Google Analytics 4 vs Kissmetrics: Deep Dive




Google Analytics logo vs Kissmetrics Logo

Unless you pay big bucks for Google Analytics (and most of us don’t), you’ll be forced to move to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) on or before July 1, 2023.  If your company has a website, you’re probably using Universal Analytics (UA), which will stop collecting data as of that date.

Unfortunately, GA4 is a huge change from UA, and it takes a lot of time and effort to set it up – our customers (and in-house engineers) tell us it took them a lot of swearing to get to “engagement” metrics. And what does “engagement” mean, anyhow? It’s just the time a user has your site or app in focus.

Most of our customers use Kissmetrics to track user behavior on their sites and in their products, and we wanted to know the real differences between our platform and GA4. 


If you’ve ever implemented an analytics tool, you know there’s no such thing as setting it up without swearing at all. But the amount of swearing you do vastly increases with GA4 over Kissmetrics.

Fundamentally, the amount of swearing comes down to (1) how confusing the setup is, and (2) how much support you get while you’re setting it up. 

GA4 Setup

GA4 setup is, well, confusing. And if you’re using Google Tag Manager (GTM), it’s even worse, since you can’t entirely auto-upgrade from GTM to GA4 – you have to configure a new snippet in GTM via GA4 to allow the upgrade. (That sentence alone is confusing enough.) If you’re using WordPress or another vendor, you’ll have another layer of conditional instructions, many of which actually contradict earlier instructions.

Let’s just say that our engineering team wasn’t in love with trying to get to GA4 with our WordPress/GTM environment.

Kissmetrics Setup

Setting up Kissmetrics for website tracking – while not completely painless (what analytics product is?) – has much clearer instructions. We’re not going to go into it in detail here, but it comes down to (1) install the JavaScript tracking code, (2) enable page views (unless your site is huge), and (3) tell Kissmetrics what to track.

Is it more complex to get SaaS product or e-commerce data into Kissmetrics? Yep. Reporting on more than just your website changes based on how you built your environment. But we’re talking about website tracking in this post, since that’s what most folks use GA for. 

Using the Tools

You’ll have very different approaches to using GA4 and Kissmetrics in your day-to-day work. GA4’s primary focus is on “engagement,” whereas Kissmetrics allows you to focus on answering business questions about your website and product.

Using GA4

In addition to “engagement,” GA continues to focus on user acquisition. Their primary out-of-the-box reports focus on new users by acquisition channel and other UTM parameters. They have a generalized “activity” report without any explanation of what “activity” is or a way to exclude certain activities. 

GA4 has other reports, like retention, top pages viewed, top events, and purchases by item name (that mysteriously still exists even when there are no purchases to report). These currently exist with limited organization and very limited filtering.

Using Kissmetrics

We designed Kissmetrics to be flexible and work for any business. As a result, it takes a bit longer to configure all the reports you’ll want to see, but you’ll find that you can answer much deeper business questions using Kissmetrics.

Kissmetrics will guide you to which kind of report works best for your business goal, and the reports are categorized based on what you’re trying to see (e.g., path, funnel, cohort, revenue).

screenshot of Kissmetrics' report guidance

Most of our customers spend a significant amount of time in Kissmetrics during high-intensity reporting seasons. Here are a few examples:

  • They’ll dig in to see how various channels and campaigns drive pipeline and revenue each quarter while they plan the next one. 
  • They’ll look at user paths and cohorts while they do customer journey analysis. 
  • They’ll check on A/B test results while running experiments. 
  • They’ll report on revenue when they want to look at business performance.

Things to consider when you’re deciding what tool to use:

  1. Scope: 
    • GA4 comes across as specifically focused on marketers who want to track “engagement” at the expense of everything and everyone else. 
    • Kissmetrics is extremely broad, allowing marketers, e-commerce managers, and product managers to drill down into whatever metric is most relevant for them.
  2. Ease of use:
    • GA4 gives you predefined reports and lets you toggle some limited parameters – useful for beginners
    • Kissmetrics gives you extreme flexibility, but very limited predefined reports – great for power users
  3. Speed vs. accuracy:
    • GA4 has quick-running, directionally-correct reporting on sampled data that may be inaccurate.
    • Kissmetrics reports on accurate (debuggable), complete data, but as a result has slower-running queries. If you like accuracy, patience wins. 
  4. Cost:
    • GA4 is free.
    • Kissmetrics starts at $299/month, although we give discounts for annual agreements. 

You can also look at our handy comparison grid of the two tools. You can try Kissmetrics for free or chat with us to see what features would be best for your business.

What Is Time On Site? Everything You Need to Know




One of the buzzwords frequently mentioned in digital marketing is time on site or session duration. It’s often discussed in conjunction with bounce rate, time on page, and similar metrics and collecting this data is a good idea. But learning how to leverage it to move the needles is a better one.. 

Time On Site vs. Time On Page vs. Bounce Rate

Time on site, also known as session duration, is the total amount of time that someone spends navigating through your website. It is calculated by noting the timestamp when a visitor clicks through a search engine or link to your landing page and the timestamp when the visitor navigates away from your website. 

Time on page, as the name implies, measures how long someone spends on a single page. Bounce rate, on the other hand, measures the percentage of visitors who visit a single page on your website before ending their session and clicking on another website.

Why is Time On Site Important?

Time on site is the best metric for determining how useful visitors find your entire website, instead of just focusing on one page. It answers questions like: how long do they spend shopping before purchasing a product? Are they reading multiple articles from the blog entries? 

Is Time On Site the Same as Dwell Time?

Dwell time is a measurement of how long a user spends on a single page found through a search engine. The dwell time is measured by timestamps marking when a user clicks a link from a search engine to when they navigate back to their search results. Time on site, on the other hand, is the total amount of time a visitor spends on your website.

If a visitor spends a few minutes evaluating the webpage and navigates away from your website, it won’t count as a session because sessions don’t include time spent on exit or bounce pages. 

What is the Average Time On Site?

The average time on site takes the total number of hours spent on a website during a specified period and divides it by the number of new sessions. Keep in mind that a single user may have multiple sessions if they log in to your website over a number of days or come back to what they were doing later. 

How is Time On Site Measured?

Time on site is measured by using Kissmetrics’ analytics tool to note the timestamp when a user begins their session and compare it to the timestamp when the user exits their session. From that information, the tool determines the length of time someone spent on your website. 

Is Time On Site a Search Ranking Factor?

Time on site is not a search ranking factor. Google is the most commonly used search engine, and since over half of their websites don’t use Google Analytics, they have no way of accurately measuring time on site for those sites. Without that data, time on site can’t be a factor they use in ranking. 

How to Analyze Time On Site Metrics

There are a few things to keep in mind when analyzing your time on site metrics. The first is that your average time on site may not answer all of your questions about user activity and how they’re interacting on your website. For example, simply telling you that the majority of users spend thirty minutes on your website doesn’t provide actionable information.

The same thing could be said for individual user time on site. Someone might’ve only spent a minute on your site because they realized they didn’t enjoy the content, the page took too long to load, they were frustrated by the advertisements, or the next steps weren’t clear. You simply don’t know the details.

How to Report Time On Site Metrics

Segmenting users into cohorts based on the amount of time they spend on your website can help you determine whether you are providing enough instructions about how to proceed down the conversion funnel. If you notice that a large percentage of users are following the conversion funnel faster than you anticipated, that could indicate that they are skipping some critical steps or have found a faster path.

Alternatively, if you notice that a large percentage of users are spending more time on your website than you anticipated, there may be some confusing factor that is slowing down their journey. This could be a lack of internal linking, slow-loading pages, or other issues that are bogging down your users. 

How to Improve Time On Site?

In many cases, you’ll want users to spend more time on your website. If your website only has a home page and product pages, visitors who don’t want to make a purchase won’t have any reason to stick around on your website. Even people who do make a purchase can do so fairly quickly. If you want to improve time on site, try some of the following options. 

Include High Quality Content

In addition to your products or services on offer, the majority of websites include other pages full of high-quality information. These pages might describe the company founders, what they hope to accomplish, where the products are made, instructions for using the products, information about the features, and ways to use the products. 

Whatever content you decide to include, ensure that you grab your readers’ attention and keep it. Choose a tone that represents your company and information that appeals to your audience. From there, your users will want to read more about your company and what you produce. 

Use Relevant Keywords

You might have the best content in the world, but it won’t matter if the right people can’t find it. Writing an in-depth article about hurricane insurance won’t be of any use to people looking for information about car insurance. 

If you don’t use relevant keywords, your article may appear in a search for people who aren’t looking for housing insurance or may not appear when people search variations on the terms. 

Optimize Your Page Load Time

One of the biggest reasons for a high bounce rate and minimal time on page is a slow load time. People expect pages to load within a second and for every second they spend waiting for your content to load, they become increasingly likely to navigate away without ever seeing your page.

While some users will try refreshing the page, you can’t count on everyone to have fast internet connections, so you’ll need to design your web pages for the lowest common denominator.

You can optimize your page’s load time by limiting the use of complicated graphics, fonts, or formatting. Minimizing the use of tactics such as moving images, embedded videos, or automatically activated music can help your pages load faster. 

You can never go wrong with a clean, sleek aesthetic, especially if it’s the difference between people staying and immediately leaving out of frustration. 

Use Internal Linking

Another way to show your readers that you have more great content waiting for them is through internal linking. Linking to your sources during informational articles is necessary to prove how thorough your research was, but linking to other pages on your website is a good way to keep your audience engaged for longer.

For example, if you create a blog detailing the benefits of one of your products or how to use a key feature, you should add a link to the product description page. That way, if a visitor finds the page on a search engine, they’ll be able to find the product you’re describing. Or, you can link to more internal content that delves into similar topics if the reader wants to learn more. 

Limit On-page Widgets, Pop-ups, and Ads

Finally, you should do your best to limit the number of pop-ups and outside ads on each page of your website. Adding a few links to affiliates isn’t a problem, but your visitors are there to learn more about your company, not someone else’s. If you have multiple pop-ups that assault the reader as they scroll down or on every page, they may get frustrated and stop their session.


