14 User & Product Adoption Metrics to Track in SaaS

14 User & Product Adoption Metrics to Track in SaaS cover

Adoption metrics are essential to measure to aid in making improvements to your product. Without them, you don’t know if anything you do impacts user adoption.

But which product adoption metrics should you track? This article will cover the 14 metrics to track to help you increase your customer lifetime value.


  • Measuring product adoption helps increase customer lifetime value and informs decisions on what to change in your product adoption strategy and onboarding process.

Here are the key adoption metrics you should measure to increase customer lifetime value:

  • Time to value helps you to see if customers are taking too long to get value from your product and are churning.
  • You can use the user activation rate to see what steps customers must go through to receive value from your product.
  • You can use the user onboarding completion rate to identify the effectiveness of your onboarding process.
  • Free-to-paid conversion rate helps you to understand the number of users that consider your product valuable enough to pay.
  • You can get insights from the feature adoption rate to see if a particular feature resonates with your users.
  • Useful metrics to measure user engagement are the average session duration, product stickiness, and user engagement score.
  • Customer lifetime value shows you how well user adoption creates revenue.
  • Account expansion MRR rate is a good indicator of user expansions, showing that customers receive value from your product and continue to use it as they grow.
  • To identify if you’re meeting customer needs and they have reached adoption, you can measure the user retention rate. If people pay for your product that means they have successfully adopted it.
  • The user churn rate highlights how well your product adoption is working.
  • Customer loyalty is a good product adoption measure and can be measured using an NPS score.
  • You can trigger surveys to collect CSAT scores at specific touchpoints to gather granular data to improve product adoption.
  • Userpilot can help you track adoption metrics by implementing no-code surveys and heatmaps to understand user behavior. Book a demo to see how Userpilot can help with adoption metrics.

Why you should measure product adoption?

Product adoption is essential to measure if you want a successful product, as it brings multiple benefits to your product:

  • Increase customer lifetime value: Measuring product adoption lets you identify patterns of successful adoption that you can replicate for users to increase the likelihood of more adoption.
  • Improve customer satisfaction: Measuring product adoption lets you discover what might be causing customer dissatisfaction. Armed with that information, you can make improvements to bring more value to your product, increasing user satisfaction.
  • Identity improvement opportunities: Identifying any touchpoints that cause friction means you know how to change your product adoption strategy leading to improve user retention.

14 Key user adoption metrics to track

There are 14 essential user adoption metrics you should be tracking in your product to instigate positive change.

Time to Value

Time to value is the time a user takes to get value from your product. There is no set formula you can use to calculate this metric.

To calculate it, you must define what user actions create value and then measure how long it takes them to complete them. Typically these user actions coincide with the activation point.

You want to aim for your time to value to be as short as possible, as the longer it takes for a user to reach value, the less likely they’ll reach product adoption and the more likely they are to become disinterested and churn.

The time to value adoption metrics formula
Adoption metrics – Time to Value.

User engagement score

User engagement score measures the meaningful interactions between a user and your product across all customer lifecycle touchpoints.

You calculate it by identifying key events essential to your customer success, tracking these events’ occurrence over a specific timeframe with a user engagement tool, and deciding a weighted score for each event depending on its importance. You then multiply the weighted score by the number of occurrences over a timeframe, then add all the separate events to equal the customer engagement score.

The customer engagement score formula adoption metrics
Adoption metrics – Customer Engagement Score.

The user engagement score helps to understand what’s causing users to be so engaged. This information enables you to replicate the experience to other users resulting in higher adoption of your product. The more engaged a user is, the faster they adopt your product.

User activation rate

The user activation rate measures the number of free trial users that reached the activation milestone.

You calculate it by dividing the number of users who reach an activation milestone by the number of users who signed up. Then multiply by 100.

For example, if 1000 new users sign up during a specific timeframe, and 600 of them reach the activation milestone, you would have a 60% activation rate.

The adoption metrics activation rate formula
Adoption metrics – Activation Rate.

An activation milestone differs depending on the product, can involve multiple actions, and is tightly coupled with the user personas and their jobs to be done.

As an example, take the user persona of someone just starting with an email marketing tool. An activation point could be when they have successfully created an account, added a contact list, and written one email. Without these actions occurring in the email marketing tool, the user wouldn’t see the tool’s value, lowering product adoption.

User onboarding completion rate

User onboarding completion rate measures the effectiveness of your onboarding process. It’s an ongoing process that contains three different types: primary, secondary, and tertiary, all of which are important for measuring the user onboarding completion rate at different stages of the user journey.

There are a few ways to measure user onboarding completion, each of which can give you different insights depending on your product’s priority.

5 ways to calculate onboarding engagement completion rate.
5 ways to calculate onboarding engagement completion rate.

Measuring the user onboarding completion rate helps you to identify what may be causing friction, preventing a user from completing product adoption.

