Web and Mobile Products: Understanding your customers

  1. You notice that your power users all have taken some action (e.g. filled out their profile) so you try to encourage all users to fill out their profile to get them more hooked on your product. Does this actually help?
  2. You have 24 hours of downtime, the next day you come back up your traffic is down. Will this have a long-term effect you need to worry about?
  3. You have 100K uniques per day and so does your competitor, but are these 100K people who come back every day or 700K people who each come once per week? Does it matter?
  4. You turn on a new advertising campaign and see your # of unique visitors per day start to increase, you assume that this will continue increasing so long as you keep the ads running, right?
  5. You start having email deliverability problems (or Facebook turns off notifications) so you can’t notify users of new activity on the site. The # of unique visitors decreases slightly but you’re not too worried, should you be?
  1. This is a brand new person you’ve never seen before (usually from advertising, SEO, or referral)
  2. This is a former customer you considered lost or dead that has been resurrected
  3. This is someone who tried your product in the past but never became a customer; now they’ve come back and converted (I call these the skeptics)
  1. You notice that your power users all have taken some action (e.g. filled out their profile) so you try to encourage all users to fill out their profile to get them more hooked on your product. Does this actually help? Without this model its easy to mislead yourself into thinking it helps. You will probably be able to increase the metric but it may just weaken the correlation with power users. However, with this model you just watch your loss % each day and if it doesn’t change then you haven’t had any net impact on retention.
  2. You have 24 hours of downtime, the next day you come back up your traffic is down. Will this have a long-term effect you need to worry about? Even if your traffic is lowered for a few days, all you have to do is measure your new visitors per day & lost customers per day and you’ll see if your carrying capacity has changed. If it has not changed then you don’t have to worry, you know your traffic will rise back up to your carrying capacity.
  3. You have 100K uniques per day and so does your competitor, but are these 100K people who come back every day or 700K people who each come once per week? Does it matter? If you’re incorrectly caught up in # of unique visitors per day then this does seem like an important thing. And in fact, if you realize your visitors are not returning as often as your competitors you may even be tempted to spam them regularly because this will increase # of unique visitors each day and can give you the illusion of improving things. In reality a move like this would probably increase your % lost each day and hurt your carrying capacity but you wouldn’t notice this for awhile because the increased # of uniques each day would mask the harm. However, with the model your emphasis is on # of customers not # of visitors. You’ll quickly realize that you don’t care how frequently people visit as a primary factor; if it doesn’t impact # of new customers per day or % of lost per day then you haven’t actually helped your product.
  4. You turn on a new advertising campaign and see your # of unique visitors per day start to increase, you assume that this will continue increasing so long as you keep the ads running, right? Nope, you’ll level off once you’ve reached your new carrying capacity.
  5. You start having email deliverability problems (or Facebook turns off notifications) so you cant notify users of new activity on the site. The # of unique visitors per day decreases slightly but you’re not too worried, should you be? This is similar to question 3, it may or may not be important but you’ll quickly be able to tell by focusing on the core numbers. Increasing # of unique visitors per day does not necessarily lead to more total customers.

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👋 Hello there. I’m the Co-founder & CEO of Mystery.org. More about my background can be found on linkedin.com/in/keiths. This profile picture is public (CC0).

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Keith Schacht

Keith Schacht

👋 Hello there. I’m the Co-founder & CEO of Mystery.org. More about my background can be found on linkedin.com/in/keiths. This profile picture is public (CC0).

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