Udacity Activation and Retention Strategy Nanodegree Review

Udacity Activation and Retention Strategy Nanodegree Review
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The Activation and Retention Strategy Nanodegree is a course in the three-part series for Product Growth Management. It is designed to help learners understand activation funnels, teaching them to analyze, experiment, and develop new ways and techniques that turn visitors into lifetime customers. The trick is to get things running seamlessly and quickly, shortening the activation funnel and making it more effective.


While this course is part of a series, it still comes with a ton of useful information that professionals in the field and those looking to break into the field can use. In this Activation and Retention Strategy Nanodegree review, we’ll take a look at the course content, projects, cost, and job outlook, helping you decide if it is worth your time. By the end, you’ll have all you need to decide plus, some insight on the career path of a growth product manager.


About Udacity

Udacity is an online academy that sprouted from humble beginnings over a decade ago. Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun created the site with the goal of bringing online IT courses to anyone that wanted to learn. Of course, with the growing popularity in the field, this caught the attention of many learners and many top companies in the industry over the years.


Throughout their time online, they’ve developed tons of courses, keeping them up to date with the most current techniques and methods that professionals in the field are using. They offer everything from free courses to online certifications known as nanodegrees. These nanodegrees are what scores Udacity the most attention. Let’s take a look at the reason why.


Nanodegree Extras

Nanodegrees are short-term courses that are meant to go in-depth about one topic. In the case of Udacity, these nanodegrees deal with IT, covering everything from the business side to the development side. There are all sorts of levels and follow-up courses for some to keep pushing the limits of your knowledge. Most nanodegrees are developed in collaboration with top companies in the industry. The work with course content creators to create projects that closely mirror the issues they are facing and innovations that they are pushing to develop.


On top of an in-depth curriculum that covers everything needed within the topic to breaking into the field, each Udacity nanodegree comes with a few extras, most of which are the reasons why they are Udacity’s bread and butter. These perks include:


–          Real-world projects

  • Created in collaboration with industry-leading companies

–          Technical support

  • Just in case anything goes wrong while you’re online

–          A community of learners

  • Connect with other learners and start building your network while learning

–          Career services

  • Clean up your resume and go through a mock interview to get ready for the big day

–          Flexible learning

  • Log in and learn whenever you like from wherever you like

–          A-list instructors

  • Enjoy learning from professionals with impressive educational and professional backgrounds


Meet your Instructor

Since this course is short and introduces the second half of Udacity’s growth product manager nanodegree, you’ll only have one instructor. Not to say that you’re missing out, this instructor is highly trained and has a ton of useful information to share with you. Not only has he been in the field for years but, as been behind some of the biggest campaigns with top-tier companies in the industry. Meet your instructor for the Activation and Retention Strategy Nanodegree, Shiv Patel.


Shiv Patel

Shiv has experience in several areas including marketing, sales, and engineering. He’s worked with names like FunnelGuard, Productboard, and WeWork, overseeing their productions and helping them reach all-new heights by cleaning up their activation funnels. These days, he works with Activation and B2B SaaS and is currently the senior product manager at Productboard. Throughout the course, he’ll share his expertise and experience, giving learners insight on what they can expect from day one.


What are the Prerequisites?

The level of this course is suitable for anyone that is looking to break into a new kind of management role and help businesses develop strategies that guarantee growth. While anyone is welcome to enroll, Udacity recommends that learners at least have:

  • Experience scoping business requirements and defining KPIs
  • An idea of the performance of data analytics using Excel
  • An understanding of creating and analyzing arithmetic functions in Excel


Course Breakdown

This course is all about how to improve customer lifetime value. You will learn expert techniques to get people talking about your product and learn how to create a funnel system that leads your potential customers directly your way. The course is broken up into 4 distinct sections, followed by a final product that ties everything together.


Optimizing Signup

The first section of the course goes over how to measure and adjust your current strategy. You’ll learn about click-through percentage and even take a look at drop-off, seeing how long you can actually keep your traffic’s attention. Based on what you uncover, you’ll propose experiments that help you tighten up the process and make it more fluid.


Defining the Activation Funnel

The main goal of any campaign that you’re currently running is to get traffic through the funnel and signing up for your product. Taking a look at how your potential clients behave online, you’ll be able to determine what types of marketing content works the best and which just doesn’t cut it.


Conducting Analysis

One of the most successful tactics in marketing is to increase engagement. You want to gain clients for the long run, not just for the time they are stopping by and clicking through. In this section, you’ll create retention charts and take a look at the average retention, clearly seeing the areas in your strategy that need the most help.


