What are the 5 hacker metrics in digital marketing? – TechAcute

Have you ever heard of pirate metrics or AARRR and didn’t know what it means? Do you know the five most important metrics for your digital marketing efforts? If not, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many business owners and marketers struggle to determine which KPIs they should track. This is where “Pirate Metrics” comes in. In this blog post, we will discuss what AARRR means and how it can help you track the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

After you finish reading this article, you will know what AARRR hacker metrics for digital marketing mean as an acronym and what KPIs you can use to report on.

What are pirate metrics?

Dave McClure, the founder of 500 Startups, coined the term “Pirate Metrics” in 2007. AARRR stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue. These five metrics help startups think about the most important aspects of their business. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.


How do you acquire new customers or users? This metric measures the effectiveness of your acquisition channels, such as paid advertising, organic search, social media, or email marketing.


Once a user has been acquired, how do you get them to take their first big step? This could be signing up for a free trial, making a purchase, or downloading content. Activating a user is key to ensuring that they stay and become a valuable customer.


Once a user has been acquired and activated, how do you get them back? This can be done through emails, push notifications or loyalty programs. Ideally, you could get them to subscribe to a newsletter or follow you on social media if you share exciting things there.


How do users refer others to your product or service? This can be done through word of mouth marketing or referral codes. It can be active or passive; you want it to be as easy as possible for users to refer others.


How do you generate income? This can be through subscription fees, one-time purchases, or advertising. After all, most companies do business for the purpose of generating revenue and conflict. Metrics in this category focus on how users actually convert and how much they spend.

Dave McClure at Foo Camp 2008
Dave McClure at Foo Camp 2008 (Image: Joi Ito)

Now that we’ve explained what AARRR stands for, let’s see how you can use it to track the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

AARRR: Which KPIs to Track for Each Hacker Metric


  • Number of new users
  • Source of new users (e.g. paid advertising, organic search, social media, email marketing)
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)


  • Percentage of users who take the first important step
  • It’s time to take the first important step


  • Percentage of returning users
  • Average number of times users return


  • Number of new users referred by existing users
  • Referral conversion rate (percentage of referred users who become customers)


  • Revenue generated
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • Average Order Value (AOV)

What does the C mean in the alternate version of AARRR?

Recently I heard that there is also an “AARRRC” version of hacker measures, so what does the C mean and what type of hacker would say that instead of AARRR? Tetsuya Takeda shared in an article that the C stands for unsubscribe. Churn rate is the percentage of users who stop using your product or service within a given period. AARRRC helps startups think about the six most important metrics in their business: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Recommendation, Revenue, and Churn, so think of it as an extension of the original idea and framework.

Whether you use AARRR or AARRRC to track the success of your digital marketing campaigns, the important thing is to focus on the key metrics that will help you achieve your business goals. If you need help determining what steps to take, contact an experienced digital marketing agency. Even if you don’t hire them long-term, they can help you set this all up as a project.

Final Thoughts

AARRR can be a useful framework for thinking about key metrics for your business, but it’s not the only one. You can try it out and see how it works for you and your team, but there’s never a single golden practice that works for everyone, so feel free to experiment or customize this to suit your needs. needs.

As you can see, Pirate Metrics can be applied to any business in any industry. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, AARRR can help you track your progress and make sure you’re on the right track. So what are you waiting for? Start tracking your AARRR framework today.

YouTube: Boot metrics for pirates: AARRR! –Dave McClure

Photo credit: The characteristic image was directed by Fernando Cortés. The Photo showing Dave McClure was taken by Joi Ito.

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Cathy W. Howerton