PES Score: What Is It And 5 Tips To Boost Your Product Engagement Score

PES Score: What Is It And 5 Tips To Boost Your Product Engagement Score


What is the PES score, and how is it relevant to the success of your SaaS business?

As a SaaS business model is usually subscription-based, customer retention is crucial to its success. You need to provide consistent value to your customers in order to keep them engaged with your product.

Thus, your product engagement score is one of the key metrics you should optimize to lower your churn and improve retention. In today’s article, we’ll be finding out how you can leverage the PES score to secure your company’s growth.

Let’s dive in!


  • The product engagement score (PES) provides insight into how users are engaging or interacting with your product.
  • The formula for measuring product engagement score is the average of the adoption rate, stickiness ratio, and growth rate.
  • Analyzing this metric helps you understand why customers are engaging or not engaging with your product and take steps to mitigate any gaps.
  • To improve your engagement, drive product stickiness, use interactive walkthroughs to increase your activation rate, take user feedback and act on them.
  • Other actionable tactics include providing self-service support and to gamify the onboarding experience.
  • Userpilot allows you to create interactive walkthroughs, build help centers, create onboarding checklists and tooltips, and conduct A/B tests or product experiments, all code-free.

What is the product engagement score (PES)?

The product engagement score (PES) offers a singular insight into how your users are engaging or interacting with your product.

Your users engage with your product every time they use it. In order to maximize the value of your product, you must understand how and at what level they interact with your product. This is what the product engagement score provides.

How to calculate the product engagement score?

The PES score is a composite score. It’s a combination of three elements:

  • Adoption – The adoption rate is the average number of the key events adopted by active accounts or visitors.
  • Stickiness – Product stickiness is the average ratio of the number of daily active users to the number of weekly active users (DAUs/WAUs) or to the monthly active users (DAUs/MAUs).
  • Growth – Growth is the ratio of the new and renewed accounts or visitors in total to the number of churned accounts or visitors.
PES formula

Expressed mathematically, the formula for product engagement score is the average of these three components.

Why is tracking the product engagement score important?

By tracking this metric over time, you can determine whether your product is really engaging your new users. Furthermore, it may assist you with making certain decisions at the board level about future investments in your SaaS business.

The PES score isn’t the only way to measure product engagement, but its biggest advantage is that it lets you understand the why. When you analyze and find gaps in user engagement, you can improve their experiences accordingly.

For example, you could look at how you can make a user’s workflow easier or make sure you’re communicating with them enough. Combining this score with user feedback, you can direct users to the most valuable, relevant features and maximize their product usage.

5 tips to improve your product engagement score

So let’s see what you can do to improve your product engagement score and drive value for your customers. Here are some tactics for you that you can implement in your SaaS strategy.

Use interactive walkthroughs to help users reach the AHA moment soon

Interactive walkthroughs provide step-by-step guides to features of your product that will help users find more value and thus reach their AHA moment faster. This is when users realize the value of your product. Once users experience the value, they become active.

As activation points differ depending on the different use cases, SaaS businesses should segment their users before offering walkthroughs. In this way, users will only get a walkthrough that guides them on how to use features relevant to their goals.

Unlike product tours that dump a great deal of information at once, walkthroughs educate users and show them precisely what they need. With walkthroughs, users learn by doing.

For example, a walkthrough can contain a checklist with some key actions that would help users reach the activation milestone. This is part of the primary onboarding process that motivates users to interact with your website/app.

The steps could be:

  • Create your account
  • Install Userpilot Chrome extension
  • Create a product experience
  • Install Userpilot on your web app
Userpilot checklist

Each task is performed one by one, and each one triggers contextual help for the next one. Basically, you wait for the user to perform one task before providing more instructions. By the end of the process, your users should be able to grasp the true value of your product firsthand.

Drive product stickiness with secondary onboarding

Product stickiness is high when your customers get extra value from your product repeatedly. This occurs when users continue to engage with product features that are relevant to their goals. They use your product more often and renew subscriptions regularly.

Onboarding stages

Secondary onboarding is crucial for driving product stickiness. It’s a process of using in-app experiences to onboard the activated customers onto the advanced features, which create additional value besides the core features. Secondary feature adoption shows users the multiple ways in which they can get value from your product.

Moreover, secondary onboarding gives you more use cases. The greater the number of use cases, the stickier the product, and thus, the higher the customer retention rate. Therefore, driving stickiness helps reduce churn.

High product stickiness translates to high engagement. This allows you to expand your monthly recurring revenue through cross-sells, upsells, and add-ons. This, in turn, increases your customer’s lifetime value.

Offer in-app self-service support to help users find answers quickly

In-app self-service support allows users to onboard themselves. In the era of product-led growth, the product itself drives self-serve onboarding. It helps users find answers to questions faster.

Self-service support includes elements such as:

Note that a resource center contains more than just a knowledge base type documentation. It’s an all-in-one, go-to solution. Plus, it’s in-app which makes it accessible to users right where they need it so that they are not driven away from your product.

Below is an example of a resource center that Userpilot created for the social media scheduling tool, Postfity.

