Your Data-Led Strategy should include these three metrics.

1. Time to Value

2. PQL.

3. Product Adoption Indicator.


1. Time to value is the amount of time it takes new users to realize your product’s value, based on the time between when the account is created and when the main activation event occurs. You should reduce the time to value as much as possible, the sooner users reach their first aha moment or activation event, the better.

To do this, focus on optimizing your user onboarding experience based on the following dimensions :

Who are your customers?

What are the main user needs and desired outcomes?

What is their lifecycle stage?

What are the main events that are required to achieve the desired outcome?

Personalization is critical to optimizing your user onboarding process.


2. Product-qualified Leads (PQLs).


Firstly, what PQLs are not :

-People who upgrade their free plan.

-Marketing qualified leads.

-User who signs up for a free trial.

-Users who just logged into your app.


A PQL is defined by identifying your main product’s activation event and the actions that users perform within your product that indicate they experienced your product’s value.

Could a PQL be when someone activates their email, completes a key task once in a product, sends 1,000 messages, or adds a member to the platform?

Each of these PQLs are closely related to what your business offers as a product, and if users become PQLs, the likelihood of them becoming a paying or returning customer increases significantly.

What is your definition of a PQL for your business?


3. Product Adoption Indicator (PAIs).


Habit-forming requires users to experience the value of a product more than once. New users are more likely to stick with the product if they have used it enough times.

 For Slack, a team is not considered onboarded until they’ve sent not one, not ten, but 2,000 messages. At this threshold, they’ve found the teams who are most likely to continue using it.

 Since this onboarding success metric is a leading indicator of user retention and product adoption. PAI is an early but strong indicator that users have developed a habit of using the product and are likely to continue doing so in the future. 

It is important to note that PAIs are tightly linked to retention and monetization.

When users reach this point, you’ve set them up for success. They are now ready to move on to the next step in the customer journey. They have completed the first phase of the user onboarding process: they have perceived, experienced, and adopted your product for the first time, and are now ready to pay.

What is your definition of a PAI for your business?


The 3 metrics are described by Ramli John and Wes Bush to improve activation, adoption, and retention in a digital product.

Posted by:Fran Castillo