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Mobile App Metrics: Your Comprehensive Guide

Peter Drucker: If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

Metrics matter the most when it comes to evaluating app performance, analyzing user portraits, leveraging user engagement, and especially, increasing sales revenue. However, what app metrics should be tracked and monitored is a headache for everyone in the App business. So, this article compiled a comprehensive checklist for mobile app metrics regarding different perspectives of app analytics. Starting from the definition of mobile app metrics, this article will elaborate on:

  • App Metrics for User Acquisition
      -Downloads
      -Total Users
      -New Users
      -Daily Uninstalls

  • App Metrics for User Engagement
       -Activations       
       -Time Spent     
       -Session Interval      
       -Average Session Length       
       -DAU & WAU & MAU      
       -Total Active Days Per User(TAD)       
       -App Launch Retention Cohorts       
       -Retention           
       -Churn
  • App Metrics for Revenue
       -Conversion Rates
       -Revenue
       -Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
       -Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU)
       -Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
       -Return on Investment (ROI)
       -Lifetime value (LTV)

  • App Metrics for App Performance
       -App Load Time
       -User Satisfaction
       -User Ratings
       -Net Promoter Score(NPS)

What are Mobile App Metrics?

App metrics are the parameters that app data is related to, to put it in a more plain way, a metric is a name of a specific category of app data that is essential for app marketing analytics. For example, the number of users who downloaded the app is called the data of "user downloads", which are related to the data of "app acquisition". That is, “user downloads” is an app metric related to app acquisition. By gaining insight into these app data and metrics, marketers can know about the performance of their app and carry out marketing strategies accordingly to better develop their apps.


App Metrics for User Acquisition


1. Downloads

Downloads is a basic app metric that counts the total number of users who download the app. This parameter gives a general idea of the app’s value in the marketplace.


2. Total Users

“Total Users” refers to the number of users who have launched the app at least once. It is a useful metric that shows how many users are interested in the app and how potential the app is. Usually, GA can show marketers a general total number of users. And app owners would build their database on their own or from a third-party data analysis platform, such as appflow.ai, which can list all the users in one dashboard, just like this:

mobile-app-metrics-total-users-illustration-appflow.ai


3. New Users

New Users is an app metric that calculates the total number of users who launch the app for the first time over the chosen period. Observing this app metric is necessary for marketers when they guarantee whether their marketing channels are behaving normally. For example, they can study from which channel or media their new users come from and what their user retention rate is in different channels. With this insight, they can make adjustments accordingly.


4. Daily Uninstalls

Daily Uninstalls refer to the amount of uninstalls in a day. It is a fact that users have all the right to install and uninstall any apps on their phones. But looking into those people who uninstalled can always make the reason clear. If the most possible reason why they uninstall is that the app doesn’t offer value to them, then what marketers can do is tell their users the value on the first day. And that’s why tracking the number of uninstalls on a daily basis is important: It helps understand whether the onboarding process is reasonable or not, gain valuable data and more users over time.


App Key Metrics for User Engagement


1. Activations

“Activations” represents how many users actually launch the app after downloading. This metric means a lot to marketers to promote app growth because users can’t realize the value of the app until they launch it. And the reality is with so many apps in the app store that are handy to download, it is of great possibility for users to uninstall the app without ever launching it. So doing something to optimize this metric can be a crucial factor to enlarge user scale. 


2. Time Spent

Time Spent is a good app metric that measures the time users spend on a specific screen. From this aspect, marketers can understand which screen users are spending the most time on and decide whether it is expected. If it is not, they can take action timely. 


3. Session Interval

Session Interval is the duration user spends from the first screen to the next screen. This app metric can tell whether the onboarding process is effective or not and studies the user funnel between downloading and making a purchase so that marketers could optimize the app onboarding process and increase sales. 


4. Average Session Length

Average Session Length refers to the amount of time every app user spends on an app, on an average level. Getting a clear idea of how long the average user spends on an app helps better understand the app's functionality. Marketers can improve this app metric in order to get users more sticky in the app and promote app growth. 


5. Daily Active Users (DAU) & & Weekly Active Users (WAU)& Monthly Active Users (MAU)

DAU, WAU and MAU refer to the number of unique users who launched the app within a day, a week and a month respectively. Measuring these three app metrics is good for understanding how helpful an app is to the people who download it and thus take responsive actions accordingly. For example, when the DAU which is an essential app metric for the growth of an app is lower than expected, marketers should take responsive actions, such as sending push notifications to improve this metric.


