Use the Pirate Framework to Find the Right Metric, Right Now.

Pirate Framework Guide to Business Metrics
Pirate Framework Guide to Business Metrics

Here’s the thing:

You know it’s important to pick the best possible metrics to quickly and accurately determine the health of your business. It’s easy to make mistakes at any stage of your business. Fortunately, there are a bunch of smart people that have put together easy to use frameworks and checklists for you. The best marketing and measurement frameworks are useful at any stage of your business. The “Pirate Framework” can even be used on new marketing initiatives to make sure things stay on track and are always moving in the right direction. The framework and the name was developed several years ago by Dave McClure, a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and founding partner of 500 startups. There are 5 steps to the framework and the first letter of each step spell out “AARRR” like a pirate.

Use the five step Pirate Framework to understand the health of your business at any stage.

  1. Acquisition. Let everyone and anyone know about what you are up to. Get attention through conventional and unconventional means. Create a blog, Facebook page, YouTube videos, etc. You can also meet people in local small business groups in your community. Ultimately, you will want people to visit your website where they can learn everything that you have to offer.
  2. Activation. Get those website visitors to engage with you. If you have a compelling offer (something that your visitors actually want) and call-to-action (they know how to find that thing on your website), your visitors will want to get plugged in with you by signing up for your newsletter, liking your Facebook page, or even making a purchase!
  3. Retention. Now you have to turn one-time visitors into recurring visitors. What kind of value are you able to consistently deliver? Give them a reason to come back to your website or Facebook page on a regular basis.
  4. Revenue. Get paid! In this step of the framework, your visitors are engaged and returning regularly to see what you have to offer and have already generated business results. In some instances, this isn’t even necessarily actual money (although that’s certainly the best kind of business result). Maybe it’s high customer satisfaction scores, ad clicks, or using your product.
  5. Referral. Now your customers have become your biggest fans. You don’t have to spend so much time ACQUIRING new prospects, because your current customers are acquiring them for you. There are a few ways to generate and track referrals, but the most common is just word of mouth feedback. Retweets and Facebook shares are other types.


This may all seem totally overwhelming and confusing…and that’s okay! Because all you need to do is think about which step of the framework your business is currently at and then focus on one metric that will quickly and accurately tell you the health of your business over time.



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