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The only metric that matters

Josh Elman @joshelman
August 7, 2014
Everybody starts at zero
With a dream of making an impact
But along the way, how do you know
if it’s working?
You have to track things somehow…
but it can be overwhelming…
Our D7 retention is
60%. D30 is 22%.
250 million PVs in the
last 30 daysWe just topped
200,000 sign ups
We have a 50% 

DAU/MAU ratio
We have over 1 million
downloads
Everybody has a data point
But where do I start?
ARE PEOPLE USING 

YOUR PRODUCT?
Just focus on one thing:
Ok, but how can I tell?
1) Usage: Do they use your product how you expect? 


Track: #users taking core actions each day 

!
2) Cycle: Do they use it at the frequency you expect? 

Track: #users who visit at least N days in a week or month


!
3) Retention: Are they sticky? Will come back to this…
LinkedIn Circa 2005
Usage:
Find and be found

!
Cycle:
Find: 2-3x/week
Track: #users who log
in and search per day

!
Be found: 1-2x/year(?) 

Track: response rate to
InMail
Yelp
Usage:
Find local businesses/
services. And review
them. 

!
Cycle:
Searchers: 2-3x/week

Track: #users who
search per day



Reviewers: 1x/week(?)

Track: #reviews / day
Facebook
Usage:
Stay connected with
friends

!
Cycle:
2-3x/day

Track: #users who log
in and view News
Feed
Expedia
Usage:
Plan a great trip

!
Cycle:
3-5x/year

Track: #users who
search per day
ARE PEOPLE REALLY REALLY
USING YOUR PRODUCT?
So they may be using it once, but…
Really really using? (aka “Core Users”)
1) Top of Mind: Do they come directly to your product vs
referred by a link or special offer

Track: % users with direct traffic / engagement

!
2) Recurring: Do they come back again and again

Track: % users who return weekly/monthly

!
3) Referring: Do they share it with others? 

Track: k-factor, and % users who are referrers
Step 1) Analyze month over month usage
# days visited in month 1
%whovisitedNdaysinmonth2
Step 2) Determine threshold for core
0%#
10%#
20%#
30%#
40%#
50%#
60%#
70%#
80%#
90%#
100%#
1# 2# 3# 4# 5# 6# 7# 8# 9# 10# 11# 12# 13# 14# 15# 16# 17# 18# 19# 20# 21# 22# 23# 24# 25# 26# 27# 28# 29# 30# 31# 32#
Reten%on'Rate'based'on'#'%mes'used'in'month'1'
Step 3) Understand activation buckets
CORE
CURIOUS NEW CASUAL
COLD
20%
90%
40%
40%
40%
8%
50%
10%
95%
4%
1%
Step 4a) Find out why — from your data
Following more than 30 accounts
1/3 - mutual follows


2/3 - one-way follows
Step 4b) Find out why — call them!
Cherish them. They are your super heroes
I have a few core users. I want more!
Problem 1: not enough people sign up
Clone your core users
1) Word-of-mouth Virality: help your core users describe
your product. Say it yourself to the press. Inception!

!
2) Demonstration Virality: have your core users share
content and more from your product. Demonstrate their deep
usage. 

!
3) Infectious Virality: encourage users to bring their friends in
so the experience is better for both. Incentives ok too!
Problem 2: people sign up, 
no one
 


sticks around
Onboard users all the way to Core
1) Learn Flow: teach your users your product as they sign
up. Take your time. They are there to learn. Don’t rush it.

!
2) Welcome Week: if users don’t do it the first day, nudge
them to come back and keep going

!
3) Social Pressure: if friends are on the system, use them to
welcome, teach, and connect with the new folks
One metric to rule them all:
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY USING
YOUR PRODUCT?
The only metric that matters

Josh Elman @joshelman
August 7, 2014

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[500DISTRO] The Only Metric That Matters

  • 1. The only metric that matters Josh Elman @joshelman August 7, 2014
  • 3. With a dream of making an impact
  • 4. But along the way, how do you know if it’s working?
  • 5. You have to track things somehow… but it can be overwhelming…
  • 6. Our D7 retention is 60%. D30 is 22%. 250 million PVs in the last 30 daysWe just topped 200,000 sign ups We have a 50% 
 DAU/MAU ratio We have over 1 million downloads Everybody has a data point
  • 7. But where do I start?
  • 8. ARE PEOPLE USING 
 YOUR PRODUCT? Just focus on one thing:
  • 9. Ok, but how can I tell? 1) Usage: Do they use your product how you expect? 
 Track: #users taking core actions each day ! 2) Cycle: Do they use it at the frequency you expect? Track: #users who visit at least N days in a week or month
 ! 3) Retention: Are they sticky? Will come back to this…
  • 10. LinkedIn Circa 2005 Usage: Find and be found ! Cycle: Find: 2-3x/week Track: #users who log in and search per day ! Be found: 1-2x/year(?) Track: response rate to InMail
  • 11. Yelp Usage: Find local businesses/ services. And review them. ! Cycle: Searchers: 2-3x/week Track: #users who search per day Reviewers: 1x/week(?) Track: #reviews / day
  • 13. Expedia Usage: Plan a great trip ! Cycle: 3-5x/year Track: #users who search per day
  • 14. ARE PEOPLE REALLY REALLY USING YOUR PRODUCT? So they may be using it once, but…
  • 15. Really really using? (aka “Core Users”) 1) Top of Mind: Do they come directly to your product vs referred by a link or special offer Track: % users with direct traffic / engagement ! 2) Recurring: Do they come back again and again Track: % users who return weekly/monthly ! 3) Referring: Do they share it with others? Track: k-factor, and % users who are referrers
  • 16. Step 1) Analyze month over month usage # days visited in month 1 %whovisitedNdaysinmonth2
  • 17. Step 2) Determine threshold for core 0%# 10%# 20%# 30%# 40%# 50%# 60%# 70%# 80%# 90%# 100%# 1# 2# 3# 4# 5# 6# 7# 8# 9# 10# 11# 12# 13# 14# 15# 16# 17# 18# 19# 20# 21# 22# 23# 24# 25# 26# 27# 28# 29# 30# 31# 32# Reten%on'Rate'based'on'#'%mes'used'in'month'1'
  • 18. Step 3) Understand activation buckets CORE CURIOUS NEW CASUAL COLD 20% 90% 40% 40% 40% 8% 50% 10% 95% 4% 1%
  • 19. Step 4a) Find out why — from your data Following more than 30 accounts 1/3 - mutual follows

 2/3 - one-way follows
  • 20. Step 4b) Find out why — call them!
  • 21. Cherish them. They are your super heroes
  • 22. I have a few core users. I want more!
  • 23. Problem 1: not enough people sign up
  • 24. Clone your core users 1) Word-of-mouth Virality: help your core users describe your product. Say it yourself to the press. Inception! ! 2) Demonstration Virality: have your core users share content and more from your product. Demonstrate their deep usage. ! 3) Infectious Virality: encourage users to bring their friends in so the experience is better for both. Incentives ok too!
  • 25. Problem 2: people sign up, 
no one
 
 sticks around
  • 26. Onboard users all the way to Core 1) Learn Flow: teach your users your product as they sign up. Take your time. They are there to learn. Don’t rush it. ! 2) Welcome Week: if users don’t do it the first day, nudge them to come back and keep going ! 3) Social Pressure: if friends are on the system, use them to welcome, teach, and connect with the new folks
  • 27. One metric to rule them all: HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE REALLY USING YOUR PRODUCT?
  • 28. The only metric that matters Josh Elman @joshelman August 7, 2014