How to Use Cohort Analysis to Tell a Compelling Story and Improve Marketing Results

How to Use Cohort Analysis to Tell a Compelling Story and Improve Marketing Results

People love stories, so it’s no wonder that they are a powerful marketing tool. They are particularly effective in growing your business and bringing in new customers. In short, if you want to be successful at converting people into customers then you need to know how to tell a compelling story. It’s easier than you think and one of the best ways to tell an engaging story is through the use of online marketing tools such as cohort analysis.

Cohort analysis is a powerful tool that can help you understand your customers, improve your marketing efforts and ultimately increase your sales. The best part is that it’s easy to use with most online marketing tools such as Google Analytics.

In this post, you’ll learn how to use cohort analysis to improve your marketing and increase sales.

Define your goals

The first step in implementing cohort analysis is defining your goals. What do you want to learn? How will this information help you make decisions?

For example, you might want to track how many new customers sign up for your product over time, or how long it takes them to convert into paying customers after signing up. Or maybe you’d like to know which channels are most successful in acquiring new users — perhaps because they’re more cost-effective or they’re easier to manage than other channels.

The key thing here is that whatever goal you choose needs to be specific enough that it can be measured objectively. For example: “I want to increase my revenue” isn’t specific enough — there are lots of different ways that could happen (e.g., increasing prices, changing features).

If you’re not sure what your goals should be, try writing down the outcomes you’d like to achieve. Then narrow these down into a handful of specific goals that can be measured objectively.

Make use of product analytics to make your cohort analysis more useful

Once you’ve got your goals in place, it’s time to start collecting data. You’ll want to start with some basic metrics:

  • How many people are using your product each day or month?
  • What is their average session length?
  • How often do users come back after each session (i.e., how often do they log back in)?

To answer these questions, you’ll need to set up some analytics. Most products have this capability built-in, but if yours doesn’t, there are plenty of third-party options available. After you’ve got your analytics set up, it’s time to dig in and start analyzing your data.

Keep in mind that you’re looking for trends and not just one-off numbers. You can do this by using customer cohort analysis to identify how your metrics are changing over time. If something unexpected happens, it might be worth digging deeper into the data to see if there’s a causal relationship between the two events.

Update your customer information

If you’ve been in business for a while, it’s likely that your customer database is getting out of date. This can affect everything from your sales to your marketing efforts. If you haven’t updated the information in years and have no idea who’s buying what, start by looking at the most recent orders and then go back through previous ones as well.

This will give you a better idea of who your customers really are. Then, update your database with the new information. If you’re using an online tool like Salesforce or Zoho CRM, this can be as simple as clicking on each person’s name and adding their phone numbers, email addresses and social media profiles.

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to reach out to each customer directly. You can also use this information for targeted marketing campaigns by sending them updates about new products or services that might interest them.

Gather team members with different specialties

You don’t need a PhD in statistics to conduct cohort analysis. But it does help if you have someone who understands the data and the tools who can explain things to the rest of your team.

Team members with different specialties can help you come up with more creative solutions to your business problems. For example, if you’re trying to optimize conversions on a landing page and want to know whether the problem is design or copy, it would be helpful to have someone who has experience designing landing pages give their input.

This is one of the biggest benefits of having a team. You can bring on people with different skill sets and perspectives to help you solve your business problems.


Next time you’re looking to improve conversion rates, consider using cohort analysis. Not only will it help you identify your high performers and their retention rates, but it will also help you pinpoint which features are most important to them and how they’re using your product. You might even find that using cohort analysis helps streamline your development process by building upon previously established data.