Best Practices

A guide to calculating your product engagement score

Published Mar 4, 2021

Product managers are often focused on continuously improving the features and functionality they build. While this is important (and a key aspect of being a PM), it’s also useful to take a step back every once in a while and see if the way you measure your product needs improving, too.

We introduced the product engagement score (PES) as a way for PMs to quickly understand how a product is performing. Since PES takes the average of a product’s feature adoption, stickiness, and growth, the way you calculate these metrics will impact what your score tells you and the insights you draw from it.

If you’re already using the product engagement score, think of this as a way to level up your current efforts and see if there’s a different way to calculate it that will be more impactful for your team. If you’re new to PES, this will help you get started on the right foot. 

Here’s a breakdown of the different ways to measure each component of your PES:

Adoption: It all comes down to Core Events

In PES, adoption measures the average number of Core Events, or key features in your product, used by active visitors or accounts.

What you select as your Core Events can have a big impact on your adoption metric. For example, if all of your Core Events are geared toward specific types of users (e.g. admins) or relate to features with limited use (like setting up a user profile), it could lower adoption. On the flip side, if your Core Events include site navigation or features that every user has to engage with every time they use the product, it could give you a false sense of high adoption. We recommend choosing a set of Core Events that include high-value features for all user groups, that way your adoption score will be more balanced. 

If you do choose to focus some of your Core Events on features that aren’t applicable to your entire user base, it might make sense to measure adoption at the account level instead of the user level.

Stickiness: Think about what ideal engagement looks like

Stickiness measures the percentage of users who return to your product on a regular basis. For your product engagement score, you can measure this in three different ways:

      • Monthly users who return daily (DAU/MAU)
      • Weekly users who return daily (DAU/WAU)
      • Monthly users who return weekly (WAU/MAU)

Start by identifying what ideal engagement with your product looks like. Some products (like project management tools) are meant to be used daily, others (like healthcare patient portals or expense reporting software) are geared more toward weekly or even monthly usage. Once you’ve determined what your ideal engagement looks like, you can select the stickiness measure that aligns best with your needs. 

Regardless of how you measure it, every PM wants users to continue engaging with and finding value in their product. Stickiness helps you quantify how frequently users return, allowing you to then dig into the behaviors of your highest-frequency users and use this insight to encourage similar workflows with the rest of your user base.

Growth: Decide between macro and micro views

Growth measures the net effect of your user acquisition and user retention efforts. To calculate it for PES, we use Quick Ratio, which factors user growth, retention, and churn, and accounts for how efficiently the product is growing.

So, should you be measuring growth at the account level or the visitor level? If your product is only used by individuals and not teams, the decision is easy: you’ll measure visitor growth. If the decision is less clear, start by aligning with your organization’s overarching priorities. If your company’s focus is on new logo acquisition, measuring growth at the account level will best reflect those efforts. If business priorities are centered on expansion within accounts, visitor growth may be more useful.