A powerful way to understand your Retention reports is to segment by Event Properties and People Properties to see how well you retain users with a specific Property value compared to others. For example, you could look at Retention by country, by UTM data, or by app version to get additional insight into your most valuable users.
Mixpanel calculates segmented Retention using averages, so your report will look much different after segmenting by a Property than it does with the traditional date-cohortized Retention report.
To segment your Retention report, click +Segment under the date range to the left of the People column:
Mixpanel’s Retention report without a Segment selected is calculated in cohorts based on date. With date-based cohorts, Mixpanel knows the exact timeframes relevant to the initial cohort, so the report can show the exact number of Events that occurred in each subsequent time period after the initial cohort date.
However, when segmenting by a Property, cohorts cannot be easily defined by date since “one week later” for users with that property is different for everyone. So instead, Mixpanel takes the average number of users with that Property that were retained after a particular time period.
For example, take this Retention chart, which looks at users who did the Event “Watched video” over the period from July 1, 2016 to July 14, 2016:
There were 132 unique users per day on average between July 1, 2016 and July 14, 2016 who did the “Watched video” Event in the United States.
On average, 35.61% of those users in the United States came back in <1 day and did the “Watched video” Event again, as opposed to 42.71% on average in India who came back in <1 day.
In other words, all of the numbers here are daily averages over the time period selected, not absolute numbers.