Understanding how long your users spend on your website gives you information about how deeply they’re interacting with your content. As you create and refine your conversion funnel, it’s useful to know how long it takes users to proceed from finding your website to making a purchase. Alternatively, you can find out how much time they spend reading the articles you create. 

Check out our website for more information on reporting essential metrics and how to leverage the information.



  1. What is Average Time on Site? – Average Time on Site Definition |
  2. What Does Avg Session Duration Tell You? [vs Time on Page] |
  3. What Is Dwell Time & Why It Matters for SEO | Search Engine Journal

How to Score the Health of Your Users and Accounts





Scoring user health may sound like medical advice, but it’s actually a vital part of understanding your customer base. As the name implies, users are assigned scores based on their behaviors and interactions with your product. Scoring individual users based on specific criteria for your company and industry may sound granular, but it can help you identify problem accounts before they leave. 

What is a User Health Score?

A user health score is the likelihood a user will achieve your desired result. That desired result could be a purchase, regular usage or upgrading depending on your industry and model.

So if you are scoring users based on the desire to keep them as lifetime users, they would have a higher score if they recently renewed their subscription.

Metrics Associated with User Health Scores

Examples of metrics by which you can score your users:

  • Product usage
  • User feedback
  • Marketing engagement
  • Website activity
  • User support cases
  • Product upgrades and renewals
  • Community participation

The Importance of Scoring

Scoring your users helps account managers and customer success teams monitor your company’s user base. User health scores can provide an early warning system to account managers when users are at risk of churn. High user scores across the board indicate that user needs are met, and your product is working well.

Additionally, high-scoring users are more likely to recommend your product or service to their friends and family, increasing your net promoter score (NPS). They may also recommend your company on social media. 

How to Create a User Health Score

Creating a user health score can be time-intensive so consider these important factors before delaying. The score usually indicates the likelihood of the user ending their account with you and switching to a competitor. 

You’ll want to keep in mind the speed at which a single user can significantly change their score and which metrics make up the score. 

Define User Health

This is a tricky step because user health can be subjective. You can take some of the guesswork out of it by using product engagement metrics, and how often the ideal user purchases your products or services. But understand there are always extenuating circumstances that cause users to behave unexpectedly. 

You can also consider other metrics like user feedback and engagement with social media campaigns, depending on your company and marketing strategies. The important thing is to decide whether the compiled metrics should be given equal weight in a score or if some are more illuminating than others. 

Select Predictive Metrics

Your industry and products or services offered will heavily impact the metrics that you value the most. Many companies include metrics like the ones listed above plus others such as user retention cost, net promoter score, and service renewals. 

Once you have selected your metrics, analytical tools like Kissmetrics allow you to measure user interaction with your website and are ideal for compiling data. 

Create a Scoring System

With your predictive metrics in mind, you’ll need to decide how much weight to assign each metric. For example, knowing that a user called to clarify installation directions and another user left a scathing review on your website shouldn’t be given equal weight during engagement scoring. A support case doesn’t necessarily mean your user will churn, but a nasty review likely does.

Develop a Health Score Scale

Depending on how you define user health, one type of scoring system might stand out as better for your purposes. For example, if you decide that user health is solely defined by whether a user has renewed your service within the past 12 months, a color code system would work perfectly.

We don’t recommend using a single metric to determine user health since it is a complex concept that requires multiple metrics working together to provide an accurate picture. 

Weighting and scoring various metrics will usually leave you with a numerical score for each user. 

Visualize User Health Score/Strategize

Now that you have a method of scoring your users, you should next decide how to present your method in a straightforward, meaningful way. We recommend consulting with your customer success and account management teams to see how they prefer to visualize the data. 

User health scores increase in value as you add more buckets. Increasing specificity makes it easier for account managers to know at a glance how users score. We list some examples of user health scoring systems in the next section.

After you’ve selected appropriate buckets for users, you’ll need to strategize with your teams. Choosing strategies to assuage user dissatisfaction is crucial for retaining users, although individual strategy will depend on your company’s industry. 

This might look like offering unhealthy users another onboarding, discounts, or a free trial for a higher tier of subscription. 

Examples of User Health Scores

There are a variety of ways to score user health. Depending on which is the most meaningful to your company or, if there’s an industry standard, you’ll likely choose one of the following common examples of user health scoring systems. 

Percentage Scale

A percentage scale is the most specific of the examples listed here. For example, an account manager automatically knows that a user who has scored 32% is more dissatisfied than a user with a 45% score. 

This makes prioritization easier, although it provides many buckets of data that might be harder for customer success and account management teams to parse quickly. 

Color Code

Many companies prefer to use the stoplight system, which simplifies user scores into Green, Yellow, and Red. While this system is easy to remember, it might make things too simple. 

A user who has renewed in that timeframe would be “green.” An account manager who had persuaded a client not to cancel would score them “yellow,” and a user whose subscription had lapsed would be coded “red.”

Account managers would know to prioritize users marked Red, but there aren’t degrees of Red, making it difficult to distinguish between levels of dissatisfied users.

Alphabetical Scale

The alphabetical scale works similarly to the American grading system in school. Users are scored with a letter between A and F, with A being the highest score and F being the lowest. 

Like the color code, the alphabetical scale is easy to remember and gives account managers an instant visual of how they should interact with a user’s account. 

Ranking Scale

As the name implies, the ranking scale compares each user’s score to every other user’s score and creates a ranked list. This can come in handy when you’re looking for the lowest-ranked users to provide some kind of intervention and prevent churn. It might also be an opportunity to reward high-ranking users with a promotional discount. 

The downside to the ranking scale is that, like the percentage scale, it doesn’t inherently provide convenient buckets for customer success and account management teams. Instead, they have to do some reading and sorting to find the valuable information. 

Other Metrics That Indicate Overall Company Health

In addition to the metrics listed above, the following metrics can also give you a good idea of your company’s general wellbeing:

  • Churn Rate – a measurement showing the number of users who stop using your product or service over a specified period.
  • Average Revenue per Account – the total revenue earned during the specified period divided by the number of active accounts.
  • Net Promoter Score – surveying users on how likely they are to recommend your company to a loved one on a scale of one to ten (with one being the lowest and ten the highest score).
  • User Retention Cost – the total needed to persuade a single user to continue purchasing your products.
  • User Satisfaction Score – surveying users on how satisfied they were with their experience with your company or with your company’s product on a scale of one to ten (with one being the lowest and ten the highest score).
  • Customer Lifetime Value – the total amount a single user is expected to spend on your products or services throughout their relationship with your company.
  • Monthly Recurring Revenue – the average revenue per account per month multiplied by the number of accounts in a given month. This is an estimation of how much revenue your company should expect to earn each month. 


User health scores provide essential information for companies to see whether they meet their customers’ needs. By combining a range of metrics to measure how users interact with your company, you can entice dissatisfied users to stay and decrease your churn rate by planning out appropriate strategies with your account managers and customer success teams. 



How to Score User Health | User Success |

Why You Need User Health Scoring (& How to Do It Right!) |

Monthly Recurring Revenue Definition |

Building and Optimizing Your Data Ecosystem




You’ll find that product ecosystems are not static and centralized like data environments typically are. Instead, they incorporate an encompassing analytics platform that your entire organization can use to track user groups and monitor performance metrics by automating analysis from multiple data sources. 

As we explain below, the modern data ecosystem is formed by the complex interactions of tools and applications that both gather and organize data into actionable information. 

What Is a Data Ecosystem?

A data ecosystem is the sum of a company’s infrastructure and applications that work together to collect and organize data. These applications collect and filter information for businesses to better understand their users, website visitors, and audience members. The best way to build a functional data ecosystem is to start with a product analytics tool and build out from there. 

The Kissmetrics product analytics tool focuses on organizing data into reports so that your teams can extract useful insights. When you build your tools around the idea of gathering actionable information and measuring your progress through KPIs, you’ll save yourself time and effort in the future.

Since it’s an ecosystem and not an environment, your applications and infrastructure must be designed to evolve over time to accommodate your business’s changing needs. Because every business has different scopes and goals, there is no single solution for a data ecosystem. The applications and cloud services making up the infrastructure must be flexible to allow for future modifications and improvements, thus allowing your company to grow. 

What Are the Main Components of Big Data’s Ecosystem?

There are three major components of the data ecosystem: 

Data Sources

As the name implies, the data sources are where your data is coming from. How is your infrastructure gathering information, and where does that data originate from? This component also includes linking the disparate data to draw meaningful conclusions in the analytics step. 

Data Management

Data management includes integrating applications, the storage of data, and how your infrastructure processes the data into readable reports. Without the ability to properly store and access data in the future, capturing it becomes all but meaningless. 

Data Analytics

Data is virtually useless without critical thinking and proper analysis. Otherwise, you’re stuck with massive amounts of numbers that don’t translate into any actionable strategies. Data analytics is the process of drawing insights from reports and making sense of the numbers. 

Analytics tools can help you understand why certain users are at risk for churning and others remain loyal to your company. 

How Do I Create a Data Ecosystem?

There are three major aspects to consider when it comes to creating your company’s data ecosystem: 


Your data ecosystem infrastructure is the foundation of everything else. Imagine it as the ground and the rivers for your forest to grow out of. You can’t have any trees, grass, or animals without soil and water. Your infrastructure stores collected data in a database as one of three subtypes:

  • Unstructured data – unorganized data like text responses to a survey. 
  • Structured data – organized data like you might find in an Excel spreadsheet listing the total number of purchases made.
  • Multi Structured data – data arrives from multiple sources that can be structured or unstructured. 


Think of analytics as the monkey who swings between the branches of your applications in the data ecosystem. Analytics helps you tie everything together and make something useful out of the data. 

A monkey takes what it needs from trees, picking fruits and creating a tasty meal. As the analogy goes, your analytics tools will grab the data it needs to pull insights about your products, like which users commonly purchase them. 


The applications are the trees of your metaphorical forest of a data ecosystem. The trees give the forest shape and form. Applications allow teams to access data across multiple platforms and utilize the data as it comes in. 

How Do I Optimize My Company’s Data Ecosystem?

Optimizing your company’s data ecosystem will require patience and time as every company has different goals and a different type of data ecosystem. In the meantime, there are a couple of ways to keep things running smoothly. 

