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For companies like Basecamp, Asana, Podio, Buffer app, Twitter, what mix of signed up/posted/invited someone/uploaded an avatar pic etc. do they use to define this key metric?

The definition of an activated user differs from service to service. It is a user who has had a great/delightful first time experience. It's a user that's likely to come back. It can be a mix of signed up to website, invited someone to network, created a team/project, uploaded a pic, posted, shared etc. That's fine and simple. But does anyone know what SaaS companies like Basecamp, Asana, Podio, Buffer app, and Twitter really consider as an activated user? As much precision as possible would be extremely helpful.

  • AK

    Andreas Klinger

    over 6 years ago #

    Awesome question.

    Ad definition - personally i use this one:

    A user who has used the core functionality of your product.

    A good rule of thumb is that activated users should have seen and understood your tool and thus be capable of explaining it to others.

    Ad Basecamp, Twitter etc
    In the case of the mentioned tools i wouldn't be surprised if don't use very complex definitions of activated users - they might stick with very broad definitions (eg logged in or used core feature X, maybe even shallow things like unique visitors) for performance and/or marketing reasons.

    I would assume that they worry more about focused optimizations in onboarding and retention. Eg twitters famous 10/20 and 7x rules come to mind.

  • DA

    David Arnoux

    over 6 years ago #

    Hi Andreas,
    Great input. I totally agree that the definition doesn't have to be complex. I really like your "A good rule of thumb is that activated users should have seen and understood your tool and thus be capable of explaining it to others."

    Still, I just can't seem to find insider information as to what these companies really use as their activation definition.

    Best I found so far is page 11 of this Slideshare via @kissmetrics: http://www.slideshare.net/kissmetrics/3-strategies-to-optimize

    • AK

      Andreas Klinger

      over 6 years ago #

      Awesome presentation.

      If you are thinking of Activation as in the AARRR funnel don't forget that most people use the AARRR funnel as a first step into segmenting their audience. Usually people tend to move on to more focused insights very soon.

      I agree with you that it would be interesting to know what kind of combinations they really use to define their activated user. But in the end it's just that – "interesting".

      Most likely they changed it over time regularly and it depends on what context they are looking at (eg onboarding activation, following others for social density, etc).

      Don't forget that it's usually about the trade-off between [accuracy and precision](http://www.carolina.com/images/teacher-resources/activities/accuracy-vs-precision.jpg) - and usually you can't really pick accuracy anyway because in the end almost everything you use is a rough proxy metric (eg created his first project vs understood what the tool is about and actually wants/needs to use it)

      So in the end it doesnt matter to much where their little tunings are - as long as they got the overall picture right.

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