what events to track

1 November 2018 - Written by Ryan Riggin

What Events Should I Track When Optimizing My Website for Conversions?







I don’t think any of these words mean anything. If I’m trying to grow a product I’m optimizing for ‘events.’ Everything is an event. I want my users / customers to accomplish events.

At the top of the funnel, in the audience development stage (independent of the business model)..I want to see these events happening.

‘Like My Page’

‘Watch a Video’

’Share a Video’

‘Comment on a post’

All of the following could be categorized as ‘engagement.’ The problem is ‘engagement’ isn’t a specific marketing goal. If you can get users to successfully complete these events, then you may have an audience. But not a business model.

To get to a a business model you need to go further down the event funnel.



If I’m an e-commerce brand. I want my users to complete the following events.

  • View my site

  • View a product

  • Sign up for my email list

  • View the size chart

  • Add a product to cart

  • Initiate a Checkout

  • Purchase

  • Purchase

  • Purchase

  • Purchase


If I’m a SaaS Free Trial product. I want my users to complete these events:

  • View my site

  • Start a trial

  • Get Billed

  • Get Billed Again

  • Get Billed Again

  • Get Billed Again

I want my users to NOT complete these events.

  • Cancel Account.

SaaS — Freemium:

This one is tricky. The events you want to optimize for I think are:

  • Visit Website

  • Sign Up

  • DoSomething (this is different for every freemium product. but you want users to accomplish some event that makes them see the value of your product)

It could be

  • dropbox (upload a file)

  • record a podcast (anchor)

  • create a note (evernote)

  • upload a photo (instagram)

  • watch a video (youtube)

  • get a ride (uber)

This is where ‘retention’ comes in. If your product depends on users doing some behavior over an over again until they realize value, then you want to focus on retention. But, ‘retention’ isn’t really a thing on its own. Retention is a user doing some ‘event’ over and over again.

see this talk from Evernote CEO on how they optimized for ’created notes,’ focuses on getting people to do that a lot, and how they stacked user cohorts with that one objective. https://vimeo.com/11932184

Once you have users accomplishing ‘events’ that show them value repeatedly (retention)….

Then get them to:

  • Upgrade to a paid account

  • Get Billed

  • Get Billed Again

  • Get Billed Again

  • Get Billed Again

Then it gets really fun. Once you have users doing these events. Then, you can incentivize them from within your product to:

  • invite a friend

  • share referral codes

  • add users to their account

And other growth events.

In summary:

When you’re trying to grow a product. Figure out your model and think about your marketing optimization terms of ‘events.’

Then test the hell out of your Ads and UX to optimize for whatever those events are.

How do I track it all?  »> Mixpanel

Ryan Riggin

Ryan is a marketing guy who likes to get his hands dirty with technology and data. Outside of that you can find him out riding a bike somewhere.

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