Person Engagement: The Most Vital Metric You Aren’t Monitoring for Your SaaS Enterprise (and the way to take action)

**Click on right here to take a look at Sherlock – our not too long ago launched product on Product Hunt now**

Person engagement is the lifeblood of each SaaS enterprise.

Whether or not you run a light-weight, freemium prosumer app; or a heavy, enterprise B2B app – the success of your enterprise depends on the engagement degree of your consumer base.

It is because the enterprise mannequin of SaaS is predicated on retention.

It’s not about acquisition. You’ll be able to sign-up as many shoppers as you need, but when all of them go away after a month – you lose. Your complete SaaS enterprise mannequin breaks with out retention.

And engaged customers stick round for an extended, very long time. Unengaged customers don’t.

With out an engaged consumer base, you don’t have retention. With out retention, you don’t have a enterprise.

It actually isn’t way more sophisticated than that.

So…if consumer engagement is basically this essential to any SaaS enterprise, why is it so arduous for many of them to reply some seemingly easy questions,

  • Who’re my most engaged customers?
  • That are my most engaged accounts?
  • Is my whole engagement going up or down?
  • What’s my most partaking occasion?
  • And a slew of different questions on consumer engagement…

I’ve all the time discovered it loopy that nearly no SaaS companies really understands how engaged their consumer base is — now or over time. Definitely not from a quantitative perspective.

Regardless that it’s tremendous essential.

On this submit, we’ll try to treatment that by laying out a framework for creating a vital engagement rating that may can help you really quantify the engagement of your userbase.

*Full disclosure — we constructed our product, Sherlock, to allow product groups to simply construct, observe and take motion on a customized constructed engagement rating. You’ll be able to test it out right here.

4 steps for making a Person Engagement Rating in your Product

STEP 1: Outline Engagement in your Product

This primary step for creating an engagement rating is a strategic step. On this step you have to take into consideration what engagement means in your particular product.

Lively vs Engaged Customers

A fast be aware about lively vs engaged customers. They aren’t the identical. Lincoln Murphy, one among my favourite SaaS thought-leaders mentioned it finest:

“Fairly often, I see folks utilizing the phrases ‘lively’ and ‘engaged’ interchangeably when speaking about consumer engagement. I feel this can be a mistake. These phrases are associated…however don’t imply the identical factor. You need “engaged” customers…not simply lively customers. A standard definition for engagement for a lot of SaaS apps is: variety of logins. Severely. This can be a lot extra widespread than I want it had been (I see it ALL THE TIME), however that is how numerous SaaS suppliers measure ‘engagement.’ Logging in is a proxy for an lively consumer, however it’s actually not engagement. Somebody may login to your product to search out the cancel button. Engaged customers are those that are logging in and utilizing the options which are driving worth for him/her.”

I fully agree with this attitude. We don’t consider in some common definition of engagement that applies to all merchandise. Every product is exclusive. Every product has its personal nuances which outline profitable engagement. So…it’s essential to outline — particularly — what it means to be “engaged” together with your product.

For instance, a B2B productiveness device might outline “engagement” as a sure variety of initiatives created, duties created, duties accomplished, staff members added, feedback left, recordsdata uploaded, initiatives accomplished, and so on.

A social networking utility might outline “engagement” as a connections made, posts/updates, likes, feedback, and so on.

The purpose is —  your product IS distinctive. Don’t run away from that truth. Embrace it and create a engagement mannequin based mostly on the essential (and distinctive) actions which are essential to your product. My guess is that you have already got a good suggestion of what these actions are.

Should you don’t, I might counsel a fast survey of your staff. Ask everybody a quite simple query:

“What’s an engaged consumer of [our product]?”

They need to reply with one thing like, “An engaged consumer of [our product] does X, Y, Z.”

You’ll obtain some very attention-grabbing solutions. Undoubtedly, some will likely be very qualitative whereas others will likely be extra quantitative. None will likely be “proper” (there is no such thing as a “proper”), however these responses out of your staff gives you an important start line for outlining engagement and perhaps assist you concentrate on stuff you hadn’t earlier than.

No matter the way you get there, it is best to now have a listing of ‘engagement’ actions consumer can soak up your product (and even outdoors of your product). It might look one thing like this:


  • Logged in
  • Added photograph
  • Shared photograph
  • Invited pal
  • Commented on photograph
  • Edited photograph
  • Posted to Fb
  • Posted to Twitter
  • Opened electronic mail
  • Clicked on electronic mail

Upon getting this checklist created (and don’t fear — issues can change — you’ll be iterating and refining this over time and as your product evolves)…you may transfer on to Step 2 – monitoring these actions.

