out the demo personas, goals, and metrics you’ll be gauging over time.
  2. Identify the core product features and sequences to highlight in the demo.
  3. Choose a quick, intuitive demo creation software to build interactive and engaging demos.
  4. Assemble all the research and create a video storyboard for how the viewer will interact with the demo.
  5. Finally, use the software to record, edit, and customize the demo as preferred.

Your interactive demo is ready for sharing!

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
—CHRIS LANCASTER, SUPPLY CHAIN PROJECT
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"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."
—CHRIS LANCASTER, SUPPLY CHAIN PROJECT

"Previously, there was scope for error and we’ve gone from a process that could be time consuming and painful to a process that’s super quick."

—CHRIS LANCASTER, SUPPLY CHAIN PROJECT

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