Democratize Your Data Science

One of the major benefits of good data management is the ability for everyone to access reports and insights. When just a few people have access to the data, it can cause a bottleneck of information flow. Purchasing a large number of licenses for your data analytics software eases that bottleneck and helps your teams work collaboratively and efficiently. 

Consider Data Governance

Considering the enormous scope of gathering data and analyzing it, your company needs to set rules and boundaries for everyone about collecting, storing, protecting, accessing, and using data. 

These rules shield your company from liability and help you comply with any federal laws about privacy protection and how you’re able to leverage personal data. 

Why Do I Need a Data Ecosystem?

With a solid data ecosystem, companies can make fact-driven decisions about operations management, pricing, and marketing campaigns. All products, but especially digital ones, record how a user interacts with your company’s products and services. Data can help provide valuable insights into why users behave the way they do. The sections below dive into the specific benefits of data ecosystems for businesses. 

Increases User Engagement

When users feel like their voices are being heard, they’re much more likely to start a conversation. User feedback provides some of the best information about your company. With a data ecosystem in place, users can discuss their reactions to changes in your website, products, services, or advertising. 

Identifies Hidden Data Relationships

It’s not always easy to see the relationships between certain factors. Which demographic factors influence whether or not a visitor is more likely to become a user? Who should you be marketing your company to? Why do users leave your website without following through with a purchase? 

The Kissmetrics product analytics tool can uncover hidden relationships between data points that it would take you a long time to see on your own. 

Notifies Teams of Changes

With the ability to track user reactions and interactions with your products or services in real-time, you can monitor how they respond to updates or changes in everything from your company’s advertising strategies to features. This way, you’ll know if you take a step in the wrong direction and can work to change it to suit your clients better. 

Tracks Conversions and Marketing Funnels

Watching your marketing funnels to ensure that potential users are directed through the process of completing their purchase is the heart of every business. With Kissmetrics in your data ecosystem, you can track your conversion rates and see what works for your audience and what doesn’t. 

Increases User Retention

The flipside of knowing when users react poorly to new updates or features is that you can incentivize users to continue using your products and build company loyalty by monitoring your KPIs with Kissmetrics. 

Knowing what your audience wants is the best way to satisfy their needs and keep them coming back for more. 

Conducts A/B Testing

With A/B testing, you can monitor the difference in user engagement for two different versions of the same content. This can be done by comparing two email campaigns with different wording, the same social media post made on separate platforms, or similar concepts. 

Integrates with Other Applications

Automating manual processes saves your employees time and overhead costs that could be better spent on running your business and improving your products. Everyone has heard that, but one of the best ways to facilitate that automation is to connect your applications so that you don’t receive everything piecemeal.

By integrating your applications into a central organization system, you ensure that everything is working and sending you the data to be compiled into neat reports. These reports make it easier to see the big picture and form strategies. 

Additionally, integration allows multiple teams to all have access to the information at any time. 


Understanding your company’s data ecosystem is the first step towards segmenting your user base and knowing who your users are. With that knowledge, you’ll be able to effectively market your product or service to a broader audience with similar needs and customize your company to be what your clients want to see. 

Contact Kissmetrics to get started building your data ecosystem today.



  1. What Is Unstructured Data & How Can You Analyze It? |
  2. Janev V. (2020) Chapter 1 Ecosystem of Big Data. In: Janev V., Graux D., Jabeen H., Sallinger E. (eds) Knowledge Graphs and Big Data Processing. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12072. Springer, Cham.
  3. 5 Key Elements of a Data Ecosystem | Harvard Business School Online

What is a Power User? Definition and Overview





If you offer SaaS or you’re in the tech industry in general, you’ve probably heard the term ‘power user’ thrown around a few times. The devotion a power user shows to a specific company or product is the lightning in a bottle that turbo-charges growth and helps insulate companies from challenges by their competitors. 

Therefore, it’s important to understand exactly how to attract power users and what they add to your company. Here we explain the term power users, and we tell you who they are, and why your company needs to know how to leverage them for your benefit. 

What are Power Users?

Power users are people who have been using your product or service for quite some time and have become intimately familiar with all of its features, quirks, and flaws. 

Power users tend to be your biggest fans and the first to point out issues. They’re the people who write long, detailed posts on forums explaining complex technical workarounds for common problems, send bug reports to your staff, and tell everyone they meet that they should be using your product. 

In essence, power users are the engine that drives your company forward.. 

How Do You Identify a Power User?

Knowing the influence that power users wield is only the first step toward using them to your company’s advantage. The second step is picking them out from your user base. If you know what attributes to look for, it’s surprisingly easy to find your power users and create user personas around their needs. 

Identifier #1: They’re Repeat Users

Power users use your products or services on a daily or weekly basis. They’ll never let a subscription lapse, and they’ll likely buy at least one copy of every product you sell. Even if they don’t need those products, they want to experience them and leave detailed reviews or requests for your company and other potential users. 

Keep in mind, the definition of repeat usage will differ for each company. For a reporting-type SaaS business, it might be once a week. For a podcast streaming service it might be daily. For a chat-type product it might be hours a day. So to identify the power users for your product, you have to determine what high-volume use looks like.  

Identifier #2: They’re Vocal and Share Regular Feedback

It’s hard to imagine that a company wouldn’t be aware of at least a few of their power users. Power users rarely let more than a few weeks go by without submitting feedback of some kind. This may be through social media channels, emailing your support team, submitting bug reports, or leaving detailed reviews on your product pages. 

Power users are often quick with their praise and suggestions. When you release a new update, power users will typically be the first to reply with a laundry list of comments or praise. However they choose to get in touch, you’ll quickly become familiar with the username and can include them in your beta test groups for new launches. 

Identifier #3: They’re Early Adopters

Power users don’t come out of nowhere; the reason they know so much about your product or service is that they’ve either been with you since the beginning or quickly adopted your product after they discovered it. Whether your company is new on the block or has been around for decades, these people have been using your stuff since day one, and they have plenty of experience to share. 

For software providers, the people who initially beta-tested your products or services often become power users. For companies that have existed for more than a year or two, the very presence of power users is reassuring. It means that, whatever missteps you might have made, there is a core of dedicated users who are willing to stick by your products and build your reputation. 

Identifier #4: They’re Influential

This isn’t always true outside of your sphere of influence, but among your user base, power users are royalty. They have their own form of clout within your other users and may be able to draw in new users as well. If your company has a forum, chat room, or discussion board for users to meet up and discuss aspects of your products or services, you’ll likely see power users become the moderators of such chats or the top-rated answers to questions.Considering how much time, money, and effort they’ve invested into your company, other users often respect their opinions and listen to them. 

This influence can also mean that power users may feel a certain sense of entitlement towards your software or products. From their point of view, they have devoted a lot of work into helping you refine your company and bring it to a wider audience, all without any compensation. Power users don’t want money; they want the power to have input into your company. 

What is the Difference Between an Administrator and a Power User?

An administrator is someone affiliated with or employed by your company. They have access to aspects of your product or service that normal users don’t. This might mean being on the development or design team, a marketing consultant, or someone else with professional experience hired by you to assess your company’s offerings. 

A power user’s only defining features are their loyalty and experience using your product as an individual. They have no legal affiliation with your company. The line can get blurry if you take power user advice and recommendations and make them official, but to be clear: the power user is choosing to assist you in a non-employment context. 

What is the Responsibility of a Power User?

A power user has no responsibility because your company doesn’t employ them. Their only obligation is for themselves. On the one hand, they can provide valuable insights about using your product as an individual in a typical setting, something your employees cannot. On the other hand, because they have no ties to your company outside of their loyalty, power users may become frustrated or bored with your product and stop providing any service at all, with little to no warning. 

What is a Power User Curve?

A power user curve is a histogram that shows your users broken down into groups based on the number of days they use your product in any given month. This might be the number of times they log into their account on your website, how often they tune into your Twitch channel, or when they utilize your services. 

This type of data model will demonstrate how many of your users count as power users or people who use your product, many if not every day of the month, and how many are more casual. Ideally, you’ll want to see a higher percentage of power users than casual users, but some of your data will depend on the industry you’re in. 

How Can Power Users Benefit My Business?

First, power users are often the gas in the growth engine for a company. They’re monthly recurring revenue (MRR) you can count on, they tend to have very high customer lifetime values (CLVs) and can reduce your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because they help bring in new users. As long as you use product analytics to track the features your power users use and where they get stuck, you’ll be able to stay ahead of any problems and keep them happy. 

Second, power users will often broadcast your services and tout how great your company is, increasing your net promoter score (NPS) and drawing in new users. 

Third, power users can act like unofficial customer success. They provide answers to questions casual users post to forums, they serve as moderators in your chat rooms, they provide regular feedback and bug reports and they tell you what they want to see in future updates or releases. 


Developing devoted, experienced power users will keep gas in your engine of growth. They provide income you can count on, their behavior shows you the strengths and weaknesses of your product and they serve as a promoter of your product out in the world. To stay on top of and leverage your power user base, you need a behavioral analytics tool like Kissmetrics. For more information about analyzing the data power users can provide, check out Kissmetrics to get the inside scoop on your users. 



The Problem With Power Users | Usability Geek

Power User Curve For Mobile Marketing Superheroes | Clever Tap

The Power User Curve: The Best Way to Understand Your Most Engaged Users

The Complete Guide to Website Visitor Tracking




When website visitor tracking first came on the scene it was an online revolution. Suddenly businesses had information on their current and would-be customers that allowed them to transform their sites, marketing and products to be more profitable.

What Does It Mean To Track Website Visitors?

Website visitor tracking is when you use an analytics tool to record all of the activity taking place on your site. But not every analytics tool records the same activity, the same way. Some are very simple and track basic actions like visitor count, time on site and bounce rate. 

