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Adoption Funnel: Steps & Tips For EACH Step

That is a low rate because if most product elements are not used, it is not possible to fully talk about its success, even if the product itself is used.

That is where Adoption Funnel comes into play. With the adoption funnel, you can observe the behavior of users interacting with the features. Moreover, you can determine which features are used, how often they are used, and set a strategy accordingly.

In addition, you can choose which quality stands out and which is in the background, and you can work to increase the activation rates of your features lagging. Continue reading to learn more about adoption, steps of the adoption funnel, and tips to maximize adoption.

Check out product adoption tools!

What Is User Adoption?


User Adoption is the process of a user getting to know your product, adopting it, and using it in the long term.

Monitoring your User Adoption Funnel allows you to focus on what is essential. It makes it easier for you to identify which of your features users adopt more efficiently and which ones they have difficulty adapting. In this direction, you can determine a more accurate adaptation strategy.

Understanding onboarding and change management is vital to improving User Adoption. According to a survey by UserIQ, 70% of respondents say onboarding is their top priority. Because onboarding is one of the essential key points in welcoming new users, you should keep in mind that users tend to prefer a new service that is more innovative and useful when needed.

How Is Feature Adoption Measured?

To determine how many of your users have adopted the feature in question, you first need to know your users’ stages while assuming a product. At this point, the four steps of the Feature Adoption Funnel developed by Justin Butlion will help you.

Tool-wise, you can use HockeyStack to measure your product’s adoption rate:

Stages Of User Adoption Funnel

#1 User Adoption Funnel Step: Exposed

The first stage in the User Adoption Funnel is the “Exposed” stage. The purpose at this stage is to identify your users who are exposed to the feature you have determined to implement in the funnel. Knowing how many people are aware of the existence of this feature will make it easier for you to manage the following stages.

The formula calculates the Exposed rate:

Exposed Rate = (Number of new adopters in a given time) / (total number of users) * 100

I can illustrate this formula with an example: Let’s say you have 200 new users who purchased your service in December. If 50 of these users visited the feature page, you specified during December, and your Exposed rate is 25%.

#2 User Adoption Step: Activated

The next step after Exposed in the Adoption funnel is Activated. In this step, you aim to determine the percentage of your users who activate your feature. You should pay attention to an essential point at this stage. To use some features, users do not need to perform any activation. You can skip this funnel stage if your users can use the feature you base the measurement on without any activation.

To continue from the previous example, let’s say that 40 of your 50 users who are aware of your feature have decided to enable it. Your activated rate covers 80% of all your exposed users and 20% of your users in December.

At this stage of the funnel, it will be in your best interest to base yourself on these two questions:

  • How long after your users were exposed to your feature did they enable it?
  • How many times did your users have to be exposed to that feature before they activate your feature based on?

Answering these two questions will serve as a clue for how you can highlight the features of your product in the future. The answers to these questions inform about the effectiveness of your feature page and the benefits of your product’s characteristics.

Remember that your users can enable or disable the features of your product. A user who currently has the quality allowed can disable it the next day. Likewise, a user who has not activated your product yet may decide to deactivate that feature tomorrow. That means that your product’s current activation rates do not show the number of all users who have activated that feature during the period you base it on.

#3 User Adoption Step: Used

In the Used stage, you aim to determine how many of the activated users are using your product. In addition, although it has an important place in determining your business strategies, the time between users’ activation and use of the product does not matter. Only the number of users who use the feature in the specified period is essential.

It would be best to consider this: You automatically start using that feature for some features when you enable the quality. In some cases, the ratio of users who activate the feature to those who use the part is unavoidable. You can skip this funnel stage and go directly to the next step in such a case. That will allow you to make a more reliable measurement.

Based on the previous example, if 20 of the 40 users who activate your feature use this feature at least once, your effective usage rate is 50%. You can calculate your general usage rate as 10% from 20/200.

#4 User Adoption Step: Used Again

At this stage, you identify the users who use the feature frequently, in other words, the permanent users of the element.

For example, if half of the 20 people who have used your feature have used the component several times, the Used Again rate among the element users is 50%. The General Used Again rate is 5%.

How To Improve Activation Rate At Each Step Of The Funnel:

You must first know your audience and set your goals very well to increase the user activation rate. Every touchpoint you interact with is within your plan in a smooth funnel. You add value to your users with these touchpoints. In addition, you must determine the endpoint to which you will move the activation. This endpoint can be a purchase or registration.

