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RETENTION EXPERIMENTS
DAN WOLCHONOK
ALL DATA IN THIS IS FAKE
DISCLAIMER
IF YOU HAVE POOR
RETENTION, NOTHING ELSE
MATTERS
BRIAN BALFOUR
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
BAD RETENTION
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
GOOD RETENTION
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
RETENTION’S IMPACT ON $
HIGHER RETENTION
HIGHER LTV
HIGHER ACQ. BUDGET
HIGHER RETENTION
HIGHER VIRALITY
LOWERS YOUR ACQ. ECONOMICS
HIGHER RETENTION
HIGHER UPGRADE RATES
LOWER PAYBACK PERIOD
VIRALITY, LTV,
PAYBACK PERIOD
IMPACT OF
RETENTION
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
RETENTION CHART
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
GOOD
BAD
RETENTION GOALS
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
RETENTION GOALS
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
THE IMPORTANT
PART IS THAT IT
FLATTENS OUT
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
ANALYZING RETENTION
Week 1 Retention - Can you get
your users to use your product
more than once?
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
ANALYZING RETENTION
Mid-term retention - Can you
establish any pattern of usage?
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
ANALYZING RETENTION
Long-term retention - How
does your product become an
indispensable tool?
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
IMPROVING RETENTION
Long-term retention - How
does your product become an
indispensable tool?
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
IMPROVING RETENTION
New Features
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
IMPROVING RETENTION
W1 Retention
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
IMPROVING RETENTION
Long-term retention - How
does your product become an
indispensable tool?
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
Feature Tweaks
Retention Hooks
Product Quality
Resurrection
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
EVERNOTE “SMILE GRAPH”
Long-term retention - How
does your product become an
indispensable tool?
IT’S NOT ROCKET
SCIENCE, HERE’S
AN EXAMPLE
HUBSPOT SALES
PLATFORM
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
THE PROBLEMS
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
March April May
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
THE PROBLEMS
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
March April May
PROBLEM 1: COHORT
RETENTION WORSE IN
LATER MONTHS
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
THE PROBLEMS
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
March April May
PROBLEM 2: RETENTION
DOESN’T PLATEAU
WHY AREN’T
PEOPLE USING IT
AFTER 1 WEEK?
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1 ACTION 3 ACTIONS 5 ACTIONS 7 ACTIONS 9 ACTIONS
“Drive By” Usage in Week One
WHY WOULD USERS ONLY
TAKE A SINGLE ACTION?
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
10%
10%
10%
10%
30%
30%
Didn't see Value Didn't Understand Product
Disappeared Product Failure
Another Browser Competitor
“Drive By” Reasons in Week One
RETENTION
EXPERIMENTS
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
7 Experiments Later…
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
7 Experiments Later…
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
May June
WEEK 1 IMPROVEMENTS
CASCADED OVER TIME
WEEK 1 IMPROVEMENTS
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
THE PROBLEMS
0
25
50
75
100
WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
March April May
PROBLEM 2: RETENTION
DOESN’T PLATEAU
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
FIGHTING LONG
TERM CHURN
BREAK DOWN THE FEEDBACK
BY WHETHER IT’S ACTIONABLE
Brian Balfour
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
QUALITATIVE RESULTS
FOR LONG TERM CHURN
Reason % Possible action Actionable?
Left Company 30%
Capture Personal Email, Recapture
Email Campaign Yes
“Stopped Working” 15% Fix Operating System / UI Issues, Bugs Yes
Cost Confusion 10% Iterate on copy within the app Yes
New Computer 10% Recapture email campaign Yes
Competitor 5% Needed a feature of a competitor No
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
CUT DOWN ON
NOISE, COGNITIVE
ENERGY REQUIRED
BY OUR APP
ACTIONABLE LONG TERM CHURN
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
RESURRECTING USERS
Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
INVESTING IN OUTLOOK
RETENTION TAKEAWAYS
▸ Soak time
▸ Weekly / Monthly cohorts take awhile to mature
▸ Cohort sizes
▸ You need large cohort sizes to run many experiments
▸ Retention problems sneak up on you
▸ Your top level metrics may be going up
RETENTION TAKEAWAYS
▸ Ownership
▸ We set up a NUX (new user experience) team that was
directly responsible for on boarding and W1 retention
▸ Alignment of goals
▸ Ensure that other teams are excited about optimizing for
growth metrics and are willing to make sacrifices to help
improve retention
QUESTIONS

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SaaSFest 2015 - "Retention is King" by Dan Wolchonok of HubSpot

  • 2. ALL DATA IN THIS IS FAKE DISCLAIMER
  • 3. IF YOU HAVE POOR RETENTION, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS BRIAN BALFOUR
  • 4. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com BAD RETENTION
  • 5. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com GOOD RETENTION
  • 6. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com RETENTION’S IMPACT ON $
  • 9. HIGHER RETENTION HIGHER UPGRADE RATES LOWER PAYBACK PERIOD
  • 11. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 RETENTION CHART
  • 12. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 GOOD BAD RETENTION GOALS
  • 13. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com RETENTION GOALS 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 THE IMPORTANT PART IS THAT IT FLATTENS OUT
  • 14. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 ANALYZING RETENTION Week 1 Retention - Can you get your users to use your product more than once?
