Inside Mixpanel

How to use Mixpanel to drive your website KPIs

Katie Herbst

In my role as the Website Marketing Manager at Mixpanel, I am responsible for creating and maintaining a great user experience for our site visitors, while also supporting Mixpanel’s growth efforts by filling the sales pipeline with qualified leads.

To keep a pulse on the site, I regularly use Mixpanel to monitor and track top line metrics for traffic, on-site engagement, conversions, and drop-offs. These metrics help me spot problems and potential solutions, form hypotheses, optimize the user experience, and ultimately make decisions that are informed by data. Here are some of the ways I use Mixpanel to understand what’s happening on our website.

Visualizing the most common user paths that lead to goal actions

With Flows, I can choose a specific event or page name, and then see the most common paths customers and prospects are taking on Mixpanel.com. This enables me to visualize where we can optimize the user journey. For example, I was surprised to find that site visitors often view job opportunities immediately after visiting the About page.

Alternatively, Flows has the flexibility to view a report “ending with” a goal event, such as signup or form submit, to see which pages or content visitors are engaging with prior to completing that event. With this example, Flows helps me get a sense for what’s most important for visitors to learn about Mixpanel before they want to try it out or speak with a member of our team. Then, filtering by other properties, such as UTMs or cohorts help to paint a clearer picture of how visitors’ journeys differ based on their source or customer status.

Armed with this information, we’re working to optimize site journeys to encourage visitors deeper into the Mixpanel ecosystem by making it as easy as possible to find the content that they are looking for.

Example Flow report showing customer journeys

Optimizing for the right audiences

At Mixpanel, we use VWO as our testing and user research tool for everything from launching new content to optimizing our messaging and user experience on the website. Using VWO’s integration with Mixpanel, I’m able to pull test variants into Mixpanel and layer additional events and properties onto the goal events to more deeply analyze our test results.

To bring this to life, if I’m looking to optimize a specific call to action on the website, VWO will help me see which variant has a better conversion rate, and therefore is the one we should move forward with. But then, with Mixpanel, I’m able to more clearly understand whether those conversions are the ones we actually want to be optimizing for by layering on the properties that we care about most, such as company size or geography, among other demographic factors. Language such as “Sign up now” and “Get Mixpanel today” may seem the same, but user behavior shows a real difference that affects our bottom line.

A sample insights report outlining form submissions from two A/B test variants.

Surfacing and explaining anomalies quickly

Anomaly Detection helps surface noteworthy changes–both good and bad. Then, Anomaly Explains automatically diagnoses the cause of changes such as large increases in site traffic (did it come from a piece of press, new report that launched, or bots?), or fluctuations in site conversions (content downloads, increased demo submits, contact us requests, and signups).

For example, in early 2018, a dramatic increase in site traffic and decrease in overall conversion rate was very quickly surfaced through Anomaly Detection. Then Anomaly Explains helped pinpoint the related properties of what was bot traffic, which we filtered from the website. Before Anomaly Detection, I would have a spent a lot of time sorting and filtering to find the culprit before being able to remedy the issue.

Over the last year, Anomaly Detection and Anomaly Explains have saved me hours of digging, sifting, and sorting through our data, ultimately enabling me more time to focus on large strategic initiatives.

A sample Dashboard with an anomaly detected

At the end of the day, my role is not to simply monitor metrics—it’s to make sense of our engagement metrics and then take action to move them so that we achieve our business goals. So long as Mixpanel has a website, there will always be something that can be improved. By focusing on the key metrics that drive the business and testing our hypotheses, we’re able to build a website that guides customers to the content they’re looking for, and increases our conversions. Before taking this job, I had never used Mixpanel, but now I’m both thankful and excited for the additional insights and analysis it helps me unlock every day.

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