This is our third post in the Pirate Metrics with Firebase series. In the first post, we gave an overview of what Pirate Metrics are and why they’re important. In the second, we showed how you can use Firebase to improve your acquisition strategy.

Once you acquire a user, your main goal is to make them use your product. Users often install an app but never get hooked. They would have the app around for a day or two, if you’re lucky, before either forgetting about it or, worse, uninstalling it. All that effort you put into your acquisition goes down the drain.

The first few days are, hence, crucial. Through your data, you want to find a pattern to determine at what point is a user activated, and look at ways to get more users past that point. Examples can be the number of friends on a social networking application or the number of levels crossed in a video game. Devising the right “activation strategy” always involves a lot of experimentation.

To carry out these experiments, we have just the right tool for you - Firebase’s Remote Configuration. Remote Config allows you to set certain key/value pairs on the server, and use them to vary the experience inside of your application. These values when updated on the Firebase console reflect inside of your own application, allowing you to change the experience for users without releasing an update.

If you use this capability of Remote Config, and set values using the “random percentile” targeting, you essentially have an A/B test setup. You can then see the impact on your analytics, and change these values dynamically on the server itself, increasing the rollout for experiments that have proven to work.. It makes for a great solution for A/B testing.

To optimize your testing, we recommend first defining the data points you want to improve (such as an increase in users signing up on the first app open). Then, ideate on the experiments you want to run to improve these data points. These might be experiments that track the impact of different tutorials or signup methods for apps or difficulty settings for initial levels in a game that can ultimately improve your activation percentage.