Here is a quick framework to measure and improve user retention. I’ve distilled everything I know about improving retention into 9 YES/NO questions.

Go through the questions below and score your product by answering the yes/no questions. For the ones you answer no to, the link will explain how to think about improving that aspect of your product.

  1. Does your product make a clear promise?
  2. Do you know how often people have the problem you help them solve?
  3. Do you know what your product’s core action is?
  4. How many people continue to use your product six months after they sign up?
  5. Have you segmented your retention curve by the different types of users in your app?
  6. Do you know where the single biggest dropoff is in your current onboarding experience?
  7. Have you mapped out the number of times each person performed your core action last month?
  8. Have you spoken to five of your most and least engaged users?
  9. Do you know why people say they leave?

This audit works best for software-as-a-service products that have found product-market fit. Not ideal for early-stage startups, e-commerce products or attentional products like social platforms.

Ideally, you’ve been in business for a year or two. Focusing on retention makes the offers the best return on investment once you have about a thousand new users a month. If you’re past this stage then you’re probably already doing all of this stuff.


If you found the audit useful please let me know what your score was (out of 9) here on LinkedIn. I’m working on improving my LinkedIn presence at the moment and comments on posts help a lot. All feedback is welcome and appreciated and I’m also happy to answer any questions about the framework.