The Ultimate Mixpanel Analytics Video Course: Everything You Need to Know About Implementing and Using Mixpanel

The Ultimate Video Course for Mixpanel Analytics: Everything You Need to Know About Implementing and Using Mixpanel

The Ultimate Video Course for Mixpanel Analytics: Everything You Need to Know About Implementing and Using Mixpanel

Mixpanel is one of the world’s most advanced analytics tool but it requires the proper setup, otherwise you will not be able to get the most out of this tool. This course will show you how to properly plan your Mixpanel implementation and how to use the different Mixpanel reports to analyze your data.

I understand where you are coming from. You believe Mixpanel will help you find actionable insights that you can then use to grow your startup faster. You will finally be able to make decisions based on data instead of just guessing what is working and what isn’t.

And you’re right. Mixpanel will help you understand how your marketing campaigns are doing, how your users are using your product and much more. However, you first need to understand how to properly setup Mixpanel and how this setup is fundamentally different from other tools like Google Analytics.

I created this course to help startups get started with Mixpanel properly. I seen too many Mixpanel accounts with useless or innacurate due to the wrong implementation. Companies eventually give up on analytics and go back to whatever they were doing before.

Here’s what this video course contains:

  • 29 video lectures
  • 3 hours of content
  • Tracking templates
  • Further resources to help you better understand analytics, A/B testing and industry metrics.

Let’s get started.

Mixpanel Course Curriculum

I organized this course into 5 sections. The first two sections will walk you through basic Mixpanel concepts and get you tracking your first event.

In section 3, we’ll work on creating our tracking template. This document will save you a lot of hassle and time as you implement Mixpanel.

In section 4, I’ll give you a crash course on the different Mixpanel reports and how you could use them. This is the same training sessions that I run with clients after I help them set up Mixpanel.

In section 5, we will look at some of the advance uses of Mixpanel like custom reports. This section is optional especially if you’re just getting started.

You can come back to this page at any moment to continue working through the course. Alternatively, you can also download all of these videos onto your computer. Simply click here to download this entire video course.

Related: Too much content to consume at once? I combined all the MP4 video files and any documents like the tracking template into a single zip file that you can download to your computer right now. Simply click here to access these videos in a zip file.

  1. Section 1: Getting Ready to Set Up Mixpanel
    1. Welcome to the Ultimate Video Course for Mixpanel
    2. Why You Should Define Your Top 1-2 Business Goals First
    3. A Crash Course on Mixpanel Terminology: Events, Properties and Profiles
    4. Should You Track Pageviews or Events with Mixpanel?
  2. Section 2: Installing Mixpanel On Your Website or App
    1. Which Mixpanel Library Should You Use to Track Your Mixpanel Events?
    2. Getting Started with the Mixpanel Javascript Library Plus Should You Use Segment.com?
    3. How to Send Your First Event to Mixpanel Plus How to Use the “Live View” report
    4. How to Track Clicks and Form Submissions using Mixpanel
    5. What Are Mixpanel Super Properties and Why You Should Use Them
    6. How to Properly Identify Users in Mixpanel Using Identify and Alias
    7. How to Set People Properties in Mixpanel
    8. How to Increment Properties in Mixpanel
    9. How to Track Revenue Inside Mixpanel
  3. Section 3: Creating a Tracking Template for Mixpanel
    1. What Is A Tracking Template And How To Create One Even If You Never Done It Before
    2. How To Define Your Key Events In Your Tracking Template
    3. Adding Super Properties To Your Tracking Template
    4. Defining People Properties (or User Attributes) In Your Tracking Template
    5. Adding Optional Events To Your Tracking Template
  4. Section 4: Using Mixpanel to Analyze Your Data
    1. How and Why You Should Use the Segmentation Tool
    2. Setting Up Your Funnels And How To Segment Your Funnel Data Properly
    3. Formulas in Mixpanel: The Best Way to Avoid Excel
    4. Save Time By Saving Your Queries Using Bookmarks
    5. How to use the Retention Report Inside Mixpanel
    6. Using The People Insights Report And How To Use People Properties Throughout Other Reports.
    7. How to Use Notifications to Engage Your Users
    8. Using the Revenue Report Alongside Your Mixpanel Data
  5. Section 5: Advanced Uses and Reports In Mixpanel
    1. Analyzing Your Data Beyond Mixpanel: An Introduction to Custom Reports
    2. Learning How to Properly Attribute Traffic (First, Assisting and Last Touch)
    3. Mixpanel and the Startup Metrics for Pirates by Dave McClure Model

