Key Mobile App Performance Indicators (KPI) That Really Matter

Whats is the secret behind every successful app you ask? Well, there isn’t one easy answer to that question. At the end of the day, the success of your app depends on your goals and what you are trying to achieve with your app.

Hitting top charts and getting millions of downloads is not possible for everyone. Though that doesn’t mean just because you didn’t make it to the top charts or achieve millions of downloads your app is a failure. There are tons of successful apps out there that never made it to the top charts but managed to make a great deal of money.

In order to achieve those kinds of results, you will need to have a clear goal in place and measure your key metrics to see how your app is performing and what you need to fix/change to get to the next level.

Simply put you need to be tracking critical app engagement metrics and using those to inform actionable solutions.

Here are some important key performance indicators (KPI) that really tell you how your app is doing and what you need to change to make it a success.

Retention Rate

“Retention is one of the biggest challenges of mobile apps today, as 65% of people stop using them three months after install.” says Cezary Pietrzak, director of marketing at Appboy,

Another study conducted shows that the Average App Loses More Than 75% Of Its Users After One Day.

Looking at these numbers it’s fair to say you have a day to get your app users attention and give them a reason to use your app again.

So the challenge here is to figure out how to make an app that keeps users coming back.

Measuring your retention rate is a must since that’s how you will know how well your app is doing and if it is giving users what they want.

Plus, app store rankings are becoming more sophisticated and they now focus on retention and engagement more than ever. This means you will need an app with high retention and engadegement rates to be able to move higher in the app store listings.

Retention is an indicator of app quality so we think Retention Rate is one of the most important key metrics to look into.

App Usage

It’s critical to get to know as much about your users as you can. Who they are, what’s your demographic? How frequently are users opening your app? What kind of phone or tablet they’re on, and what’s the user flow within the app?

Measuring usage will give you insights into how the app is used so that you know where you should be focusing on to improve your app experience and possibly pinpoint areas with weaknesses.

Active Users

Active users are every app developers dream. These are the users that use your app day in and day out. They are the ones who will download every update, click on ads, spend money and carry your app higher in the app charts. Increase in active users is a strong signal that you’re on the right track

So learn everything about them and how they are using your app. Only by studying your active users you can create a more engaging app and convert more users into active users.

Conversion Rate

Now that you have a lot of users it’s time to figure out if these users are making you any money. Afterall what is the point of having an app with millions of users if none are spending any money on your app.

So tracking what percentage of your users are taking actions that make you money is key to building a successful app.

Once you know your conversation rate, you can begin experimenting to perfect the process to convert more users into customers by making offers or showing ads at the right place in the app.

Tracking App Installs

Daily/Monthly installs are an important metric to keep an eye on. After all, no installs mean no users, and no users mean no revenue.

From the marketing point of view understanding the source of your app installs is very important. Tracking this metric will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising channels and marketing efforts.

If you want to scale your app and increase users you should be tracking your app installs closely and constantly tweaking your marketing campaigns to see what moves the neadle.

Lifetime Value

In a nutshell, customer lifetime value is what drives your mobile marketing budget. It tells you how much each new customer is worth — and how much you can pay to acquire that customer.

In other words, LTV is the average amount of money that each user will bring to your business in the time they’re using your app, whether that’s through a purchase, ad click, or referral.

This number is essential for making marketing decisions. The takeaway here is that LTV should be greater than Cost per acquisition (CPA), otherwise you’ll be in the red.

If your LTV is going up, you know you’re doing something right. If it’s going down, you’d better dig into the details and figure out why.

Originally published at on September 1, 2016.

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