Activation is the process of getting a user from signup to developing a habit around the core value proposition.
What Is Easy to Get Wrong?
- Mistaking set-up actions for value.
- Not concentrating on habits.
- Paying too much attention to users who became non-activated or churned (the goal is to avoid it in the first place not deal with those users afterward).
- Concentrating on states of mind (non-measurable) instead of events (measurable).
- Hoping that users will come back to the app (first impressions are often the only impressions).
The requirement for both of those methods is to define the target group as narrowly as possible.
The point of having target groups (and things like personas) is to predict behavior. Just having a bunch of demographic info listed for a persona doesn't usually predict behavior and is, therefore, useless information.
Users have a different mindset in every user state. Keep that in mind when communicating with them.
The first thing to do is to start collecting stats - in which stage do the users fall off the wagon and how are they moving between states?
After you've got some idea of where the problems might lay, it's time to do actual research.
B.J. Fogg's Behavioral Model
The model states that for a behavior to occur, three things have to be present:
- Prompt (trigger).
If the behavior didn't occur, then one of the components was missing.
How Is It Measured?
The user states diagram above covers the main metrics for activation. All you have to do is figure out:
- which set-up actions actually matter in order to experience value?
- what is the main value prop for the use case?
- how frequent is the use case?
A product might have several use cases. These metrics are meant to be looked at per use case although you can and should also look at activation rate, churn etc. globally as well.
Additionally, you might want to consider measuring time to value in order to concentrate on removing friction. This brings up the question of how you could show value without the user having to put too much energy into setting things up.
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