Behavioral analytics tools like Kissmetrics will tell you a lot more. They’ll reveal who’s visiting your site, where they came from, what they engage with, and where they drop out of the sales funnel. You’ll be able to identify behaviors like:

  • Viewing websites and landing pages
  • Viewing videos
  • Reading blog posts
  • Clicking on your sales pricing, links, and offers
  • Signing up for email notifications
  • Signing up newsletters
  • Viewing blog posts
  • Adding items to cart
  • Completing a purchase
  • And more

You’ll be able to segment your data any way you like so you’re getting the information that’s most meaningful to you. Kissmetrics also tracks visitors across devices. So you’ll know if they first clicked on an ad on their phone to arrive on a landing page, then opened an email on their computer, and finally purchased from their iPad. These insights give you in-depth information about your customer’s journey.

What Are the Benefits of Website Visitor Tracking?

Did you know that just a measly 2.35 percent of people who visit your website will convert to purchasing customers? Those statistics can be quite disheartening for marketing and sales teams. Especially when you’re working so hard to drive eyeballs to your site in the first place.

This is where analyzing your website traffic can help you optimize your site for flow and messaging, and possibly lead to a higher conversion rate. 

Here are some additional benefits of website visitor tracking:

Benefit #1: Website visitor tracking can help improve lead generation and quality

We all know that qualified leads are the bread and butter of sales quotas. And meeting those benchmarks hinges on having a consistent, steady flow of leads progressing stage-to-stage through the sales pipeline. If you use a behavioral analytics tool to track your website visitors, you’ll get better information on who’s most likely to purchase and the messaging that’s most likely to speak to them. You’ll see: 

  • The marketing campaigns that brought in the most leads. 
  • The pages your qualified leads most visit and the links they click.
  • Who converted and/or purchased and who didn’t.
  • Where they fell out of the sales funnel.

This critical knowledge will allow your marketing team to better target quality leads,optimize marketing campaigns, content plans, and sales messaging.

Benefit #2: You can use website visitor tracking to improve your sales process

Website visitor trackers provide additional website metrics that help your sales team understand how customers find your website. Is it through Google? A social media website? An online forum? Whilst this is intensely useful for marketers for promotional purposes — helping them understand the success of varying campaigns so they can properly design their next — this information is equally useful for sales teams. The more information sales teams have about their potential customers, the easier it is for them to communicate on an intimate level and overcome any roadblocks their targets have. 

Sales teams can also use visitor tracking data to prioritize leads. By knowing the types of customers most likely to become big spenders and power users, i.e. those likely to be the most valuable to your business, your sales team can prioritize communication and on-boarding for these cohorts. This is especially effective for small sales teams fielding a high volume of leads. 

Benefit #3: You can close more sales with website visitor tracking

The capabilities in website visitor tracking work seamlessly together to get you the payoff you’re after. Here’s a quick example to illustrate what is possible:

A returning user comes to your site for the 5th time in as many days. The system recognizes the user, who is already set up in your company’s CRM system, and automatically sends an alert to the sales rep, informing them that this specific user is very interested in Product A.

The system also applies the lead scoring algorithm to the user’s record based on past and current engagement behavior with site content and interest. The current visit puts the user’s score above the ‘sales-ready’ threshold for Product A, automatically triggering a sales alert email and auto-enrolls the user into a nurture campaign. 

When the user later opens and then clicks on the sales alert email, another alert is automatically sent to the sales rep who — after reviewing the user’s activities in the CRM record — calls to follow up with the user and is successful at setting up a product demo the following day. After attending the demonstration, the user purchases Product A.

From this example, you can easily see how beneficial website visitor tracking can be for your growing company. 

What Are the Most Common Factors That Affect Website Visitor Behavior? 

If it doesn’t convert, it doesn’t work. Here are the most common factors that affect website visitor behavior:

  • Your offer is not appealing. Do you feel like your offer is attractive? If you were a new visitor on your website, would your offer make you want to buy your product? Having a poor offer can greatly affect website visitor behavior — and not in a good way. 
  • Your website takes too long to load. The average consumer spends just 30 seconds on each site before navigating to another. If your website takes too long to load, you could be losing valuable customers. 
  • The layout of your website is confusing. Keep your website’s length short and sweet, with easy access to the content that consumers want to see. If you bog your site down with ads and pop-up windows, people may be less likely to return to your site. 
  • No clear CTA. Visitors need to be told what to do. Buy now. Schedule a demo. Contact us. Sign up. These are all clear call-to-actions linked to a desired conversion that tell the visitor what they should do next. If your CTA isn’t clear: both visually (i.e. highlighted with a brightly colored button) and verbally, you’ll get fewer conversions.
  • The content on your website is outdated and/or not useful.  Consumers who come to your website search for certain information or content, so keep things fresh and be sure to update often. Keep your blog posts relevant to the service or product that you offer, and share new and relevant content as often as possible.    

Tips for Boosting Website Traffic 

If you’ve struggled with driving traffic to your website or landing page, don’t worry — you’re not alone. According to recent research, 61 percent of content professionals are challenged with knowing what’s most important to their target audiences, 50 percent are challenged with understanding the goal of the target audience at a particular stage of the customer’s journey, and 49 percent struggle with knowing the steps in the customer’s journey. 

Between posting on social media, writing a new post for your blog, and strategizing for a new email campaign, it’s tough to look back and see what’s driving traffic to your site — and what isn’t.

Here are a few quick tips to help you boost website traffic:

  • Optimize your website for organic search.
  • Greet visitors with an eye-catching and targeted landing page.
  • Promote your website with great digital ads.
  • Use email marketing to direct traffic.
  • Engage your audience on social media.

With this many different avenues for boosting website traffic, you’re sure to find a channel that works for your brand and your customers. Now it’s just a matter of finding the right tools to help you do it.

The Bottom Line 

If you’re not currently tracking your visitors, an effective website visitor tracking software like Kissmetrics will show you who is doing what on your website. It’ll show you how they got there and the steps your most valuable customers or power users take on the road to becoming your VIPs. This will give your marketing, sales, UX, and product teams valuable and in-depth information to better hone their efforts.

Your marketing teams will be able to see which campaigns brought in your best customers so they can create more of them. Your sales teams will see the types of customers they should be targeting to build better leads. Your UX team will know where the customers and users get stuck and what works to make adjustments. And your product team will see what’s popular and what’s not so they can better plan your products.

We’ve seen how website visitor tracking is an indispensable tool for finding out who your visitors are, how they engage with your site, and who’s most valuable. Now it’s time to put that newfound knowledge to work improving your sales and marketing activities. 

For the best behavioral analytics tool to help take your business to the next level, check out Kissmetrics — request a demo with us today and see for yourself. Trust us—you’ll be glad you did.



7 Conversion Rate Truths That Will Change Your Landing Page Strategy | Search Engine Land

Content Management & Strategy Survey | CMI

Trend Reports | Adage

8 Customer Success Metrics and KPIs To Track




Measuring customer success is an effective way to figure out how well your customers understand the full value of your specific product or service such as a paper writing service. In the end, it doesn’t make a difference what kind of product you promote – it should draw the attention of the target audience.

Are they using every facet of your product or service possible, and are they satisfied with how it works? Are they underutilizing key areas of your product or service? Or perhaps unaware of a certain functionality? Or are they just flat out unhappy with the results they’ve seen?

These crucial insights can provide you invaluable information about how satisfied and successful your customers are with your product or service, which can guide your roadmap going forward, helping to prevent future churn. 

But we know hat you’re thinking: There are countless ways to measure and track customer success — how are you supposed to know which is best for you and your brand? 

Read on for 8 customer success metrics and KPIs that you should track. 

What Are Customer Success KPIs and Why Do They Matter?

First things first, what exactly are customer success KPIs, anyway? 

Good analytics software will provide you with plenty of important data to help you make informed decisions about how to market your product and who to market it to. 

The key to making the best use of analytics software is to have a good understanding of which data points can best help you with each business goal. The customer success KPIs and metrics listed below will help to give you information about your product throughout the customer lifecycle. By focusing on these metrics, you will have happier customers that stick around longer.

#1: Net Promoter Score (NPS) 

Arguably one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to measure your customer satisfaction is by collecting Net Promoter Score, or NPS. 

NPS asks your customers to rate on a scale from 1 to 10 how likely they are to recommend your specific product or service to a friend. Typically, those who rated 1 to 6 are considered “Detractors,” those who rated 7 to 8 are considered “Neutrals,” and those who give the best ratings, 9 to 10, are considered “Promoters.” 

NPS = % Promoters – % Detractors 

For example, if you have 72% “Promoters” and 14% “Detractors,” then you have an NPS score of 58.

NPS can be extremely helpful in measuring your customer success because it helps to provide an insight into how happy your customers are and how much value they are deriving from your product or service. The drawback, however, is that without context NPS is only a numerical value, and you don’t always fully understand why a customer would give you a low NPS rating. 

#2: Churn Rate

Customer churn is the percentage of your customers that leave your service over a given time period. 

For example, if you have 500 customers at the start of the month and end up losing 5 of them, you have a churn rate of 1% for that month. This might be good, this might be bad — it just depends on what the average churn rate is for your specific industry.

When calculating churn rate, don’t count new customers that you’ve acquired in that time period unless those customers churn within the period. Churn rate is supposed to help you get a feel of what your customer retention rate is. It is not intended to tell you if you are bringing in more business than you are losing. 

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that there are two ways to view customer churn rate:

  • Customer churn: the number of your customers who have churned in a specific timeframe.
  • Gross value churn: the amount of money that has churned in a specific timeframe.

We always recommend looking at both since it’ll better help you figure out how well you’re retaining low-spend vs. high-spend customers. Gross value churn can also let you know if the customers you retain are spending enough money to offset losses from the customers that you’ve lost. 

#3: Customer Satisfaction Score

If you’ve ever bought a product or service and were then asked how satisfied you were, you’ve provided a Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT. 

CSAT is a super easy way to understand a customer’s overall discontent or content with your product. 

To calculate CSAT, simply ask your customers to rank your product or service on some kind of numerical scale, and then take the sum of the scores and divide by the number of respondents. 

While NPS measures the overall satisfaction of your customers, CSAT typically measures a customer’s satisfaction with a specific feature inside of your product or service. 

This metric is most effective when you use it at the exact moment your customer has finished using that specific feature during their journey through your product. 

#4: Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) 

MRR stands for monthly recurring revenue and is a normalized measure of a business’s predictable revenue that it expects to earn every month. 

