Introduction to Analytics: Funnel Analysis

For an overview of advanced funnel features, refer to the Community Tip: Funnel Best Practices.


We've encountered quite a few people lately who are interested in Mixpanel and metrics but don't know much about the details. It seems like an introductory course could be really helpful.

Today I'd like to introduce an idea that has been around for a while, but you might not have heard of called Funnel Analysis.

What is Funnel Analysis?

A funnel is a well-defined flow on your website - the checkout process, registration, lead generation - anything where users take a series of actions before reaching some sort of goal.

So, the very first thing to do is find where these funnels occur. One example would be splash page -> demo -> sign up. This obviously varies depending on your business, but almost everyone can benefit from figuring out their funnels and how users flow through them.

To analyze this funnel, you have to find a few different things:

  • Current conversion rates (do you know this?)

  • Current dropoff rates

The conversion rate is pretty obvious - what percentage of users who hit the registration page are registering? - but the dropoff rates are less so.

At every stage in the funnel, you lose some people. Generally a lot of people. Even if your front page is entirely focused on getting people to try your demo or sign up, you will likely lose at least half of your visitors before they make it to the next step. You will also lose people who make it to the download page or registration page, who will just decide not to continue. It's important to be able to figure out where you stand before you do any tweaking.

How it will help you

If you've made it this far, I'm sure you see the possibilities - by constantly measuring this funnel, you can see how the changes you make affect user behavior.

You can also find bottlenecks in the process. You might find that there's one page with a 90% dropoff rate that is killing conversions. When you find that out, you can start testing variations of the page and watching your dropoff rate and conversions.

Fixing the dropoff

The first thing to do is approach the problem from the point of view of a user. Move through your funnel and think about the bottlenecks objectively. If you can identify things that annoy you or turn you off, you have a good chance of increasing your retention.

Some possible issues to consider:

  • Do you require registration to continue?

  • Is there an obvious way to continue?

  • Is there something wrong with the design on that page?

Another possibility is that you aren't focusing enough on what you want your users to do next. You might want them to continue to the purchase page, but they could get distracted by ads, menu links, etc. It's important to remove distractions at the critical points in your funnel, and to make the desired action the easiest to take.

Conclusion

Figuring out your funnels is one of the most important things you can do to increase your quantitative understanding of your website. It's critical to get the starting measurements - the dropoff and conversion rates - before you change anything. That's the only way you can know the effect of the changes you make.

By constantly tweaking and measuring, you should be able to really improve your number of conversions.

We want your input!

Mixpanel is working on a better, simpler funnel analysis and we would love to hear what you want to see. Please leave comments or email me at tim@mixpanel.com with any suggestions. If you have tried other funnel analysis software we want to hear all about their flaws!

Community Tip: Codeless Event Tracking for iOS & Android

This Community Tip will walk you through setting up Mixpanel’s codeless event tracking. This is the quickest and easiest way to get started tracking events in your iOS or Android mobile app. If your app already has the Mixpanel SDK installed, you will be able to start tracking events immediately, without re-submitting to the app store! The screenshots below are iOS but everything discussed here will apply to both iOS and Android. As long as you have the Mixpanel SDK installed in your app and it's being properly initialized, you're ready to go. If you need a reminder on how to initialize the library, here are the steps for iOS and Android . Getting connected The first thing to do is launch your app in the simulator or on a device. For demonstration purposes, I'll be using my awesome trivia app, Trvl (pronounced “Trivial”). Once it's open, navigate to your Mixpanel project and c...

Community Tip: Integrating Google AdWords with Mixpanel

This Community Tip will take you step-by-step through the process used to push Google AdWords campaign information to Mixpanel. This tutorial will ensure your campaign settings in Google are configured correctly. After setting up your campaigns, Mixpanel's JavaScript SDK will do the rest. This tutorial is broken into two parts. The first walks through the necessary settings in your Google AdWords dashboard. If you're using Mixpanel's JavaScript library, great news! No additional set up or coding is required for ad information to propagate into Mixpanel. If you're driving traffic to a mobile app, you'll want to read about mobile attribution with Mixpanel . The latter sections detail an optional and more advanced step-by-step guide that takes you through the process of setting up UTM-tags in parallel with autotagging (typical only for those using both Mixpanel and Google Analytics in ...