Postfity’s in-app help center, created with Userpilot
Postfity’s in-app help center, created with Userpilot

A Harvard Business Review article revealed that 81 % of users want to solve their problems themselves before asking for help from the customer support team. Since users can address some of their own issues, it gives them a sense of accomplishment, which motivates them to engage with your product more.

Moreover, self-service support reduces the pressure on the support team, and they can even improve their focus on more complex, non-repetitive issues.

Additionally, self-service support is timely and contextual. If a customer lands on a page for the first time, a widget can pop up, and a micro survey can allow users to choose an onboarding journey when logging into your site or app.

Use gamification to boost product engagement

Onboarding gamification is a fun way of boosting your overall engagement. It’s a process that incentivizes users to engage with your product by performing specific activities under game-like mechanics.

Gamification nurtures positive user behavioral patterns. An example of gamification is giving customers badges when they use a new feature for the first time, thus incentivizing them to use it again in the future.

You can reward users with badges or higher positions on the leaderboard for completing each task on a checklist. You can even add a progress bar in your checklists for users so that they know where they’re currently at in the onboarding process.

Gamification strategies frequently involve multiple strategies to drive users to engage with more features, refer it to others, and maybe even spend more on you by moving to an upper account level. Moreover, when you reward users for performing an action, it helps solidify their loyalty, leading to greater retention.

Here’s an example of a gamification technique that inspires users to extend their trial run.

Prodpad’s gamification example
Prodpad’s gamification example

Use micro surveys to collect feedback and act on it

Micro surveys are a short, fast, and convenient means of collecting user feedback. They’re usually in-app, so all users can come across the survey and stay inside the product while giving feedback.

These surveys let you understand the level of customer satisfaction and use qualitative and quantitative data to:

  • Identify and eliminate friction points
  • Provide improved customer support
  • Improve features and product usage
  • Help your customer success teams realize what customers struggle with, etc.

Customer satisfaction surveys like Net Promoter Score help you understand your customers’ pain points and capitalize on your strengths at the same time.

Churn surveys allow you to understand why users are leaving and even suggest an alternative to leaving, such as pausing their accounts.

Therefore, micro surveys help you understand user behavior and take the necessary steps to improve their experiences within your product. This, in turn, boosts product engagement.

How Userpilot can help you boost your product engagement score?

Userpilot is a product growth platform that helps its users make the best use of growth opportunities at every stage of the user journey.

Userpilot allows you to create excellent onboarding experiences and perform product analytics at competitive prices. With a code-free solution, you can:

  • Segment users based on their use case
  • Categorize data and analyze user behavior
  • Create interactive walkthroughs
  • Build in-app micro surveys like Net Promoter Score and churn surveys
  • Build an in-app help center
  • Create onboarding checklists and tooltips
  • Perform A/B testing to check the effectiveness of an onboarding strategy

So, let’s find out how you can start improving your product engagement score with our solution. Installing our JS snippet is the only thing you need to do, which is easy even for non-technical people. The rest is code-free.

Create code-free interactive walkthroughs

With Userpilot, you can segment users before creating walkthroughs. It offers a variety of attributes for segmentation like:

  • NPS score
  • app language and location
  • user attributes like signup date, plan, email, ID)
  • company vs individual accounts
  • event attributes and custom events
  • Interaction (or lack thereof) with a particular feature, experience flow, or UI element.
Kontentino’s interactive walkthrough
Kontentino’s interactive walkthrough

Since Userpilot has been designed for onboarding specifically, there’ll be a wide range of UX patterns at your disposal to showcase relevant checklist items. You can also customize any segment of your UI easily to match your brand’s colors and personality.

Create a code-free help center

Userpilot enables you to create a help center that offers the best functionality relative to other resource centers. It groups content into themes to make it more accessible and even has an in-search option for quick access to specific resources.

Moreover, customers can trigger video tutorials in-app so that they can follow instructions and implement them in-app without having to switch tabs to YouTube.

Userpilot Resource Center

Create onboarding checklists and tooltips

Creating checklists is quite simple. Note down 2-4 tasks that each user segment needs to reach the activation milestone.

You can also add a progress bar on the checklist to motivate users to engage more and give them credit after each task completion. The “already done” tasks, known as dummy tasks, can be easily set up.

Create checklists with Userpilot

For tooltips, make the body text brief and concise. When users point their mouse at a specific element, they’ll be able to view the message. Try not to add a lot of tooltips together in a sequence.

Conduct A/B testing

To A/B test a product experiment:

  1. Visit Userpilot’s “Features” tab and tag the one you want customers to use more.
  2. Build an experience to push users to increase the feature’s usage.
  3. Go to settings to define specific goals for this experience: Choose “Feature Tags” and select the one you tagged in step 1.
  4. Choose “Run A/B test”. This shows nothing to the 50 % of the audience (selected randomly) and shows the experience to the other 50 %.
A/B testing in Userpilot

In this way, you can clearly see which segment works better. Ultimately you can collect this data and make improvements for the future.

Wrapping it up

The product engagement score is a key metric for every SaaS company. Thus keeping an eye on it and constantly tracking it should be among your priorities.

By using the tactics discussed above, more and more users will become engaged and gain continuous value throughout their user journey.

Want to improve your product engagement score? Get a Userpilot demo and see how you can enhance engagement and drive user retention.


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