  • 15. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 ANALYZING RETENTION Mid-term retention - Can you establish any pattern of usage?
  • 16. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 ANALYZING RETENTION Long-term retention - How does your product become an indispensable tool?
  • 17. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com IMPROVING RETENTION Long-term retention - How does your product become an indispensable tool? 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10
  • 18. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 IMPROVING RETENTION New Features
  • 19. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 IMPROVING RETENTION W1 Retention
  • 20. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com IMPROVING RETENTION Long-term retention - How does your product become an indispensable tool? 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 Feature Tweaks Retention Hooks Product Quality Resurrection
  • 21. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com EVERNOTE “SMILE GRAPH” Long-term retention - How does your product become an indispensable tool?
  • 22. IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, HERE’S AN EXAMPLE
  • 24. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com THE PROBLEMS 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 March April May
  • 25. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com THE PROBLEMS 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 March April May PROBLEM 1: COHORT RETENTION WORSE IN LATER MONTHS
  • 26. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com THE PROBLEMS 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 March April May PROBLEM 2: RETENTION DOESN’T PLATEAU
  • 27. WHY AREN’T PEOPLE USING IT AFTER 1 WEEK?
  • 28. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1 ACTION 3 ACTIONS 5 ACTIONS 7 ACTIONS 9 ACTIONS “Drive By” Usage in Week One WHY WOULD USERS ONLY TAKE A SINGLE ACTION?
  • 29. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 30. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 10% 10% 10% 10% 30% 30% Didn't see Value Didn't Understand Product Disappeared Product Failure Another Browser Competitor “Drive By” Reasons in Week One
  • 32. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 33. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 34. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 35. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 36.
  • 37.
  • 38. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 7 Experiments Later…
  • 39. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 7 Experiments Later…
  • 40. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 41. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com
  • 42. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 May June WEEK 1 IMPROVEMENTS CASCADED OVER TIME WEEK 1 IMPROVEMENTS
  • 43. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com THE PROBLEMS 0 25 50 75 100 WEEK 0 WEEK 2 WEEK 4 WEEK 6 WEEK 8 WEEK 10 March April May PROBLEM 2: RETENTION DOESN’T PLATEAU
  • 44. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com FIGHTING LONG TERM CHURN
  • 45. BREAK DOWN THE FEEDBACK BY WHETHER IT’S ACTIONABLE Brian Balfour
  • 46. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com QUALITATIVE RESULTS FOR LONG TERM CHURN Reason % Possible action Actionable? Left Company 30% Capture Personal Email, Recapture Email Campaign Yes “Stopped Working” 15% Fix Operating System / UI Issues, Bugs Yes Cost Confusion 10% Iterate on copy within the app Yes New Computer 10% Recapture email campaign Yes Competitor 5% Needed a feature of a competitor No
  • 47. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com CUT DOWN ON NOISE, COGNITIVE ENERGY REQUIRED BY OUR APP ACTIONABLE LONG TERM CHURN
  • 48. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com RESURRECTING USERS
  • 49. Dan Wolchonok - @danwolch - http://danwolch.com INVESTING IN OUTLOOK
  • 50. RETENTION TAKEAWAYS ▸ Soak time ▸ Weekly / Monthly cohorts take awhile to mature ▸ Cohort sizes ▸ You need large cohort sizes to run many experiments ▸ Retention problems sneak up on you ▸ Your top level metrics may be going up
  • 51. RETENTION TAKEAWAYS ▸ Ownership ▸ We set up a NUX (new user experience) team that was directly responsible for on boarding and W1 retention ▸ Alignment of goals ▸ Ensure that other teams are excited about optimizing for growth metrics and are willing to make sacrifices to help improve retention