Growth Hacking

Getting Started With the Pirate Funnel (AAARRR)

In my previous post I talked all about the Pirate Funnel, and how it will help your start up. Now enough with the theory, time to apply the AAARRR-framework to your own business.

As a growth hacker you’ll put al your time and effort in finding the bottleneck of your company, because these are the most important for rapid growth. Filling in the Pirate Funnel will easily reveal your bottleneck. Let’s do it!

  1. Define the steps

So before you can fill in the AAARRR-framework, you have to define the steps. Take a look at your own business and write down the most important actions customers can take. This can be logging in, adding something to their basket, or simply adding a task.

Make these actions measurable. Then, make sure you got all the steps written down. Having a lot of steps is good, but limit it to ten maximum. This way, you won’t lose focus on the numbers that matter.

2. Fill in the AAARRR-steps

Ready for the confrontation? These numbers won’t lie. Find the right number for every step and write them down. You’ll find these numbers in Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook Ads, …

If you can’t find the right number, you can make an estimate if you want to. Remember: progress > perfection.

Don’t forget to pick a timeframe for these numbers. This can be the last 30 days, but you can also write down last years numbers. Unless you made some big changes, like a new website, it is best to pick the biggest timeframe.

3. Find that bottleneck

This one’s pretty easy. Just look at the percentages of customers surviving a step.

Now find the lowest percentage. This is where most people gave up.

Voilà, your bottleneck!

4. What now?

You found the problem, well done. Now, find out why the customers disappear. Talk to the customers, send them a survey. The conversation with the customer is vital, as only they hold the key to solve the bottleneck.

Time to call a meeting: gather around and put your minds together. You have succesfully allocated the problem, now you can come up with a solution!

Growth Hacking

AAARRR! This is the Pirate Funnel

Getting started with Growth Hacking can be quite overwhelming. One easy starting point is the AAARRR-framework, otherwise known as the Pirate Funnel. This important model is one of the fundamental skills in Growth Hacking. Let me explain.

The Pirate Funnel will show your startup what your focus should be. The letters AAARRR stand for:

Awareness – how many people do you reach?

Acquisition – how many of them visit your website?

Activation – how many of them subscribe/install the app/post a reaction?

Retention – how many of them revisit?

Revenue – how many of them become paying customers?

Referral – how many of them refer others?

Note: Not all business models require the same flow. It’s your call to change things up. Activation could also just be the wow-moment of the customer, and sometimes it’s better to switch retention and revenue. The Pirate Funnel was developed by Dave McClure, and the awareness was added by Growth Tribe in 2016.

How does this model help your startup?

Well, it’s pretty obvious. The Pirate Funnel is used by Growth Hackers to find the weak point of any company. This is where you need to focus. Customers will have to go trough all steps to be of any value to your company, and the Pirate Funnel will reveal the weak link.

Let’s say nobody registers for your app. Where did you go wrong? Maybe a ton of customers saw the ad, but nobody clicked on it. Maybe they all got to the site, but the interface wasn’t appealing. By filling in a Pirate Funnel Canvas, you will probably find a big drop in numbers in between steps. 

Are you ready to do some Growth Hacking yourself? In my next post you can read how to get started with your Pirate Funnel, and I will also add a Pirate Funnel Canvas!