Free-to-paid conversion rate

Free-to-paid conversation rate measures the number of users that have successfully transitioned from a free trial or freemium version of your product to a paying or premium customer.

You calculate it by taking the number of free trial users that converted in a specific timeframe and dividing it by the total free trial users of that timeframe.

For example, let’s say you had 1,000 users sign up for the free trial, and out of those, 200 users decided to upgrade to the paid version.

You would have a free-to-paid conversion rate of 20%.

The adoption metrics free-to-paid conversion rate
Adoption metrics – Free Trial Conversion Rate.

Measuring the free-to-paid conversion rate lets you understand how many users consider your product’s value worth paying for and how successful your product adoption tactics are.

Feature adoption rate

Feature adoption rate measures the number of users who have adopted a specific feature of your product.

You calculate by taking the number of a feature’s monthly active users over a specific timeframe and dividing it by the total number of logins or active users during the same duration, then multiplying it by 100.

For example, you have 1,000 active users and introduce a new feature. Out of those 1,000 users, 400 have started using the new feature.

So you have a feature adoption rate of 40%.

The feature adoption rate formula
Adoption metrics – Feature Adoption Rate.

Product stickiness – Daily active users/Monthly active users

Product stickiness measures how well your product retains users and keeps them engaged over an extended period.

You calculate it by dividing your daily active users by your monthly active users.

For example, you had 100 daily users and 1000 monthly active users.

You would have a product stickiness of 0.1.

The adoption metrics product stickiness formula
Adoption Metrics – Product Stickiness.

Product stickiness helps you understand how well your user engages and benefits from your product and highlights how well your product adoption strategies work.

Average session duration

Average session duration is the time a user spends on your product during a given timeframe. A single session can contain multiple page views, events, or interactions.

You calculate the average session duration by taking the total time a user spends across multiple sessions and dividing it by the total number of sessions.

For example, suppose you have data for a website that shows session durations of 2, 5, 8, and 4 minutes. The total duration of all sessions is 19 minutes.

So the average session duration is 19 minutes / 4, which equals 4.75 minutes.

The adoption metrics average session duration formula
Adoption metrics – Average Session Duration.

Average session duration helps you understand the level of user engagement and how long it takes to get value from one visit. The higher the duration shows users have successfully adopted.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value measures the total revenue you expect to generate throughout the relationship with your customer.

You measure it by first calculating the customer value by taking the average purchase value and multiplying it by the average frequency rate, then multiplying customer value by the average customer lifespan.

For example, if you have a subscription-based business with an average purchase value of $50, 24 months as the average purchase frequency rate, and an average customer lifespan of 36 months, then your CLV equals:

CLV = $50 x 24 x 36 = $43,200

The customer lifetime value formula
Adoption metrics – Customer Lifetime Value.

Account expansion MRR rate

Account expansion MRR rate measures the monthly recurring revenue from existing customers due to expansions, cross-sells, or upsells.

You calculate it by first taking the expansion MRR at the end of the month and minus the expansion MRR at the beginning of the month. Then divide it by the expansion MRR at the month’s beginning and multiply it by 100.

For example, if you had $50,000 in Monthly Recurring Revenue at the beginning and $75,000 by the end of the month, the account expansion MRR rate would be (($75,000 – $50,000) / $50,000) x 100 equaling 50%

Expansion MRR rate formula.
Expansion MRR rate formula.

When users get value from your product and their needs grow, they continue to use it as they get repeated value, aiding their success.

User retention rate

User retention rate measures the percentage of users who continue to use your product over a specific timeframe.

You calculate it by taking the number of paying users at the end of a timeframe and minus the number of users acquired during that time. Then you divide that number by the total number of users at the beginning of the timeframe and multiply by 100.

For example, let’s say you had 1,000 active users at the beginning of the month and acquired 200 new users during that month. At the end of the month, you had 950 users.

User Retention Rate = ((950 – 200) / 1000) * 100 = 75%

The user retention rate formula
Adoption metrics – User Retention Rate.

A high user retention rate demonstrates that existing users both are getting value from your product and have reached adoption. If, on the overhand, your user retention rate is low, it can mean three things for your product adoption.

  1. Your onboarding process isn’t showing the value your product can offer, so customers don’t activate and go elsewhere.
  2. You might have poor customer product fit because you attract the wrong audience. It could be because of false promises your product says it should deliver, a wrong USP, or irrelevant positioning.
  3. You’re not helping users get repeated value from your product because you’re not helping them discover new features.

User churn rate

User churn rate measures the percentage of users that stop using your product over a specific timeframe.

You can calculate it by multiplying the total number of users lost during a timeframe, dividing it by the total number of users at the beginning of the timeframe, and multiplying it by 100.

For example, let’s say you had 1,000 active users at the beginning of the month, and during that month, 100 users stopped using the product.

