User Retention and the Aha! moment

What is the Aha! moment ?

Its the moment users decide they are continuing to use the product.

Aha moment is when users “get” the value preposition that the product offers to them.

It is not trivial to find the exact aha event of the users, but knowing it is key, and is tightly linked to the product core value proposition.

Examples: - Twitter: you see the feed of your first contacts and read something interesting - Uber: after a smooth experience ordering a ride, it arrives at your door - Instagram: get feedback positive for first shared pictures


When a user decides to take a product for a test drive, the race is on to get user to Aha moment.

The more time spent without Aha moment, the more likely the user is not coming back.

What is your product Aha! moment ?

Product/Market fit: Satisfy market demand for a solution to a specific problem

Key: convey your value to your market in the simplest and clearest way possible. In a way that makes sense to users. Failing to convey your solution increases uncertainty ( a users that are not retained).

Finding it from data

Go look into the data and compare the users who survive (keep using the product) versus the ones who don’t…

What are the actions, the usage, they did of the product when they were new users?

Are there actions that the survivors did often and the non-survivors don’t? that’s the event that gets them to the aha moment.

And That is the event that you need to get all new users to do.


Its about retention

  1. They accept to take it for a test drive.
  2. They keep using it long term (survival)

Getting to Aha!

Once you know what is your users aha moment, create a plan on how to on-board new users so that it leads them to their Aha! moment.

Try several approaches and optimize the experience using AB testing (always keeping a control group).

Don’t overly spam users, don’t keep telling them to do something or other all the time, there’s a good balance, there’s a right timing to put the right content in front of users. There is the risk that if you spam them too much to get to their aha moment, that you get them to their no-no moment.

Most important question to start with and to really understand: What is your product Aha Moment ?


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