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Last updated on 3/7/22

Retention and Revenue: Engage Your Users Over Time

The growth hacker must ensure that users become active and regularly use the service. For example, through regular updates, new feature offers, events, discount vouchers, or even loyalty programs.

Mark Zuckerberg succeeded in raising funds with a PowerPoint slide on which appeared:

"Facebook users spend 5 hours a day on the site."

Their retention KPI is therefore the time spent per day on Facebook.

Not every site is Facebook, and not all sites are designed to demonstrate such a long time spent to prove successful retention but consider this for your website.

Measure the Engagement

The hardest metric to reach is commitment. It makes the product grow and must be your top priority. To nurture it, ask the following question:

How can I get people to come back or stay on my site?

Here are several examples to explain how these brands work and measure retention.

For Airbnb, user retention does not take the same form as Facebook. Once their first visitors appreciate the service, Airbnb invites them to publish their own apartment.

You can see that it is not easy to inspire confidence in someone who has never seen Airbnb. However, making sure their first use goes well is much easier to manage. 

At Twitter, the social network identified a minimum threshold of followers to follow. Starting from 30, a user becomes active: this threshold allows the user to obtain interesting content, then at a second stage to create engagement (retention). Before this critical threshold, the user didn't have much interest in spending time on the platform.

Once they made this discovery, Twitter redesigned the entire platform structure as well as the user pathways to ensure that new users begin to follow interesting people with sections such as "Who to follow this week." 

In its early days, LinkedIn encountered the following issues: users signed up, completed their profile, then nothing, they left and did not interact. Many profiles were created without a link between them and without specific value.

After a thorough statistical study, the LinkedIn teams realized that a user is much more inclined to complete a task if they have already done it once. They decided to add, after registration, the +1 skill (this feature allows you to recommend someone's skills). If the user has done it once, they'll be more likely to do it again later. It created interactions between the users and brought more engagement because peers could recommend each other's skills and make the profiles more reliable.

Identify Disengaged Customers

To work on retention, recognize the symptoms of disengaged customers. A graph like this takes into account the number of connections per day:

Graph representing the number of connections per day in relation to the time spent. It shows three curves. The first two (regular customer and new customer) are respectively stable and increasing, while the third curve is decreasing.
Here you have the average connection per day on the y-axis, and time on the x-axis. The green curve represents regular customers, the blue newly registered, and the yellow lost customers.

Work on Your Retention

Here are some strategies to work on your retention from the Intercom company's blog

Educate Your Customers on the Use of Your Product

You can, for example:

  • Conduct webinars or product demonstrations to show the key steps and product benefits.

A study shows that customers who participated in a webinar are six times more likely to be activated, compared to those who did not.

  • Content guides help them get started with your solution, particularly on difficult to understand points on the use of your product/content.

Teach your customers to become experts of your products, for example, by giving them keyboard shortcuts concerning online tools to optimize their productivity.

Integrate Your Product Into Tools They Use Every Day

An excellent way to get your users back is to integrate your product into everyday tools like Facebook, Twitter, or Slack. The multiplatform presence allows you to be a constant reminder in different places of their lives.

Communicate Regularly

Remember to communicate about your progress, next events, new features, or meaningful projects.

Wake Up Sleeping Customers

Once you identify your disengaged customers, motivate them by sending them a promotional code, feedback, or a credit for your tool.

Engage your audience to the fullest, even on social media. As an inspiration, here's an example of an interaction with users which caught a lot of people by surprise:

Two competing brands start a dialogue together around unity.
Two competing brands start a dialogue together around unity as Black Lives Matters   #BLM becomes headline news. 

And here's another example where Burger King launches an ad campaign about being part of the pollution problems and vowing to combat the issues. This commercial doesn't mention anything nice about their products, but it will undoubtedly create a lot of conversation around the brand.

Rely On Tools

To achieve effective retention, you need a good understanding of the user, which offers the possibility of having a simplified communication.


In my opinion, it's the ultimate retention tool.

Intercom installs a chat at your website's bottom right: both for the activation stages and the more advanced product support stages. Intercom creates a dialogue between you and the user when they need it. It's even able to find a blog that answers a user's question through chat questions.

If these are frequently asked questions, you can set up precise automatic responses. The product is intelligent: it recognizes a certain number of interactions as it goes along and provides you with a dashboard about the interactions and the regular friction points of your users.


Another tool that will assist you throughout your growth is HubSpot. It's an inbound marketing tool that helps companies attract visitors to their website, convert these visitors into leads, and conclude sales. HubSpot has many features and can benefit both the marketing and sales departments.

Take Part in Defining the Right Price

The next step in the conversion funnel is the revenue step. Here's some great content on pricing your work.

However, income is important, but it should not be your priority. You will only generate revenue if the previous steps have been successful.

Also, even if it's the end of the line, it's not specific to growth hacking.

Let's Recap!

The goal of the retention step is to bring users back. To work on your retention, you should:

  • Measure the engagement of your users.

  • Identify disengaged customers.

  • Wake up these disengaged customers in different ways: using invitations to webinars, sending informational guides or promotional codes, communicating company news, being a presence in the daily lives of users.

The last step is the referral or recommendation: turn your users into true brand ambassadors. Join me in the next chapter to talk about that!

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