How to Increase Monthly Active Users in SaaS [+Examples Included]
Are you looking for ways how to increase monthly active users for your SaaS?
We’ve got you covered. In this article you’ll learn:
- What monthly active users (MAUs) are and why you should care
- 6 ways to turn passive customers into engaged users
- The best user engagement tools to use to turn new users into active users
- Monthly active users (MAUs) refer to the number of unique visitors that engage with your web or mobile app in a month.
- Measure MAUs by accounting for depth of usage and different user segments.
- Daily active users (DAU) are the total number of unique visitors who use your product’s core features daily.
- To get the best results, you need to define what an active user means to you. A good practice is to pair your definition with a value-based action. E.g “Our active users are people that use our platform to schedule social media posts”
- You can increase monthly active users by personalizing the onboarding process, shortening time to value with interactive walkthroughs, driving feature discovery and adoption with in-app messaging, collecting feedback with micro surveys, and reducing churn with exit surveys.
- You should always segment your audience for contextual in-app communication
- Userpilot is best for building engaging user onboarding flows into your product with ease and without the need to code. Increase monthly active users with the right in-app guidance at the right time.
What are monthly active users (MAU) in SaaS?
Monthly active users (MAUs) refer to the number of unique visitors that engage with your web or mobile app in a month (i.e. actively using your product).
MAU is a key performance indicator (KPI) that companies use to track user engagement. To make the metric more effective, only unique visits should be tracked.
How to measure MAUs
Measuring MAU is beyond just checking figures; if those numbers don’t tie directly to your business objectives, then they make no sense.
Here are better ways to measure MAUs and increase app engagement.
Account for depth of usage when tracking monthly and daily active users
The goal of every SaaS is to make users see the value of their product and be willing to pay for it. If that’s your goal, too, then you want to track the depth of usage instead of mere visits.
Begin by identifying your core product features.
What are those features that bring value from using your product? Take note of them and use product usage analytics to track how customers interact with those features consistently.
That way, you can quickly check at a glance and know, “in the past 30 days, we’ve had 500 people using XYZ features, which means they’re enjoying the product and perhaps ready to become paying customers. Or are ready to upgrade their plan.”
Account for different user segments
This is particularly useful for companies with multiple acquisition channels.
When users are acquired from different sources, you will often find that their behavior within the app differs. This is why it’s essential to perform cohort analysis and user segmentation. Doing this enables you to study your users more closely.
Identify the user segment that performs well within the app and those that don’t. That way, you’re not just relying on vanity figures; you know what each number means and can begin to draft your possible course of action.
How to calculate daily active users (DAUs)
Like MAU, your daily active users (DAU) are the total number of unique visitors who use your platform daily.
It is one of the key metrics in SaaS, and it consists of both your returning and new users. And by usage, I mean those users who engage with the core features of your product.
It’s worthy of note that not all companies will have the same definition for an active user, and that’s fine- not all apps are intended to be used daily or in the same way.
For instance, a social media scheduling platform will naturally have more daily active users than a budgeting product that people only need once or twice a month.
So how do you go about tracking daily active users?
It’s pretty easy.
Pull out the MAU figure from your analytics platform, then divide it by the number of days in the month. For instance, if you had 3,000 unique users in September (based on the value-based actions you set), just divide that number by 30. Your average number of users engaged daily is 100.
How to increase product engagement and grow monthly active users
This section will show you proven ways to improve engagement, which naturally increases MAUs. You’ll find examples and actionable tips you can begin implementing right away.
Personalize the onboarding process using data
Contrary to what many people think, onboarding doesn’t end when a customer is activated. In fact, activation is just one of several other stages.
To grow user engagement and increase daily active users you should focus on user onboarding at each stage in their journey. We call these stages primary, secondary, and tertiary onboarding.
- Primary onboarding: Your goal is to lead the user to their aha moment. In other words, make them get the value of your product in 2-3 simple steps.
- Secondary onboarding: This stage is about guiding users to discover advanced features that bring extra value. You should focus on this once the users have engaged and adopted your product’s core features.
- Tertiary onboarding: This is where you focus on account expansion and turning satisfied customers into product advocates.
Naturally, your app’s users will be at different onboarding stages. And you can’t risk sending them onboarding prompts that are not specific to the stage they are in.
Imagine asking users to try out a feature they’re already using on a regular basis. It doesn’t appear professional.
The way out is to track engagement at each phase and send personalized in-app messages to guide users towards what’s relevant for them.
Start by personalizing onboarding from the users’ first interaction with your product.
Your welcome screen is an excellent opportunity to learn more about users and guide them on how to engage with your product to get the most out of it.
