Product Engagement Score (PES) is a single number that represents the combined impact of feature adoption, return user stickiness, and new user growth. Similar to NPS, which is a subjective measurement of user sentiment collected with a survey, PES is an objective measurement of user behavior.
Track PES over time and across segments to discover who has the most engagement with your product and why. PES provides a benchmark of your product engagement, which you can then use to measure the impact that product decisions have on your users' behavior.
Tip: If you're interested in exporting and automating PES data in Google Sheets, see Export and automate PES data in Google Sheets.
- Pendo Admin users can configure PES
- Any Pendo user can view PES
- Core Events set up
How to use PES
Product Engagement Score (PES) is a quantitative metric introduced by Pendo to assess a product's overall engagement quickly and objectively. Unlike qualitative metrics like NPS, which rely on customer sentiment, PES focuses on user behavior. It complements NPS by providing insight into how users engage with a product.
PES serves as a high-level business KPI, offering quantitative perspective on product health. When combined with segments and date filters, it provides a granular view of user engagement. PES works in tandem with other Pendo features, such as Core Events, goals, and NPS, to offer a comprehensive understanding of user behavior. These insights drive product development and outreach campaigns, ultimately aiming to enhance product engagement and user satisfaction.
Tip: Use a Custom Date Range filter to measure PES quarterly and report your app's PES with your NPS.
To access the PES, select Behavior > PES from the left-side menu.
How we calculate PES
PES is the average of each component score, which we calculate by adding the adoption, stickiness, and growth totals and then dividing that total by 3. Possible scores for all components range from 0 to 100. Any percentages above 100 are adjusted to a score of 100, and percentages below 0 are adjusted to a score of 0.
The PES calculation includes data from all visitors, including visitors without a specified Account ID, across all three PES measurements. Drilldowns for each pillar categorizes data from visitors without Account IDs into No Account to provide an accurate visitor total in all calculations.
The PES Overview chart shows changes in the overall PES score and each component compared to the previous time period.
Trending PES shows the score change with trend direction indicated by the arrow and the score for the previous time period in parenthesis.
Adoption tells you if your users are using your product effectively as indicated by the usage of your Core Events over time.
The Adoption component is calculated as the average number of Core Events adopted across all active visitors or accounts. A visitor or account with any event recorded by Pendo is considered active during the time period. We then divide that average number by the total number of Core Events you have configured and multiply that by 100.
Core Event selection can significantly impact the adoption score. If all Core Events are weighted towards specific groups of users or focus on features with limited use, like first-time setup, it can lower the overall adoption. If Core Events include site navigation or features that a user must engage with, like login, it might increase adoption.
Tip: We recommend a distributed selection of Core Events that includes high-value features for all user groups for a balanced adoption score. There's nothing wrong with Core Event selection deliberately focusing on certain user groups and feature sets for the core of your user base. Just understand how that shifts the adoption score, and account for that in your analysis. Consider calculating adoption at the account level if Core Events aren't applicable to all users.
To view adoption details, select the Adoption component.
The adoption details shows the selected filters for your current PES score and definition for the adoption component as configured for the selected app. These analytics include trending adoption for the date range and a breakdown of adoption for each Core Event.
The Trending Adoption chart shows the score as it would have been reported on the date at the bottom of the chart for the number of days in the selected date range. Hover over a point on the chart to see the score and date range used to plot that point. The score is plotted in increments of one day, one week, or one month depending on the size of the date range.
The Core Event adoption table shows how many active visitors or accounts have used each Core Event. The total number shows the percentage of active visitors or accounts who have used the Core Event. This breakdown allows you to see the distribution of usage across your Core Events and find if a single Core Event is carrying your adoption score. Select a Core Event to open the details page for that tagged Feature or Track Event and view additional usage data.
Stickiness measures how frequently users return to the app as a ratio of short term active users to long term active users. To measure stickiness, we look at the average percentage of visitors or accounts who are high-frequency return users in daily, weekly, or monthly active user metrics.
The Stickiness component finds the ratio of average daily or weekly active visitors or accounts to average weekly or monthly active visitors or accounts in the selected time period. A visitor or account with any event recorded by Pendo is considered active during the time period.
Note: This measurement use the same calculation and data as the stickiness dashboard widget. However, while the stickiness dashboard widget calculates activity for all apps by default, PES calculates stickiness for a single app. Ensure the app configured for the stickiness widget matches PES when comparing stickiness metrics.
