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How to use retention

Suhail Doshi

This post is out of date

Retention today is even better – you can define cohorts by any event and properties.

See it in action here: https://mixpanel.com/blog/2013/08/13/chewing-on-retention/


Mixpanel offers cohort analysis which is also called retention. In this
article, I am going to describe the feature and all the things it offers step
by step.

1. You can find retention reports by clicking on the retention icon on the left hand side:

Click on an event that you’d like to see retention for. Try choosing an event
that your users do often besides a page view.

2. Understanding your retention

The first thing you will see is a graph at the top which is your retention
graphed over time. This helps you understand if your retention is improving as
time goes on.

The next thing you will see is a table. The table is the easiest way to
understand your retention. What you’re seeing is a table that shows how many
users come back to do a specific event again some time later. Here’s how to
read it: On July 19th, 7,678 people showed up and 1 day later 1,189 of them
came back again to do the same event. That was 15.49% of all the new people
who haven’t been seen previously. Birth class retention, which is what we’re
discussing, looks at only new people who did this event. So if this same set
of people came back tomorrow to do that event, they would not be counted. This
helps you see how a fresh group of users retain which can be helpful if you
decide to make changes.

For more information you can read our post on what retention means, helps you
with, and tricks for improving it here.

3. Advanced features

You can change the date interval using the menu at the top right.

You can also see compounded based
retention
by selecting the menu that says “birth” in the image above.
Compounded continues to count the same users–even from the previous day,
which helps you understand your power user retention.

You can see more retention cohorts by clicking on the more link in blue. To
export this data to an excel spreadsheet, you can click the green export
button.

4. Implementing and getting retention data

Implementing and getting retention data is very easy. All you have to do is
track an event and we will automatically provide you retention information.
It’s as simple as mpmetrics.track(“Tweeted”); in Javascript to see the percent
of people who come back and tweet again.

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