Plan Your Implementation

Implementing a new tool can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You can implement Mixpanel in a few different ways to ensure it fits with the rest of your tech stack seamlessly.

Already Collect Data With a CDP or In-House Tools?

Customer Data Platform (CDP)

You can stream events directly from your apps and servers using a customer data platform (CDP). Mixpanel offers a growing number of options. If you already use a CDP, like Segment, you can get up and running with Mixpanel in seconds.

In-House Collection

If you already collect events and profile data with your own internal systems, see our Cloud Ingestion Guide for details on how to plug this data into Mixpanel quickly and reliably.

Data Warehouses

If you want a more out-of-the-box solution to load data from your warehouse, Mixpanel also connects to a variety of Reverse ETL tools including Census and Hightouch. These make it easy to route data from your warehouse to Mixpanel and all other tools in your stack.

Need To Start Tracking Product Data?

If you’re beginning your Mixpanel implementation from scratch and need to start tracking data, you have a few options based on the amount of development resources you have access to.

Track Data Natively With a Mixpanel SDK (Coded Tracking)

We recommend this method for its increased accuracy and completeness in data collection. Getting started by tracking essential metrics can take as little as 15 minutes, but a full implementation usually takes 1 to 3 weeks depending on the number of events and properties you want to track. You will need a developer for this option.

If you choose to track data via Mixpanel, the next step is choosing the right event-streaming method.

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If you lack development resources and require help with your implementation, reach out to Mixpanel’s solution partners.

Track Data With Freshpaint (Codeless/Hybrid Tracking)

Our free integration with Freshpaint offers you the ability to use codeless, point and click tracking to get started faster, and then augment your implementation with more robust coded tracking as needed. We strongly recommend not relying solely on a codeless implementation. Learn more here.

Choosing the Right Event-Streaming Methodology

If you’re planning on tracking data with a Mixpanel SDK, you can stream data on user actions from your product to Mixpanel in a few different ways. We suggest you choose what works best for your infrastructure and resource constraints.

Client-Side (Default): The event is created on a user's device and then sent directly to Mixpanel. This is the easiest method to set up but makes it difficult to track data through ad-blockers and keep metrics consistent across platforms.

Client-Side with a proxy: The event is created on a user's device, then sent to your server, and then finally to Mixpanel. This makes tracking data through ad-blockers a bit more effective and gives you more control over the data you send to Mixpanel, but requires additional infrastructure on your end. See Collection Via a Proxy.

Server-Side: The event is generated by your server when a user device pings it, and is then sent to Mixpanel. This approach is best at tracking data through ad-blockers and keeping metrics consistent across platforms. However, tracking client-side actions will be more difficult and tracking anonymous users across sessions and devices may require custom code.

A client/server hybrid approach can also be used to maximize data quality while maintaining the flexibility to easily collect the metrics you need. For more information, see Client-Side vs Server-Side Tracking.

What To Track

If you’re just starting to track data, the amount of events and properties you'll want to capture will depend on the type and complexity of your product.

We suggest starting simple by tracking two events critical to your product.

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Not sure what an event or property is? Check out What is Mixpanel to get a quick introduction to these important concepts.

Sign Up Event

This is the event where a user makes themselves known to your product by “creating an account”. We recommend tracking Sign Up because it's a quick and easy way to get real insights on your product’s growth.

You can do this with a simple code snippet:

mixpanel.track("Sign Up")

Tracking a sign up event can let you answer simple but key questions like:

:seedling: What is our growth? How many people are signing up on our website (daily, monthly, etc.)?

Mixpanel also lets you augment this data with event properties, like a referral source, or if the user opted out of emails.

You can add tracked properties to the code by labeling each event property and assigning it a value in the code snippet, like in this example:

mixpanel.track('Sign Up', {
    'source': "Pat's affiliate site",
    'Opted out of email': true,
});

This can help you answer even deeper questions like:

:calling: Which platform are most of our customers signing up on?
:inbox-tray: What channels are generating new sign ups most effectively?

Value Moment Event

A value moment is a key user action that indicates that a user is able to generate or realize value in your product, and is often a strong predictor of healthy user engagement and retention.

The value moment event should be tailored for your specific product. For a social product it's creating a post, for a streaming platform it's completing a TV series, for an e-commerce site it could be completing a purchase.

Here’s an example snippet that includes both a value moment event ‘Purchased Item’ and properties 'Item Type' and 'Price':

mixpanel.track('Purchased Item', {
  'Item Type': 'Coffee',
  'Price': 2.50,
});

Tracking a value moment can help answer questions like:

:star2: What does active engagement look like? How many users are experiencing value in my product?
:revolving-hearts: What is our retention? How many people are coming back to realize value in our product?
:moneybag: What is our activation rate? How many people who sign up make it to the Value Moment?

Create a Tracking Plan

Though you’ve gotten a head start by tracking Sign Up and Value Moment events, to deeply analyze your product you will want to add tracking for product-specific events and properties. Ultimately, each implementation is unique because each product is unique, which is why you need to plan out your implementation.

A tracking plan serves as the foundation for your Mixpanel implementation by linking the events and properties you want to track to the metrics they'll help you measure. Tracking plans also allow you to know what each event or property means, and how much progress you're making.

We recommend using a data governance tool to keep up with all the events and properties you want to track:

Not looking to use yet another tool? Not a problem! Check out our sample tracking plans for some inspiration to create your own.

FAQ

How can I implement if Mixpanel does not have a library for the language or framework that I use?
Mixpanel has APIs to both ingest and export data which means that a custom solution is always possible. Our libraries and SDKs ease the implementation process by creating the logic on our end to send or read data so you don't have to implement it yourself, but you can always create classes to do this.

You can also check our community for recommendations from other customers as usually you can find that other developers have either created 3rd party libraries or have used resources to help.


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