Product Adoption Metrics – How to Measure and Improve Adoption in SaaS

Product Adoption Metrics - How to Measure and Improve Adoption in SaaS

Confused about which product adoption metrics you need to measure?

Improving product adoption in SaaS is all about being at the right place at the right time. Or, in SaaS terms – prompting users to engage with the right features at the right moment.

And measuring the right product adoption metrics will help you optimize your product adoption strategy.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • How you can measure product adoption the right way
  • Which metrics you should be tracking
  • How to drive users to adoption
  • What tools can help you improve product adoption metrics?

Let’s get right into it!


  • Product adoption indicates the moment your users start using your product purposefully.
  • Before you start defining the metrics, you need to examine your business model.
  • To best measure product adoption, you need to understand the breadth and depth of feature adoption, time to adopt a feature, and the duration of feature adoption.
  • Calculate feature adoption rate by dividing the number of feature monthly active users (MAUs) by the number of user logins in a given period and multiplying it by 100.
  • Time-to-value measures the required time for a user to reach the “Aha! Moment”.
  • Customer engagement score (CES) = total event value #1 +  total event value #2 +  total event value #3 + …
  • Activation rate is calculated by dividing the number of users who reached the activation milestone by the number of users who signed up and multiplying it by 100.
  • Drive new users to adopt your product by focusing on primary user onboarding to improve the activation rate, using secondary onboarding to accelerate feature discovery, using modals and in-app messages to launch a new feature, and utilizing interactive walkthroughs and gamification strategies.
  • Userpilot can be a great tool for tracking and improving product adoption metrics with in-app engagement.

What is product adoption?

Product adoption refers to the moment your users start using your product purposefully. A product is considered “adopted” when users move from trialing the product to actually using it, allowing them to accomplish goals with the product.

Understanding how to best measure product adoption

Product adoption isn’t just about getting users to use your product. You need to make sure that your users are realizing the value of your product.

Find out :

  • who is adopting your product (breadth of adoption)
  • what are the most valuable features to them (depth of adoption)
  • when can they understand the value of your product (time to adopt)
  • how long do they continue to see the value (duration of adoption)

Breadth of feature adoption

Breadth of feature adoption measures how many users are using a specific feature. In other words, it measures “how widely” these features have been adopted across your target user base.

This will help you understand which features are working or not working (as well as the underlying reasons) and the actions you should take to improve your feature adoption strategy.

Depth of feature adoption

Depth of feature adoption measures the frequency of usage of a specific feature by your target users.

This will give you an understanding of your product’s stickiness, ease of use, and usefulness of particular features.

Time to adopt a feature

Time to adopt measures the time it takes for a user to start using a new feature after they first discover it. This can offer you valuable insights such as UI/UX issues, non-relevance, or difficulty of use.

Duration of feature adoption

You might notice in most cases that users can be quick to adopt new features, but their usage frequency for that feature dies down over time. Duration of adoption measures whether users go beyond the initial “trying out” stage and continue to use a feature repeatedly.

Product adoption metrics you should track

It’s easy to get confused with all the advanced metrics you can track to measure different aspects of product adoption.

So let’s keep it simple. Here are some of the key metrics and why you should be tracking them.

Feature adoption rate

Measuring feature adoption rate, along with other feature adoption analytics can help you increase feature adoption as you can make more informed decisions while developing your product adoption strategy can help you effectively prepare a set of experiences to guide your users along the user journey.

You can calculate the feature adoption rate by dividing the number of feature monthly active users (MAUs) by the number of user logins in a given period and then multiplying it by 100.

feature adoption rate formula
Feature adoption rate formula

Time to value

Time-to-value is the metric that tracks the time it takes for a user to reach the AHA moment and start experiencing value from your product.

time to value definition
Time to value formula

You need to make sure that you can minimize time-to-value as much as you can.

Measuring it will help you keep tabs on the adoption trends within your product and alert you of potential friction points in the user adoption journey.

Removing friction in your onboarding flow and guiding users towards the activation point faster will increase product adoption.

Customer engagement score

The Customer engagement score denotes the engagement level of your customers and free trial prospects.

Calculating the CES is a multi-step process. First, you need to identify key actions (events) your users must take that directly measure product engagement. Then assign scores to each event based on their importance and calculate the total event values.

To calculate the CES, you need to add all the event values. The formula looks like this:

Customer engagement score (CES) = total event value #1 +  total event value #2 +  total event value #3 + …

Customer engagement score formula
Customer engagement score (CES) formula

Customer Engagement Score helps you get a birds-eye view of the usage metrics of your product.

You can then track the users with low CES to identify friction points. Once you cross-reference this with other product usage analytics, it will offer you valuable insights to help you improve your product.

Similarly, users with high CES can help you find opportunities to push customer expansion.

Activation rate

The activation rate measures the number of users reaching the activation point in the user journey.

You can calculate the activation rate by dividing the number of users who reached the activation milestone by the number of users who signed up and then multiplying it by 100.

activation rate formula
Activation rate formula

Don’t look for a single activation rate benchmark to compare your results. The activation rate is different for every product.

It depends on the key points your users need to engage if they want to experience the product value.

How to drive new users to adopt your product and increase product adoption metrics

Now that you know the metrics to track, you might be wondering how these metrics fit in your overall product adoption strategy.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can help new users adopt your product and improve product adoption metrics.

