The answer to this question will depend on the type of service you offer, your product's features and functionalities, and how you expect your customers to use it.
To measure user activation, you need to know your company's personas* really well. How come? You'll be tracking the activation milestones that your users need to complete to get their jobs done and get the true value of your offer.
The milestones are very much persona-related. The more in-depth your understanding of your personas is, the more effective you'll be when deciding which events to track.
Consider a scenario:
Imagine you develop an SEO tool. Sue, your app user, is a content marketer who needs to create high-ranking content for websites. Being familiar with what jobs-to-be-done her work entails, you know that to fully get the value of the tool, Sue will have to:
- Run keyword research.
- Generate lists of keywords to rank for.
- Track her website's position in SERP (search engine results page).
- Use a content creator tool to pen competitive content.
- Run audits.
- Download reports recapping her success.
By performing all the actions with your tool, Sue achieves milestones and becomes more and more activated as a user.
To track Sue's user activation, you'd have to define and track all the in-app events that have to take place for Sue to appreciate the value of your product.
To calculate the user activation rate: divide the number of users who have reached an activation point (completed all the milestones connected with the activation) by the total number of registered users. Then, multiply the number by 100:
the number of activated users: the number of all registered users x 100 = user activation rate
The metric will be more actionable for you if you divide users into cohorts - each cohort representing a different persona.
By comparing the activation of every cohort, you'll better understand your user base and know which type of customers requires your attention most. You'll be able to work with activation strategies and increase the activation rates.
* If you don’t have user personas defined, check out our User persona survey template.