To open the stickiness details, select the Stickiness component.
The stickiness details show the selected filters for your current PES score and the definition for the stickiness component as configured for the selected app. These details include trending stickiness and a breakdown of daily active users (DAU), weekly active users (WAU), and monthly active users (MAU) for the date range.
The Trending Stickiness chart shows stickiness over time with the average for the entire date range. Hover over a point on the chart to see the raw data used to calculate the percentage for every day or week on the chart, depending on the PES configuration. This data matches the visualization in the stickiness dashboard widget.
The MAU, WAU, DAU chart shows the number of daily, weekly, monthly visitors or accounts at each interval during the date range. This shows you the proportion of each user group to the others and how those proportions influence the stickiness score. If two groups have a similar trend line, that combination would result in a higher stickiness score and provide insight into the frequency patterns of your users. Hover over a point on the chart to view the raw data for each user group on that day.
Growth uses a specially configured version of the quick ratio to measure positive or negative net growth of visitors or accounts.
The Growth calculation then scales the resulting ratio to a score between 0 and 100 to convey growth during a specified time period. The quick ratio is the ratio of the sum of new and recovered accounts or visitors divided by dropped accounts or visitors.
To compute net growth, the components of the quick ratio are defined as follows:
- New. Visitor or account's first ever event is in the current period.
- Recovered. Visitor or account wasn’t present in the last period but is present in the current period.
- Dropped. Visitor or account was present in the last period but isn't present in the current period.
When it's greater than one, the ratio indicates positive net growth. A ratio of less than one indicates negative net growth month-over-month. A visitor or account with any event recorded by Pendo is considered active during the time period.
Quick ratios range from 0 to infinitely high, but to effectively scale quick ratios to a score between 0 and 100, we set a reasonable range of quick ratios after analyzing quick ratios across Pendo's user base. We observed our customers' quick ratios rarely dropped below 0.5 (twice as much churn as new or resurrected users) and rarely exceeded 5 (new and resurrected users 5 times more than churn). The median quick ratio is 1.5. Using minimum, maximum, and median quick ratios, we developed a scaling factor to convert the quick ratio to a growth score between 0 and 100.
If the quick ratio is less than the median quick ratio, the scaling factor is as follows:
If the quick ratio is more than the median quick ratio, the scaling factor is as follows:
Below is a reference table of how the quick ratio converts to a growth score using this scaling factor and our observed quick ratio range. Quick ratios below 0.5 convert to a growth score of 0, while quick ratios at 5 or above are capped at a growth score of 100.
To view growth details, select the Growth component.
The growth details show the selected filters for your current PES score and the definition for the growth measurement. These details include an overview of the quick ratio components during the selected time period and a breakdown of accounts by active visitor growth.
Hover over a data point in the Active Visitors chart to view the number of new, recovered, and dropped visitors. The chart includes the account composition for the last four cycles based on the selected time period.
The Accounts by Active Visitor Growth table shows the number of active visitors and percentage change for the top 10 or bottom 10 accounts. This data is a breakdown of the Active Visitors chart and shows which accounts contributed to positive and negative changes in your growth rate. You can sort eh chart by the Visitors or % Change columns. The % Change column indicates the percent change from the previous time period and the number of active visitors in the previous time period. Select an Account ID to navigate to the details page for that account and view additional data.
View trending PES
The Trending PES chart shows your PES scores over the four preceding time periods. The time period is set in the filters at the top of the PES page. The PES score is shown at each interval, and a line graph shows the trend of each score over time.
Hover over any of the time periods to view a summary of the values for PES and each component score.
Select a score component in the legend at the bottom of the chart to control the data that appears in the chart. This can help focus the visualization to certain scores if you're sharing the chart in a presentation. The hover score summary only shows the visible scores.
You can configure PES individually for each app and filter PES by segment, time period, and app. The configured PES for an app is visible to everyone in the subscription, while filters are applied to a user's unique PES view. Only Pendo Admin users can configure PES. Anyone can apply filters on the PES page.
Core Events are required to calculate the adoption score. Access to Core Events setup is available on the PES page for Pendo Admin users.
Understand PES configuration options
Below are some things to consider when choosing your configuration for each PES component.