Focus on primary user onboarding and increase the activation rate metric

The purpose of primary onboarding is to drive users to the activation point so they can experience the value of your product.

You can make onboarding more relevant to users by segmenting new users by using a micro survey on the welcome screen.

Welcome screen example- built with Userpilot. Get a demo and see how easy you can build one for your product.

A welcome screen will help you collect useful information about your user’s job-to-be-done, which will allow you to better understand their needs and personalize the onboarding process.

Once you identify your user cohorts, use an onboarding checklist personalized for each use case to guide the users to their shortest path to user activation by engaging with the core actions relevant for their use case.

Checklist example-built with Userpilot. Build in-app checklists without code.

Drive feature discovery and product adoption with secondary onboarding

Your primary features are the core product features that get the job done. Secondary user onboarding highlights the features that add value on top of these primary features.

user adoption stages
Source: Userpilot

You need to make sure users discover and adopt the features that are relevant to their use cases.

For instance, Postfity, a social media scheduling tool, used tooltips as a part of their secondary onboarding to help users discover the features that are relevant to their use cases.

postfity in-app tooltips
Making features visible with in-app tooltips (Source: Postfity)

Use modals and launch new features with in-app messages

In-app launch messages are a more contextual approach to launching new features compared to launch emails.

Adding in-app messages to your announcement process can increase the new feature adoption rates. It’s all about highlighting the benefits the new features provide and making it easy to engage with it, right there, inside the app.

For instance, Slack does it quite efficiently. It introduces users to a new way of formatting their messages by using a tooltip that shows users how to use it.

This demonstrates the use case of the feature easily and keeps the user engaged.

slack tooltip
Source: Slack

Increase feature adoption rate with interactive walkthroughs

Shorten the learning path and drive adoption faster by using interactive walkthroughs to guide users on getting value from a feature. Using feature adoption analytics you can identify features that users haven’t adopted yet and use a series of tooltips that walk the users through engaging with the feature.

Kommunicate, a chatbot tool, uses interactive walkthroughs to guide users through customizing their chat widget for the first time.

Since Kommunicate introduced their interactive walkthrough, 86% of people engaged with it, which translated into a 3% increase in the feature’s usage.

kommunicate chat widget interactive walkthrough
Want to start driving feature adoption with in-app guidance? Get a Userpilot demo and get started right away.

Boost product engagement with gamification strategies

Zeigarnik Effect is the tendency for the human mind to focus more on uncompleted tasks in a list after progress was made. This is used in gamification as it’s the same principle behind why progress bars have an impact on engagement – the closer you are to the end the more you engage.

Apply this in your adoption strategy by adding dummy tasks to your onboarding checklists. These are tasks that were already completed, like creating an account, and marking them complete will prompt the user to engage with the uncompleted tasks in the list.

postfity checklists
Source: Postfity

Userpilot allows you to add dummy tasks by simply selecting the “Do nothing” box when adding a new task in a checklist.

userpilot dummy tasks
Start increasing engagement and drive adoption by adding dummy tasks to your in-app onboarding checklists.

Tools to track and increase user adoption metrics in your product

While you might find a lot of product adoption tools out there, it can be tricky to select the tool that best serves your needs.

Userpilot offers a complete solution that helps you drive product adoption from Aha! to Advocate.

Userpilot – For tracking and increasing product adoption metrics with in-app engagement

Userpilot is a product growth platform that helps you track product adoption metrics and engagement and build flows to improve them.

Track product adoption metrics and engagement

You can easily track engagement and adoption goals inside the dashboard using product usage analytics and custom event. You can also easily track feature usage by using feature tagging, which lets you tag any UI element in your app dashboard and track how many times each users engages with it.

feature tagging userpilot
Goal tracking in Userpilot

Increase product adoption metrics with in-app flows

You can build in-app flows that we mentioned in the previous sections. This includes interactive walkthroughs, checklists, modals, welcome screens, and more that drive user engagement and impact feature adoption.

You can select from a range of customizable UI patterns that best fit your product adoption strategy.

UI patterns in userpilot
Userpilot UI patterns you can use to build in-app flows that drive product adoption. Get a demo and see how!

Mixpanel and other product analytics tools

If you’re only looking to track product adoption metrics, then a tool like Mixpanel is what you need.

You can define different events you want to track and set reports to keep track of your most important metrics.

If you also want to act on the data you collect and improve your product adoption metrics, use a product adoption tool that integrates with Mixpanel. (one like Userpilot)

mixpanel dashboard

Other product analytics tools include:

  • Heap: A comprehensive product analytics suite that tracks everything users do. Unlike Mixpanel, you don’t need to define events before tracking.
  • FullStory: Like Heap, it captures all user interactions within your app and requires no configuration. Its primary feature is session recording, which makes it easy to combine qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Iteratively: This platform combines all sources of data in one platform. It also offers a wide range of integration, including Facebook Analytics, Google Analytics, Segment, and more.


Tracking the right metrics is an essential part of your product adoption strategy.

We’ve covered more than just the essential metrics in this post, including the best ways to measure these metrics, how to improve them, and what tools can help you get the best results.

Keep in mind that your SaaS product was built to offer value to your target user base. So, it’s your responsibility to help them understand this value.

Want to track and improve your product adoption metrics? Book a Userpilot demo and get started!

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