Watching your MRR can provide you with a nice overview of how your product or service is being perceived. 

Although different tiers can complicate the equation, generally speaking, keeping this number growing rather than shrinking is a great indicator of your overall customer satisfaction rate. It’s sometimes helpful to use these “big picture” metrics as a simple way of giving you an at-a-glance look at your company’s overall health. 

To calculate, multiply your total number of active users by your average revenue per user. This should give you a pretty good idea of how much revenue you’re generating each month. 

#5: Renewal Rate

Customer loyalty is the most prized of all customer success goals, and there is arguably no better metric to measure it — particularly for B2B service providers (e.g., a SaaS company) — than renewal rate.

To calculate this metric, divide the number of customers who renew by the number up for renewal in a given time period. Then multiply that number by 100 to get your renewal rate as a percentage. 

Having a strong customer renewal rate indicates that customers have had enough success working with your product or service to commit to another contract. 

But it’s important to weigh your renewal rate against other factors, such as MRR. Just because a high percentage of your customers are renewing doesn’t necessarily mean they’re spending as much money or even more. 

#6: Customer Retention Cost

Customer retention cost (CRC), another crucial metric, will give you an estimate of how cost-effective you are in achieving customer success, and will help you determine where to invest in your customer success programs. 

While you may be over-the-moon with excitement to roll out new initiatives, you want to first make sure that you’re spending your funds in a cost-effective way. 

By measuring CRC, your business can make smart investment decisions by comparing the potential cost of retaining customers vs. the potential revenue you’ll generate from a new feature or service.  

Calculating this important metric is quite the chore. First, you have to add up all expenses tied to your customer success program over a given time period. Next, you’ll need to divide your customer success costs by the total number of customers within that time frame. The goal here is to figure out how much money you are spending on each customer in your attempt to retain them.

Example: $100,000 spent over one year / 200 customers = $500 per customer to retain them. 

The best way to think about customer retention cost is as a relative metric. Focus on period-over-period improvements in retention cost. One period’s worth of CRC is just data. Comparing this metric against specific customer success initiatives over time, on the other hand, is actionable information. 

The Takeaway

Quality metrics can help you increase customer satisfaction and set yourself apart from your competition, all while reducing customer churn rate so that you can grow your SaaS business faster than ever before. 

To keep track of these important metrics, consider using an in-depth product and marketing analytics tool like Kissmetrics. Our powerful analytic solution was founded on the principle that data isn’t just a set of numbers. Each number represents a customer, a user, or a significant action that contributes to your key marketing strategy and the overall growth of your business. 

Ready to see for yourself? Request a demo with us today.



How To Create Your Product Positioning




Without smart positioning, the most well-researched and well-developed product can lose its competitive edge in the marketplace.

Product positioning is one of the strategies in the arsenal of the long and happy existence of your product — but what exactly is it, and why does it matter? 

What is Product Positioning, and Why Does It Matter?

Product positioning is the name for how consumers think about a brand. . It enables you to present your product to your target market under the best possible circumstances and is an essential element of your marketing plan. 

Product positioning assists advertisers, product developers, and product teams with many aspects of product marketing, such as:

  • Explaining the value of your product to your customers
  • Defining what makes your product or service stand out from your competitors
  • Identifying your target audience and how your product or service can address their needs
  • Establishing and maintaining awareness around your product or service

Information You’ll Need To Know About Your Product and Your Market

It’s important to know your product and your target market inside and out when developing your product positioning strategy. Luckily, many of the core building blocks of your existing marketing strategy will contribute to developing an effective product positioning strategy and will help highlight the unique value of your product or service.


This is your “why” — why does your product or service exist? What is the problem it’s solving and how do you envision your customers using it? Defining your mission will also help you to think more clearly about how to bring your market.

Market Category

Your market category is your competition zone. What kind of product or service are you offering? Whether you are entering an established or emerging market, or creating an entirely new market category, this is your opportunity to determine who you’re up against.

Customer Pain Points

Do you know what your customers’ primary pain points are? Does your product or service address one or, better yet, all of them? How can you more expertly position your product or service as a solution to these challenges? 

As you consider your customers’ journey and how your product can solve their common pain points, you can create a user persona card for the entire product team to reference. 

Company and Product Differentiators
Depending on your target market, someone else has probably already tried to address the same problem. So the key is to clearly define why and how your product or service provides a better solution for the problem. In a saturated marketplace, it’s crucial to differentiate your product from the competition. 

Brand Identity

Stop for a moment to think about today’s most recognizable brands. The green Starbucks mermaid, the Nike swoop, the Target bullseye, the golden McDonalds arches, and Redbulls’ red bulls

For each of these brands, the company name doesn’t need to be present within the logo for someone to know exactly what the brand is. In fact, the logo may evoke some kind of emotion in you. This is the unrivaled test of a strong brand identity. 

To create an effective logo, think about what you would like your brand to be known for. This process may take some time because it requires collective introspection, vision, and creativity. 


Consider your overall product vision as part of your product positioning. Tapping into your motivations for creating your product will help you clearly define your service or product’s immediate value and growth potential. 

Product Positioning Statement

With these foundational marketing elements, you will be ready to begin developing a solid product positioning statement. This will be the heart of your strategic marketing and customer messaging. 

A successful product positioning statement will describe your service or product and its value to your target viewers. 

Once the entire product team agrees on the product positioning statement, you can draft a creative customer-facing tagline. 

Common Mistakes and Oversights To Avoid

Most products and services that are not correctly positioned within the target marketplace ultimately end up failing before they have a chance to get in consumers’ hands. If you want to formulate a product positioning strategy for a new product or service, there are three common mistakes and oversights to avoid:

>> Mistake #1: Failing to Do Primary Research

Without conducting primary research on your target audience, you won’t uncover any useful customer insights. Understanding your customers’ motivations, wants, and needs is crucial to the development of your product positioning strategy, so talk to as many of them as you possibly can. 

Study your customer’s problems and explore the different ways that you can help solve them. The more time you spend understanding their problems, the better. 

>>Mistake #2: Product Launch When the Market isn’t Ready

Prematurely introducing a poorly positioned product or service into the market is, needless to say, another mistake to avoid. 

Take, for example, Apple’s Newton PDA, introduced to the electronics marketplace in 1993. The consumers of the early 1990s were not yet accustomed to mobile phones, and consumer pagers, or “beepers”, were the key tools used for mobile networking and communication. Additionally, the Newton PDA was highly criticized for its poor handwriting recognition and, what many considered, its exorbitant price tag. 

>> Mistake #3: Trusting Your Gut

Your product positioning strategy is not a marketing model you want to develop on “gut instinct.” Primary research is a much more reliable and accurate way to determine if your product positioning strategy is resonating directly with your audience. 

Take note of how your customers respond when you present your product positioning strategy — if they seem excited and want to hear more, you’re on the right track. If not, then your “gut” might be wrong, and it’s time to revisit your assumptions and conduct more research. 

Executing Your Product Positioning Strategy

Executing your product positioning strategy is not a one-person job. It requires the expertise of both the product management and product marketing teams. You’ll need to bring together your knowledge of the following areas:

Understand who your customers are.

Your product positioning should succinctly capture who your customers are and what they need. Describe attributes of your target audience, including demographic, psychographic, behavioral, and geographic details. You’ll also want to provide insights into the main problems the customer is trying to solve. 

Analyze the market.

You need to know the alternative products available to your customers so you can highlight what sets you apart. Research your direct and indirect competitors to get a sense of how they serve your customers’ needs. This will help you to differentiate your product or service from the competition and help your potential customers understand why your product is the best solution for their needs. 

Assess the product.

Lastly, to execute your product positioning strategy, it must be built on the unique value your brand and product provides. Conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is a useful way to objectively analyze what your product or service does well and where it can do better. This ensures that your marketing message aligns with the product experience.

Not sure how to conduct a SWOT analysis? Kissmetrics can help. Our product and marketing analytics solution is one-of-a-kind and will make it much easier to understand who your most valuable customers are and where they are coming from to help you execute an amazing product positioning strategy. 

The Takeaway

In today’s highly commoditized and saturated markets, effective product positioning is critical for standing out. 

To get your product positioning right, use an analytics tool like Kissmetrics to understand who your most valuable customers are and where they come from. Interview your customers and study their problems. Keep your product positioning strategy to a single page, and be sure to wrap it around why customers buy and why they should buy from you. 

With great product positioning and the help of Kissmetrics, you are sure to set your brand apart in the marketplace. 



Market Positioning – Creating an Effective Positioning Strategy





Consider this: There are thousands of different companies offering the same products or services as you and promising, if not delivering, similar results. And they are probably well-positioned in your target market. 

So, why exactly would a consumer pick you over your competitor?

The answer lies with your target audience: They don’t want to purchase a product because it can solve all of their problems. They’ll purchase a product because it solves one specific problem over and over again. 

This is why market positioning is important. A clear, concise positioning statement is at the heart of every effective marketing strategy and influences your brand identity. 

Market positioning requires focus and a strong commitment to a specific niche or target audience.  

Marketing Positioning: Definition and Importance

Your brand’s market positioning strategy is affected by plenty of variables related to consumers’ motivations and requirements, as well as by your competitor’s actions.  

The purpose of market positioning is to create an image that consumers recognize for representing a specific characteristic, idea, or concept to more effectively position your product within a target market.

Developing a sound strategic positioning can:

  • Reduce churn
  • Heighten brand awareness
  • Give you the ability to charge premium pricing
  • Increase brand equity
  • Improve market and customer-centricity
  • Increase recall
  • Increase revenue per customer

These are just a few of the advantages of an effective and brand-centric market positioning strategy.

The Different Positioning Strategies

Researchers discovered that positioning in marketing is predominantly determined by hard criteria and relationship-building factors. Some other considerations, such as company structures and degree of integration, also play a part. The study also noted that a high level of brand awareness is a contributing factor to perceptions of the pursued positioning in marketing strategies. 

