Measuring and Boosting Product Engagement – the PES framework


  • PES measures user engagement with a product through adoption, stickiness, and growth.
  • A high PES can help identify conversion opportunities, reduce churn, and improve the product experience.
  • To calculate PES, you need to track adoption, stickiness, and growth rates. Then, combine them and divide the result by three.
  • To improve PES, focus on improving adoption, stickiness, and growth rates altogether and enhance each element.
  • Keep in mind that a good product engagement rate falls between 70 to 80.

If you're a product manager who is now ready to take a step forward with more complicated metrics…

You're in the right place.

Well, I mean, it's not as complicated as rocket science but it can surely rocket your business to a different place if you know how to benefit from it.

Without further ado, let me take you to a whole new world like Aladdin did 🧞‍♂️

What is PES?

PES (Product Engagement Score) shows how users engage with your product.

Let's elaborate a little: PES is a way to keep track of in-app user engagement. It allows you to see how your user base interacts with your product or service.

The PES overview chart has three legs: adoption, stickiness, and growth. After combining the data you get from these categories, you get to measure product engagement.

Don't let the name fool you, though. Unlike NPS (Net Promoter Score), product engagement is rather an objective measurement of user behavior.

Thanks to PES, product engagement managers can see the number of users who spend time with your product and exactly where they spend it—providing valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and satisfaction levels.

Product engagement scores can also be employed for keeping an eye on the success of product updates or new feature releases.

By comparing engagement scores before and after a product change, you can assess the impact of these efforts and make data-driven decisions for future improvements.

In short, PES can give you indications of how your product is performing based on the data that active users provide.

What are the benefits of having a high product engagement score?

Now that you know what product engagement score is for, let's move on to the benefits that come with having a high PES.

A high product engagement score can help you:

  • identify opportunity for the users who are likely to convert,
  • pinpoint the possible product-qualified leads,
  • reduce churn, and
  • improve the product experience.

Let me break it down one by one:

If you measure your product engagement score regularly, you'll enable teams to see from the point of view that your users have—how they interact with your product, combining user activity and user engagement together.

With a high engagement score, you'll be able to focus on the users who are actively making use of the product, basically, those who are more likely to convert.

This can be an opportunity for expansion, such as upselling and cross-selling. Here, you can also take the initiative by promoting specific add-ons and free trials on premium features.

Also, a high engagement score can shorten the amount of time spent finding PQLs; PES helps you find product-qualified leads by monitoring which users have been benefiting from the product in a way that leads to an upgrade.

Moving onto the third benefit, which is reducing the churn rate. A high PES displays a map of highly active and inactive users; you can skip the part where you focus on finding the inactive users and start discovering the problem area.

Last but not least, throughout the steps of PES, you'll notice the pros and cons of your core product. By attending to each area that needs improvement, you'll create a better SaaS product over time.

In other words, a high PES will guide you to what you lack and help you form an effective strategy that will enable high retention and a better customer experience.

Calculating the Product Engagement Score

Knowing what PES is capable of, it's high time we learned how to calculate it.

Calculating Product Engagement Score

‎To track this product engagement metric, you'll need three other essential metrics: adoption rate, stickiness rate, and growth rate.

❗Keep in mind that your PES can vary based on user base. A user who just went through the onboarding experience and a happy customer who actively makes use of your product are at two different points of their user journey. That's why you should segment users and measure PES accordingly.

1) Adoption Rate

The first of these three key metrics is related to product adoption, which shows how many of your product features your active users are using.

In other terms, it reveals how successful the features you've launched so far are, all based on product usage.

To measure the adoption rate, you'll need to find the average number of core events (features) adopted by the active visitors and users.

Then, you need to divide that number by the total number of users and multiply the result by 100.

Here goes your feature adoption rate!

2) Stickiness Rate

The second metric you'll need to track is product stickiness.

Stickiness puts forward the rate your users come back to your product on a regular basis, which reveals if your users perceive value in using your product.

There are two ways you can measure this metric: weekly and monthly.

For the former, you'll need to divide the number of daily active users (DAUs) by the number of weekly active users (WAUs).

The latter requires you to divide the number of weekly active users by the number of monthly active users (MAUs).

Here, I should remind you that the weekly-to-monthly ratio gives a more accurate view of engagement level, while the daily-to-weekly ratio is a better choice for everyday products.

3) Growth Rate

The last metric of the day is the growth rate, which indicates how fast a business grows.

To calculate it, you need to sum up the revenue you get from the number of new users with the revenue you earn from the recovered users—visitors can work as well if your application is free.

Then, you need to do the same for the churned customers and visitors in order to find your lost revenue.

Now, all there is left to do is divide these two numbers to find your growth.

To calculate PES:

Add adoption, stickiness, and growth rate together and divide the total amount by three; that is your product engagement score!

9 Tips for Improving the Product Engagement Score

Well, surely the answer to this question goes through improving all three legs of the PES:

  • Adoption rate,
  • Stickiness rate,
  • Growth rate.

How to Improve the Adoption Rate?

This product metric is all about the value customer finds in your product, just like I mentioned above.

Thus, you have to make sure that customers understand your value proposition and meet their needs within the product to increase adoption.

