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Pirate Matrix or AARRR/AAARRR Matrix: what is it?

The AAARRR matrix, also known as the "Pirate Matrix", allows you to structure your growth marketing strategies according to your conversion tunnel. It is an improved version of the AARRR matrix. Find out how to use it!

The AARRR matrix is a marketing model for structuring a conversion tunnel. By dividing the conversion tunnel into several stages (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Recommendation, Revenue) it is possible to better define the objectives and an appropriate growth marketing strategy. 

The AAARRR matrix, also known as the "Pirate Matrix", is an improved version of the latter, which adds a step at the top of the conversion tunnel.

How to use the AARRR matrix?

The matrix represents the conversion tunnel, and each of the stages of this tunnel must be analysed and optimised. By using the matrix, we can define objectives and growth marketing actions dedicated to each stage. In this way, the entire conversion tunnel, and by definition the entire "growth" part of the company, is optimised.

This matrix is widely used in the world of growth hacking, and has given rise to a new, more complete matrix, which we use at Growthyouneed in our growth marketing strategies: the AAARRR matrix

The AAARRR or Pirate Matrix

The name of this matrix reflects the 5 stages of the matrix mentioned above. The strategic adjustment of this new one lies in the new stage at the top of the conversion tunnel: Awareness.

The AAARRR matrix is therefore defined by 6 steps: (Awareness, Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Recommendation, Revenue). It offers a more complete approach to your digital growth marketing strategy.


Awareness is the highest step in your strategy. It is the awareness and power of your brand. The main objective is to make yourself known. Indeed, it is easier to be effective on the rest of the tunnel (or funnel) if the targets have already heard of you.
The recommended KPIs are reach or video views.

AAARRR Awareness Matrix


In this step of the AARRR matrix, the marketing objective is to attract new users. For this, your growth marketing strategy must be adapted to different acquisition channels, determined according to your business. Social networks, Google referencing, affiliation... Many channels can allow you to attract visitors to your site or to generate leads.

They must be defined according to your market, your product, your target and your strategy!
The recommended KPI is the traffic on the website or your social network pages.

Matrix AAARRR Acquisition


We must now encourage prospects to take action. It is at this stage that it is crucial to have worked out the targeting, to have a clear and interesting offer and to respond to a user need. The UX of the website will also be important: prospects must be able to take action simply.

We are not necessarily talking about buying, but about interacting with your brand: signing up for a newsletter, sending a message or form, or requesting a demo.

Depending on your growth marketing strategy, a multi-channel approach is recommended (or at least to be tested) as some channels are only effective on certain stages of the conversion tunnel.

Recommended KPIs are conversion volume, conversion rate, number of leads or cost per action.


AAARRR Matrix Activation


Also known as loyalty, this stage has a simple objective: to turn your customers into regular customers. You need to maintain a relationship with the user so that they continue to interact with your brand, in order to become indispensable to them. 

It is usually cheaper for a company to get an existing customer to consume its product. 

For this, many actions are at your disposal: retargeting campaign, email automation, push notifications... All these levers must be complementary and bring value to the target.

Recommended KPIs are the number of purchases per existing customer and the retention rate.

Matrix AAARRR Retention


How do you turn your loyal customers into brand ambassadors? This is the big challenge of this step of the AARRR matrix. 

As soon as your users start recommending your brand and help you acquire new customers, your growth marketing strategy becomes more effective. Indeed, it allows you to reduce your acquisition expenses because your customers do it for you!

For this, your brand image and e-reputation must be strong. Combined with this, you can set up various actions such as sponsorship actions or competitions.

AAARRR Matrix Recommendations


Finally, the last step in your AARRR matrix is to increase your turnover and margin!

Think carefully about your business model and how it can be improved. Many tests can be put in place (free delivery for X euros of order, delivery in 48H, upsell). Each of these actions will have an impact on key revenue KPIs such as the average basket or the conversion rate.

One of the pillars of this step must be data. Analyse your conversion tunnel and customer behaviour to optimise the way they consume your product.

Adapting the AARRR/AAARRR matrix to your growth marketing strategy

Each company must adapt the matrix to its activity, its market and its objectives. From there, it will be possible to set up an adapted growth marketing strategy.

All the steps must be optimised in order to obtain the best possible performance. 

Do not neglect the testing phases as they will provide you with the insights needed to improve your performance.

GrowthYouNeed, your growth marketing agency

At GrowthYouNeed, we have been specialising in digital strategy for many years. Do not hesitate to contact us to define together a marketing strategy adapted to your needs. For more information, please fill in the form below!

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