After all, you need to identify strategies that will further your adoption funnel.

#1 User Adoption Funnel Step: Exposed

The Exposed stage is where users do not know much about your features. Creative onboarding tours at this stage increase your user’s familiarity. Remember that new users have limited patience. No matter how innovative your product’s features are, users who are not exposed to how they will evaluate those features in a short time will not be able to move on to the second stage of the funnel. With a clear, quick, and effective onboarding tour, you can make your users aware of and interact with your features.

You can get help from the onboarding checklists to make the onboarding tour more interactive and smooth the flow. In this way, you can divide the onboarding into several rounds and provide lists, for example, to connect you to your information center or customer support. You motivate your users to interact with the product’s features and increase your interaction rates.

In addition to the onboarding process, you can activate this process with your users’ feedback. Users have an opinion about your product from the moment they are first exposed to it. Therefore, it is never too early to ask users for feedback. On the contrary, that shows that you care about their opinions from the very beginning. That increases your customer satisfaction. This way, you allow your users to spend more time exploring your product.

A short customer satisfaction survey that you will add to the users’ discovery process will benefit. For example, you can ask users how easy it is to learn a new feature. Or you can pose a question to see if they are satisfied with the process. In this way, you enable users to participate more actively in the process and collect feedback to improve your features.

#2 User Adoption Step: Activated

It is imperative to keep users alert to interact with the product during the Activate phase. One of the most basic ways is to remind users of your features with email optimizations periodically. With various informative and call-to-action engagement emails, you can get your users to activate your features.

The most important thing you should pay attention to in email optimizations is not to narrow them while trying to mobilize users. That’s why you should schedule your calls to action well. Emails sent in short periods cause people to feel alienated from the feature of your product. On the other hand, emails sent at long intervals will not create the desired effect.

A large percentage of people aware of a feature are not interacting with it because it can be caused by three things: bad calls to action (emails, notifications, etc.), feature bugs, and features that don’t appeal to users. Users who encounter any error will not want to enable that feature. That’s why it’s essential to keep your users informed of your parts and make sure your product works as you expect it to work.

#3 User Adoption Step: Used

From: Usetiful

To increase the activation rate in the Used stage, you can follow a similar path to the Activated location. If a user has enabled your feature but hasn’t used that feature even once, an informative or encouraging message about using the quality will be helpful.

You can use emails to remind your users of the feature and encourage them to use it, or you can attract their attention by announcing new versions and updates to the element. In this way, you inform your users about the innovations of your product and push them to use the product.

Along with email campaigns and release notes, in-app notifications are excellent triggers for using the features. A notification about the users of the innovation you will encounter in your application will effectively use that feature.

#4 User Adoption Step: Used Again

The first stage of increasing your activation rate in the used phase is identifying people who do not use the feature more than once with SaaS product analytics. Product analytics will make it easier to determine where and how to reach these users who have not been active for a while and draw a roadmap accordingly.

As in other stages, emails will come to your aid at this stage. You can remind yourself of your users who have not used the feature more than once by sending customized encouraging emails to them. You can also use this method for users who have used your part effectively for a while but are not currently using it. For example, you have a very active user profile, and after two weeks of inactivity, you can recall the feature with a customized email.

The essential point you should pay attention to at this stage is your used again rates. If the rate of people using it after interacting with the feature you base on is high, but the rate of people using the same feature repeatedly is low, you may need to reconsider that feature of your product.

In other words, if the percentage of people who don’t give a part a chance is too high, something about the quality may have gone unusable or wrong. In such a case, it would be more beneficial for you to rearrange the element or remove it when necessary.


Remember that user adoption is key to growth. Seeing your users adopt your products will positively impression your product’s quality and usefulness. In addition, user adoption brings along the loyalty of users and a reasonable retention rate. For this reason, you should pay attention to your adoption funnel, observe and optimize your users’ interactions with your features.

What affects the rate of adoption?

The adoption rate indicates how a new feature is discovered and used by users. Three things consistently impact the adoption rate: relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity.

Relative advantage refers to situations where the new feature is better than the old one. For example, if the new feature offers the same features as the old one but is cheaper, users start using the new feature. Compatibility is about the feature’s compatibility with the market and the product. Adoption rates will be high if the product is compatible with the user base. Finally, complexity relates to how easy or how difficult it is for users to understand the underlying feature of the product. If the new feature is more complex than the old one, even if it promises more than the old feature, adoption rates may be lower than you expect.

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