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This is part of our How We Work series of blog posts. Today, we're talking about how we use Pirate Metrics to measure platform success.

Measuring Up

We collect, measure, and analyze platform metrics on a regular basis. Everything we learn helps us prioritize the development roadmap, determine whether the platform is getting traction, and improve overall engagement.

Pirate Metrics

We use the Pirate Metrics (or the AARRR) framework as a foundation for all of our tracking. It's divided into five steps, from acquisition to revenue. By no means is it a definitive source of actual KPIs; it's simply meant to show how and why we track items within the platform.

Measuring Platform Success with Pirate Metrics


You acquire a user. For SaaS products, it's typically a sign up.

Questions we'll ask:

  • How will users find you?
  • How many users do you have, and which sources did they come from?
  • What does success look like, and how will we measure it?

Metrics we'll track:

  • Email open rates
  • Email engagement rates
  • Website traffic
  • Website traffic conversion rates
  • SEM and SEO performance


Your user has their first experience with your product.

Questions we'll ask:

  • How can we create a great first experience?
  • How many first-time users sign up, and how many bounce?
  • What does the engagement funnel look like?
  • How are we providing relevant content and education to orient all user groups?
  • What does success look like, and how will we measure it?

Metrics we'll track:

  • Users who have come to the site and performed an action.
  • Users who have converted into members or paying customers.


Your user continues to use your product, indicating they like the product experience.

Questions we'll ask:

  • Why will users come back?
  • What makes the app "sticky"?
  • If there is a subscription component, how are we providing new and incremental value each month?
  • Should people connect with each other on the platform?
  • Should they connect with companies, brands, and influencers on similar journeys?
  • What do those touch points look like?
  • What does success look like and how will we measure it?

Metrics we'll track:

  • Users who return to site in between regularly scheduled communications.
  • Users who use the Search functionality to access and engage with resources.


Your user likes the product so much that they refer other new users.

Questions we'll ask:

  • How and why will users spread the word?
  • How will we integrate with social media channels, and what are the goals?
  • What does success look like and how will we measure it?

Metrics we'll track:

  • Sharing of communications via email or through the platform.
  • Recruitment by applicants of their friends and contacts.


The user becomes a paying customer.

Questions we'll ask:

  • What are the different ways we will monetize the platform?
  • When do we gate access to content, and when do we leave it open to the public?
  • How do we differ the delivery to a company versus an individual?
  • What does success look like and how will we measure it?

Metrics we'll track:

  • Number of total new customers.
  • Number of transactions.
  • Average cart checkout value.

Analytics and Tracking Frameworks

We always start by discussing any technical constraints to gathering data. Typically, we use Segment, a core analytics service for collecting and tracking user and system data. We track user attributes like email, name, location, and any other custom properties that matter to your business. Then, we associate those attributes to events the users perform, like creating campaigns or buying coffee.

Once we integrate Segment into the application and the data is recording properly, we can send that data to more than 200 third-party services --- Google Analytics, Intercom --- without having to update the codebase or perform individual service integrations. It's pretty fancy stuff, and it translates to better data, deeper insights, increased efficiency, lower costs, and more flexibility as your business and platform evolve.