Section 1: Getting Ready to Set Up Mixpanel

Welcome to the Ultimate Video Course for Mixpanel

Welcome to the Mixpanel video course! This first video focuses on two things: who should go through the course and what to expect.

First, this course isn’t meant for everybody. I created this course for companies who sell the following kind of products:

  • Web apps usually through SaaS models.
  • Mobile apps
  • E-commerce companies

Mixpanel is really geared towards the first two type of products though I have seen advanced ecommerce companies find a lot of value too.

Second, I go over the course structure which is divided into 5 sections:

  1.  Course Basics: Breaking down course information and Mixpanel terminology.
  2. Install Mixpanel: Looking at how to send data to Mixpanel plus the different functions available.
  3. Tracking Templates: Planning your Mixpanel integration through a tracking template.
  4. Analyzing Data: Using the different Mixpanel reports to analyze your data.
  5. Advanced use cases: Brief overview of advanced use cases like custom reports.

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Why You Should Define Your Top 1-2 Business Goals First

One of the biggest mistakes startups make when it comes to analytics is to jump into implementing their tools without figuring out what data they actually need. We are going to avoid this by taking some time to figure out the 1-2 most important business goals that we would like analytics to help us with.

Examples of these goals: increase our signups, increase our user retention and decrease our marketing costs. Whatever the goals are for you, write down the 1-2 most important ones that you would like to tackle in the next 90 days.

Then, figure out the existing number that you would like to improve so if you want to increase signups and you are currently signing up 100 users per month, you goal could be to “increase your monthly signups to 150”. If you’re not sure what your current number is, don’t worry about it too much. We will figure it out once we have a too like Mixpanel setup properly.

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A Crash Course on Mixpanel Terminology: Events, Properties and Profiles

In this lecture, we are going to take a crash course in the most common Mixpanel terms. You have three major terms:

  1. Events: these are the actions that users take in your product or website. Common actions that could be translated into events are: signing up for your product, downloading a PDF and becoming a paid customer.
  2. Properties: these go along with your events (or actions) to provide more information about any event. For example, our sign up event could include the following properties: first name, last name, email and location like country, city and region. You can create your own properties plus Mixpanel also tracks several properties by default.
  3. Profiles: these are also called “users” in Mixpanel. Profiles is how you can attach events to a specific user and then view their activity instead of looking at anonymous activity (think Google Analytics).

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Should You Track Pageviews or Events with Mixpanel?

Mixpanel isn’t like Google Analytics. You want to focus on tracking actions that your users take and align those actions to events. For example, let’s say a user has to take three actions to sign up for your product:

  1. Viewed the Features Page
  2. Choose a Pricing Plan
  3. Complete the Signup form

You could create the following events in Mixpanel to match these actions:

  1. Viewed the Featured Page
  2. Selected a Pricing Plan
  3. Signed Up

Steps 2 and 3 are clearly actions that user took: they selected the pricing plan they wanted and they completed a form. Step 1 is a page view since all they had to do was view the page however, we need this step to create our funnel so we’ll make an exception on the page view vs actions rule. The more you focus on actions, the more useful your data will be and the less events you will have.

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Related: Too much content to consume at once? I combined all the MP4 video files and any documents like the tracking template into a single zip file that you can download to your computer right now. Simply click here to access these videos in a zip file.


Section 2: Installing Mixpanel On Your Website or App

Which Mixpanel Library Should You Use to Track Your Mixpanel Events?

The three core libraries that Mixpanel offers are: Javascript for web, and iOS/Android for mobile. Mixpanel also offers libraries for Ruby, Python and a few other languages. They can all do the same thing which is capture and send events to Mixpanel but only the first three core libraries will help you capture crucial information like location.

