Warning: this is a highly technical paragraph! I’m adding it for context into how activation is measured through data, but you can skip right to the next section.
You can measure activation using stateful or stateless data:
- Stateful data allow you to create, store, and read a memory of the data generated in the lead up to a stateless change in your database (like a form submission).
- Stateless data holds no memory of the past, and merely contains the most recent version of a record (such as the information submitted by the form).
Your business will already have a stateless record of whether your customers have activated. You will just need to count the number of people who have signed up to your website or service who have also achieved the activation goal, such as ‘uploaded a file’, ‘played a song’ or ‘created a profile’ (whatever it is that you count as activation).
For example, in the case of Dropbox, we would simply need two database tables:
- How many people have signed up to Dropbox
- How many of signed up users have at least one file in their Dropbox
Let’s pretend it’s 2008 again and only 10,000 people have signed up to Dropbox, and of them, only 2,321 have at least one file in their account.
Activation = 2,321/10,000 = 23.21%
Of course, some of these people may have uploaded a file, then deleted it—meaning, they would not be really considered activated. This is where stateful data becomes a far more accurate measure of activation.
Stateful data streaming allows you to fire an ‘event’ each time a behavior you care about occurs within your product. In onboarding, you ultimately need an event that indicates when someone first demonstrates an intention to sign up, such as ‘started sign up’, and a second event that indicates a user has finished the onboarding workflow, such as ‘finished sign up’.
Activation = ‘finished sign up’ / ‘started sign up’