For any marketer, customer insights are built on strong foundations of data. But for app marketers, those foundations can feel as if they’re constantly shifting, since the reasons people install or uninstall apps are not always necessarily clear.
However, because app marketing can be so unpredictable, collecting data using the correct app marketing metrics to give the clearest picture of what is working (or not working) with both your app marketing campaigns and your app itself is the only way to get as accurate a picture as possible. But not every app marketing metric applies to every app, and understanding which metrics will provide your brand with the foundations you need is an important first step toward calculating ROI.
Here are today’s 10 most important app marketing metrics.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Attracting new customers to your app always requires some investment, but staying on top of your cost per acquisition (CPA) is an important part of measuring your app marketing campaign’s success. CPA is determined by dividing the costs of a campaign by the number of new subscribers gained during the length of that campaign. Measuring CPA is an important metric for allowing app marketers to compare the overall success of different campaigns, which helps brands to invest marketing spend in the places most likely to drive new users.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
Unlike CPA, customer lifetime value (CLV) is focused on how much revenue your brand can expect your average user to generate over the duration of your relationship. CLV is determined by measuring the average value of a conversion times the average number of conversions over times the average customer lifetime.
However, just because a user downloaded an app doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re using it. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for users to download an app and forget all about it. If you’re noticing an uptick in downloads and then activation rates that fall below around 85%, it’s time to look into why. Common causes of low activation rates are difficult to navigate user experiences and registration processes that are too lengthy or ask for data that users deem unnecessary.
Once audiences download and activate your app, an important app marketing metric focuses on how often they’re visiting an app. Since 28% of apps get deleted within the first 30 days of download, understanding what percentage of your audience is using your app on a daily or monthly basis is pivotal for determining the utility of your app.
Daily and monthly use of your app should constantly be growing, and if growth slows or stalls, considering new approaches such as push notifications could help get audiences engaging again. Daily and monthly use data is also an important app marketing metric because it provides feedback around what times of day and what days of the week users are most likely to engage, which can aid retention campaigns.
Determining your app’s “stickiness” requires analysis of both your daily average and monthly average user information. By dividing your number of daily average users by your monthly average users, you get data about how likely your audience is to continue engaging with your app. Most app marketing experts agree that apps with over a 20% stickiness ratio are doing just fine, though staying above 50% is optimal.
Average Session Length
Session length is one of the simplest app marketing metrics, but it’s also one of the most vital. The average session length is based on the amount of time each user is spending with your app. This metric is easily determined by dividing the amount of time spent on your app by the number of people using the app during a certain time period. These metrics can be both useful for determining how interested audiences are in various features of your app but also can help identify pain points. For example, if users are spending minutes on features that are supposed to take seconds to navigate, it might be worth looking into why.
Retention rate is measured by collecting data around the number of users who have used your app at least once during a set time period. While session length activity data is important, it’s possible that audiences aren’t using your app often but are relying on it for specific functionalities. Information around your app’s specific utility for your existing users can help target future app marketing campaigns.
Uninstalls (or churn) are most app marketer’s worst nightmare. But paying careful attention to churn rates over time could be a critical source of information for drawing new users. Examining data around uninstalls can provide useful data about why users are churning–from UX issues like slow-loading or buggy apps. But it can also reveal problems in app marketing campaigns themselves, such as a lack of clarity around the specific utility and functionality of your app.
Paying close attention to user reviews is an often-ignored metric for measuring the overall health of, not only your app but your app marketing strategy. While five-star reviews are great, pay careful attention to one and two-star reviews. They often contain a wealth of user feedback about the UX, but also around what users were expecting versus what they got.
Return on Investment (ROI)
The ROI of a particular app marketing campaign is a bit difficult to calculate, since it varies from brand to brand. Calculating ROI involves first determining what, precisely, your brand is looking to get out of a specific campaign. Were you hoping to grow audiences? Increase time spent on your app? Drive engagement with a new functionality? Answering these questions will determine what specific combination of the above metrics spells success for your particular app marketing campaign.
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