Here are just a few of the most common types of positioning in marketing:

  • Product price: Associating your product, service, or brand with competitive pricing.
  • Product attributes and benefits: Associating your product, service, or brand with certain characteristics or with certain beneficial value. 
  • Product quality: Associating your product, service, or brand with high quality.
  • Product use and application: Associating your product, service, or brand with a specific use.
  • Competitors: Making potential customers think that your product, service, or brand is better than that of your competitors. 

Examples of Big Brands’ Market Positioning Strategies

Need a few examples? We’ve got you covered. Here are some great examples of big brands’ marketing positioning strategies to inspire you:

  • McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s position themselves as a place to get quick and cheap meals
  • Starbucks positions itself as a source of upscale, top-notch coffee and beverages.
  • Tesla and Audi position themselves as a luxury status symbol.
  • Microsoft and Apple both like to establish and position themselves as a tech company that offers user-friendly and innovative products
  • Dove positions itself as a simple yet good-quality soap, appealing to women’s natural beauty. 

To Start Creating Your Own Marketing Positioning Strategy: Conduct a Competitive Analysis

In order to create a unique and effective marketing position that will lead to a higher conversion rate, you must first compare yourself to your competitors. 

This can be achieved through strategic competitive intelligence, which assists you with understanding important aspects of your competitors within your target market. Some of the questions you should consider include:

  • Who are your primary competitors?
  • How much influence does each one of your competitors have on each other?
  • Are certain competitors thought of more favorably? What about unfavorably?
  • How is the industry performing?
  • Where do the opportunities lie? Where do the threats lie?
  • How does your company compare and contrast amongst others in your category?

Once you have the answers to the questions listed above, your competitive positioning will become much clearer. 

Explore Who Your Target Audience Is, and Who You Want To Be To Them

Now, you need to learn who your target audience is. By analyzing their characteristics, you can easily separate one customer from another. You can accomplish this by creating user persona cards that help you narrow your target market even further. 

Start by looking at different target audience demographics like location and gender to define some of the most important factors you need to know about your potential customers. 

By understanding things like who your customers are, where they come from, and what their problems are, you can get ahead of your competition by creating a top-notch marketing positioning to show consumers that you are the best solution for their needs. 

Common Mistakes and Oversights To Avoid

Products that aren’t positioned properly in the target market can end up struggling to generate revenue with customers who don’t have the problems you’re looking to solve. If you want to formulate a good product positioning strategy, here are a few of the most common mistakes that you should avoid:

>> Mistake #1: Diversifying products in unrelated markets.

When a new product or service is launched, always keep your target audience in mind. Make sure your product or service is related to what customers associate your brand with. 

For example, a popular high-end women’s skincare company venturing into the fast-food industry may struggle to connect with fast-food consumers. Your brand positioning strategy should reassure that customers can trust you to offer best-in-class products.

>>Mistake #2: Adopting a cheap strategy.

Adopting cheap marketing strategies that don’t prioritize the customer journey is not sustainable in the long term. When you decide to market your product as having the “lowest prices”, you hardly need any marketing. Most revenue generation is fueled by purchasing power. However, you’ll always find a competitor who is selling for less. 

Using the lowest priced route can be your quickest way to failure. So whatever you do, stay away from adopting a cheap strategy. Take your time to put together a strong, effective marketing positioning strategy that will truly take your brand to unimaginable heights. 

>>Mistake #3: A lack of insight and a lack of an “idea” in your brand positioning statement.

A great brand positioning statement captures an idea that is either based on a unique insight or that resolves an inherent tension. Weak positioning statements, on the other hand, usually capture an “ideal” but a rather boring summary of everything the consumer desires. 

Yes, moms want their little ones to be happy and eat all of their veggies. Yes, parents have chaotic lives. And yes, Millennials want to “do good” — these are not insights. These are generally accepted truths marketing researchers have known for years. 

The concept of “insights” in many cases is often misunderstood.  

Executing Your Product Positioning Strategy

Executing your own marketing positioning strategy involves digging deep into the details of your brand and discovering what you do better than anyone else. 

These steps listed below will help you to create a product positioning strategy that’s unique to your business: 

  1. Determine your current product positioning.
  2. Identify your competitors.
  3. Conduct competitor research.
  4. Identify what makes your product, service, or brand unique. 
  5. Create your positioning.
  6. Evaluate if your positioning statement works. 
  7. Establish an emotional connection with both your prospects and customers. 
  8. Reinforce your products’ differentiating qualities during the sales process.
  9. Create value.
  10. Ensure that customer-facing employees embody your brand. 

The Takeaway

Understanding how to market your brand will become much clearer once you know where you stand and where you want to go. By implementing an effective and well-researched marketing positioning strategy, you position your product for reduced churn, more conversions, and repeat customers. 

Need help? Kissmetrics makes it easier than ever to track your customer conversion process and discover areas where you’re losing potential customers. It can help you identify data and trends which directly contribute to your bottom line — like which marketing channels produce the most valuable customers. 

All of this information is crucial to the success of your business — request a demo with us today and see for yourself.



A Step-By-Step Guide for Conducting Better Product Discovery





Whether you’re at a start-up or an established company, your product team is probably more focused on how they’re building what they’re building. Which makes sense. You want your new feature and overall product to work well for the user. But when so much focus is put on the “how”, the “why” of what you’re building is often taken for granted.

Until recently, many product teams have been focused on how to build products the right way, i.e. the “how” of product development, rather than figuring out which are the correct products to build in the first place, i.e. the “what” of product development. 

In the past few years, “what” frameworks have advanced, but the tools to support them still tend to lag behind quite a bit. That means that product teams have managed the intricate process of making a decision on what to build next using hacked-together spreadsheets, task management tools, shared documents, and systems for managing sales, engineering, support data, as well as marketing. 

Which means teams have collectively wasted an infinite amount of hours and potentially millions of dollars developing underutilized products and features that fail to live up to their ultimate potential. 

So, how might one go about deciding what to build at the same time as they’re optimizing how they build their products? 

Answer:product discovery. 

Interested in learning more? Read on for Kissmetrics’ step-by-step guide for conducting better product discovery. 

Step 1: First Things First, Understand What Product Discovery Really Means and What You’re Trying To Do

Product discovery simply refers to the process of determining the market need for your product idea. That is, it answers the question: what should we build? Product discovery plays a key role in idea generation, yet it is often overlooked. 

When making the decision of what to build, teams tend to emphasize the usability of the product instead of its utility ( useful it is). The result is an unfortunate multitude of tools, products, and applications that — while simple to use — have no real reason for existing. 

So, what exactly is product discovery, you ask? 

Product discovery is a way to make sure the product you want to build is useful. It ensures that your program solves a true need or smooths an existing pain point. It uses evidence to prove you aren’t falling foul of wrong assumptions about consumer needs and wants. 

Step 2: Realize That Product Discovery Isn’t a Linear Process

If things were simple, businesses would all have the dream product that every user loves, but the truth is that it’s much more complicated than that. Although product discovery may appear to be linear and pretty straightforward, in reality — it’s not.

Product discovery is unstructured and unpredictable. It’s quite difficult to know in advance when you’re going to learn something or how long it’s going to take. Depending on the level of uncertainty and risk associated with the business idea you’re looking to develop, there will be a lot of back-and-forth between exploration and validation.

Some of the tasks will require a couple of days to develop and test, while others will require weeks to develop and some more weeks after that to validate. In addition, you must recruit customers for interviewing or testing on a frequent basis.

Many businesses struggle to put a strong and effective product discovery process in place, reinventing the wheel every week or desperately throwing things against the wall to see if they stick. This creates quite a bit of frustration amongst teams and distrust from stakeholders — which could undermine your product development.

To prevent this from happening, consider an analytics system like Kissmetrics to help bring structure to the creative process of discovering what to build. 

Step 3: Keep These Common Product Discovery Mistakes In Mind So You Can Avoid Them

To help you and your team build products that truly matter — products that actually solve real-world problems — here are a few of the most common product discovery mistakes so you can avoid them:

Jumping to Solutions Before Nailing Down Real User Problems

“If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”Albert Einstein

While this time allocation may be a bit on the extreme side of things, understanding user problems is the most crucial step when it comes to building a product. Yet, a common mistake that product teams make is being so incredibly eager to jump to a solution that they don’t hammer down and define user problems first. 

When teams don’t spend enough time unearthing user problems, they’re not able to deliver real value, wasting time and valuable resources solving the wrong problem, building the wrong solution.

Underestimating the Importance of Working With Stakeholders

It can be pretty tempting for your product team to plow directly ahead with the discovery process without involving stakeholders from both in and outside the organization. 

This can cause major problems down the road for a few reasons:

  • Product affects everyone
  • Stakeholders have valuable insights to offer
  • Product teams need stakeholder buy-in

Ideally, all stakeholders should have their requests considered during the discovery process, so when it comes time for delivery, they know exactly why their ask was included or not. 

Not Involving Engineers Early in The Process

In many cases, engineers are only brought into the fold during the delivery phase — after all, that is when their skills are needed to turn great ideas into real-life features and products. However, this is problematic for three reasons:

First, engineers won’t fully understand the problem they’re trying to solve because they weren’t included in the process of defining it. They may question why a problem was picked in the first place, and product teams end up justifying their decisions rather than getting things done. 

Second, product managers will be the engineer’s only reference for understanding users. So when it comes to identifying solutions, engineers may come to totally different conclusions than the product team because they didn’t play a hands-on role in getting to the bottom of user insights. Essentially, your product team will always be two steps ahead while your engineers are two steps behind. 

And lastly, the product team risks missing out on exceptional ideas if engineers aren’t looped in. Engineers have a specific expertise and are usually among the smartest people in the room. They provide valuable technical insights, understand how to utilize existing functionality, and reduce effort, and can help to quickly build proof of a concept. 

Step 4: Come Up With Multiple Solutions To User Needs and Start Testing Their Viability

Really explore user needs. Go beyond identifying them and try to really understand the demand of the space. Yes, this is definitely easier said than done — that’s why it’s so beneficial to incorporate an effective analytics product into your business.

Kissmetrics is a product and marketing analytics tool founded on the principle that data isn’t just a set of numbers that you simply plop into a graph. Each number represents a user, a customer, or a significant action that contributes to the overall growth of your business. It can help you and your product team to effectively come up with multiple solutions so you can start developing and testing a product with a true need. 

