Retention OverviewUpdated Sept. 11, 2012
The Mixpanel retention report will help you answer the question "do my users come back?" by dividing your users into cohorts, and telling you what portion of each cohort returns to perform an event. To access the retention report, select the retention report icon (pictured to the right).
Picking the event to define your cohorts
When you first enter the retention report you will be asked to select two events. The first ("show me people who did") will be used to determine the cohort classes for the report:
We recommend that you send a $signup event for this purpose. Generally this should be sent when a user first creates an account with you. Alternatively, if you don't have a login system you could send an event called "first seen" when you encounter a user for the first time.
Picking the event to measure retention for
The second event to select ("then came back and did") is the one whose retention you actually want to measure. You should pick an event that is core to your product.
Understanding the Retention Report
Each row of the report represents a single cohort class. In the below example:
- On December 8th, 169 people triggered the $signup event
- On the 9th, 161 did
The columns represent the percentage of that cohort that triggered the second event. In this case...
- 1 day after Dec 8th, 8.82% of the original 169 viewed a page.
- 4 days after Dec 14th, 10.71% of the original 222 viewed a page
Weekly and Monthly Views
By default the cohort classes are divided into single days. Sometimes it is useful to look at retention over a longer time period - weeks or months. This can give you a longer term view of your retention. When you use the time period drop down menu to change the period, both the cohort groups change and also the units used by the column. Instead of 1,2 or 3 days later.
Segmenting your Retention Report
You can limit your data in the retention columns to those users that fired the retention event with a certain property, or combination of properties, set. To select those properties, use the properties interface under the event selection drop-down menus:
In the below example, by limiting retention to those users who come from an ad campaign called "facebook-targeted-ad" and had recieved a bonus cash award promotion, I can see that this segment has a much higher retention rate than my users at large. It probably would be a good idea to keep that ad campaign running!
If you click on the "recurring" button you will activate recurring retention. In recurring mode, you only pick a single event. Mixpanel will build cohorts based on every user who fired that event in the given time period, and then tell you what percentage of them fired that event again in subsequent time periods.