3 Pendo recipes for driving better feature adoption

Published Mar 24, 2021

Getting people to use your newest features is all about making them aware of their availability, then nudging them to complete specific tasks that lead them to experience your product’s true value and become long-term users.

Pendo’s product analytics and in-app guidance are powerful tools for designing and executing strategies to make sure that happens with every feature, every time. In our recent webinar, “Improving feature adoption: maximising guides and walkthroughs,” Pendo principal sales engineer John Barber offered a few recipes, if you will, for driving feature adoption after launch and keeping users coming back for more.

You can’t improve what you aren’t measuring

Pendo’s retroactive analytics capture every event that happens on a platform, but not every event is created equally. The most important ones are known as “aha” moments, which we call Core Events at Pendo. You can’t know if you’re succeeding in driving users to experience them if you aren’t measuring engagement with the features they rely on from the get-go.

Using Pendo’s Data Explorer, you can set a baseline of usage for these features based on the specific event—like when someone hits the submit button on the Notes feature of a CRM—that signifies that a user has completed a task in that feature.

Then, use the Goals feature to set usage and engagement goals against that baseline. You can embed the resulting reports of progress toward those goals for each individual feature release in a single dashboard, so everyone on your team can easily see progress and tell whether the features are driving engagement. Pendo’s Core Events feature is another useful way for tracking this.

Putting those insights to use

Now that you’ve got clear vision into how extensively a feature has been adopted, it’s time to start improving those numbers. This is where Pendo’s segmentation and in-app guidance features come in. 

Your goal here is to encourage those users who haven’t yet experienced your new feature to do so. When designing a strategy to make this happen, the users who have discovered the feature and begun using it are a wealth of information.

Using Pendo’s segmentation capabilities, you can quickly parse these people out of your general user base, then send them targeted in-app surveys to ask them how they found it and what they’re finding most useful about it. This technique can also be used in beta testing to make your general availability launch more successful from the outset.

Next, you can use that information to craft in-app announcements or walkthroughs to nudge users who haven’t found the feature down the same paths that the ones who did followed. The shorter, the better here—both in the length of guide content and the number of steps you bake into a walkthrough (generally, five or fewer.)

Time to close the loop: Once you’ve designed and deployed your guides, you can overlay the performance metrics from them over the actual goal and usage metrics to see if they’re driving conversion. Then, to optimize guide effectiveness, you can use segmentation again to A/B test different iterations of content or design choices on your guides.

Make it sticky

OK, you’ve got people to discover and start using your app. How do you know if it’s providing them enough value to turn them into repeat users, which translates to long-term customer retention?

Easy: use segmentation again. You can create segments of all of your daily, weekly, and monthly active users on your application, and segments of DAU/WAU/MAU who have and have not engaged with the new feature. That’ll let you see if those who use the feature are more or less sticky than both users in general and those who haven’t used the feature.

Pendo’s retention dashboards are also a good source of insight into which features are causing users to return over time, and inversely, which users are not returning to, so you can improve or retire them.

To see the full webinar, check out the recording here: