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Hey GH community, I'm working on setting up a funnel to measure our "pirate metrics" (AARRR) and improve conversion. In this video (https://growthhackers.com/videos/high-tempo-testing-with-a-growth-model/) Sean Ellis says that your activation metric should be something that "gives the user a first taste of your core product/value". That sentence changed my mind from having "email signups" as our Activation metric, to "Take Free Course". We're an eLearning company with mostly paid courses, and a handful of free ones to drive registrations (users don't register apart from taking a course). Therefore a first taste of our core value looks like learning something on our platform. Am I thinking right about this? Or would you recommend that the Activation metric be something different? Thanks!

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    almost 3 years ago #

    Hey Jeremiah - definitely feels like your on the right track.
    You can get a better sense of this by:
    a. Analyzing your funnel and seeing the path people have taken to sign up and confirming if most of them are viewing one or more free courses.
    If they are, are most actually getting through those courses or are they just exploring.
    If they are not viewing free courses, then what are the people who are signing up for paid courses doing?

    b. Surveying the users that have signed up to confirm whether it truly was taking the free course(s) that prompted them to sign up for a paid course

    Through this, you may find that if it is indeed free courses, its specific ones (or all or none at all) that help drive conversions.
    This will help you refine your hypothesis on free courses being an integral part of activation.

    • JR

      Jeremiah Rizzo

      almost 3 years ago #

      That's great feedback, and super helpful. Thanks for this insight!

      I know that a huge % of registered users are coming through Free courses. I will definitely start polling paid users, and asking if they watched a free course before purchasing.

      If almost no "paid" customers watched a free course - would you advise re-focusing our Activation metric based on whatever it was that drove the paid customers to sign up?

      Or would it be better to run with a hypothesis that we can drive more sales if we give people a taste of the free courses?

      I can see validity in both - but your thoughts were super insightful, and I'm thinking maybe the metric needs to change (for example, to getting users to watch the paid course "preview video") .

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        almost 3 years ago #

        I think its all of the above.
        If no paying customers are watching a free course before they sign up then:
        a. As you mentioned - refocus the activation metric to whatever it was that drove the paid customers to sign up for the time being and do more experiments around optimizing this flow

        AND (as bandwidth allows)

        b. Another set of experiments that push the free courses more proactively at various points in the funnel of new users so that they are more likely to interact with them. Where in the funnel and how you show users the free videos are a set of experiments in their own right but this will give you data on whether "forced" exposure to free courses have a (bigger) positive impact on conversions or not.

        It may or may not, but If it does have a bigger impact then you could refine that activation metric with experiments that test:
        - completed watching a specific free course in y timeframe OR
        - completed watching any free course in y timeframe OR
        - completed watching a specific combination of free courses in y timeframe OR
        - completed watching n free courses in y time frame etc

        Through all of this, you follow the same methodology or quantitative & qualitative analysis to give you a more concrete understanding on what it is about exposure to free courses that truly delivers on that a-ha moment that then leads to users becoming customers.

  • DH

    David Hobson

    almost 3 years ago #

    Hey @jeremiah_rizzo,

    Something I think about for these kinds of "Aha moments" - in terms of experience, rather than measuring - is delivering a quick, obvious and measurable win for them. So a free part of a course is nice, but if you can trigger some dopamine and excitement... then that's what it's all about.

    An example was for some LinkedIn training I did. There's a million different ways to approach LinkedIn, fixing profiles can be boring and take forever, but a super quick win was getting students to immediately customize their vanity url. For a beginner, it's an immediate result that can help everything from their google rankings to professional branding and it takes all of about 30 seconds.

    Hope this isn't too off-topic in terms of your question, it's just that I really believe that whatever you do in that free course section needs to give some immediate, quick, easy wins to help create that "aha" and give a great taste of your core value.

    I think part of your metrics should not just be to do the free training, but to achieve that "quick win" and ideally measure if you can see when/if they have done it.

