Feature Adoption Metrics for SaaS – How to Improve Adoption Rates
Want to improve your feature adoption metrics but don’t know where to start?
Improving feature adoption for your SaaS product needs to be contextual. In other words, your product needs to encourage users to engage with relevant features at the right time. Tracking the right metrics will help you create a well-informed feature adoption strategy.
In this post, we’ll see what feature adoption metrics you should track and what tactics you can use to optimize your feature adoption rate.
- Feature adoption takes place when your customers adopt your product’s features to use to gain value from them.
- To measure feature adoption, you should use a feature adoption funnel with four stages: Exposed, Activated, Used, and Used Again.
- The more high-valued features customers adopt, the better your product adoption and the higher your customer retention rate will be.
- While product adoption tells you how well customers interact with your product, feature adoption provides a breakdown of what features are the most successful and what you need to improve or remove.
- Feature adoption rate is the percentage of users who have adopted a feature to become its monthly active users.
- In-app feature announcements are a great way of highlighting the benefits of new features, especially the less obvious ones.
- Interactive walkthroughs guide the users toward making the best use of your product’s features.
- Secondary onboarding elements like tooltips help users adopt secondary features so they can become loyal advocates.
- Collect customer feedback to know how satisfied users are with a certain feature and act accordingly.
- A/B test in-app announcements to see what in-app experiences result in faster and higher feature adoption.
- Track how customers interact with product features and improve your strategy accordingly.
- Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that can help you measure feature adoption, and build experiences to increase overall product adoption metrics.
What is feature adoption?
Saas feature adoption measures the usage of specific features within a product. A user’s adoption of features determines how much value they receive, and how likely they are to abandon a product.
The more features a user adopts, the more value they receive, and the less likely they are to churn, making feature adoption a key retention metric.
Product adoption vs. feature adoption
Both product adoption and feature adoption are basic usage metrics for your SaaS business since they help you improve user retention and drive customer success.
Product adoption tells you how well customers interact with your product. On the other hand, feature adoption provides a breakdown of what features are the most successful and what you need to improve or remove on a more granular level.
Why does feature adoption matter?
Feature adoption clearly indicates how much value users find in your product’s features.
If customers don’t use a certain feature, it may mean they aren’t benefiting from it or haven’t even found it yet. When customers have to pay for unused features, it lowers the perceived value of your product.
Thus, they are less likely to be inclined towards renewing their subscription next month.
The feature adoption metrics help you identify the features that customers value most. The more they value the features, the higher the feature adoption rates.
How to measure feature adoption?
Justin Butlion, the founder of Feedio and ProjectBL, developed the feature adoption funnel to help you optimize your product and boost your feature adoption rates. Here are 4 stages a customer needs to go through to adopt a specific feature.
Step 1 is “Exposed”, where we track the number of customers who know that a particular feature exists. This is because you can’t measure feature adoption without knowing how many users know that the feature exists.
This means that eventually, you’ll need to calculate your feature discovery rate:
(Number of users who came across a feature/total number of users)*100
Next comes step 2, which is “Activated”. Here, you’ll see the number of exposed customers who tried out and activated the feature.
For example, when you first joined Instagram, you might have been exposed to the “Close Friends” feature by hearing it from friends or noticing the green rings around people’s profile pictures.
Then, if you created your own “Close Friends” list, you activated it. So, the activated rate for this feature is the percentage of customers who know about it and have created a list.
“Used” is step 3, where you calculate the percentage of active users who used this feature by posting a private story exclusively for their close friends.
When the activated rate is higher than the used rate, it suggests that you either set incorrect expectations or customers find the feature difficult to use.
Keep in mind that the activated and used stages may overlap for your product. For example, one of your product’s features could be bookmarking blog articles for later use.
So, a customer who bookmarks an article would be activating and using the feature simultaneously.
The final step in the feature adoption funnel is “Used Again”. This is where customers keep using the feature because they find value in it.
Thus, the formula for this step gives you the stickiness of a feature. It’s equal to the number of repeat users divided by the total number of users multiplied by 100.
Low repeated usage may indicate a risk of churn by showing you how dissatisfied users are with the particular feature.
The key feature adoption metrics you should be tracking
Let’s look at the feature adoption metrics you need to track and optimize to increase feature adoption.
Feature adoption rate
Measuring feature adoption rate is key to knowing how much your existing users benefit from your product’s features. Much of your product’s value is tied to its features, making this metric an important indicator for feature utilization.
To calculate the feature adoption rate, divide the number of a feature’s monthly active users (MAU) by the number of users who logged in during a specific period and multiply the result by 100.
Feature engagement rate
This engagement metric measures how frequently your key user segments access a given feature and utilize it.
It helps you understand whether users have exhibited a particular behavior that indicates stickiness or acted in an unusual manner. Therefore, you should measure this metric regularly to discover customer needs, and pain points and avoid the difficulty of feature use.
To measure feature engagement, check feature adoption analytics to identify product features with higher feature adoption rates. Calculate engagement rate as the percentage of monthly—or daily, or weekly—active users that use that feature.
Depth of adoption
The depth of feature adoption refers to the frequency with which a specific feature is used by your existing customers.
By gauging this metric, you can gain insights into your product’s overall usage, user engagement, and the value of certain features. Additionally, it helps determine the stickiness of your product, indicating how well it retains users over time. Understanding feature adoption depth empowers you to make informed decisions about product improvements and enhancements.
Time to adopt
This metric measures the time it takes for a customer to start using a new feature. The faster they adopt a feature, the more likely it helps them reach their goals or solve their problems.
By measuring the time to adopt a new feature, product teams can gain insights into the feature’s appeal, usability, and overall impact on user engagement. This information can be used to make data-driven decisions about future feature enhancements or product development strategies.