Community Tip: People Properties Best Practices

This Community Tip is geared for anyone interested in using Mixpanel’s People Analytics or seasoned users interested in tweaking their implementations. We'll help answer the question: What types of data should we be storing in People Profiles? People Analytics allow you to send highly targeted messages to your users People Analytics allows you to send targeted messages to your users by leveraging the People properties stored within each profile. When setting People Properties, you have five options of data to include: String, Numeric, Boolean, Date, and List type. For more on how to properly send these types to Mixpanel, check out this article! Each of these data types allows us to create differently targeted campaigns. Sometimes the differences in the properties can be subtle. For example, let's say you want to email your users after they sign up for a paid plan. 1) ...

Community Tip: Implementing Mixpanel via Google Tag Manager

This Community Tip will take you step-by-step through implementing Mixpanel with Google Tag Manager for tracking page views, link clicks, and form submissions. Pros and cons of implementing Mixpanel with Google Tag Manager Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a free application that allows users to remotely alter & activate certain code snippets that fire in a web or mobile app, without requiring direct access to the codebase or an App Store resubmission. GTM works by having you install a single code snippet, which fetches and runs any custom script "tags" you've set up within GTM's own UI based on "triggers" that you've identified. GTM can be particularly handy if you're in charge of your product's analytics, but would need to take up a developer's time in order to make any changes to the codebase. The software allows you to alter isolated portions of your code via a relatively int...

Community Tip: Useful Super Properties

Super Properties give you the power to cohortize user actions by descriptions of your users. This Community Tip lists many useful super properties by industry or focus, and describes how to implement super properties with any of Mixpanel’s client-side SDKs. Note : Super Properties are supported in all Mixpanel client-side libraries: JavaScript , iOS , Android , and AS3 . What is a Super Property? Generally, Super Properties are things you know about the user rather than about a specific event - for example, the age, gender, advertising source, or initial referrer. To make things easier, you can register these properties as super properties. If you tell us just once that these properties are important, we will automatically include them with all events sent. Super properties are stored in a browser cookie or local storage, and will persist between visits to your site ...

Community Tip: List Properties

Today’s Community Post will cover the ins and outs of list properties. We’ll go over how to set list type properties and why you want to use them. What is a list property? Event properties are a great way to send Mixpanel a lot of detailed information about how users interact with your website/app. In addition to lots of awesome property datatypes (numbers, strings, booleans), we support list properties. List properties are as simple as the name sounds—it’s a property containing a list of information! List properties allow you to describe dimensions that contains more than one value. When would you want to use a list property? You would want to use list properties whenever you have more than one value for a given property. Some examples: Items purchased in a “Checkout completed” event Multiple artists for a “Song Played” event Experiment groupings for A/B ...

Community Tip : Addiction Best Practices

This Community Tip will illustrate how to interpret Mixpanel’s Addiction Report. We’ll walk through some best practices and methods for using the Addiction report to analyze your users’ behavior with an eye towards actionable insights. Our Retention report shows the portion of your customers or customer cohorts who engage with your application. Mixpanel’s Addiction Report takes it to the next level and analyzes the minimum number of hours or days your users engage with your app. How to interpret an Addiction Report The first column of the Addiction report displays the number of users in the cohort displayed on that row, just like our First Time and Recurring Retention reports. In the screenshot below, it means that 6,054 unique users fired an “App Open” event on February 1st. Each of the buckets (column headings) to the right indicate how many hours in day, days in a week, or day...

Updates to segmentation: See your top events & compare events too

We've made Segmentation a whole lot better, and we're excited to share all the updates we've made: See an overview of your top events We've made it possible to see an overview of the highest volume events that your users take in your app. It can help you see spikes in your data, and it's just a convenient way to get a snapshot of how things are going. Compare trends more easily Comparing two or more different events is now possible, so you can analyze the correlation between events. Just click the compare menu option after picking the first event. Plot your data in logarithmic scale It can often be tough to compare two trends if one event or segment dwarfs another or if your app takes off and creates a big spike in your metrics because the big differences in scale make it hard to see what's going on. With a logarithmic scale, you'll be able to compare and correlate...

Community Tip: Incremental Super Properties

This Community Tip will outline how to create incremental super properties using our JavaScript SDK, so you can keep a tally of how often a user takes specific actions on your site or in your app and then segment any event by count. What Makes A Super Property So Super? Before we dive in to incremental super properties let’s have a quick reminder of what super properties are. Super properties are client-side properties that are automatically attached to every event that a user sends to your Mixpanel project. They make working with Mixpanel data much more convenient because they act as global properties that are omnipresent in all your events (given that the cookie is not cleared). Some examples of information that you may want to attribute to every event are ad campaign, signup date, or paid account type, etc. It’s important to note that super properties are only for events , not...