📊 Calculating activation rates

As previously discussed I'm looking to make my product designed more data-informed. One metric I'm especially interested in is WIP's activation rate. That is: what percentage of new users actually become active community members?

It's pretty hard to grow a community if new members leave right after they join. And for WIP specifically, it needs to become part of your daily workflow to really provide value. It's not really something you use occasionally. You're either all in, or you probably don't use it at all.

So making sure people immediately start getting value and become active is key. Let's look at the numbers:

Stripe shows that about 15-20% of subscribers cancel within their first month, or in other words about 80-85% remains. In month two about 60-70% remain, and month 3 only 50% of members are still there.

That means on average there's a 50/50 chance a new member has left by month 3. That's bad.

I kind of expected this though. It's quite common to see new members leave after 1-2 months because it just didn't click. It can be hard to join an existing community of people who already all seem to know each other. Using a new task management requires some commitment as well. And up until a few months ago simply signing up for WIP and connecting to Telegram was quite a hassle.

We did improve the onboarding flow a bit and started sending onboarding emails as well with tips on how to use WIP. This seems to have had a positive effect (from 81% retention in the first month to 88%, which is a 9% improvement), but if I look at actual activation rates we still have a long way to go.

The above percentage are really retention rates (what percentage of members keep paying). We'll take a closer look at those later. But for now I want to look at activation rates specifically.

So how do we calculate the activation rate?

For WIP, I think it makes sense to look at the number todos a user completed. This is quite subjective, but I'd say if you haven't completed 5 todos within your first week you'll probably not stick around.

So to calculate our activation rate we divide the number of users in any given time period who have completed 5+ todos within their first week by the total numbers of users who signed up in that same time period.

It's not perfect. There are members who would have been considered not-activated by this formula, but ended up being some of the most active. The reverse is probably also true. I'm also aware of people who are active in the chat, but don't really use the todo functionality.

So yeah, it's not a perfect metric, but it's something to start with.

Right now the activation rate to be around 30-40%. Our goal will be to improve that. I'm not sure yet how, so I'll probably start reaching out to new members who haven't activated yet. And see what's blocking them.