Note: Track Events can count towards the adoption score when Track Events are set up as Core Events. By default, Track Events aren't counted as activity for the stickiness and growth measurements. If you want Track Events to count as activity in the application, an Admin can enable the subscription setting Count Track Events Received for a Visitor as Time in the Application. Once enabled, Track Events count as activity when calculating stickiness and growth.
You can choose to calculate adoption using active visitors or accounts. Visitors is selected by default.
Selecting Accounts can make adoption volatile when looking at individual account-level PES using the account filter. Anyone in the account using a Core Event can count as Core Event adoption. This can cause the adoption score to become binary with a value of 0 or 100. Selecting Visitors instead can provide a more granular view of adoption in a single account.
You can choose to calculate stickiness using active visitors or accounts, as well as to include or exclude usage during the weekends. DAU/MAU and including weekends are selected by default.
It's best to select the pairing that most closely represents your ideal usage.
Measuring by active visitors (DAU/MAU/WAU) is used when each individual visitor's activity is important to the success of the business. Your app could be targeted to single users with personal subscriptions or to businesses using a per-seat pricing model where each user should be finding value to justify the cost. Maybe cost isn't a concern and you just want your app to be a valuable tool that all users return to frequently. In any of these scenarios, measuring stickiness by user could be the right choice.
- Daily Active Users/Weekly Active Users. Active user base. When users use the app they use it frequently but maybe not habitually. Typically produces a moderate stickiness percentage, as unique daily visitors are compared with a smaller sample of unique weekly visitors.
- Daily Active Users/Monthly Active Users. Highly active users. Users are expected to use the app habitually every day. Typically produces a lower stickiness percentage as unique daily visitors are compared with all unique visitors for the month.
- Weekly Active Users/Monthly Active Users. Involved user base, when users use the app they do infrequent tasks or maintenance but aren't expected to use it daily. Typically produces a high stickiness percentage due to the relatively small number of weeks in a month and the longer time window available for a user to qualify as a WAU.
Measuring by active accounts (DAA/MAA/WAA) is used when individual users aren't expected to return to the app frequently but someone in the account should. This might be expected for system monitoring tools, financial apps, or platforms that use automatic alerts to prompt user activity. Users don't have daily tasks in the app but return regularly for maintenance, completing workflows on a schedule, or responding to issues.
- Daily Active Accounts/Weekly Active Accounts. Active customers. The app is part of a frequent workflow, likely belonging to a designated team, that's performed more than once per week. Typically produces a moderate stickiness percentage, as unique daily accounts are compared with a smaller sample of unique weekly accounts.
- Daily Active Accounts/Monthly Active Accounts. Highly active customers. The app is used daily by someone at the account, maybe to complete an important daily workflow or access information. Typically produces a lower stickiness percentage, as unique daily accounts are compared with all unique accounts for the month.
- Weekly Active Accounts/Monthly Active Accounts. Habitual customers. Someone at the account is expected to access your app on a weekly basis, possibly to complete a transaction or run a report. Typically produces a high stickiness score due to the relatively small number of weeks in a month and the longer time window available for an account to qualify as a weekly active account.
The option to exclude weekends removes the user activity on weekends from the overall average calculation. Business apps with most usage between Monday and Friday will likely see improved metrics after removing days with no expected usage from calculations. This generally improves stickiness for DAU ratios, as weekend days with no daily usage are removed and no longer pull down average usage on weekdays. Users who only use the app on weekends are still accounted for when measuring by WAU and MAU.
You can choose to calculate growth using active visitors or accounts. Visitors is selected by default.
You might prefer to measure growth by visitors if individual visitors using the app regularly make up the majority of the user base.
You might prefer to measure growth by accounts if some visitors use the app infrequently or are only involved briefly, such as for demos or implementation, but account health and retention isn't impacted by the churn of these personas. Measuring growth by account prevents expected user inactivity from negatively impacting growth.
Update PES configuration
- To configure PES, navigate to Behavior > PES in Pendo, then select Manage PES to open the Configure Product Engagement Score overlay.
- If you're on a multi-app subscription, select the first app you'd like to configure PES for.
- Change the dropdown selections for Adoption, Stickiness, and Growth. A preview of the 30-day PES updates as changes are made.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 as needed.
- Select Save & Exit to apply all changes to PES for the subscription. This button isn't available to select if no changes are made to the PES configuration.