5 Feature Adoption Metrics That Every PM Should Track & 5 Strategies To Improve Them

5 Feature Adoption Metrics That Every PM Should Track & 5 Strategies To Improve Them cover

Are you having trouble deciding on what feature adoption metrics you should choose to measure the success of the new feature? We’ve got you covered!

In this article, we’ll cover the key metrics you need to develop an informed feature adoption strategy and discuss how you can improve them.


  • Feature adoption occurs when customers start using a particular feature to meet their goals.
  • Measuring feature adoption gives a breakdown of your most successful features and helps you identify possible friction points that negatively impact user adoption.
  • While product adoption helps you understand how well customers interact with your product, feature adoption lets you understand the success of particular features.
  • You can measure feature adoption using the 4 stages of the feature adoption funnel – Exposed, Activated, Used, and Used Again.
  • The 5 key feature adoption metrics are feature adoption rate, breadth of adoption, depth of adoption, time to adoption, and duration of adoption.
  • To improve adoption, use walkthroughs to improve feature discovery, send in-app feature announcements, arrange webinars to guide customers, use secondary onboarding to unlock advanced features, and collect user feedback and act on it.
  • Userpilot and Appcues are the top two feature adoption software.

Try Userpilot and take your feature adoption to the next level


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What is feature adoption in SaaS?

In SaaS, feature adoption takes place when customers get introduced to a new feature and start using it frequently to meet their goals.

Why does feature adoption matter?

Higher feature adoption rates indicate that more users are getting value from your features and are less likely to leave your product. This makes feature adoption critical for increasing user retention and expanding your revenue.

Additionally, feature adoption gives a clear indication of how much your customers value your product’s features. Here is why feature adoption matters.

Get a breakdown of your most successful features

Feature adoption allows you to separate the successful features from the underperforming ones.

The feature adoption rate increases as more customers use the feature and experience value. In addition to making repeat purchases, customers who are satisfied with the brand are more likely to become loyal brand advocates.

Uncover weak spots and improve feature adoption

Low usage of a particular feature either means your customers are not getting value from it or they aren’t aware of the feature or its uses in the first place. Paying for features they don’t like decreases your product’s perceived value and leads to churn.

Thus, you should collect customer feedback to identify friction points that prevent customers from adopting specific features. It will help you create feature adoption strategies to improve the feature or increase its awareness. This, in turn, will improve retention and reduce churn.

Feature adoption vs product adoption: What’s the difference?

Both feature adoption and product adoption are critical metrics for the success of your product and help you improve loyalty and retention.

Product adoption is a point in the user journey where customers are frequently using the product and overall are happy with it.

On the other hand, feature adoption lets you discover the most successful features of your product so you can make decisions on what features to eliminate or improve.

How to measure feature adoption?

To measure feature adoption, you first need to know the stages a feature needs to go through. The founder of ProjectBI and Freedio, Justin Butlion, created the feature adoption funnel that consists of 4 stages.

Feature adoption funnel.
  • Stage 1 – Exposed: This is where you look at how many users know that a specific feature exists. Here, you need to calculate the feature discovery rate:(The number of users who came in contact with the feature/the total number of users)*100
  • Stage 2 – Activated: This is where you check the number of users who tried the feature and completed the tasks required to use it. It measures the percentage of customers who not only know about this feature but also used it successfully.
  • Stage 3 – Used: Here, you look at the percentage of activated customers who actually used the feature. If the used rate is lower than the activated rate, there’s either too much friction in using the feature, or it doesn’t meet customers’ perceived value.
  • Stage 4 – Used Again: This measures the feature stickiness. It’s equal to the ratio of total repeat users to the total users of the feature, multiplied by 100. The repeat users stick to the feature because they find value in it. The feature meets and may even exceed their expectations. A low repeated usage rate means your customers are dissatisfied with the feature and may churn for the same.

What is a good feature adoption rate?

There’s no universally good feature adoption rate. Whether your feature adoption rate is acceptable or not depends on the type of your product, the nature of your business, and the industry you operate in.

You should check your industry benchmarks and compare the values with your company’s rates. However, your feature adoption rate might need to be higher or lower than the benchmark.

5 Key feature adoption metrics that product managers must track

The feature adoption funnel is crucial for measuring adoption at every stage. But it’s not the only way to measure feature adoption.

In addition to the funnel, you need some metrics to measure different aspects of feature adoption. This will offer more actionable insights for you to create a full-proof adoption strategy.

Here are 5 key feature adoption metrics all product managers should track.

  • Feature adoption rate
  • Breadth of adoption
  • Depth of adoption
  • Time to adopt
  • Duration of feature adoption

Feature adoption rate

The feature adoption rate tells you how much value your existing customers gain by using your product’s features. The more value customers get from your features, the more likely they are to stick to your product.

To measure the feature adoption rate, divide the number of monthly active users of the given feature by the total number of user logins during a specific, and multiply the ratio by 100.

How to calculate feature adoption rate

How to calculate feature adoption rate.

This metric is a key indicator of feature utilization. Combining it with other feature adoption analytics can help you develop a better-informed feature adoption strategy.

You can even use the insights in building your product adoption strategy and create in-app experiences to guide customers along their customer journey.

Breadth of adoption

This metric shows how many of your target customers are regularly using a particular feature, and which ones are left largely unused.

You can calculate this metric by finding the number of customers who engaged with the feature during a specific period.

Suppose you have 6,000 customers and 3,000 of them used your product’s new sharing feature at least 4 times in a particular week. Thus, the breadth of adoption for that week will be 50%.