For example, the Javascript library captures all these properties by default:

Event Properties

  • City ($city) – The city of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Region ($region) – The region (state or province) of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Country (mp_country_code) – The country of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Browser ($browser) – Browser name (not versioned).
  • Browser Version ($browser_version) – Browser version number.
  • Device ($device) – The name of the event sender’s device, if they’re on mobile web.
  • Current URL ($current_url) – The full URL of the webpage on which the event is triggered.
  • Initial Referrer ($initial_referrer) – Referring URL at first arrival.
  • Initial Referring Domain ($initial_referring_domain) – Referring domain at first arrival.
  • Operating System ($os) – OS of the event sender.
  • Referrer ($referrer) – Referring URL, including your own domain.
  • Referring Domain ($referring_domain) – Referring domain, including your own domain.
  • Screen Height ($screen_height) – The height of the screen of the device.
  • Screen Width ($screen_width) – The width of the screen of the device.
  • Search Engine ($search_engine) – Search engine a customer used when they arrived at your domain.
  • UTM Parameters (utm_source, utm_medium, etc.) – Any utm tags associated with the link a customer clicked to arrive at your domain. Each utm will be collected under its own property.

People Properties

Default properties update within a profile whenever a property is set or updated with a mixpanel.people.set() call.

  • City ($city) – The city of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Region ($region) – The region (state or province) of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Country ($mp_country_code) – The country of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Timezone ($timezone) – Timezone of the event sender, parsed from IP.
  • Browser Version ($browser_version) – Browser version number.
  • Browser ($browser) – Browser name (not versioned).
  • Initial Referrer ($initial_referrer) – Referring URL at first arrival.
  • Initial Referring Domain ($initial_referring_domain) – Referring domain at first arrival.
  • Operating System ($os) – OS of the event sender.
  • Last Seen ($last_seen) – The last time a People property was set or updated (should not be set manually).

You will run into some issues when you try to capture an event through the Ruby library and then you realize that the Ruby library doesn’t collect location properties such as country, city and region.

This becomes even more important when you start creating users and you want some people properties that are only collected by the three core libraries. In summary, stick to the three core libraries as much as possible.

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Getting Started with the Mixpanel Javascript Library Plus Should You Use Segment.com?

In this video, we dig deeper into the Javascript library for Mixpanel. As mentioned in the previous video, there are different libraries you can use to send events to Mixpanel.

For the purpose of this course, we will use Javascript to understand the different kind of functions and features available to us. At the end of this video, I briefly go over Segment.com and why you would want to use it.

Related: I also recorded a 25 minute video that gives you a crash course on Segment.com and how it works. In this video, I’ll go over the most common questions that companies tend to have around how to use Segment.com and Mixpanel together. You can watch that video here.

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How to Send Your First Event to Mixpanel Plus How to Use the “Live View” report

In this video, we will send our first event to Mixpanel! We will explore the core Mixpanel function called “mixpanel.track”. This is the most basic function and probably the one that you will use the most throughout your implementation.

We will also look at how event names and event properties are handled throughout the different Mixpanel functions. Finally, we get to take a look at the “Live View” report which shows all of our data as it comes in real time. It’s pretty cool.

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How to Track Clicks and Form Submissions using Mixpanel

In this video, we will look at how to track clicks on links and form submissions. These two actions tend to cover nearly everything that we would want to track in a web app or website.

The function to track links looks like this:

mixpanel.track_links('#idolink', 'Clicked CTA Link');

We entered the ID of the link (CSS ID) and then Mixpanel will attach itself to that link. When a user clicks it, Mixpanel will fire an event which we called “Clicked CTA Link”. You can also add properties just like through our mixpanel.track function.

The function to track form submissions looks like this:

mixpanel.track_forms('#signupForm', 'Sign Up Completed');

Just like with links, all we need is the unique ID of the form that we would like to track. The handy part of this function is that we can ensure that we are only firing events when forms actually get submitted. This makes our data more accurate and useful.