Kontentino did this well with their welcome screen. The user selects the options that best describe them, and the next page that opens is tailored to their context.
Shorten the time-to-value with interactive walkthroughs
Motivation decreases with perceived complexity. You don’t want users to feel that your tool is hard to ‘get.’ But sometimes you can’t help this. Most products just can’t be oversimplified because of the nature of the problems they solve.
However, that doesn’t mean your onboarding process has to be dead boring. Utilize interactive walkthroughs to take users through features, helping them see how each part solves their problem.
Interactive walkthroughs are a series of tooltips that guide the user through a feature they’re using for the first time. As a result, walkthroughs save time and project value quickly. They also perform better than bland product tours.
Here’s an example from the business messaging platform Rocketbots (now respond.io). Notice how they smartly paired their walkthrough with a checklist.
Make sure new features are discovered by relevant user segments
Don’t expect users to find new features you just rolled out magically. People that use your tool consistently might stumble on them at some point but you shouldn’t leave it to chance.
Instead, announce your new feature to relevant users and show them the key benefits.
For example, Asana highlighted their reporting feature as new in the example below, so users don’t miss it. They didn’t assume customers would simply stumble on it.
Asana didn’t stop with the UI update. Once a user clicks on the UI element an in-app messaging modal pops up and highlights the benefits of the feature.
When users click ‘Get started,’ an interactive walkthrough shows them around. Try to implement something similar if your company is regularly updating features.
Continuously collect feedback and drive engagement by improving your product
A user feedback survey is another excellent tool for driving app usage and engagement and increasing your MAUs.
There are basically two channels for collecting feedback: do it in-app or send your feedback surveys using email.
Email is more traditional, but you risk delayed replies or no replies at all. So it’s better to get it done in-app.
In-app micro surveys are a great way to collect user feedback and gauge customer satisfaction. Use the quantitative and qualitative data to
- improve your product’s features and usability
- discover and remove friction points across the customer journey
- help customer success teams understand where users struggle
- offer better customer support
Use different customer satisfaction surveys at different times of the user journey. For example, after they’ve engaged with a new feature find out how was their experience. continuously driving value with relevant features gives users a reason to come back.
Continuously driving value with relevant features gives users a reason to come back and in time, increases your daily active users.
Reduce churn with exit surveys
The fact that users decide to give your product a try means they believe it can solve their problem. But they leave once they get in and find that you don’t meet their expectations. Of course, there are other reasons for churn, but this one is quite common.
You can’t stop users from churning, but you can use churn surveys to determine their reasons for quitting and improve your product and user experience as you go.
You may sometimes find they’re leaving because they think you don’t have a feature that you, in fact, have. This is a very common churn reason and using churn surveys can help give users an alternative to canceling their account.
Leadpages does this well with a friendly message on their churn survey. They invite users to chat, trying to re-engage them one last time before canceling.
This provides Leadpages an opportunity to resell their value to the user. So even if customers eventually churn, at least the company now has a good idea why.
Segment your audience for contextual in-app communication
To enhance user app engagement, it’s important to make the messages personalized and timely.
You can be sure of one thing: users interact more if your in-app messages are something they can immediately relate to. And segmentation is what you need to achieve this.
Want to build targeted in-app messaging using advanced segmentation? Get a Userpilot demo, and we’ll help you get started right away!
Even when the target audience and messaging are spot on, users don’t react the same way with different content formats.
Short messages are enough to make some people try something new; micro videos work best for others.
You never know until you test.
Userpilot lets you easily test in-app experiences and analyze which had the highest impact on specific feature engagement.
Tools to use to increase user engagement
There are many customer engagement tools out there. So how can you know what’s best for you?
Here is a short list to get you started.
Userpilot is best for building engaging user onboarding flows into your product with ease and without the need to code. Increase monthly active users with the right in-app message at the right time.
You can build multiple user flows, track app user engagement, and A/B test which performs best against your goals.
If you are looking to engage users in a contextual way, Userpilot is the tool you need.
Other tools for driving user engagement and increasing monthly active users:
- Analytics tools: Mixpanel for tracking in-depth product analytics and identifying engagement opportunities
- Email automation tools: Drip or ActiveCampaing for re-engaging users and bringing them back inside the app
- Chatbots: Drift for offering chat support and improving the user experience
Disclaimer: Userpilot works for web apps, if you are looking for mobile app engagement tools, you can check Pendo or its alternatives.
Your monthly and daily active users give you a clue of how well your product performs month over month. Neglecting this metric can hurt your business as you’ll be blinded to the frictions causing customers to churn.
You can increase daily or weekly active users for your SaaS by engaging users through personalized in-app experiences.
Want to build product experiences code-free? Book a Userpilot demo and see how easy it is to get started!