Consider these startling mobile marketing facts: 26% of mobile users do not use an app again, and 80-90% of apps are eventually deleted from the user's phone.

Those facts haves forced app developers and marketers to look out from their cocoon and focus on the mobile app metrics that matter the most, thereby improving customer engagement and retention. After all, marketers have put in the work regarding the mobile app's content, so they’ll want to make sure that the app's content has a long shelf life.

However, many app developers end up giving undue attention to only a few metrics within their mobile marketing strategy instead of the most important ones available. The important metrics form a base for a marketer to take informed decisions. In absence of the same, marketers aren't able to succeed with their strategies, in the long run.

Here are the most significant mobile app metrics that marketers need understand.

1. Active user

Daily active user (DAU) or monthly active users (MAU) hint at the usage pattern of your customers, and this metric should be frequently analyzed and improvised, by both smaller and bigger apps.

Users tend to disengage with an app over time, and so the app needs to resonate with the audience on the first go.

Using simplistic yet catchy language along with local integration, intelligent keyword selection, deals, and good publicity are a few ways that can boost more engagement, increasing active users. 

2. Customer lifetime value

Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is an indicator of revenue, earnings from your app. In simpler terms, it is the amount of money your app would make from a single user, during the entire time he or she chooses to use the app along with the amount of earnings from when a user refers your app.

CLTV can also be used in comparing and determining the value of one user above the other along with improving your existing mobile marketing strategy.

3. Customer acquisition cost

Customer acquisition cost is the amount spent on sales and marketing overheads to acquire an app user either through paid channels (ads) or organic channels (word-of-mouth or referrals).

User acquisition costs have increased by 33%, according to the latest reports by Fiksu, coaxing developers to choose organic routes, such as investing in app communities, to bring about recognition and engagement beyond acquisition.

4. Revenue per user

Understanding the revenue earned from each user is important, the two earning sources being a paid app or in-app purchases through advertising. Facebook broke this record and has succeeded in higher earnings in line with increased user acquisition.

5. Session length

Music app sessions last around 8.9 minutes, much higher than social networking sessions, which last only 2.5 minutes, according to a study done by Statista.

A higher session length is an indicator of its productivity and user preference. You should introduce unique features to amplify this metric, which would lead to prolonged session length.

6. Install rate

Install rate is the number of clicks on your ad that lead to the app being installed.

Many marketers are experimenting with tactics to bring in the ideal clicks like using an image that resonates with the app to clever content copies.

7. Uninstall rate

A lot of factors affect an app being uninstalled, and this metric should be monitored frequently. The most common factors listed by users include an app being buggy, an app with too many intrusive ads, or having complex registration process.

Developers should aim at improving existent user experience by introducing simplified techniques to win users, such as registration through social media profiles, etc.

8. App launch time

Delayed launch in an app is a recipe for disaster, as it significantly affects users' attention. It is therefore advised to pack the content locally and closely monitor this metric.

Apart from these key metrics, analyze the various other external factors that work in tandem to make an app successful:

  • UI/UX. A brilliant UI catches the attention of the users instantly. Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, it should provide superior features, an error-free experience, and a responsive design.
  • Space. It is common for users to delete apps that consume excessive data or battery on their device. App developers should consider this fact before launching an app.
  • Functionality. Functionality is the essence of a great app. Imagine an app that crashes every now or then or even worse has a poor design for touch. No user would want that experience for sure!

App developers need to explore these metrics completely, along with the basics of the business that includes understanding user demographics, usability of the app, source of traffic, and usage pattern of customers to name a few.

So, why do marketers need to know these metrics? Analyzing the right metrics means analyzing the right data points. In the long run, it translates into getting the best solution for your mobile business strategy apart from increasing the shelf life of your app.

In understanding how to measure the success of a mobile app, marketers can craft the content and campaigns needed to best reach their customers.

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image of Taru Bhargava

Taru Bhargava is a marketing manager at AppVirality, a provider of a plug-and-play growth-hacking toolkit for mobile apps.

LinkedIn: Taru Bhargava

Twitter: @tarubhargav