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What Are Mixpanel Super Properties and Why You Should Use Them

In this video, we will look at “Super Properties” and how to use them. Mixpanel describes Super Properties like this:

“Super Properties are a type of Event Property that you can set once to automatically attach to every Event you’re tracking. They are Event Properties that apply to all Events without having to manually include them in each mixpanel.track() call.

Because Super Properties send values associated with Events, they are useful for seeing Properties over time. For example, you could set a Super Property to indicate with all of your Events whether they were done by a free or a paid user. Then, if a user changes from free to paid, you can see over time which Events led up to that conversion and which specific Events they did as each type of user.” – Source

There’s 3 functions that can help you set and remove super properties:

mixpanel.register({'User Type': 'Free'}); //Add a super property called User Type
mixpanel.register_once({ 
 'First Login Date': new Date().toISOString()
});//This function won't overwrite existing values like register
mixpanel.unregister({'User Type'}); //Remove a super property

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How to Properly Identify Users in Mixpanel Using Identify and Alias

The video will cover this one much better but you want to start by firing mixpanel.alias with the new ID that you want to use to identify this user. That ID may be a database ID that never changes, their email address or something else. It will look something like this:

mixpanel.alias(“[email protected]”);

Once you alias a new ID, you can now identify this user with the ID you gave him/her. You can then fire mixpanel.identify going forward and that will look something like this:

mixpanel.identify(“[email protected]”);

You don’t need to fire it before every event, instead you can attach it to a login event so it gets fired on a regular basis whenever the user logs in. The only exception to this rule is when it comes to setting people properties (we will cover this in our next lesson!).

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How to Set People Properties in Mixpanel

People Properties are super properties that are attached to specific user profiles. Before you set them though, you need to fire mixpanel.identify(), otherwise your call will fail.

Just like event properties, there’s a few default properties that you want to avoid using. Finally, you can use any People Property to segment your data through reports such as Segmentation and Retention.

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How to Increment Properties in Mixpanel

In this video, we will look at a minor but useful function: mixpanel.increment. This functions makes it easier to track counts such as credits, page views or anything that should be counted.

The function increments or decrements people properties. To decrement, simply pass a negative integer into the function.

mixpanel.people.increment('credits', 1);

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How to Track Revenue Inside Mixpanel

Our final video in this section will look at the revenue functions of Mixpanel. This is one of my favorite reports because it connects user actions with money.

The revenue functions are one of those few events that benefit from being fired in the backend of a product. This makes them more reliable and easier to connect to your payment processor.

You have two functions here:

mixpanel.people.track_charge(50); //Track revenue on a user
mixpanel.people.clear_charges(); //Remove revenue events from a user

A special note is that Mixpanel will do a bunch of logic from the track_charge function. It will create a couple of people properties plus populate the “Revenue” report which we will look at later on in this course.

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Related: Too much content to consume at once? I combined all the MP4 video files and any documents like the tracking template into a single zip file that you can download to your computer right now. Simply click here to access these videos in a zip file.


Section 3: Creating a Tracking Template for Mixpanel

What Is A Tracking Template And How To Create One Even If You Never Done It Before.

A tracking template is a Excel or Google Sheet document that aligns actions throughout your app or product to analytics events. The structure for this template doesn’t matter as much as actually using one.

It’s impossible to get event names, properties and other things right on the first try. Every time you go over your tracking template, you will find ways to streamline your tracking. A few of these include:

  • Global event names: global events tend to be more flexible and useful. For example, an event name called “Open Modal” lets you use it across any existing and future modals versus an event name called “Open Contact Us Modal”. You could then use properties to segment a global event.
  • Irrelevant events: You might find that some of your planned events aren’t actually needed which means you can skip or delete them altogether.
  • Consistent properties: Some events will refer to the same action which means they should use the same type of property. For example, if a user authenticates through a social network, you could use a property called “authentication_type” in any event where this happens. This consistency makes it easier to analyze the data later on.

These “tweaks” are much easier to do in a spreadsheet than in actual code. If you take nothing else from this course, take this idea. Tracking templates will make your life much easier.

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How To Define Your Key Events In Your Tracking Template.

In the second video of this section, I’ll walk you through how to translate your basic funnel into event names that are logical and easy to understand. You’ll start to see how actions and events relate to each other and what good event names are.