Step 5: Don’t Be Afraid To Go Back To The Drawing Board To Add or Change Your Ideas and Plans

It takes time to create a product with a true need. If you find that your idea doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board. Brainstorm with your product team and engineers, talk to your stakeholders, and consider chatting with users. You can even implement an analytics tool like ours to really help you identify, understand, and improve the metrics that drive your business, to ultimately help develop a new product idea with a true need.  

The Takeaway 

Product discovery might feel a little intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep in mind that for many product teams, adopting a product discovery process is an ongoing process, so getting started is what matters most. 

Not sure where to start? Kissmetrics can help with a demo — request one today here. 



Sales Funnel Stages, Definition, Process & Examples




As a sales rep, you’re constantly fighting an uphill battle for attention from prospects and leads. It can seem as if the harder you try to sell, the harder the job becomes. 

But there’s a process that can help sales reps convert cold prospects into hot leads, whether those leads are taken from landing pages, social media, or a piece of content. Being aware of key outreach techniques along the buyer’s journey can significantly influence the purchasing decisions of prospective customers.

This is known as the sales funnel.

You need to create a sales funnel in order to convert your website visitors into new paying customers. If you don’t, you could struggle to generate new customer revenue. 

What is a Sales Funnel and Why Do I Need To Know About It?

A sales funnel is an extremely useful visual representation of the customer journey from start to finish, from their first contact with you and your brand all the way through the buying process until a completed purchase has been made. 

Just like the name implies, a sales funnel is the narrowest at its bottom and widest at the top. 

Each stage of the sales funnel pushes your most qualified prospects into the next stage and drops those that are not ideal customers for your specific offer or marketing strategy. 

Your sales funnel is directly connected to your target customers’ journey phases, which can be sorted into three parts: top, middle, and bottom.

A sales funnel will help you to better understand what your customers are thinking and doing at each stage of the sales journey, especially when it comes to pain points or buyer persona behaviors. These valuable insights allow you to invest in the right marketing channels and activities, create relevant messaging during each stage, and convert more prospects into paying customers. 

What Are the Stages of a Sales Funnel?

From the exact moment prospects hear about your product or service until the moment they make a purchase (or don’t), they pass through different stages of the sales funnel

That journey may change from prospect to prospect, but in the end, they will evaluate whether your product or service is the best solution for them and their specific needs Each stage of the sales funnel requires a different approach. Why? Simply because you don’t want to send the wrong message at the wrong time. Think about it this way: it’s kind of like a waiter asking you what you want for dessert before you’ve even put in an order for appetizers and drinks. 

Let’s break down exactly what happens during each stage of the sales funnel:

Top of the Funnel: Awareness, Discovery, and Interest

Early in their journey, your potential customers are going through a specific problem and are determining how they can go about solving it. 

Customers tend to have many questions and thoughts about their problem as they likely haven’t named the problem itself — they just know the symptoms. They’re trying to verbalize the specific issue at hand and are looking for a trusted source of information. 

At the top of the sales funnel, your potential new customer wants to feel educated, and not to mention confident to be able to talk about their problems when the time comes. 

From a marketing perspective, they want content that’ll guide them through the topic that matters to them, including videos, blog posts, and even quizzes. Product and market content through infographics and case studies that give your target audience the valuable info they’re looking for.
In this important stage, your untouched prospects convert into contact-made prospects, and you’ve got yourself some lead generation.  It’s time for the salespeople to ask relevant questions and qualify your lead, which is what takes us to the next stage: the middle of the sales funnel. 

Middle of the Funnel: Exploration and Decision-Making

In the middle stage of the funnel, you’re no longer dealing with faceless and nameless contacts. They now have a name for their problem and have defined it. They’re looking into all available solutions such as products and services — specifically, your products and services.

Questions at this stage are no longer generic. Rather than asking “why” questions, your leads are diving into a wide range of opportunities to remedy their struggle. They have a good understanding of their pain points and want to know the possible solutions. 

At this point, they might not necessarily be evaluating specific solution providers and their unique products just yet. Instead, they’re searching for the types of solutions available to them so they can  make the best decision possible.

Bottom of the Funnel: Taking Action and Making a Purchase

The bottom of your sales funnel is when your lead now knows everything about their specific problem and the best type of solution for them. They are ready to take action and make a purchase. 

The role of the sales team is to get the purchase, but your goal shouldn’t be just to get your almost-customer to point-of-sale (PoS). You should also set them up for long-term customer success with your unique product or service. 

This means providing them with information that will help introduce and incorporate the new solution into their everyday lives. 

Consider including these types of content in the final stage of the sales funnel:

  • Customer or insider success tips
  • Training webinars or product implementation
  • Special offers
  • Follow-up email campaigns
  • Bundled packages

Common Leaks in Your Funnel Where You May Be Losing Sales

Whether you’re a coffee shop owner or an online beauty store, having an effective sales funnel to push cold prospects into hot leads and then into happy customers is of the utmost importance. But if you have leaks in your funnel, you could be losing sales.

Some of the most common signs that your sales funnel has a leak include:

  • Your leads don’t consistently follow the path of your funnel.
  • The quality of your leads have declined, or lead quality is pretty inconsistent.
  • You are generating a lot of qualified leads, but very few are moving on.
  • Your leads have dried up entirely. 
  • Qualified leads are getting lost during the handoff between internal teams. 

It’s critical to your growing brand that you’re able to determine where these problems are happening and how to repair them at every stage of your sales funnel. Learning how to do so — in the most efficient way — will bring you the highest return on your marketing dollar. 

Showing any of the signs listed above? These reasons below could be why:

User experience problems: For example, slow loading times, poor mobile optimization, or compatibility issues. 

Conversion killers: Aside from user experience problems, also pay attention to web forms, interruptions such as notifications or popups, and page visits that suddenly kill your chances of converting. 

Weak CTAs: If your call-to-action is not compelling enough, or confusing, your leads are always going to leak. 

Inactivity after conversions: New leads will drop off if you’re not following up quickly or effectively. This means you’re not sending email confirmations, promotional offers, loyalty programs, reminders, etc. 

​Low customer retention rate: Your work isn’t complete once you convert a new lead; your next mission is to turn this happy customer into a repeat buyer.

Low email engagement: It’s challenging to nurture leads if your primary source of getting in contact with them directly isn’t getting the engagement you are hoping for. 

As sales funnels become longer and more complex, it takes a little bit more work to fill the gaps and stop those leads from slipping away. You’re going to need access to the right data to help you spot these problems from the get-go and solid automation platforms like Kissmetrics, so you can respond to issues at scale instantly. 

The Takeaway

Developing and optimizing an effective sales funnel takes time. But it’s the best way to compete in any online marketplace. Take time to create a sales funnel that represents what you want and your audience wants. Cultivate it over time using analytic tools like Kissmetrics to adjust your approach as needed and find out what works and what doesn’t.

With Kissmetrics, you can take your customers to the next stage in their journey — request a demo with us.





How To Calculate Conversion Rate | Explained With Examples





Conversion rate is one of the best behavioral analytics benchmarks you can use to measure the performance of your marketing campaigns

Unlike cost-per-click (CPC) or click-through rate, conversion rate describes how good your marketing strategies are at turning consumers into customers, i.e. “converting” them. Generally speaking, the higher your conversion rate, the better your marketing.

In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about conversion rates, how to calculate them, and the types of insights you can gain from conversion analytics data. 

What is Conversion Rate, and Why Does It Matter?

To define conversion rate, it’s important to first understand what a conversion is. 

A conversion is an action that a user takes on your site that turns them into a potential or paying customer. Common examples would include clicking on a call-to-action (CTA), signing up for a monthly email newsletter, or making a purchase. 

With that in mind, a conversion rate is the percentage of visitors that complete a conversion on your website. It may sound simple but understanding conversion rate is the best way to analyze whether your campaigns and website are contributing to your business objectives.

>> Here’s why conversion rates are important.

For starters, increasing the conversion rate of your campaign is usually the quickest and most affordable way to generate customer revenue. Would you rather get more customers from Google Ads by doubling your ad budget, or by optimizing your marketing approach for increased long-term conversion rates? Optimizing for higher conversion rates means more revenue per visitor to your site. Which means every customer or user you get from your campaigns will be worth more.

>> Conversion rates can predict failure or success. 

Do you want to know whether or not your product or service is on the right track? Conversion rates provide a high-level benchmark of your company’s overall health. 

High conversion rates indicate your marketing campaigns are working, your product is popular with users, and your website is easy for users to navigate. Conversely, weaker conversion rates can indicate problems in your marketing campaign, target audience, UI/UX, or the product itself. 

If you see weaker conversions or you had high conversion rates that decreased, you can use behavioral analytics reports to diagnose the problem and make adjustments where needed. 

>> Better conversion rates can save you money. 

A marketing campaign that converts more users is more effective than a campaign that converts fewer users. And, a more effective campaign costs less money. For example: If the goal is 100 users or conversions, and you could get those users or conversions with one or two ads instead of paying for 10 ads, then you’ve spent less money to get those users. This means more money left in your budget for project allocation. 

>> Focusing on your conversion rates will help improve your website. 

A memorable marketing campaign is just the initial stage of increasing conversion rates. Your campaign website is equally important. If customers get to your website and don’t know what to do next, i.e. the CTA isn’t clear or checkout is confusing to navigate, you’re not going to convert them.

When you use a behavioral analytics tool to analyze your conversions, you’ll see where customers seem to get lost in your campaign. You can then use that information to improve your campaign website’s UI/UX and increase the number of conversions. 

Conversation Rate Formulas

Calculating your conversion rate is a straightforward process. Just divide the number of conversions in a given time frame by the total number of individuals who visited your website or landing page, then multiply it by 100%.

Conversion rate = (conversions/total visitors) * 100%

For example: If your website had 20,219 visitors and 3,325 conversions last month, your conversion rate is 16.44%. 

In fact, if you set up your tracking correctly, most advertising and analytics tools like Kissmetrics can conveniently show your conversion rate directly on the dashboard.

Let’s check out two more examples of simple formulas to find the conversion rate.

