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  • Alessandro Fantini

Pirate funnel - AAARRR! framework -

Aggiornamento: 8 apr 2021


Have you ever heard of the Pirate funnel?

Have you ever wondered why this strange name?


It all starts with the sound that creates the initials of the 6 steps that make up the funnel, AAARRR.


The fact that you do not know that pirates make this "verse" makes me understand that you too, like me, do not sail the seas with a parrot on your shoulder.


But what exactly is the AAARRR Funnel?


The AAARRR Funnel, conceived and presented by Dave McClure in 2007, in its first version had one less "A", specifically, the first A of "Awareness", which was introduced later, considered an important phase before the acquisition.


The AAARRR Funnel is a framework capable of breaking down the primary objective, into many small steps, which lead us to the much-desired result in a more secure and lasting way.


They help us understand where to focus our attention to optimize each choice to be made in a growth strategy.




These 6 phases of the Funnel can be monitored individually, helping us to understand where to intervene and how stable its growth is throughout the life of the company.



AAARRR! Now I explain it to you:


1. Awareness

The volume of people you reach is vital.

Getting people to visit your website and learn about it is the first real step in the life cycle of a product or service.


The goal of Awareness is to bring as many users and customers as possible to the door of the funnel.


A Vanity Metric is defined, which does not give us really tangible data for the development of an effective strategy, but it is still important information to understand if our business finds fertile ground from which to start.



2. Acquisition

That is the actual acquisition of a user.

When a user becomes acquired, it means that he/she has interacted with our website, or downloaded our app, perhaps joined a newsletter or some email promotion.


At this stage, we begin generating information which may include demographic details, emails, geographic locations.


This initial information represents our possible market, groups of people are identified, targeted content can be created for interaction to guide them to the next stage.



3. Activation

It is that precise moment when the real interaction begins.


It is the extra step compared to a simple newsletter subscription, it is the moment in which we understand that a user has interacted with our product or service.


In this phase we are responding to a first need, the user has tried the product understanding its potential and the value we promised in the previous phases.



4. Retention

Which of the users "activated" in the previous step have returned, continue to use our product or service constantly.


Customer loyalty is a vital part of our business.

At this stage, we are not interested in "how many subscribers we have" but rather how many of them use our product every month.



5. Revenue

Users decide to pay and become customers.


In this phase, we understand how much it costs us to acquire a customer, how much we are actually earning.

It is the phase most loved by entrepreneurs who usually skip all the previous phases thinking only of the turnover.



6. Referral

Never forget a user after they have purchased.

Each customer, if taken care of, is a potential brand ambassador.

You can direct new potential customers to our service or product, proving to be a very important advantage for our growth.


Word of mouth is not an "old school" concept. Word of mouth is extremely useful by becoming a tool that leads to new long-term contacts.


It is an activity that should be encouraged, for example by asking for feedback, suggesting to be offered in exchange for even a simple discount.




Understanding how users move through the AAARRR Funnel gives us the opportunity to constantly improve our growth.


Asking yourself the right questions is the key to achieving your business goals, it allows you to increase the effectiveness of every single step, defining a model of full success over time.


This is the secret of Growth Hacking, by dividing the consumer's experience, following it from the beginning to the end of its journey from user to a customer, it will be possible to consider the "human variables" that is those needs and changes that are the result of the life context.





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