Duration of adoption
The duration of adoption is a crucial metric that measures whether users move beyond the initial “trying out” stage of a new feature and continue to use it repeatedly over an extended period. While the speed of initial feature adoption can give a positive impression, it’s the sustained usage over time that indicates the feature’s true value and relevance to users.
By tracking the duration of feature adoption, product teams can better understand user behavior, engagement, and the long-term impact of a feature.
How to increase feature adoption with feature adoption strategies
Measuring the key feature adoption metrics alone is not sufficient to increase your feature adoption rate. You have to fit these metrics into your feature adoption strategy to see results.
Here are feature adoption strategies you can implement to increase the feature adoption rate.
Use feature announcements to introduce new features to existing users
Promoting new feature adoption relies on:
- Making customers aware of the new features.
- Making sure they realize the value it has to offer.
- Encouraging them to try it out and adopt it.
In-app feature announcements are very useful to introduce customers to a new feature. As opposed to emails that can be left unopened or easily missed, in-app announcements are more contextual.
You can use in-app modals to make feature announcements and explain how they can help your customers. But be sure not to overuse the full-screen modals, i.e., do not force users to engage. This can backfire, if not used wisely.
For instance, when you want to introduce a core feature for the first time, you can use full-screen pop-up modals to provide only all the relevant information to users.
Segment customers to personalize new feature announcements
Your customers will use each feature in varying ways, and all of them will not have use for every feature. Therefore, to make your features more relevant to every customer, you need to segment them based on user personas. This will allow you to personalize your in-app message to specific customer needs and increase feature adoption.
Userpilot offers robust segmentation capability that includes NPS score, demographics, user activity, and even in-app behavior via feature tags and custom events.
Trigger interactive walkthroughs when new users interact with existing features
Interactive walkthroughs are guides that walk customers through different features of your product. They help new users who have just signed up get value faster so that they don’t stop engaging with it.
However, your initial onboarding isn’t enough to drive feature adoption. You need onboarding at different stages of the user journey to do that.
They are perfect for secondary onboarding to help users move forward in their journey to become loyal advocates.
Use tooltips to drive feature adoption for secondary features
Tooltips are short descriptions linked to an element of your product. They explain to customers how a specific feature works, especially when those features may be hard to use or unfamiliar.
You can use tooltips to build an onboarding flow to make sure customers progress through your walkthroughs in the smoothest way possible. Such tooltips become visible based on the customers’ in-app activities over time.
Identify the most successful features among different segments and showcase them to new users
Look at the customer journey of your paying customers; what features do customers interact with most that drive constant value?
Analyzing their behavior and interactions with your product features will allow you to duplicate their path for new active users with the same goals, ensuring that they have a similar experience and adopt product features adequately.
By guiding new users along a successful path and encouraging them to interact with key features, you increase the likelihood of their long-term feature adoption and retention, ultimately driving the growth and success of your SaaS business.
Analyze how users interact with a particular feature to improve feature usage
Feature tagging measures how users engage with your SaaS product by tracking clicks, scrolls, and hovers in-app without coding. It works by tagging UI elements such as product features in your web app. Then, it delivers analytics data showing how users engage with that feature.
You learn what features are most valuable based on high usage – or which ones are neglected. You can then use this information to trigger onboarding flows for a specific feature to improve its adoption.
Collect user feedback about a specific feature and act on it
These micro surveys allow you to collect detailed qualitative feedback on certain aspects of features. This provides relevant insights into what you can improve and what aspects you can promote.
Moreover, along with being relevant, your features must be convenient to use and adapt.
So, you can collect user feedback from customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) to see how customers rate their experiences with certain features. Trigger CSAT surveys when users interact with a feature and see how much value they get from it.
Do A/B testing in-app announcements to analyze feature adoption metrics
Customer feedback lets you know how happy users are with your product’s features. Together with user feedback, A/B testing will help you understand your customers better so you can develop new features accordingly.
Because different customer segments engage with a feature in different ways, you must A/B test in-app announcements to check what brings faster and greater feature adoption rates.
You should always track how in-app experiences affect your feature adoption rates. When you create a tooltip or checklist, you can then A/B test various types of content such as gifs and micro-videos to check what boosts feature adoption rate.
Measure and improve feature adoption metrics with Userpilot
Userpilot is a powerful product adoption platform that enables you to quickly build personalized and contextual in-app experiences targeted to different user experiences – all without writing a line of code.
It’s a great option for enterprise software users too since it’s SOC 2 Type II certified and offers robust features for large-scale usage.
Track how existing customers interact with product features
Clarify your understanding of which features are getting adopted most with feature tagging and feature heatmaps.
With feature tags and heat maps, you can see the most valuable features and which features are not being adopted by your customer base. You can see how often users engage with different features in the app. The warm colors signify high engagement, while cold colors mean low engagement. Userpilot’s heatmap also shows total and unique clicks in a given time period.
Set goals to measure your feature adoption efforts
Each of your customer segments can have different goals. Match product features with different user goals for specific segments to define the paths in the customer journey.
Userpilot lets you create these goals as well as track the progress toward them. This will help you understand feature usage and trigger in-app experiences to help users achieve their goals.
Use UI patterns to introduce a new feature release to drive feature adoption rates
You can create interactive walkthroughs for features or use a modal for a feature announcement.
You can build different in-app experiences for driving feature adoption rate code-free with Userpilot’s UI patterns.
Without feature adoption, your users won’t be able to adopt your product completely to their advantage and will churn at some point along the way.
The feature adoption metrics, together with the strategies we’ve discussed, will help you improve user engagement with features relevant to them.
Want to enhance user experiences with your product’s features? Get a Userpilot demo and see how you can improve feature adoption.