Billing for Monthly Tracked Users

The billing system for Mixpanel is changing to a Monthly Tracked User (MTU) system, rather than People and Engagement plans. This guide will help you understand this new system and why you should join it.

What is an MTU?

Monthly Tracked User (MTU) is a different way to calculate your billing based on the number of users that perform a qualifying event each month, rather than individual people profiles or events.

There are three MTU billing plans to choose from: Starter (our Free plan), Growth, and Enterprise. Refer to our pricing page for more information on the restrictions and benefits of each plan.

Note that the number of MTUs in your project may not match the number of user profiles in your project. User profiles are created in your implementation either by calling mixpanel.identify or mixpanel.people.set. These are cumulative over the lifetime of your project unless you delete them.  The count of MTUs is based on the number of users that triggered at least one event in that month and are counted on a monthly basis. Therefore, you will not be charged for profiles that are not actively triggering events. 

Monthly Tracked Users Calculation

MTUs are summed up across all projects under an organization. One MTU is equivalent to one distinct_id that performs at least one qualifying event per project. An organization is charged based on the total number of MTUs across all projects. 

MTUs are calculated on a per-project basis. This means that if a user performs a qualifying event in multiple projects, they are counted once per project.

An MTU is a user that tracks at least one event within your projects, independent of whether you have created a profile for them or not. You may find that MTUs could be higher or lower than your user profiles.

MTUs are calculated on a monthly basis. Annual Enterprise plans average MTU utilization over a quarter to account for monthly fluctuation.

For example, say you have a 50,000 MTU plan:

  • Monthly plan (default for Starter and Growth plans):
    You get 50,000 MTUs to use every month. Going over this amount results in overages being billed to your account.
  • Quarterly averaging plan (default for Enterprise plans):
    You get 3x your MTUs to use every quarter, or 150k MTUs per three month period. Therefore, you could have 100,000 MTUs in month 1, 25,000 in months 2 and 3, and you wouldn't get any overages, as your average is 50,000 MTUs.

Events and data that are non-qualifying and excluded from the calculation:

  • Message Sent ($campaign_delivery)
  • Message Bounced ($campaign_bounced)
  • Message Marked Spam ($campaign_marked_spam)
  • Message Suppressed ($message_suppressed)
  • Message Unsubscribed ($unsubscribe)
  • Campaign Entered ($journey_entered)
  • $merge
  • $identify
  • $create_alias
  • Updates to people profiles

Also, note that Mixpanel events generated by messages do not count toward your total MTU calculation. However, Message Open events count towards MTU.

Overage Alerts

The billing owner is sent an overage alert email if their account has exceeded their plan volume by the following percentages: 85%, 100%, 110% and 120%. Email addresses that are CC'd on invoices will also be CC'd on overage alert emails. In order to qualify for an alert, a customer must not have received that alert in the same calendar month.

If the billing owner logs into Mixpanel, they will see a popup if their account has exceeded their plan volume by the following percentages: 100%, 110% and 120%.

Typically, MTU counts increase when you have an increase in users in your app. Occasionally, large update to your product or a marketing campaign can lead to an increase in tracked users.

Adding tracking to new parts of your product may also increase tracked users, as they are performing events you didn’t previously track.

There are also some scenarios in which MTU numbers may be higher than expected because a new anonymous user or distinct_id may be generated for a single user.

If you go over your prepaid amount, Mixpanel won't stop collecting your data. Once you've finished using your prepaid amount of MTUs you'll be charged the à la carte rate (20% above normal plan rates) for each additional user tracked that month.

Calculating Overage

If a user triggers greater than 1,000 events in a month, the MTU tally doesn’t necessarily increase. MTU tallies are only adjusted if your average user sends more than 1,000 events per month. This is calculated as follows:

Number of events for a given month / Number of users tracked in the month

Estimate MTU Usage 

If you haven't implemented tracking yet, you can estimate your current MTU usage by looking at your Monthly Active User (MAU) count. Your MTU and MAU counts should be similar, provided they account for anonymous users identically.

View MTU Usage

MTU calculates users including anonymous users without a registered account. This means that users who only visit your homepage are still tracked as an MTU. Users are only counted once per month, even if they perform multiple actions across devices.

If you are currently tracking data, you can see your MTU consumption in your Organization Settings.

Click on your name in the upper right corner of Mixpanel, and select your organization name under ORGANIZATION SETTINGS.

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From here, billing owners and billing admins can see the current MTU tally for the organization by clicking on View MTU Usage.

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This will show you a graph of your MTU usage over time, as well as a chart of the number of MTUs in each project of your organization, broken down by month, for the last 12 months. This feature is accessible by organization and billing admins. This information can be downloaded to a CSV file.

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You can also view MTU tally per project by clicking on Projects in the left menu.

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Why should I move from a People/Engagement plan to MTU?

There are many reasons to switch from your current People or Engagement plan to an MTU billing plan.

MTU Plans Scale with your Growth

This means that as you acquire more active users in your product, your MTU volume increases, allowing your Mixpanel costs to match your product’s use.

No More Deleting Inactive Profiles

With the current people plan, you are charged per people profile, meaning that inactive users are still counted toward your billing. With MTU billing, you are only billed for the users actively using your product.

Access to More Features

Non-Enterprise customers get access to more features than on their original plan. This includes:

  • Cohorts
  • Flows
  • Unlimited custom events
  • Email dashboard digests
  • CSV download
  • Signal
  • Predict
  • Custom alerts
  • Unlimited saved reports

Add-On Packages

You can purchase add-on packages to access more advanced reports usually only included in the Enterprise plan. 

The ability to send messages to users or configure mobile A/B tests is limited to paying customers on MTU plans (as a Messages & Experiments package must be purchased in order to use messages).

Paying users can purchase Data Pipelines as an add-on package.

Unlimited Seats for Paid Plans

Paid plans include Growth or Enterprise.

Benefits of MTU Model

To understand more about why Mixpanel made the decision to move to this new billing style, take a look at this blog post.

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