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Track & Improve Product Engagement Metrics (10 Ways)

Friday, March 22, 2024

Track & Improve Product Engagement Metrics (10 Ways)

Let me tell you – trying to grow a product in today's market is no walk in the park. Between all the emerging startups and tech giants dominating headlines, standing out long enough to build an audience can feel downright impossible some days.

But here's the key so many brands overlook. Yes, getting noticed and attracting visitors is table stakes. But acquiring eyes alone does nothing if you fail to actively engage interest once built. Think of it like throwing a big party, but then standing around doing nothing. A lousy host will cause everyone to shuffle out minutes after walking in. Crickets!

The brands experiencing sustainable growth today know their business lives and dies based on the stickiness of their solutions. They obsess over not just getting visitors in the front door, but continually engaging them by delivering so much ongoing value that leaving seems downright silly.

They focus maniacally on boosting participation and loyalty evolving first-time customers into power fans. Because they realize chasing a never-ending stream of new users while ignoring existing ones leads nowhere fast. Before you have a chance to catch your breath, brand perception goes from hot trend to stale snoozefest.

So if you really want your product to resonate long-term, you have to amp up engagement rates across current customers as priority one. We're talking increasing visit frequency, participation consistency, referral levels, and yes ultimately that lovely customer lifetime value.

But how do you actually track whether your product drives this sticky engagement? And what are proven ways to start improving metrics bringing users back habitually while also rallying advocacy?

Well that's exactly what we'll tackle today! I'm going to overview 10 must-have tactics for monitoring the engagement vitals of your customer base.

Consider it your starter guide to diagnosing participation health issues quickly AND knowing how to boost performance getting users hooked on long-term value. We'll explore specific metrics to have on your radar and ways to start driving up engagement behaviors across existing fans.

The goal here is making sure your product delivers relentlessly high value continuously – avoiding flash-in-the-pan fads. Let's dig in on the methods to lock in lasting customer mindshare with the engagement hallmarks separating short-term fads from solutions building empires!

#1: Measure DAU/MAU Ratio (Daily Active Users Vs. Monthly Active Users)

Measure DAU/MAU Ratio

Let’s start things off with one of the core baseline engagement metrics – the daily to monthly active user ratio (or DAU/MAU for short).

Now I know that sounds a little math-y and boring on the surface. But stick with me…this simple metric comparing daily active users to monthly users packs a ton of insight into your product's ability to drive habit-forming engagement.

Here's a quick example to make it tangible. Say your app has 100,000 monthly active users logging in at some point over a 30 day period. But when you look at daily traffic, you only see around 20-30k engaging per 24 hour cycle.

That would give you a DAU/MAU ratio hovering in the 20-30% range. And unfortunately that signals a major engagement gap! Basically 70-80% of monthly users aren't feeling compelled to return day after day.

Now compare that to a product with 100k monthly active users and 50-60k daily users. That 60% ratio indicates over half their user base is drawn back habitually interacting with key features and taking actions each day. You might as well have hit the jackpot.

See why paying attention to this quick calculation is so critical? In one glance you can diagnose whether you struggle to incentivize daily stickiness across new and existing customers.

And to dig even deeper, you can break out DAU/MAU by user segments – maybe new signups have way lower ratios versus savvy power users. That signals onboarding friction failing to ramp adoption right off the bat. While stellar ratios among longtime fans highlight areas working well worth doubling down on.

#2: Analyze Session Depth

Maximizing visits alone doesn't guarantee that your customers will actually invest time to experience the heart of your product once logged in.

That's why our next vital engagement metric zeroes in on session depth or how many pages and features folks access during the average session.

Think of it like analyzing how visitors navigate your website, app, or platform. You can validate whether they check out a few superficial items or truly click around digging into the breadth of capabilities.

And the deeper people explore, the better in terms of boosting engagement. More areas interacted with equals greater value exposure, conversion likelihood, and habit stacking.

For example, say your ecommerce site average session only sees 2-3 product page views and virtually zero clicks beyond the homepage blog. With that many bounces per session signals low engagement vulnerability ahead.

Compare that to sessions averaging 5, 6, even 10+ product views and catalog filtering. Throw in consistent related content clicks and account dashboard poking and you've got serious stick potential ahead.

So make a point to actively monitor this metric across cohorts – especially inspecting newcomer onboarding flows versus savvy loyalist behaviors.

Low and descending session depth paints a clear picture that you're failing to motivate added clicks driving greater adoption across key tasks. While rises over time indicate successful re-engagement triggers and suggestions guiding added interactions per visit.

And that added exposure pays dividends! More feature utilization means connecting more dots of your solution value translating straight into greater retention and conversion rates long term.

#3: Track Repeat Visits

Track & Improve Product Engagement Metrics (10 Ways)

Speaking of habits, analyze behavior data around repeat visits over both short and long-term timeframes.

Early on, ensure new signups come back within the critical first 1-7 days. Missing early re-engagement windows leads to quick churn. Long-term work to consistently bring users back week over week measuring repeat rate percentages.

Dissect why certain customer segments return more frequently than others and spotlight areas with largest decliners. Identify obstacles during early onboarding that may limit bounce back rates. Or diagnose lackluster long-term features not incentivizing returns.

#4: Calculate Churn & Retention Curves

Churn rate and retention curves help capture retention risk and diagnostics. Calculate churn percentages to see how quickly various user cohorts drop off over their first 30, 90, or 180 days.