Example 1: Calculating Conversion Rate for a Paid Ad

A basic formula for calculating how many conversions come from paid ads is as follows:

Number of conversions/number of total ad interactions = Ad conversion rate

You can make this formula more insightful by applying more specific criteria to it. For example, you could calculate the number of conversions from a specific cohort or compare conversions to paid ad interactions that happened within a specific time frame (e.g. after a sale is announced). 

Example 2: Calculating Conversion Rate for Social Media Posts

To calculate the conversion rate for your social media posts, follow the formula below:

Number of conversions/number of total social media post interactions = social media post conversion rate 

Approximately 2.1 billion people have social media accounts, so it’s quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to advertise. But that’s only if your messaging is optimized to reach the most potential customers as possible. 

What Factors Affect Conversion Rate?

Converting prospects into paying customers will be a challenge without the foundations of a good marketing strategy, a well-thought-out sales funnel, compelling online content, impactful landing pages, and search engine optimization (SEO) that bring leads to your site. 

However, there are internal and external factors that can affect your conversion rate. Here are the ones you should know about:

Undefined or Wrongly-Defined Goals

Before potential customers can begin their journey with your product or service, you need a clear definition of what your goals are for customer conversion. 

If you’re trying to get new leads to commit to purchasing the product, but you’re seeing poor results, it might be more effective to capture their email addresses on a landing page, then target them with email marketing. 

You also want to make sure you’re not trying to get too much done at once. Like, capturing emails for a monthly newsletter subscription as well as having leads purchase a certain product while pushing existing customers to upgrade their services. Focus on pulling one lever at a time.

You’re Telling the Wrong Story, a Boring Story, or No Story At All 

Storytelling is a marketing buzzword for a reason — 92% of consumers today prefer brand-made ads that feel like a story. 

Beyond giving consumers what they want in a marketing campaign, a good story helps to set you and your business apart from your competitors and retain loyal customers. 

This is why your conversion rates are intimately tied to the way you deliver your content. 

Complexity of Transaction

How difficult or simple you make it for your potential customers to commit to the next step of your sales funnel can greatly impact your conversion rates either positively or negatively.

You only have a few seconds to capture your leads’ attention, so why throw them off-guard with unnecessary distractions such as fly-by ads and blinking banners? 

Moreover, if you make the process too intricate or time-consuming, you may end up losing your new lead before they complete that last important step.

How Can I Improve My Conversion Rate?

Now that we’ve discussed what conversion rates are and why they are important, let’s explore a few simple ways to improve your conversion rates.

  • Use a marketing analytics tool. Use a marketing analytics tool like Kissmetrics to help you assess your current conversion rate, determine who’s converting and who isn’t, and identify user retention roadblocks.    
  • Sharpen your ads. Use the conversion and cohort information you get from your marketing analytics tool to develop more effective targeted ads. 
  • Optimize your landing pages. Use short and memorable headlines that immediately engage viewers with a clear CTA. 
  • Test new ad funnels. Create new ads and a few different variations of your landing pages. See how conversion rates change with different marketing approaches. 

The Takeaway

Analyzing your conversion rates is crucial to optimizing your marketing campaigns. Not only does conversion rate indicate whether your marketing efforts have contributed to revenue generation or reduced churn, but it can reveal technical problems with your website, communication flaws in your sales funnel, or holes in your marketing strategy. Getting the best out of your conversion data will help you get the core of your customers’ needs and help solve their problems.

Not sure where to start? Kissmetrics can help. 

Click here to Request a Demo and increase conversions, make smarter decisions, and generate more customer revenue today. 



What is Statistical Significance?





Imagine you read a far-fetched news headline about a recently published study. The headline reads: “Study Shows Running in Circles Prevents Cancer”. You’d probably scratch your head in disbelief. 

Then you read on to discover the sample size was five people. And of those five people who ran in circles, one person didn’t get cancer. So was this coincidence or does the study indicate that running in circles prevents cancer? Probably the former.   

The study for such a conclusion doesn’t have statistical significance — though the study was indeed performed, its conclusions don’t exactly mean anything because the sample size was so incredibly small. 

This Kissmetrics guide will take you through everything you need to know about statistical significance and how to calculate it.

What is Statistical Significance and How Is It Calculated?

As we mentioned above, the fake study about spinning in circles isn’t statistically significant. This means that the conclusion reached isn’t valid because there’s simply not enough evidence to support that what happened was not random chance or due to luck. 

A statistically significant result occurs when you reach a certain degree of confidence in the results after rigorous testing; we call that degree of confidence the confidence level, which demonstrates how certain we are that our data was not skewed by random chance or luck. 

More specifically, the confidence level is the likelihood that an interval will hold values for the parameter we’re testing. 

Statistical significance helps quantify whether the result is likely due to chance or some factor of interest. When a new finding is significant, it means you can feel confident that it’s real — not that you just got lucky (or unlucky) in choosing that specific sample.

Calculating statistical significance accurately by hand can be a pretty complicated task that requires a solid understanding of calculus and statistics. When you calculate by hand, however, it’ll help you more fully to understand the concept. 

Follow these steps for calculating statistical significance:

  • Create a null hypothesis.

The very first step in calculating statistical significance is to determine your null hypothesis. This should state that there’s no significant difference between the sets of data you are using. Keep in mind that you don’t need to believe the null hypothesis. 

  • Create an alternative hypothesis.

Next, you’ll need to create an alternative hypothesis. Typically, this is the opposite of your null hypothesis since it will state that there is, in fact, a statistically significant relationship between your data sets. 

  • Determine the significance level.

The next step involves determining the significance level, or rather, the alpha. This refers to the likelihood of rejecting your null hypothesis even when it is true. A common alpha is five percent (i.e., .05). 

  • Decide on the type of test you will use.

Once you’ve created both hypotheses and have determined the significance level, you’ll need to determine if you’ll use a one-tailed test or a two-tailed test. Whereas the vital area of distribution is one-sided in a one-tailed test, it is two-sided in a two-tailed test. In simpler terms, one-tailed tests analyze the relationship between two variables in one direction, while two-tailed tests analyze the relationship between two variables in two directions. If the sample you happen to be using lands within the one-sided critical area, the alternative hypothesis is considered to be true.

  • Perform a power analysis to find out your sample size.

Next, you will need to do a quick power analysis to determine your sample size. This involves the sample size, effect size, statistical power, as well as significance level. For this important step, it might be best to use a calculator.   You’re going  to see how big a sample size you’ll need in order to learn the effect of a given test within a degree of confidence. In other words, it will let you know what sample size is best to determine statistical significance. If your sample size ends up being a bit too small, it won’t give you the accurate result you’re looking for. 

  • Calculate the standard deviation.

Now it’s time to calculate the standard deviation. To do this, you will need to use the following formula:

standard deviation = √((∑|x−μ|^ 2) / (N-1))


∑ = the sum of the data

x = individual data

μ = the data’s mean for each group

N = the total sample

  • Use the standard error formula.

Next, you’ll need to use the standard error formula. For our purposes, let’s just say that you have two standard deviations for your two groups. The standard error formula would look as follows:

standard error = √((s1/N1) + (s2/N2))


s1 = the standard deviation of the first group

N1 = group one’s sample size

s2 = the standard deviation of the second group

N2 = group two’s sample size

  • Determine the t-score.

For your next step, you will need to locate the t-score. Here is the equation:

t = ((µ1–µ2) / (sd))


t = the t-score

µ1 = group one’s average

µ2 = group two’s average

sd = standard error

  • Find the degrees of freedom.

Once you’ve determined the t-score, it’s time to find the degrees of freedom:

degrees of freedom = (s1 + s2) – 2


s1 = samples of group 1

s2 = samples of group 2

  • Lastly, use a t-table.

Once you’ve completed all the steps listed above, you’ll calculate the statistical significance using a t-table. Begin by looking at the left side of your degrees of freedom and find your variance. Then, go upward to see the p-values. Compare the p-value to the significance level (aka, the alpha). 

Keep in mind that a p-value less than 5 percent is considered statistically significant — this is where you’ll often see the famous (p=.05) or (p=.01) in whatever study you’re looking at. 

Don’t worry, you can easily determine the statistical significance of experiments — without any math (or headaches) — using an analytics tool like Kissmetrics

Where Does Statistical Significance Factor Into Data Analysis, and How Can It Help My Company?

Statistical significance plays a huge factor in data analysis because brands use it to understand how strongly the results of an experiment, poll, or survey they’ve conducted should influence the decisions they make. 

To give you a quick example, if a marketing manager runs a pricing study to understand how best to price a new product or service, she will calculate the statistical significance so that she knows whether the findings should affect the final price. 

Statistical significance can help you and your company immensely — and it’s pretty easy to see why. Think about it: would you rather make a critical business decision based on a study with a small sample size, or would you prefer to make that same crucial decision based on accurate statistics and testing?  

At the end of the day, data is not valid if it’s not statistically significant.

 Real Life Example: Trying to Determine the Correlation Between a New Ad Campaign and Sales

Now that you understand exactly what statistical significance is and how to calculate it, let’s take a look at a real-life example:

Let’s say you want to increase sales by attracting more customers to your growing business — so, you decide to run a new ad campaign. In doing so, you take into account how many advertisements should be made in print, and many should be made digitally. 

You rely on your past marketing campaigns using ads to forecast how many you will need of each. If you determine that your p-value is about 5%, you will end up with a result that is not statistically significant. This means that there is a greater than 5% chance that the relationship between the two ads was left up to chance. 

Therefore, this result would indicate that it’s not reasonable to use the previous ad campaign as a guide to drive in new sales. 

The Takeaway

Statistical significance is an extremely useful tool for marketers to validate their insights and provides credibility to their research. Although calculating statistical significance by hand is cumbersome, there are some incredible analytic tools like Kissmetrics that can help. 

With the click of a button, Kissmetrics can help managers and researchers alike have confidence in their business decisions by providing them with the tools they need to run accurate tests and gain valuable insight into product and marketing campaigns.  

Statistical significance is a powerful tool — are you using it? 

Check out Kissmetrics today to add the power of p-values to your arsenal to increase your product’s ROI.