To do so, you can try these effective strategies:

1. Prepare a Top-Notch Onboarding Experience

👉 The initial onboarding flow always supports product adoption since it's the first time users get to explore the features you offer and understand the real value your product offers.

So, you should regularly get feedback on your user onboarding in order to update it from time to time with key feature improvements and new features.

Also, let me remind you that an onboarding process that users interact with allows them to have a better experience—so you should invest in an interactive walkthrough for users to turn into power users in no time.

2. Improve User Experience

👉 To drive adoption, you'll need to engage your user base better than ever, which you can easily accomplish by improving user experience.

It might sound odd, but doing this requires you to get to know your users. You can segment customers, look into their activities, and group their tendencies.

Ultimately, this will help you align your product with user needs, increasing adoption single-handedly.

3. Proactively Address Support Tickets

👉 Don't forget to prioritize your customer support tickets because bad customer support is one of the reasons for the low adoption rate.

Categorize tickets, prioritize based on repetitiveness of questions and requests, and address it with your product team – develop a feature that eliminates the issue or create educational content that addresses the question.

Once your customers see that they are valued and heard in your product, it'll surely resonate with your product.

How to Improve the Stickiness Rate?

Moving onto the product stickiness, let me summarize what it is and why it's important: Stickiness refers to the pull your product has when it comes to users.

It plays a great role in user engagement as it's about your product's daily active users who come back to your product on a regular basis.

4. Improve Your Product's Value Proposition

👉 To improve this important metric, you need to focus on what matters: your product. To elaborate… your solution.

Here, you should find ways to make your solution a part of your users' everyday lives by growing it into a tool that simplifies all of the processes your product promises to streamline in the first place.

You might keep an eye on the feature requests, and enhance existing features to successfully create habits for them to adopt when dealing with their pain points within your product.

In short, I can say that increasing product engagement and feature adoption hold hands with making a product sticky.

5. Also Focus on What Makes Users NOT Come Back

👉 Another tip I recommend is to try collecting feedback from, here it goes, not only from active users but also from users who churned.

While it's truly important to learn why a customer churned to take precautions, here, it earns another meaning since it's related to the inability to perceive the overall product value.

You can utilize in-app elements like surveys to hear what your users think about your product and what you could improve to make their experience better.

6. Push Upgrades to Engaged Users and Turn Them Into Champions

👉 You can also make use of upsells after the activation period.

How? By promoting your premium features to users, which should be done based on user behavior in order to provide them with the features that they'll surely think of adopting.

You might offer free trials for them to try these features out or use modals that catch their attention to upgrade their plan.

The decision is all yours ✍️

How to Improve the Growth Rate?

Growth is a rate that combines the efforts of marketing, sales, customer success, and product teams, which gives you an overview of how well your product is growing.

You can compare your ratio to other successful SaaS businesses in order to see how you're doing compared to the marketplace and analyze the ups and downs regularly.

7. Product Growth Equals Business Growth

👉 In order to increase this metric, you need to put extra importance on product development since growth feeds from the continuous process of retaining existing customers while getting new customers.

And, you know… the easiest way to secure customers (new or existing) is to provide them with a great product that solves their pain points—which you can manage with a well-prepared product roadmap.

Happy customers = Loyal customers who increase customer retention 😉

8. Optimize Sales Pipelines

👉 The second tip I can give regarding boosting growth is through improving your sales strategy.

Perhaps you should look into what other companies did to increase their cash flow, or you could analyze your own strategy to find lacking points that you can fix.

This step helps your sales team shorten sales cycles and accelerate any ongoing process related to sales as well.

9. Reduce CAC

👉 You know growth is related to your budget; thus, lowering your spending has a direct effect on your business' growth.

This spending could vary… For example, let's take your customer acquisition cost to hand; it can be gradually minimized if you take the necessary action for it.

By necessary action, taking a better look at your target audience to create user personas, along with improving your marketing strategy, would surely be of help.

In Short…

The product engagement score is a metric worth tracking for product managers as it displays the overview of in-app user interaction with your product.

It might even be classified as a product engagement essential for every SaaS business out there, with many competitors in the marketplace.

Keeping track of this product engagement metric comes with its benefits, such as improving the overall product experience, uncovering PQLs, and recognizing revenue opportunities.

In order to measure engagement for your product, you should also track three of the most important metrics, including adoption, stickiness, and growth rate.

Combining these three metrics and dividing the result into three will provide you with your PES.

This is all you have to do to calculate your PES, but if you're interested in improving it… then you can check the tips I prepared to enhance the PES triangle right above 😌

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good product engagement rate?

A good product engagement rate typically falls between 70 to 80, according to product managers. Achieving higher rates can be more challenging as the number of user interactions increases.

What is a high-engagement product?

A high-engagement product is a product that captivates and retains the attention of its users, encouraging regular interaction. These products are designed to create a strong emotional connection with the user, leading to increased product usage, customer loyalty, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction.

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Renk Mert

Renk Mert

Sugar, spice, and everything nice... These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect creative content writer. But UserGuiding accidentally added an extra ingredient to the concoction: *sass*. Thus, the daydreamer Renk with an undying love for cats was born. Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn to talk about user onboarding, inbound marketing, and even the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.