Overlay retention curves plotting the percentage of signups still active daily after initial conversion. Steeper decay curves indicate serious engagement gaps. Monitor changes over time as you test fixes.

Both metrics provide actionable intelligence on boosting habit-forming behaviors reducing attrition. Uncover step drop-offs post onboarding or features with lowest sustained interaction that may signal value gaps to address.

#5: Set Up User Lifecycle Analysis

Set Up User Lifecycle Analysis

For an overarching view of engagement, map user lifecycle analysis tracking milestones from sign up to habitual user to brand loyalist. Plot target conversion and retention rates at each level.

This reveals how well you progress visitors across maturity stages towards brand advocacy. Identify weak spots failing to graduate users from one lifecycle stage to the next and diagnose experience obstacles underperforming.

Are trial users not perceiving enough value to ramp up activity and convert to habitual clients? Is declining loyalty stemming from lackluster community features failing to catalyze advocacy? Updated lifecycle analysis guides strategic roadmaps.

#6: Survey Active vs. Churned Users

While usage metrics provide the what behind engagement, combining survey feedback exposes the why for diagnosing bottlenecks.

Try to identify contributors to user retention or loss by:

  • Polling both highly active users and churned customers to spotlight gaps.
  • Asking what incentivizes participation or what disappointment leads to abandons.
  • Looking for consistency around flaws across churned respondents.
  • Comparing feature rating differences and emotional sentiment between groups to pinpoint weak points.

Maybe loyal users highlight community or support quality keeping them engaged while defectors call out misleading marketing claims or convoluted UX flows leading them to quit.

#7: Measure Task Success/Failure

Beyond general usage tracking, analytics around major workflows and task completion rates signal the ability to get stuff done. Monitor key tasks and completion percentages to quantify user successes versus areas with frequent failure fallout.

Analyze task performance across first-timers versus savvy repeat users and new versus legacy features. If veterans complete certain features at much higher rates, that flags learnability issues. While new features may see universal struggles indicating poor UX design.

Uncover which parts of key journeys frequently break user momentum derailing completion. Then fix confusing elements and usability barriers blatantly blocking task success.

#8: Set Up User Feedback Surveys

Set Up User Feedback Surveys

While analytics provide clues into what engagement barriers exist, well-designed user surveys diagnose the why more clearly from qualitative feedback.

Deploy post-task surveys after critical workflows to capture a sentiment in the moment when emotions and details are fresh. Ask rating questions around task difficulty, system confusion, time to complete, and overall satisfaction.

Look for consistency around pain points and bright spots across respondents. Group similar criticisms around flawed aspects that hinder adoption. Identify disengaged user mindsets through open-ended commentary to humanize quantitative data.

#9: Build In-App Messaging Capabilities

To scale outreach beyond surveys, build messaging capabilities allowing two-way communication directly within your product experience. These always-on feedback channels foster instant dialogue at the point of impact.

Offer contact options after key pages allowing users to ask questions or voice comments without leaving native workflows. Proactively reach out to inactive members via in-app messaging to uncover churn causes and re-engage.

Centralized message histories also help reps recognize engagement patterns to assist common struggles revealed straight from the source. Streamline support and instantly boost experiences through ongoing in-app conversation.

#10: Construct User Journey Maps

Finally, consolidate learnings into illustrative user journey maps chronicling steps throughout onboarding, first-time engagement, repeat usage, and brand loyalty or churn phases.

Overlay behavioral data, task analytics, survey feedback, and messaging takeaways across respective touchpoints highlighting emotions and barriers called out consistently. Bring supporting quantitative and qualitative inputs together to humanize gaps.

These maps guide priorities around obstacles halting the progression between Bell Curve maturity stages and successors for testing engagement lift. Spot gaps failing momentum post sign-up preventing trial usage or declining community health slowing advocacy. Then play journey whack-a-mole to continually increase participation across the lifecycle!

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, next-gen solutions live and die based on customer engagement consistency. Without stickiness fueling visits and participation, even the shiniest products end up forgotten has-beens.

Think about it – engagement represents customers finding enough enduring value embedding your offering firmly into habits and loyalty. And nothing scales growth more sustainable than word-of-mouth referrals from true fans. Out of a thousand you may get 10 or 20.

But transforming apathetic visitors into high-value loyalists requires you to zoom in on diagnosing disengagement triggers early and often. If churn and ghost town user activity starts creeping up, you bet red flags should be frantically waving!

That's why implementing a tactical framework tracking usage metrics and customer feedback should be priority #1 this quarter. Consistently measure the engagement vitals across your user base – spotlighting both flaws and wins.

Use the 10 methods here as your guide to kickstart monitoring efforts with the proper context. Uncover why certain users stay stuck trialing versus discovering encouragement unlocking more habitual behaviors.

Trust me, the brands dominating headlines relentlessly drill into participation metrics just like these day in and out. They know exactly where experiences fail momentum and address issues immediately through testing improvements.

So start putting these tactics into practice now to point your teams and roadmaps directly at savvy amplification opportunities or areas needing urgent care. Keep usage rates, feature depth, and loyalty surging by mastering the engagement game!

The companies building empires today know their products remain only as strong as the stickiness keeping current customers coming back. Follow their metrics blueprint here to secure your own tribe of diehard fans fueling sustainable success.

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