Analyzing Impact

An in-depth analysis of the types of users that are making their way to you is important. Learn the different classifications of users based on their frequency on the page. Once you have determined whether they are resurrected, retained, dormant, or active, you’ll be able to make a better judgment on how to improve activation and keep your users coming back for more.


Final Project: Let it Grow

For the final project, you’ll actually put yourself in the shoes of a growth product manager. You’ll take on the role of two different types of companies, coming up with the best sign-up flow for both. Using the information at hand, you’ll conduct an in-depth analysis and plan experiments to get you the most accurate results. Your goal is to create a seamless sign-up flow, one that doesn’t leave your potential future clients frustrated in the process.


How Long Does It Take?

The is quite a bit of information introduced in the course but, it passes by faster than you might think. Udacity estimates that the course will take only one month when you dedicate just 10 hours per week. While you can take advantage of the flexible learning perk that comes with each Udacity nanodegree, you might not want to take too long to avoid an extra months’ worth of access, which will cost you.


What’s the Cost?

Speaking of the cost, let’s take a look at the total for this course. Udacity charges per monthly access, giving learners access to all the nanodegree content and extras for the entire month. Each month that you have access comes with a cost, normally priced at $359. For this course, since it takes just a month, Udacity has a deal, however, this deal is not set to last long, coming only when you score early sign-up.


If you do by chance happen to make it over to the site and enroll in the course in time to get the deal, Udacity throws in a 30% discount. This discount drops the course cost to $249. We will say, do be cautious and mindful of your time. If you wind up taking longer than a month to complete the course, you’ll wind up paying more than double than if you sign up and get started now.


Learner Reviews

This is a new course and does not yet have any reviews. Still, Udacity’s reputation is well represented online, coming with a ton of positive feedback. Below, take a look at what a few previous learners had to say.


“it’s a great way to learn how to take the right steps towards your best career, you will know more about marketing and how can you make a good plan and make your skills up, and get more experience you need, but you should be doing you best and make this challenge on real-world no just take another course you would use it.” – Mohammed M.


“Udacity is considered a very effective educational platform for me, as it directly connected to my needs, abilities and market needs. It will be always a great choice for me. Its programs and courses designed to give you a real project to grow your skills and make it fit with the market needs. – Jenn E.


“This program turned out to be really beneficial to a great extent. Udacity is providing three tracks for digital marketing that really helped me know more about the field and start my freelancing career. Being part of Udacity’s program has been such a pleasure. All the materials are clear and the reviewers are professional. – Sara H.


Can I Land A Job?

More and more businesses are converting their daily doings online. Everything is going digital, creating a whole new branch of marketing. Coming up with new and fresh strategies to help get and keep a company on the map is fun but, takes a certain set of skills and a trained eye to quickly monitor faults and tackle them.


As far as the demand for the position, a recent Google Trends analysis for “growth product manager” shows a 425% increase in average monthly interest over the last 5 years. This trend is expected to keep going up as more businesses look to methods that drive traffic their way and help them keep it. As far as the amount you’re looking at yearly, growth product managers make anywhere from $136,000 to $204,000 annually.


Sounds pretty promising! To give you an idea about your first gig, think about a business, any business. More than likely, that business has a web page and an app. In addition, they probably have an online marketing strategy that is unique to them, their needs, and their typical traffic. Your job once in the field will be to help those companies improve their current strategy through a number of in-depth analyses that show user behavior. So, in short, yes! You can land a job!

Is It Worth It?

This question is easy to answer when taking a look at Udacity. They are an accredited online academy with a ton to offer learners of all levels. When looking at the Activation and Retention Strategy Nanodegree in particular though, it does take a bit of thinking. The questions to ask yourself are, ‘will this course teach me effective strategies I can use on the job?’ and ‘can I get a job?’.


To tackle the first one, let’s go back to the course content. There are three sections plus a final project, all geared toward teaching effective methods that professionals use today. These lessons are taught by a knowledgeable instructor that has both educational and professional experience. So, for this question, yes. Now for the next question. We covered the outlook for a career as a growth product manager above and it does look very promising. So, to this question, yes!


Overall, this is a quality course that comes with a promising future ahead. The ability to help business improve their online marketing strategies are powerful, and something that companies in every industry will need sooner or later. This course is worth it, especially if you sign up now and score Udacity’s discount. So, what are you waiting for? Log in, sign up, and start learning today. Your new career is closer than you think!

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