Key Mobile Metrics You Should Be Measuring

Matt Labus Picture

by Matt Labus | Last Updated: Jul 26, 2018

You know how important mobile is to your business, but do you know how to measure how your mobile efforts are doing? Marketers are spending upwards of $200,000 on advertising expenses to make an app relevant, and companies spend even more when it comes to building the app and yearly maintenance. Given the lofty investment, you will want to make sure you’re able to report the ROI and key metrics of the app to your leadership team in order to prove that your mobile efforts are (hopefully) paying off. We’re going to take a closer look at a few metrics that you should be measuring in order to prove your app’s worthiness to your marketing strategy.

Number of Daily/Monthly Users This is probably the most important stat an app can produce. This simply tells you whether or not people are using your app. If this isn’t a high enough number to your standards, then you should try to go a different direction with your mobile strategy.

Session Length Once people are inside your app, are they staying in the app and navigating through it? Session length is how long a user actively uses your app in a session from open to close. There is no “magic number” here as some apps are intended to produce longer sessions than others. A good session length is determined by analyzing whether or not people are staying long enough to complete the desired actions within the app.

Time in App Didn’t we just go over this? Not necessarily. Time in app is the time a user spends in your app over a period of time (daily, weekly, etc). Again, a satisfactory amount for this metric is determined by industry, as someone using a dating app will have a different time in app than someone using an app for hotel room booking.

Acquisitions This is simply the number of users who download your app from a specific source. By tracking acquisitions, you are able to see which campaigns and channels–organic search, paid campaigns, or referrals–result in the highest number of valuable users. This is very important for tracking when you run campaigns with paid partners like Facebook or Instagram.

Screen Flow Screen flow is a user’s path within the app. You are able to see when and where they exit the app and the path(s) that produce high conversion rates. Tracking the flow of a user allows you to discover the optimal path to conversion and then you are able to structure your application in the most efficient way possible.

Retention This is the percentage of users who return to the app after their first visit. No one really cares how many users you have if they don’t return after the first visit. This statistic allows you to target your marketing because you can split the retention rate by device, campaign, or using custom dimensions (like purchase frequency). Tracking retention helps you identify what the current trends are, and how you can restructure your mobile strategy to play to these trends.

Lifetime Value Lifetime value is how much revenue you expect to receive from your users over the course of their app use. By knowing this statistic, you can strategically spend money to acquire new users. This metric is best used to compare the lifetime value of users across different sources.

Apps are expensive. Seventy-six percent of IT professionals said it takes more than three months to develop a custom app, so it’s time to really think about whether your investment is actually worth the money. Now that you know what you should be tracking in your app, you can get a better sense of where you can improve. If you’re not happy with your numbers, it might be time to consider making some changes to your mobile strategy to boost retention, increase your number of users, and ultimately increase your lifetime value.

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