What are the 5 Piracy Indicators in Digital Marketing? – TechAcute

You’ve heard of the pirate metric, or AARRR, but didn’t know what it meant? Do you know the 5 most important metrics in your digital marketing efforts? If not, don’t worry . You are not alone. Many business owners and marketers struggle to determine which KPIs to track. That’s where “Pirate Metrics” comes in. This blog post explains what AARRR stands for and how it can help you track the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

After reading this article, you will know what the AARRR Pirates Metrics for Digital Marketing stands for as an acronym and the KPIs you can use for reporting.

What are piracy indicators?

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


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


Once you have your users, how do you take the first significant step? This can be signing up for free trials, making purchases, downloading content, and so on. Activating users is key to retaining them and becoming valuable customers.


Once you’ve acquired and activated a user, how do you keep them coming back? This can be done through email, push notifications, or a loyalty program. Ideally, if you share something exciting, you can get them to subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on social media.


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 either active or passive. We want to make it as easy as possible for users to refer other users.


How do you make money? This is due to subscription fees, one-time purchases, or advertising. After all, most companies are in business to drive revenue and strife. Metrics in this category focus on whether users are actually converting and how much money 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 talk about how you can use it to track the success of your digital marketing campaigns.

AARRR: KPIs tracked by each Pirate metric


  • new users
  • New user sources (paid advertising, organic search, social media, email marketing, etc.)
  • cost per conversion (CPA)


  • Percentage of users who took the first significant step
  • Time to first critical step


  • Percentage of returning users
  • Average number of repeat users


  • 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 alternate version of C in AARRR stand for?

I recently heard that there is also an “AARRRC” version of the pirate metric, but what does the C stand for and what kind of pirate would say instead of AARRR? I shared it in my article. Churn is the percentage of users who stop using your product or service over a period of time. AARRRC helps startups think about the six most important metrics for their business: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referrals, Revenue and Churn.

When using AARRR or AARRRC to track the success of your digital marketing campaigns, it’s important to look at the key metrics that help you reach your business goals. If you need help identifying the metrics to track, contact an experienced digital marketing agency. It helps set everything up as a project without hiring them long term.

At the end

AARRR is a framework that helps you consider your business’s key metrics, but it’s much more than that. You can try it out and see how it works for you and your team, but there is no one best way that works for everyone, so feel free to experiment and see what suits your needs. Please customize accordingly.

As you can see, Pirate Metrics are applicable to any business in any industry. Whether you’re a startup or an established company, AARRR helps you track your progress and make sure you’re on the right track. what are you looking for Start tracking the AARRR framework today.

YouTube: Pirates Startup Metrics: AARRR! – Dave McClure

Photo credit: Feature image created by Fernando Cortés. The photo with Dave McClure was taken by Joichi Ito.

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