6. Total Active Days Per User(TAD)

Total Active Days Per User means the amount of time each user spends on the app at an average level during the statistical period. This app metric shows the value of an app to users and reflects the user quality and stickiness. 


7. App Launch Retention Cohorts

App launch retention cohorts is a phrase that refers to the analysis of users who install an app, interact with it, and then keep coming back. This app metric means analyzing users’ behavior in an app and separating them into cohorts or groups. In this way, marketers get to understand their users and implement corresponding tactics. Usually, marketers can group their users into these three aspects: daily acquisition; behavior types; returning users by using an app data analysis tool like appflow.ai, which can help marketers easily segment their users and do cohort comparisons and surveys.

mobile-app-metrics-retention-corhort-ilustration


8. Retention

Retention is the most important app metric for almost all apps. This metric measures how many people return to your app after a specific period of time. Generally, marketers pay more attention to the number of users who are still engaging with the app after one day, seven days, and thirty days. From these data, they can make assumptions on the reasons why users churn and make changes to bump the retention rate.


9. Churn 

Churn is an app metric that calculates the number of users who stop using the app. Analyzing the users who churn can help marketers win back them. Make a cohort analysis of these users, and find out their similarities, which may be a crucial element or breakthrough that helps marketers to bring them back and reduce future churn.


App Metrics for Revenue


1. Conversion Rates

Conversion Rates refer to the number of conversions between milestones of a user journey, like installs-trial rate, trial-subscription rate… You don’t need to oversee all CRs at a time, but choose the one that matters, and that is appropriate for your current stage.

conversions


2. Revenue

Revenue is the total amount of money you make through in-app purchases, subscriptions, or shopping carts during a specific time period. It is an app metric that is closely related to app growth and development. There is no doubt that everything each of the app employees do is to improve this app metric. So it is worth keeping a daily eye on by using a data analytics platform like appflow.ai, which calculates the total revenue and net revenue accurately for you.

moblie-app-metrics-revenue-illustration-appflow.ai


3. Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) 

Average Revenue Per User indicates how much money each user spends on an app. A reminder here is that users here means both unpaying users and paying users. It is measured by the total revenue divided by the number of all users. If the ARPU is rather low, it means that most app users aren’t spending money. 


4. Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU)

Average Revenue Per Paying User shows how much money each paying user spends on an app. Unlike ARPU, it is calculated by the total revenue divided by the number of paying users. This app metric can help marketers get a more accurate sense of what each paying user is worth.


5. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) 

Cost per Acquisition is an app metric that shows how much money it cost to bring on an app user. Most companies calculate this metric by dividing the total marketing acquisition costs by the total number of acquired users. However, CPA by this calculating method is a bit lower than reality, because operational and product development costs are not included.


6. Return on Investment (ROI)

Return on Investment is common and significant in any business. It can be a north star that guides marketers through the decision of which marketing strategy to choose. ROI can be calculated by the net revenue of a particular marketing campaign divided by the total amount of money spent on that campaign.  


7. Lifetime value (LTV)

Lifetime Value, from the angle of apps, is an important metric that calculates the lifetime value of an app user, that is, the total amount of money that can be made from an app user. To get more money from each user, try to extend their lifetime usage and minimize the churn rate.


App Metrics for App Performance


1. App Load Time

App Load Time is a crucial app metric that is related to user experience. Long app loading time leaves a bad impression on users and 25% of users choose to abandon the app as soon as it takes more than 2 seconds to load, according to a report. So in a way, longer app load time means worse app performance.


2. User Satisfaction

User satisfaction is a common method used to decide whether the app meets users’ expectations. It indicates how well the app has performed. A great way of gaining this app metric is to send a push notification, which appflow.ai is good at, to users and ask them directly.

mobile-app-metrics-users-satisfaction-illustration-appflow.ai


3. User Ratings

The number of stars user rates can be an indicator of app performance and customer satisfaction. Always asking users to rate the app can keep an eye on app performance and marketers can optimize it timely when app rating decreases.


4. Net Promoter Score(NPS)

Net Promoter Score measures the chances that a user will refer the app to someone else like friends or colleagues. High NPS means high app performance. 


Final Take Away

App metrics are marketers’ north star in the road of app marketing. These app metrics tell about the performance of an app and keep marketers informed about the retention, engagement, conversion and revenue generation potential of users. But keep in mind that it is essential for marketers to track the right kind of metrics, that are most valuable to their business. Build a self-developed database or use a third party to begin tracking app metrics today.


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