Activation is commonly described as the set of actions your users need to take to have significantly higher chances to become active on your product.

Here is how to improve your product activation 🔥

A. Bake the ideal customer flow into customers touch points

The most common way to increase your activation is by baking into your touch points the actions to lead to user activation. Here is a step by step to achieve that:

📍 Step 1 - Track user behaviour

Whether you're using track events or page views, make sure you capture the main users interactions with your product.

💻 Step 2 - Map out the ideal actions

Next, find the actions your most successful customer take.

To get there you need to have a concrete understanding of what value your product delivers, and what are the motivation for your users to experiment this value.

You can do that in using the Activation templates:

For instance, after looking at the data, Facebook realized that users that invited 10 friends within the first week they signed up were 3x more likely to remain users than those who didn't.

🗺️ Step 3 - Map out the ideal customer flow

Once you know the actions your users should take to be successful with your product, the question become "in which order should they take it?".

To answer this question:

  • think about the narrative that will resonate with your users

  • start with the smallest asks, finish withe the biggest one (you don't ask "would you marry me?" to someone you just met, would you?)

Here is an ideal customer flow for Intercom

  1. User signs up

  2. Indicates which programming language they use

  3. Installs and deploys a few lines of code in their app

  4. Captures their first conversation

  5. Reply to their first conversation

🔍 Step 4 - Identify the biggest drop

Once you have your customer flow, you can represent it with a funnel and identify where the biggest drops happen.

💬 Step 5 - Talk to customers

Next you need to find the root causes that lead to these drops. Maybe you don't support the right programming language? or your interface simply isn't clear?

You can either blindly test different onboarding flows and other triggers to improve this activation step right away, or you can talk to people.

📈 Step 6 - Improve user's journey

a) Make things simple

To improve your activation, make things simple. Often, this means reducing the amount of friction a user encounters in your product.

Here is a deck with the most common frictions:

https://www.slideshare.net/EnzoAvigo/build-world-class-user-onboarding-79796648


b) Re-engage users


Re-engaging users after they’ve fallen out of the funnel is another way to get them to activate. Email is a great way to do this.

🔁 Step 7 - Rinse and repeat

Measure the improvements, and repeat.


B. More inspirations

  • Automated welcome emails. Send a personalized email within an hour of a user signing up. In the email, just ask how you can help or if they’re confused about anything. This gives new users the ability to ask questions, and it gives your team an understanding of the problems new users face. Some companies take it a step further and try to call every new user who signs up. Often, these conversations are great times to discuss why a user signed up and what they’re hoping to get out of your product.

  • Onboarding flow. Creating a first-time-user onboarding tutorial can significantly improve your activation rate. Twitter is a great example here. Your experience when signing up for a new account is completely different from the experience you have the rest of the time you are an active Twitter user.

  • Lifecycle emails. We touched on this above, but lifecycle emails that introduce new features to a user — especially if you can base them on actions a customer has already taken in your app — are huge for improving your activation rates. These are the kinds of emails you’ll get if you sign up for Twitter but don’t follow anyone. Twitter knows the number of people you follow is a key activation metric, and they will send emails suggesting individuals you may want to follow.

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