How can I use Mixpanel to achieve my business goals?

AARRR! Mixpanel for Pirates

Get the most out of Mixpanel by analyzing user behavior according to Dave McClure’s Startup Metrics for Pirates: AARRR analytics framework. At its core, this framework emphasizes data-driven analytics and thorough testing to focus on just five key metrics for your business:

Mixpanel allows you to cut through the noise and focus on these five metrics. Mixpanel also makes it easy to use AARRR to drive efficient and effective business or product decisions based on solid data, not on guessing or assumptions.


Understand which media, networks, or campaigns send you the most valuable traffic:

  • McClure emphasizes that your best-performing conversion channels are not necessarily the channels sending you the most pageviews.

  • Instead, you should be looking at channels that send you users who do something meaningful.

  • “Something meaningful” is entirely dependent on the nature of your site or app - that could be viewing a movie, downloading a plug-in, playing a game, entering an email address, making a purchase, etc.

So for acquisition, your goal is to define meaningful events and judge sources of traffic accordingly. How can you achieve this with Mixpanel?

  • Mixpanel offers the flexibility to track anything that’s important to your business, so you can track those meaningful events and further segment them by source, campaign, medium, keyword, etc.

  • For example, a fitness app may choose an event called “Track Exercise” as one of their meaningful events, and they could then segment this by Campaign Source to see what channel converts best. In this case, Google Adwords is their worst-performing conversion channel:


  • You can also segment a Mixpanel retention report by source to see not only which campaigns are sending you valuable traffic, but which campaigns are sending you traffic that returns over and over again.

  • Once you know what your best-performing conversion channels are, Mixpanel allows you to dig in further to discover exactly who those users are. For example, of those who came from LinkedIn, where do they live? How old are they? What other parts of my site are they interested in?


Make sure users who come to your site or app have a “happy first visit.”

  • If your users don’t have a great first visit, they are unlikely to come back.

  • McClure emphasizes asking questions like: Do users move through your app or website seamlessly? Are there certain pages or steps where you are losing or stalling a chunk of your traffic?

  • A/B test your landing page as well as every added feature, with the key goal of increasing conversion.

For activation, your goal is to increase user conversion by understanding what drives behavior. How can you achieve this with Mixpanel?

  • Mixpanel gives you the tools to A/B test initial user experience in order to optimize the registration funnel by changing landing pages, website colors, text, and even the number of steps in the registration process to see what drives the most sign up conversions.

  • Then, use Mixpanel Funnels to see which test performed the best:



Make sure users who come to your site come back over time.

  • If customers are engaged in and coming back to your site or app, they’re more likely to perform more meaningful actions that improve your business and, in turn, possibly make you revenue.

For retention, your goal is to keep existing users coming back and understand what makes them come back. How can you achieve this with Mixpanel?

  • Use Mixpanel’s Retention report to measure how well you retain your users and what features get users to come back most often.

  • Further segment the Retention report to understand what user properties result in the best retention.

  • Use Mixpanel Messages to re-engage users and measure the downstream usage effects of those notifications.



For revenue, your goal is to not only get users to spend money, but understand which users spend the most money so that you can further target and cater to those specific users. How can you achieve this with Mixpanel?

  • Using the Revenue report with Mixpanel People properties to quickly find which customers are making purchases by demographics.

  • Determine the types of user behavior purchasing customers exhibit — purchase price, purchase quantity, number of searches, etc.

  • Send notifications based on past purchasing behavior.


Make sure that users who do come back and use your site or app over and over are referring friends.

  • High-quality users doing key actions recruit other high-quality users.

  • Viral marketing is a cheap way to spread the word about your product, so it’s in your best interest to encourage users to share.

For referral, look at high-quality users and incentivize them to refer friends and analyze the qualities of users who are already referring friends. How can you achieve this with Mixpanel?

  • Use Mixpanel Segmentation to dig into the characteristics of the users who share your app or site with their friends to identify potential future product advocates.


  • Use Mixpanel Segmentation to understand how users are sharing (i.e., over what medium).

  • Use Mixpanel Notifications to incentivize high-quality users to share with their friends.

Now that you understand the value of the AARRR analytics framework and how you can use it with Mixpanel to understand your users and improve your business:

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