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Adding Super Properties To Your Tracking Template.

In this video, we will look at super properties and how to track them in your template. As mentioned in a previous video, super properties are useful for tracking properties that don’t change often but are needed across all events. Things like gender, user type, credits, etc.

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Defining People Properties (or User Attributes) In Your Tracking Template.

In this video, we will look at how to add people properties to our tracking template. Don’t forget that Mixpanel tracks a bunch of people properties by default so we don’t want to waste any time tracking the same thing twice.

It is helpful to think of people properties as user attributes. What information do we want to know about our users if we had to create a detailed profile of them?

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Adding Optional Events To Your Tracking Template

Finally, we will look at events that fall outside of our basic funnel. Be careful in adding too many optional events since each event requires development time to setup, test and maintain.

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Related: Too much content to consume at once? I combined all the MP4 video files and any documents like the tracking template into a single zip file that you can download to your computer right now. Simply click here to access these videos in a zip file.


Section 4: Using Mixpanel to Analyze Your Data

How and Why You Should Use the Segmentation Tool

In this video, I’ll show you how to use the Segmentation report. This is the report that you can use to start digging into your data to find trends and opportunities.

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Setting Up Your Funnels And How To Segment Your Funnel Data Properly

Mixpanel is known for having a great funnel analysis report and in this video, we’ll go deep into this report. We’ll learn how to setup funnels and how to segment by event and people properties. We’ll also cover some handy tricks for making your funnels more useful.

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Formulas in Mixpanel: The Best Way to Avoid Excel

Formulas is the report that you need if you want to avoid spending too much time in Excel. If you ever wanted to know questions like “On average, how many actions do our users take?” or “How many users are doing X on a daily basis?” then this report will help you.

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Save Time By Saving Your Queries Using Bookmarks

Bookmarks is a handy feature available in nearly all of the Mixpanel reports. This is how you save your complex queries and save time going forward.

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How to use the Retention Report Inside Mixpanel

The retention report in Mixpanel is one of the most popular and useful reports for your company. Retention is king as they say. Let’s dive into the different types of retention (first time, recurring and addition) and how you start to improve your user retention.

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Using The People Insights Report And How To Use People Properties Throughout Other Reports.

The People Insights report helps you find trends and commonalities among your user base.

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How to Use Notifications to Engage Your Users

Once you know how well (or bad) your users are doing, then it is time to take some kind of action. Sending notifications (email, SMS, etc) is one of the best ways to bring users back into the product and Mixpanel makes this is a breeze. We’ll even be able to track the impact of our notifications across funnels and other reports.

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Using the Revenue Report Alongside Your Mixpanel Data

In this final video, we’ll look at the revenue report inside Mixpanel. We can explore lifetime revenue and other handy revenue metrics alongside your events and people properties.

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Related: Too much content to consume at once? I combined all the MP4 video files and any documents like the tracking template into a single zip file that you can download to your computer right now. Simply click here to access these videos in a zip file.


Section 5: Advanced Uses and Reports In Mixpanel

Analyzing Your Data Beyond Mixpanel: An Introduction to Custom Reports

At some point, the default Mixpanel reports won’t be enough. This is where custom reports or apps come in. You can work with your developer to create your own custom dashboards while leveraging your Mixpanel data. In this video, I’ll give you a crash course on how these reports are created and how you can start to do the same.

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Learning How to Properly Attribute Traffic (First, Assisting and Last Touch)

Mixpanel isn’t the best tool for analyzing marketing traffic but we can add a few things to make it better. In this video, we’ll look at how to track the first, assisting and last click interactions that users have on their way to a conversion. You can then use this data to do multi-channel attribution of your marketing traffic.

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Mixpanel and the Startup Metrics for Pirates by Dave McClure Model

In our final video for this course, we’ll look at how to use the “Startup Metrics for Pirates” model while inside Mixpanel. We’ll also take a look at what reports you could use to find key numbers for your pirate metrics.

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Related: Too much content to consume at once? I combined all the MP4 video files and any documents like the tracking template into a single zip file that you can download to your computer right now. Simply click here to access these videos in a zip file.

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