This metric will help you understand which features are popular among users and which ones are left largely unused. You can collect user feedback to find the underlying reasons and improve feature adoption.

Depth of adoption

The depth of adoption measures the frequency of feature usage by your target customers. This lets you understand feature stickiness, ease of use, and usefulness.

A low depth of adoption across multiple customer segments suggests potential problems with feature relevance. Your product and feature discovery teams need to plan and research well before development to reduce the probability of launching unwanted features.

Time to adopt

Simply put, time to adopt measures how long it takes for customers to start using a specific feature. It covers the period from when a customer has discovered a feature and activated it until the moment they start using it.

This metric can provide insights into the presence of friction points or UI/UX issues, non-relevance, or other problems. For example, if most customers take weeks or months to find a feature, you should look into better ways of making new release announcements.

Duration of feature adoption

The duration of adoption gives you the length of time customers stay engaged with a particular feature. It reveals whether the feature is good at retaining value over a given time frame.

For example, 80% of your customers may have tried out a new feature. But the number of users who actively used the feature for six months can assess the state of feature engagement and retention.

A low duration of feature adoption can lead to higher churn rates, especially if the metric is low across several key product features.

5 Effective strategies to increase feature adoption

Let’s discuss some tactics you can use to improve feature adoption.

Use interactive walkthroughs to drive feature discovery

Interactive walkthroughs guide customers through different product features and increase feature discovery. They not only help new users find value faster but also introduce existing users to advanced secondary features.

Kommunicate’s interactive walkthrough.

Segment your customers and build personalized walkthroughs according to their use cases. This will ensure that customers find and engage with the relevant features. Userpilot enables you to segment customers based on multiple criteria such as their use case, in-app behavior, and NPS score.

To make the learning process easier, you can combine a walkthrough with a checklist to guide users to relevant features.

Checklist created with Userpilot

Checklist created with Userpilot.

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Send in-app feature announcements to introduce new features properly

As opposed to emails that can be easily ignored or missed, in-app feature announcements are more contextual. You can use modals to introduce customers to new features and how they can help them gain value.

Make sure that you don’t overuse full-screen modals as they can be intrusive and thus, counterproductive.

Once again, you should segment users based on their use case and personalize the messaging to make feature announcements relevant to every customer.

New feature announcment created with Userpilot

New feature announcement created with Userpilot.

Organize webinars to explain the new features to existing users

Arrange webinars to educate users on the new features. This allows them to ask questions in real time and adds a more human touch to your marketing communication.

Use slideouts and banners to make in-app webinar announcements. Slideouts only take up one side of the screen and thus are less likely to be irritating.

Userpilot organizes webinars to educate customers.

Create slideouts, banners & modals code-free with Userpilot


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Use secondary onboarding to unlock more advanced features

Secondary onboarding is where you help users find and engage with more advanced features that would drive continuous value to customers, and thus increase retention.

In-app messages are perfect for introducing users to features that add value on top of the primary ones (core features). UI elements like walkthroughs, welcome screens, tooltips, modals, and checklists will help you achieve this.

Segment customers and customize the in-app guidance you offer so that they are not bombarded with irrelevant messages.

To learn more about secondary onboarding, here is a webinar on it.

Secondary onboarding webinar

Collect user feedback on features and act on it

Collecting customer feedback is crucial for knowing the reasons behind the metrics’ scores and whether your strategies have been successful.

Use in-app micro surveys to get in-depth qualitative feedback on their experiences with a feature. You can combine the findings with those of customer satisfaction surveys to know how easily customers can use a feature.

Understand what makes your customers happy about a feature, then try to replicate the experiences. If customers are dissatisfied with a product, their feedback can help you proactively solve their problems and prevent churn.

Collect customer feedback with surveys

Collect customer feedback with surveys

Build in-app surveys code-free with Userpilot


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Best tools to drive feature adoption and increase feature usage

Now let’s look at the two best feature adoption tools out there.


Userpilot is a product growth platform that allows you to leverage in-app communication and boost adoption.

It offers a vast collection of UI elements so that you can build in-app experiences without any coding. Be it walkthroughs, tooltips, checklists, or micro surveys, you can create them all.

Create in-app experiences code-free with Userpilot.

Moreover, you can use advanced customer segmentation to personalize the experiences and A/B test them to see which ones lead to higher adoption rates.

The feature tagging functionality will help you tag any UI element to monitor feature engagement. Moreover, you can track not only the clicks but also other interactions, such as text inputs, hovers, etc.

Tag feature usage with Userpilot.

Userpilot offers a 14-day free trial with fully featured access. There are three subscription plans – Traction, Growth, and Enterprise. The Traction plan starts at $249/month paid annually.


Appcues is an onboarding platform that lets you create personalized in-app experiences and drive adoption.


The Appcues Builder feature enables you to build flows and monitor new events, while the Appcues Studio feature helps you manage the flows and events, track user behavior, and target specific user segments.

Appcues’ free trial option is fully-functional for the first two weeks, and it will remain so until users can show 50 Appcues flows. After this, the app will track up to 5 ongoing events.

Its three subscription plans are Essential, Growth, and Enterprise, where Essential starts at $249/month, paid annually.


Feature adoption is the key to ensuring high customer loyalty and retention. To this end, feature adoption metrics provide valuable insights that you can incorporate into your adoption strategies.

Your feature adoption strategies should be targeted at helping target customers discover relevant features, improving feature quality, and removing unnecessary features.

Want to track in-app feature usage, collect customer feedback, and create product experiences code-free? Get a Userpilot demo and see how you can boost your feature adoption rates.

Try Userpilot & drive feature adoption to the next level


  • 14 Day Trial
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