Power Users

Power Users

If you had to put customers into a hierarchy, power users would sit right at the top. These valuable, highly engaged users are among the most loyal, boost your NPS score and they can help you develop products and services that win over more users.

Who Are Power Users?

Simply put, power users are your most important users. Power users are more engaged than anyone else and will interact with your brand the most frequently, usually on a daily basis. They are the advocates that love a brand and remain loyal to it over the long-term. 

Power users bring your company value in a number of ways. For starters, they have high lifetime value (LTV). You can count on power users for repeat purchases that directly drive revenue growth.

They’re also the first to sing your praises and leave a glowing review. In their real-world interactions, power users are the people most likely to recommend your business to family and friends. Their enthusiasm can send a lot of business your way. 

Power users are also the people who help you establish patterns of engagement that can be used to create a viable business model. They’ll be the first to let you know if a feature is or isn’t working and what can be done to make a product even better. 

Using the Power User Curve to Measure Engagement

As we’ve already covered, measuring daily active users and monthly active users has it’s shortcomings. The power user curve technique is aimed at giving companies a better way to gauge the engagement of users.

With the power user curve you track the total number of days that users were active in a month (Day 1 through 30) in a bar graph. Usually, there are a lot of users that are active just one or two days out of the 30. The goal is to make sure you also have a good percentage of power users that are active for 30 days.

Let’s look at an example:

Company A has 1000 users. A total of 200 users are only active one day. So the measurement for one day is 20%. There are also 150 users that were active for two days out of the 30. So two days measures in at 15%. Things drop off with only 75 users active three days out of the month for a total of 7.5% of the overall user base. 

Things continue to decline, level out between days 10 and 20, then something starts to happen. The numbers start to go back up. Not as high as the start of the curve (one day, two days, etc.) but it’s back up to 7.5% for 30 days of active use. Those are your power users. They are the ones that are active 30 out of 30 days. The users that are in the 25-29 days range are potential power users that are heavily engaged. 

As you can see, the power user curve bar graph provides a visual representation of how engaged the entire user base is by bucketing users based on the number of days they were active. In most cases, there’s a left-leaning curve, right-leaning curve or a curve in the shape of a smile (higher at the beginning and end of the range and lower in the middle).

  • The left-leaning curve indicates that most users are active fewer days out of the month and there are very few, if any, power users. 
  • A right-leaning curve shows that the majority of users are active at least 15 of the 30 days. 
  • A smile curve is also positive as it indicates daily activity outpaces some lower totals so there is a group of power users. 

Of course, some business models aren’t based on daily engagement. For some companies, use a couple of times a week is indicative of a power user. A left-leaning curve would be expected in this case and the goal would be to have a good portion of users active around 10-12 days a week.

If needed, the power user curve can be adjusted to gauge seven days of use rather than 30 days. This is usually the modeled used for B2B products and SaaS that are used in the workplace. 

The Power User Curve can provide instant insight, but looking at the data over time is even more powerful. Comparing data month-over-month will tell you if the number of power users is growing, which suggests engagement is improving or users are losing interest. Using cohort analytics you can identify changes that encourage or discourage frequent use. You can also rank different user segments by their level of engagement.

How to Identify Your Power Users

The power user curve is a fantastic tool for gauging interest and understanding how many power users you have, but it won’t tell you who those power users are. Luckily, there are a few additional methods that can be used to figure out who your power users are and what matters most to them. 

Behavioral Analytics

Behavioral analytics gives you an in-depth view of all the ways users are interacting with your product, app or service beyond the activities that are set to measure daily, weekly and monthly use. Creating behavioral cohorts based on user activity allows you to categorize users for analysis and figure out if a cohort contains power users. Tracking the cohorts will tell you how different types of users use a product or service, the frequency of use and the rate of retainment.

Retainment is crucial when you’re analyzing power users. These are the users you want to stick around as long as possible. While you are looking for common paths that are taken, trends and patterns that point to power users also look for signs of what keeps them coming back. 

Surveys 

Another way to figure out who your power users are is to engage with users directly through a survey. Asking questions like “how many times a day/week/month do you X” and “on a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate the value of our product” will reveal who engages the most. This is one of the same tools for determining net promotor score (NPS Score).

Final Thoughts

Knowing your current base of power users gives you a benchmark. The goal is to now grow, or at the very least retain, this group of valuable users. This can be accomplished by using the power users curve, behavioral analytics and surveys to understand how power users engage with an app, product or service, what they think is most valuable and anticipating future needs. 

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