STEP 2: Begin monitoring these product actions (ie — occasions)

I’m assuming most SaaS groups studying this are already monitoring their essential product occasions.

However when you’re not….what are you ready for? Get your self a Section account and get it finished.

No excuses…make it occur (then transfer on to step three).

STEP three: Weigh every ‘engagement’ occasion

Now that you’re monitoring your essential engagement occasions, the following step is to weigh every occasion based mostly on its impression, or its significance, to general engagement together with your product. That is a vital step as a result of:

All exercise isn’t created equal.

Definitely the act of inviting a brand new consumer to your product is a extra partaking act than merely logging in (as Lincoln Murphy argues). Writing an extended submit on a social media web site is extra partaking than merely liking a submit. Making a challenge on a job administration utility is a extra partaking than merely finishing a single job. And so forth.

So you have to weigh these actions accordingly. Create a desk that appears just like the one beneath. Checklist your engagement occasions on the left column, then add a column for Occasion weights:

You’ll be able to have a rating vary of 1–10, 1–100, 1–1000…no matter you need. The purpose is it is best to give every occasion a degree worth that’s in step with its worth to general engagement. As a basic rule, extra widespread, higher-frequency occasions ought to have decrease level values. Much less widespread, lower-frequency occasions — these utilized by “energy customers” — ought to have increased values.

Then, for every one among your customers, it is best to add a column for the variety of occasions they triggered every occasion over a time period (for instance, the final 7 days):

event name event weights number of weights

Then merely multiply the occasion weight by the variety of occasions – it ought to appear like this:

total event value

The full of all of your particular person occasion values gives you a complete engagement rating for a person consumer.

Then…simply run this for every one among your customers and you should have the premise for a quantified consumer engagement rating.

you did it congratulations elf will ferrell gif

However don’t cease there. Subsequent step is to provide all of it some which means.

STEP four: Give it Context

Whereas this step isn’t obligatory for creating an engagement rating in your product, it’s a vital step for making that rating helpful for your enterprise. There are a number of methods you may give this rating context in order that it will probably allow you to make selections:


When each one among your customers has an engagement rating, that provides you the chance to do one thing superb — really rank your customers based mostly on their engagement. And this opens up so many alternatives. To call a number of:

  • Uncover your energy customers and discover out what makes them nice;
  • Prioritize gross sales efforts to deal with engaged accounts that may convert;
  • Prioritize buyer success efforts to drive nice assist, establish drawback accounts and development alternatives;
  • Drive extra personalised advertising and marketing packages;

This type of consumer rating will help you perceive your customers within the context of their precise engagement together with your product — which is extremely highly effective.


By calculating a rating for every one among your customers, you may combination these scores to create an engagement rating in your product as a complete.

user engagement score sherlock

By monitoring this common rating extra time, you may decide whether or not or not the work you’re doing in your product is definitely driving engagement.


A consumer engagement metric turns into tremendously useful when evaluating completely different populations of your of customers. You’ll be able to examine the engagement of latest customers vs older customers; customers on a free plan vs these on a paid plan; customers with completely different access-levels; and so on.

The alternatives to realize insights by evaluating engagement throughout segments are countless.


Finally, a superb consumer engagement rating is a vital enterprise metric — not only a product metric — for any software program enterprise. So, evaluating the degrees of consumer engagement to different enterprise metrics — like gross sales, retention, development, LTV, and so on is an effective way to in the end predict and forecast enterprise progress based mostly on engagement ranges.

And when you don’t assume consumer engagement is tied to the worth of your enterprise…learn this (it value Twitter over $1B in market cap): Morgan Stanley downgrades Twitter

Maintain enhancing

Peter Drucker is known for saying,

“You’ll be able to’t enhance what you don’t measure.”

That is actually true relating to consumer engagement. It’s a vital metric for each software program enterprise — so that you want a strategy to measure it and make it actionable. We hope this submit helps provide a framework for getting a quantitative deal with on engagement.

Should you’d wish to have a product that does all of those steps for you, we will undoubtedly suggest Sherlock – we’d love to listen to your suggestions!

Concerning the Writer: Derek Skaletsky is the Head of Product and Buyer Success at Kissmetrics. Beforehand, he based the engagement automation app Knowtify which was acquired by Kissmetrics.

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