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Here Be Metrics: Discovering Pirate Metrics for Growth Marketing

Amber Rhodes
Last Updated April 27, 2021

(A)AARRR! We're Navigating Pirate Metrics in Growth Marketing

At EmberTribe, we call ourselves masters of paid traffic, but there’s a lot more to what we do than just running paid ads. We engage in growth marketing—aka a full-funnel approach to marketing that takes all stages of the customer lifecycle into consideration.

Cat in pirate costume

13 years back, start up genius David McClure introduced the world to pirate metrics. Pirate metrics, or AARRR, is a 5 step model for creating a customer lifecycle that increases conversions without breaking the bank. This model instructs businesses to focus on conversion metrics in these categories:

  1. Awareness
  2. Acquisition
  3. Activation
  4. Retention
  5. Referral
  6. Revenue 

Here’s how McClure originally devised the customer lifecycle model. 

Image Credit: 500 Hats

But since then, a sixth category has come into play at the top: awareness. While awareness is notoriously difficult to accurately measure, it definitely contributes to that crucial audience waiting at the top of your funnel.

So, to reiterate, this model and the metrics that fit within it can be used to build a funnel and marketing framework that’s primed for conversions. We think that's worth talking about!

So, over the next few months we will be sharing a blog series that breaks down the pirate metrics—what you should know, what you should be tracking, and how to rethink “traditional” marketing with a growth-focused mindset.

We're calling this series "Here Be Metrics" after the habit of ancient map makers marking unknown territories with depictions of monsters. Don't worry, though...there's nothing to be scared of here!

You can keep up with us as we navigate the choppy waters of growth marketing by subscribing to our blog below 👇

Ready to scale your profits sustainably?

TJ Jones -  CoFounder EmberTribe (1)

T.J. Jones

CoFounder EmberTribe

TJ will help you uncover some of the best growth opportunities for your brand in the First Call.


With over 10 years of experience and 80 million in ad spend under our belts, we know how to guide businesses from fizzle to sizzle.

Seth Bunch-1
"Embertribe has been incredible to work with. Not only are they knowledgeable and the best at their craft but they care about you and your business. Highly recommend!"

Seth Bunch

Founder of Xylem Woodworks

Portrait Lisa FusionBelts
"I tried one company before you guys but you guys are better. And you're all good looking too."

Lisa Vigliorolo

Founder of Fusion Belts

1199958010828334 - Embertribe (Internal Marketing) - 500x500 - SP - 45.01
"EmberTribe has been an incredible ally in our growth strategy. In a short period of time they were able to scale up our ad budget 200%, while decreasing the unit cost for each additional sign up. We see them as an extension of our internal marketing team, which, for a fast growing company, gives us tremendous leverage when building out and scaling new user channels."

Duncan Street

Co-founder, Qeepsake

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“One of the things I love most about working with EmberTribe which has been a standout from working with other companies is that there's a level of ownership that the team has in what we're doing that you really feel like they care."

Cody Barbo

Cofounder, Trust & Will

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"All around great team...The EmberTribe team really answered my technical questions without hesitation...Helped me understand where my business was lacking. It's hard to find companies nowadays that really go above and beyond."

Joey Hettler

Media and Marketing Coordinator at Altis

Grow Faster, Smarter with EmberTribe

If you are stuck on the half a million yearly revenue plateau, you need a growth agency that will get to know your business, audiences, and growth opportunities like the backs of their hands—and let you in on everything they learn. 

No secrets, no bull. Just making sparks fly together.

✅ Focused on revenue

Look elsewhere if you're looking for a new logo or brand identity via 200-page slide decks. Those marketing disciplines have their place, but they're not our focus. We've doubled down on growing sales and injecting our clients with cash flow.

✅ We move fast

The typical agency model moves slowly: endless meetings, thousands of email threads, lots of talk, but little action. EmberTribe is different. We know what it takes to grow fledgling brands into formidable empires: a hell of a lot of execution.

✅ Trusted by the best

We've been recognized by Facebook and Google as one of the top agencies in the world. We're a mentor to startups within Techstars, Y Combinator and regularly consult with programs at MIT and Harvard Business School. Now it's time to add you to our Tribe.

Okay, let's do this!

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