User Churn Rate = (100 / 1000) * 100 = 10%

The churn rate formula
Adoption metrics – Customer Churn Rate.

A high churn rate means you’re not demonstrating the value of your product correctly and customers aren’t reaching adoption.

NPS score

NPS score measures the level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. You capture this data by implementing an NPS survey that asks a simple question like “How likely are you to recommend [product] to a friend?” and use the rating scale from 1 to 10.”

You calculate the NPS score by taking the percentage of high scorers (those who rated 9 or 10) and minus the percentage of users who scored 6 or lower.

For example, if you had 75% of the user score between 9-10 and 20% of the user score 6 or lower, the NPS score would be 55.

The NPS score formula
Adoption metrics – NPS score.

You can use NPS scores alongside the segment of users with different ratings product usage data to understand why some users adopt, and others don’t.

CSAT score

CSAT score measures the level of satisfaction your users have at certain touchpoints in your product. You use in-app CSAT surveys to collect granular data on what may be causing customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

You calculate CSAT by taking the number of satisfied customers, dividing by the number of respondents, and multiple by 100.

For example, let’s say 67 people respond positively out of 100.

CSAT = (67/100) x 100 = 67%

The CSAT formula
Adoption metrics – CSAT Score.

CSAT score helps you understand friction points in your product, which you can conduct further investigation to make improvements to drive product adoption.

How to choose the right product adoption metrics to track

All 14 metrics may not be relevant to track in your product, so it makes sense only to track the right ones for your product.

There are four things to consider when choosing the right product adoption metrics to track;

  • Who is adopting?
  • What features do they love?
  • When adoption happens.
  • And how long they stay.

How to use adoption metrics to boost adoption

Now you’re tracking product adoption metrics, it’s time to use them to help boost adoption.

Personalize the onboarding flow for new users

Improve the time-to-value by personalizing the onboarding process.

Collect customer data through a welcome survey, then segment customers with similar characteristics.

Those segments allow you to personalize the onboarding flow to their preferences (or wants and needs), so they have a better experience improving the time to value.

A screenshot showing options on segmenting users
User segmentation with Userpilot.

Drive feature adoption with interactive walkthroughs

Use interactive walkthroughs to help improve the adoption of certain product features.

Trigger an interactive walkthrough the first time a user engages with a feature to provide a learning environment where the users learn by taking action, increasing the adoption rate.

An animation showing Rocketbots interactive walkthrough
An example of an interactive walkthrough.

Guide customers along their customer journey with in-app messages

You can use in-app messages to provide extra content at any stage a customer struggles with a feature.

By measuring product adoption metrics, you’ll be able to see when customers are struggling in their journey.

You can use in-app messages to guide users so they don’t become frustrated and continue to have a great customer experience.

A screenshot of a modal showing additional content to a user
Additional user guidance via a modal.

Track user behavior to identify friction points and reduce churn

Your adoption metrics can help highlight any points in your product causing friction for your users.

Use product analytics to study further what may be causing the problem. Once you identify the potential reasons, you can make improvements or trigger contextual flows to engage users. Resolving these issues will help to reduce churn.

A screenshot showing user analytics
User analytics dashboard in Userpilot.

Collect customer feedback to improve customer experience

Collecting customer feedback is a direct channel between you and your customer to understand what they like and dislike about your product. You can trigger NPS and CSAT surveys to get feedback about their satisfaction.

A screenshot of the settings of a NPS survey
Create an NPS survey code-free with Userpilot.

Reviewing the feedback gives you insights on what to improve to increase the overall customer experience.

Tracking product adoption metrics with Userpilot

Userpilot is an all-in-one product growth platform that combines advanced analytics and in-app engagement capabilities. It enables you to measure and increase adoption by leveraging real-time data.

A screenshot of the NPS survey settings in Userpilot
Userpilot’s NPS survey options.

Some of Userpilot’s key functionalities are:

  • Goals: You can create goals to determine how users meet their milestones.
  • Feature tagging and heatmaps: Measure how customers use certain features and see how they interact with them with heatmaps.
  • Trends: Identify trends in product usage.
  • Funnels: Create paths based on different actions to monitor the dropoff rate at each stage.
  • Paths: Observe the different paths users take through your product.
  • Surveys: Create NPS and CSAT surveys in your product without writing a line of code.
A screenshot of a CSAT surveys
Userpilot’s surveys.

Events: Trigger events in-app to drive engagement and adoption.

An animation of a trigger event
An example of a triggered event.

Final thoughts on adoption metrics

You need to track certain adoption metrics to improve your product adoption. Choosing some or all of these metrics is a great starting point in understanding what improvement you need to make in your product adoption strategy.

Want to get started with adoption metrics? Get a Userpilot Demo and see how to improve your product’s adoption rate.

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