This article is mainly focused on phases after product release. I am addressing it to founders and assuming that by now you have orchestrated your series of discovery meetings with customers. All signs have led towards creating your current product version.
Unless you are a marketing genius new products rarely get the magic founders imagine they would. Everyone is faced with a cold start problem and my goal is to help you see through some decisions you will need to make in order to reach the next phase. For example, if you thought you will get 1000 users to register in the first week it would probably be 100 and from that 100 you will probably lose 80% due to the bad user experience.
I will be using the Mixpanel tool to demonstrate how you can leverage data to build a more user-centered product, tweak your marketing strategy, and track growth. You can read more about Mixpanel here. The following can also be done with some other service. I am using Mixpanel since our team had success using it for upselling services, driving renewals, reducing churn, and increasing engagement.
With correct implementation, you will be able to determine if something is broken and with the wrong one you will be stuck with another useless subscription to a service you don’t need. In other words, you don’t need to know how many times users have clicked on button X, but it helps to know where most users decide to close the app, at what step they cancel the onboarding process, what cohort they belong to, and what they can’t live without.
To do it properly we need to take a step back. We need to ask ourselves which KPI Owner wants to measure user behavior. For example, look at the table below:
For example, let’s say that we want to measure onboarding funnel conversion, since this is usually the first pain point founders come across (Ask for email?, require a phone?, use SSO?, do a walkthrough?). We will be building an influencing app where influencers are able to share their content and get paid by followers on a monthly subscription basis. We want to learn how many influencers were able to onboard to our app and if there are any obstacles that we can fix.
The formula for a good tracking plan could be creaked down to:
In our example:
Once we have our tracking plan we can build out a funnel in Mixpanel. An example would look something like this
With the following report, we are now able to learn that we have a bottleneck in the step where we are asking for extra data. With just one additional breakdown based on entered data, we should be able to optimize onboarding flow and eventually get a higher conversion rate.
Similar reports and later even the whole dashboard could be constructed for different personas that have questions about product performance. Like we like to say products are living things there is always room for improvement and if that improvement can be calculated out I will always prefer it this way.
Hope that you enjoy this short article and it will give you a better idea of how products can be improved with a little help from data. Have some questions? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to answer.