Top free user activation tools in 2016

Here is a list of user activation tools for startups. We particularly focus on user activation and retention as user acquisition is capital intensive if you didn’t execute your user activation part right.

But why those tools are suited for a startup?

  • They are industry standard. Get the metrics that investors and top managers are interested in.
  • They are free. At the beginning, a startup does not have a lot of traffic, but does not have a lot of cash to throw away either.
  • They teach you how to do it right. A startup needs to learn the job fast if they want to survive.


You finally decided the name of your product? Get ready, have a launching page! It cannot be simpler.

It is mostly an ego-based tool, but it asks you the right questions about the pitch, the design, the domain name, etc. –  giving a concrete existence to your product.

It also helps to get opt-ins for your future launch, and get all the well-needed indexing from the search engines without being launched yet.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the heart of most of the website & mobile analysis. It hosts all your data, providing you convenient way to display and mine those data. It can be overwhelming and daunting at first, but it is important to stick to it, as it will be the most universal solution down the road. Google Analytics integrates with every single marketing tool out there.


It is important to set it up before launching.

We would advise you to consolidate as much as possible your stats in Google Analytics from the emailing and social campaigns, as well as the events, like checkout on an e-commerce website.

The setup time is about 1 hour for the basic tracking, 2 hours for a funnel, and around 10 minutes for a campaign. You should consider at least 2 days of training on top of the setup.


Emailing seems like an old trick to get users back to your website. Nevertheless, it is still a really efficient medium to activate your users, as long as they opt-in.

Mailchimp is not only a tool to send emails, it teaches you how to send it right. For instance, it makes sure people can opt-out from your campaign or how to make a good email title. That makes Mailchimp a compelling offer for your first step into emailing.

The Setup time is around 2 h before sending the first test email, but count 1 day of training before doing it right (conversion rate, handling the bounce etc). For an emailing campaign count 1 h (design excluded).


Full disclosure: we built this tool, so you know we are not neutral on this one.

Popins are amazingly efficient these days when you want to focus on one conversion, like a newsletter subscription. A tool like Wisepops helps you make popins less invasive.


Our advice: Set up on launch day with a trigger rule similar to “after 3 visits, present once the form to subscribe to your newsletter.”

Setup time: 1 hour for the first popin you configure, then 20 minutes per campaign.

Don’t forget that tools are not the answer, they are just here to work faster and more efficiently.