What are AARRR Pirate Metrics?

Actionable or AARRR Pirate metrics are startup metrics for product marketing and management, that can help you measure and optimize your acquisition funnel. They are composed of a 5-step model for creating a framework for your business & customers. The piratey acronym stands for:


Your funnel will only be successful if you acquire high quality leads at the first step. If you convert very bad leads at the top of the funnel, you’ll get very few customers. All users entering the funnel should be segmented by the channel they used to reach your product or service, like organic search, social media, paid advertising, referral websites, etc. When selecting your channels, make sure you consider which will provide the highest volume of users, which have the lowest cost, and which perform the best.

You could also implement a threshold in that you can only consider certain users leads, for example, users who remain on your website for a set minimum time period.


Activation refers to users who actually start using your product or perform a specific set of actions. This can include actions like singing up for newsletters and trial versions, initiating chats, contacting you in other ways, etc.

Once your website has gained some traction, analytics will show you which group of users is more likely to engage and create revenue, which will, in turn, direct you towards actions that get users most engaged at the start.

To get the best activation rate, make sure to do lots and lots on tests on your landing page: try making guesses and changes and make sure to iterate quickly.


Keeping people around after they sign up or otherwise initially engage your product, is one of the key metrics that shows whether you are offering something that people actually want to buy.

Many people will only use your product once and will never come back, so it’s really important to determine which of your customers are worth the initial investment, so you don’t end up wasting the bulk of your resources acquiring one-time customers that are unlikely to be worth it, in terms of revenue.

A good way of measuring your retention rate is setting a specific period of time and tracking the number of interactions (notifications, emails, content, tasks, etc.) over the course of the set time frame.


Referrals are the lifeline of your company’s growth, because they are an organic source of new users, that you don’t have to invest in separately. Referrals come from satisfied customers who give them willingly, and the new leads that come from them are likely to be encouraged to stick around as returning customers.

Word of mouth marketing is also very useful, because it functions throughout every channel you are already using to acquire new customers. Referral programs can come in many shapes in forms, like social sharing and referral schemes.


One of the most crucial aspects of your business you need to track is the percentage of users that spend money on your product or by using your service. What’s important to mind here is the dynamic of your acquisition costs and the value you get from your customers.

This is the ultimate test of the health of your business, because, while acquisition and retention highlight an interest in your product, the revenue aspect of AARRR metrics demonstrates the tangible financial result of that interest. For example, a freemium model will probably generate a lot of initial leads, but that doesn’t mean that they will translate into actual revenue.

In order to get the most out of your marketing and sales investment, make sure to optimize your funnel, pricing and engagement rates.

For more useful information on all aspects of marketing and product development, follow us on Twitter or check out our website.

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