How to Increase Activation Rate for your B2B SaaS product

Adi Patel
April 10, 2023
7 mins

Many SaaS businesses struggle to get their customers to actually use their product after signing up. Without enough active users and with a low user activation rate you can't really make any product successful in the SaaS World. 

Achieving high activation milestones is critical for higher product adoption rate. In this article, we'll share some tried-and-tested methods to increase your SaaS product activation rate and get your customers engaged and excited about using your product.

What is Activation Rate and How to Calculate and Track it?

User activation rate is an important metric in the SaaS world. 

Activation milestone basically gives an insight into how quickly users perceive that they are getting or not getting value from a product.

To track activation rate, we measure the percentage of people who successfully reach a "milestone" or perform a predetermined "key action" within a certain period of time during the onboarding process.

Simply put, activation rate is the percentage of users who have completed the activation process - key action - and started using your SaaS product. For example, if you have 100 sign-ups, and only 30 of them complete the activation process and start using your product, then your activation rate is 30%.

Why is Activation Rate Important for SaaS Businesses?

User activation rate is a critical metric to measure the success of your SaaS product.

A good activation rate can increase user engagement with the product and higher engagement increases the likelihood of users using the product repeatedly.

On the other hand, a low activation rate means that you are losing potential customers and revenue. And that is what you don't want!

Now let's have a look at the key metrics that companies track to measure activation rate.

What Are Some Important User Activation Rate Metrics to Track?

It's important to identify the metrics that matter most for your product or service. If you run a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business, your activation metrics may include:

  • Trial user to paid conversion rate
  • Visitor-to-signup rate
  • Sign-up-to-subscriber rate
  • Ratio of DAU (Daily Active Users) to MAU (Monthly Active Users)
  • Churn and retention rate
  • Feature adoption rate
  • Time to activate
  • Number of features used

By tracking these metrics, you can identify where users are dropping off and make targeted improvements for better customer success.

Now, let's look at some of the common challenges that SaaS companies grapple with while trying to increase their activation rate.

Some Common Activation Rate Challenges for SaaS

There are several challenges that SaaS businesses struggle with when trying to improve their activation rate, such as:

  • Lack of understanding of user journey
  • Not focusing on user segments and user needs
  • Complicated onboarding process
  • Poor product tours
  • Poor user experience
  • Confusing product features
  • Ineffective product messaging
  • Inadequate product documentation

Let's see how we can overcome these challenges and increase our activation rate.

How to Increase Activation Rate

Now that you know what activation rate is and why it is important, let's take a look at some of the strategies you can use to increase your activation rate for the biggest impact.

Optimize User Onboarding Flow

User onboarding is the process of introducing new trial users to your product or service and helping them achieve their goals. 

A well-designed onboarding experience can significantly improve activation rates by making it easy for users to get started and see the value in your product quickly.

To optimize your onboarding process, consider the following tips:

  • Use interactive demos and tutorials to guide users through key features and tasks
  • Offer personalized recommendations based on user behavior and preferences
  • Provide clear and concise instructions for activation steps
  • Use gamification techniques to make onboarding more engaging and rewarding for active customers

Providing Value through Personalization

Personalization is the process of tailoring your product or service to the specific needs and preferences of individual users.

By providing personalized recommendations and experiences during trial periods, you can create a stronger emotional connection with your users and increase their engagement over time.

You need successful customers for a successful product.

To provide value through personalization, consider the following strategies:

  • Use data analytics to understand user behavior and preferences
  • Offer personalized content, such as product recommendations or curated collections
  • Use dynamic pricing to offer personalized discounts and promotions
  • Use machine learning algorithms to personalize search results and recommendations

Build a Community around Your Product

A sense of community can be a powerful motivator for users to become more engaged with your product or service.

By creating a sense of belonging and shared purpose, you can foster loyalty and increase retention rates. To build a community around your product, consider the following strategies:

  • Encourage user-generated content, such as reviews or social media posts
  • Host online forums or discussion groups for users to connect and share information
  • Create user groups or clubs based on shared interests or goals
  • Use customer success stories and testimonials to showcase the impact of your product on real users

Leverage Social Proof

Social proof refers to the phenomenon where people are more likely to take an action if they see others doing it as well.

By showcasing the success of other users, you can increase the perceived value of your product and encourage new users to become more engaged. To leverage social proof, consider the following strategies:

  • Use customer reviews and ratings to showcase the value of your product
  • Highlight case studies or success stories of other users
  • Display the number of users or customers who have already taken a particular action, such as making a purchase or upgrading to a paid plan

Encourage User Feedback and Reviews

User feedback and reviews can be a valuable source of insight into how to improve your product and increase engagement.

By encouraging users to leave feedback or write reviews, you can create a feedback loop that helps you continuously improve your product and meet the needs of your users. Try these method to encourage user feedback and get more reviews:

  • Use surveys or polls to collect feedback from users
  • Provide incentives for leaving feedback or writing reviews, such as discounts or free trials
  • Respond to user feedback and reviews promptly and transparently

Reduce Friction in Your User Experience

Friction refers to any element of the user experience that makes it difficult or frustrating for users to achieve their goals.

By reducing friction in your user experience, you can improve the overall user experience and increase engagement. To reduce friction, consider the following strategies:

  • Simplify your user interface and eliminate unnecessary steps or features
  • Use clear and concise language in your messaging and instructions
  • Provide helpful error messages and support resources to users who encounter problems

Measure and Analyze Activation Rate

Finally, to improve your activation rate over time, it's important to measure and analyze your activation metrics on an ongoing basis.

By tracking changes in your activation rate and identifying the factors that contribute to success, you can continuously improve your product and keep your users engaged.

To measure and analyze your activation rate, consider the following strategies:

  • Use analytics tools to track key activation metrics, such as sign-ups, feature usage, or time spent in the product
  • Conduct A/B tests to identify the most effective strategies for improving activation rates
  • Use cohort analysis to track changes in activation rate over time for different groups of users

Key Takeaways

  • Boosting activation rate is key to driving business success and building a loyal customer base.
  • By optimizing your onboarding process, providing value through personalization, building a community around your product, leveraging social proof, encouraging user feedback and reviews, reducing friction in your user experience, and measuring and analyzing your activation rate, you can increase engagement and retention rates over time.

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Adi Patel
April 10, 2023
7 mins

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