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10 App User Onboarding Metrics That You Should Track

Mobile app user onboarding is the process of educating users about your App functions & features the first time they open the App, and it is the very first impression left on your mobile users. Usually, users download the app for some features. So, if they don’t see the app value in a short time, they would easily churn to find another alternative. To reach users’ aha moment and onboard them more quickly, there are even more efforts made by the whole app team. So, the question is: how to measure the effectiveness of app user onboarding? Look on to find the answer. 

App User Onboarding Metrics

Depending on the app company’s goal and the field they are in, different app companies may have some unique user onboarding metrics. But whichever industry your app is in, you should track the following metrics to gain insight into the efficiency of the onboarding process.

Time to value (TTV)

Time to value refers to the time taken for a user to perceive the value of the app. It is a truth that, usually, users have limited time and patience, so it is urgent to show them the value of the app through the onboarding process as soon as users first download and launch the app. Only when users reach the aha moment when they find that the app can solve their problem will the user take the next step. Theoretically, the shorter the TTV is, the more successful the app user onboarding is.

Time to Complete Onboarding

Time to complete is the time a user spends completing the onboarding process before they can use the app independently without much guidance. The app user onboarding process aims to educate users on how to use the app properly and how the app can help them solve their problems or improve their life. If the time to complete onboarding is longer than you thought, you must reconsider the onboarding process, cause it might be some friction for users that you don’t notice before. Find out the actual reason and take targeted measures. Trying to shorten the time users spend on completing the onboarding process will bring more potential long-term users. 

Completion Rate

The completion rate is the percentage of users who finish the onboarding process. Keep in mind that those who don't finish the onboarding flow are most likely not to convert. So if the completion rate is rather low, you should figure out the step or the specific procedure that users exit more frequently. Try to smooth the process by removing unnecessary steps or even fixing technical issues. One surprising example would be that the cause of the low completion rate is that users can not receive the verification code when they sign up.

User Support Request Rate

User support request rate is the percentage of questions asked during user onboarding from signing up to realizing the value of the app. During the onboarding process, the app developers, designers and marketers are trying to do their part to ensure users' onboarding experience is smooth and successful. However, sometimes what we think is not actually happening. Data can always tell the truth: a low user support request rate during the onboarding process guarantees the real efficiency of the onboarding process. 

App Feature Adoption Rate

App feature adoption rate measures the percentage of users in the app who are actually using a feature. An app is designed with features that can help users solve their problems. If the app feature adoption rate is low, it means that users are not using the feature. The reason might be that the feature is hard to use or that users don’t have the need. The former issue should be solved by optimizing the feature utilization. And the cause of the latter may be the wrong-targeted marketing channels.

Activation Rate

Activation rate measures the percentage of users who have reached the activation points, which are important factors for conversion. Every app has unique activation points, for example, one activation point for a photo editing app would be when users upload one of their photos. Identifying the key activation points in the app and beginning tracking the activation rate would have an unexpected effect on measuring the effectiveness of app user onboarding. 

Engagement rate

Engagement rate is the percentage of users who have used the app in a specific time period. The engagement rate can be measured by time, marketing channels and features. A high engagement rate is one of the key results of a successful app user onboarding process.

Free trial conversion rate

The free trial conversion rate, also called the trial conversion rate, is the percentage of free trial users who become paid users over their trial period. It is the most important metric to measure the success of the app user onboarding process.

Retention rate

App user onboarding should be on throughout the whole lifetime of a user utilizing the app. Retention shows the number of users who keep using the app since their first use during a particular timeframe. A high retention rate has a lot to do with the onboarding process, such as offering premium guidance or lessons after users pay for the app.

Churn rate

The churn rate is the opposite of the retention rate. It measures the number of users who stop using the app. The onboarding process is important to ensure users really grasp the value of the product. The biggest reason why users churn is that they don’t realize the value of the app, so the churn rate can be a reflection of the effectiveness of the app user onboarding.

Why Should You Track App User Onboarding Metrics?

User onboarding is significant to engage with users, guide them through the features of the app, and finally reach users’ aha moments, which is the moment when users first realize the value of the app. During these processes, it is possible that users download the app, launch it, and then uninstall it just in a few minutes. Such actions are not noticeable if we are not tracking app user onboarding metrics. So, tracking these metrics plays an important part to develop app businesses. In general, tracking app user onboarding metrics helps reduce user time to value, identify friction points in the setup, test out improved UX and understand users’ journey from signing up to advocating.

How to Measure and Improve App User Onboarding Metrics

There are so many metrics that can be used to track the performance of app user onboarding. However, not all metrics are effective when measured incorrectly. Here are four steps to measure app user onboarding metrics.

Step1: Define the metrics that are most important for your app. Every app has unique features. Except for some general user onboarding metrics, you should define the metrics that are most important to your app, like playing a game for game apps, which can be an activation point. 

Step2: Start tracking data. Ask the technical team to set up the database for tracking all the data you want. It would be time-consuming to set up and define all the formulas and data for all the metrics. So if money permits, you can use third-party data tracking tools to help do the job. Usually installing the tool SDK into your app is the only thing you have to do before the data tool begins tracking. For example, appflow.ai can begin tracking data, such as retention rate, churn rate, user funnels, etc, when its SDK is installed into an app monetized by subscription.

tracking app metrics using appflow.ai

Step3: Analyze the data. Looking at the data to find out the problem and friction appearing during the user onboarding process. There are two important analysis methods you should know: cohort analysis and funnel analysis. Cohort analysis helps you observe how users behave in different groups. Funnel analysis helps better understand the user journey. You can set up the cohorts manually and figure out the user journey by yourself, or you can just rely on a data analysis tool to help do the job. By the way, appflow.ai, the data tool mentioned above, can perform both cohort analysis and funnel analysis.

Step4: Recognize the issue and figure out solutions. The purpose of tracking app user onboarding metrics is to recognize the issue. When you find out something wrong with the app, you can make changes to it. And if you are not sure whether it is the issue, then perform A/B testing first and track the data. In the end, you will make sure what’s wrong and find out a solution.

Step5: Keep tracking data and guarantee the better performance of the app user onboarding. Sometimes the solution we figure out from the data may be just a hypothesis, so we need to verify the hypothesis by making adjustments and tracking the data. Keep optimizing the app user onboarding process ensures the healthy development of the app.


Final Thought

App user onboarding metrics can provide insight into the user journey, so you can recognize unnoticeable issues and fix them. There are many metrics to track the effectiveness of the onboarding process. But always choose the ones that are most suitable for your app. Optimizing these metrics will have a beneficial impact on the development of the app business.

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