    You may already be doing this! Anyways, good luck!!!

    • JR

      Jeremiah Rizzo

      almost 3 years ago #

      Thanks David! That's great advice. The free courses ideally do exactly that... give very quick information that helps the user feel empowered and ready to implement what they learned.

      But your statement is going to make me think harder about if there are other ways to deliver that... to challenge my assumption that it HAS to be through free courses.

      Thanks again!

  • JO

    James OSullivan

    almost 3 years ago #

    Howdy,

    In addition to the other great answers, I would ask yourself "What is the minimal I want every user to do, so that they understand the core value prop". You can view this as giving your app a fair chance. If the user ends up never coming back, you can't complain because they gave it that chance. This where I think you should measure the conversion.

    Also, try to get them invested in it early. Progress bars and celebrations for achievements should be there. Perhaps instead of making free only courses or paid only courses, make them all paid and give them their first course for free.

    • JR

      Jeremiah Rizzo

      almost 3 years ago #

      James- thanks for this. Your emphasis on the "minimal" thing the user does to understand the core value prop is helpful. Lots to think through.

      Also, great idea on making all courses paid and giving one free. Thanks!

  • JR

    Jeremiah Rizzo

    almost 3 years ago #

    @dmh , @btcboss , @anujadhiya - wanted to say "thanks!" one last time for your guidance and give an update for some closure :) . Thanks to your input I'm digging deeper and so far have found that (amazingly) 0% of users who have purchased a course, have taken a free course.

    Therefore, to Anuj's point - "free courses" can be tested with their own hypothesis', but I can fairly certainly say that taking a free course is not our Activation metric. Rather, I'm leaning towards:

    1- Watching the course "preview video" (thus getting a literal taste of the core product).

    2- Visiting a specific page that is creating the "aha!" moment, helping them understand what we're about, and the pains we solve. This could be the course description page, or any other landing page that is giving them that insight.

    Thanks again for making this community so great. It's awesome to have a place to talk to real experts, with real results, specific to pains we're working through.

    Cheers!

    • DH

      David Hobson

      almost 3 years ago #

      @jeremiah_rizzo mate, that's awesome. And thanks for taking the time to come back and make an update. Pretty fascinating insights.

      We do well with webinars which help people to see a course before they buy, and ultimately get a taste test. I know Teachable are great with webinars and always hear good feedback.

      And just to throw one last thing to the mix for pain #2 could a quiz that leads to a preview video?

      Keep it up!

    • JO

      James OSullivan

      almost 3 years ago #

      Hi @jeremiah_rizzo, thanks for the follow up!

      This is very interesting: "0% of users who have purchased a course, have taken a free course".

      In that case, it seems to be like content is king. A typical conversion tracking thingy would be like Sign Up -> Free Trial -> Become paid user or not. In your scenario, the core value prop could be related solely on content. And maybe what I said before about having all paid courses (choose your first one for free) might not be best. I would try A/B testing it or something.

      There are different parts of the funnel to focus on and you have some variables at play (each individuals interest in different courses). I would focus on making sure people finish their courses, especially paid users. I think thats a big deal. People's own laziness can get in the way of this lol. But that's where the UI can help with progress bars and keeping things bite sized.

  • EF

    Ed Fry

    about 2 years ago #

    @jeremiah_rizzo We researched how different companies of all different sizes find their "aha!" moments - there's three common patterns:

    1. Raw product usage (quick start, easy. Less than 15 minutes). Guess at a trigger.
    2. Quick regression analysis (identify more and better opportunities. An hour or less). Remember, specificity allows you to hone in your content on what matters and convert more. Find a handful of triggers.
    3. Data science and artificial intelligence. Find many triggers, and deliver precise content (ongoing, five-figure spend)

    You can learn more about these different methods, and how to run this analysis in our complete guide to product qualified leads here: https://get.hull.io/complete-guide-pqls/chapter5/

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