20 Key KPIs to Monitor Your Mobile App Marketing Performance

Ioana Cozma
May 21, 2024
March 31, 2023

If you’re here, you already know that monitoring your app is essential to catch problems on time and improve its functioning.

But did you know you have to watch for the right metrics?

Our experienced mobile app marketing agency is here to help.

Yes, some mobile app marketing KPIs are more important in some campaigns.

Others are simply more important objectively.

For example, the number of access permissions your customers agree to inside your app is objectively less important than the number of active users you have.

Conversely, attribution and geo-metrics are not always essential, though at other times can break your campaign.

TL;DR

That said, here’s a tl;dr with all the key performance indicators to consider for most mobile app marketing campaigns (some are pretty obvious):

UX and Performance KPIs1. App responsivenessHow fast your app responds to a request

2. Load times

How fast your app loads completely
3. User flowUsers’ behavior within the app
4. Retention rateThe number of users you retain
5. App crashesThe number of times your app crashes
App Engagement KPIs1. Daily active users and monthly active usersThe number of active users per day and per month
2. Average screens per visitThe number of unique pages each user sees per visit
3. Session lengthTime spent within the app per user per visit
4. Churn rateThe rate at which users unsubscribe
5. Registrations and subscriptionsThe number of unique registrations
Revenue Metrics1. Average revenue per user (ARPU)The average revenue that each user generates
2. Lifetime value (LTV)The revenue per user from the beginning of your relationship
3. Conversion rateThe number of app installs over
4. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)The cost of getting each new user
5. Gross revenueTotal earnings
App Store Optimization (ASO) KPIs

1. App store category ranking

Your app’s rank in the app store
2. Keyword rankingsThe keywords you rank for
3. Views to installsHow many times a person saw your app listing before installing it
4. Reviews and ratingsFeedback and scoring for your app
5. Installs and uninstallsNumber of times your app gets installed and uninstalled

UX and Performance KPIs

  • UX KPIs: Indicate user experience, meaning how much people like your app
  • Mobile app performance KPIs: Show how well your app performs objectively

We grouped these two types of mobile app metrics because they’re interconnected. When your app works well objectively, UX is bound to be high.

1. App Responsiveness

App responsiveness = how fast the app responds to a command

Responsive apps entice users to stay, navigate on different pages, and use the app more. Even a mediocre app can keep a high number of active users if it’s responsive.

Now imagine a perfect app that responds to your needs like no other. If that app is unresponsive and slow, it will still lead to frustration, poor user experience, and a high uninstall rate.

Note: App responsiveness is inversely proportional to app latency. This metric indicates the period between the moment when API proxies are activated and their response. So obviously, you want that period to be very low, whereas app responsiveness should be high.

2. Load Times

Load time = how fast your app loads completely

Note: Load time and app responsiveness are not the same. App responsiveness relates to the speed of your app’s response to different tasks, whereas loading time shows the loading period.

Again, an app that loads fast will have higher:

  • Stickiness rate
  • Retention rate
  • Usage rate
  • Session length

An app that loads slowly on a regular basis is connected to a high churn rate, uninstalls, and poor reviews. And all that lowers your revenue generation considerably.

3. User Flow

User flow = app users’ navigation behaviors within the app

This metric quantifies:

  • Visited pages
  • The order in which these pages are visited

Ideally, you want this path to:

  • Be pleasant & seamless for your active users.
  • End with an in-app purchase or other desirable action.

Remember: Following this metric is essential to identify unpleasant in-app experiences and the issues that cause them. Correcting bottlenecks and confusing design elements makes your app easier to use and leads to the desired action.

4. Retention Rate

Retention rate = number of users that return to your app

Note: This mobile app KPI is calculated for a predefined period of time. Here’s the formula:

RR = [(UE – UN)]/US)] x 100

  • UE = app users at the end of the period
  • UN = new app users
  • US = app users at the start of the time period
Retention Rate Formula

The retention rate shows whether:

  • Your app users’ needs are met: If people find your app useful, they will return to it, and your retention rate will increase.
  • Your app users have another reason to stay: Adapt your app marketing strategies to each stage of the sales funnel. Ensure people are educated about your app functionality and that you’ve built sufficient social proof around that app.

A high user retention increases organic traffic & downloads as more happy customers leave positive reviews or give direct recommendations. Ultimately, this increases your ROI and helps you extend on new markets.

Remember: Follow and correct a low retention rate by tracking user behavior within the app.

5. App Crashes

App crashes = the number of times your app crashes and why

App crash rate is a complex variable that includes the number of times your app freezes and the causes for each freeze.

Remember: Monitor when app crashes happen in the user flow and fix the root problems.

Obviously, when people install an app, they expect it to work properly. A low app crash rate ensures more active users, fewer uninstalls, and lengthier sessions. All that leads to more recommendations and in-app purchases.

App Engagement KPIs

Mobile app metrics for user engagement showcase how much app users interact with your product.

After all, increasing app downloads shouldn’t be your end goal. You should want people to actually use your app and be happy about it.

Happy users accelerate your app’s popularity, traffic, and sales because they make more in-app purchases and endorse your products actively.

1. Daily Active Users and Monthly Active Users

  • Daily active users = the number of active app users on a daily basis
  • Monthly active users = the number of active app users on a monthly basis

You want to optimize your users per day and month. But you also want to focus on other mobile app analytics metrics:

  • The number of unique users
  • The number of visits for every individual user
Product KPIs

Pro tip: If your MAU and DAU are relatively similar, your app is more successful in repeatedly engaging users and encouraging them to return. This way you can measure app stickiness by calculating the ratio of daily active users (DAU) to monthly active users (MAU).

App Stickiness Formula

Remember: Pick the mobile app performance metric you need for your current marketing goals. Sometimes it’s best to focus on unique visitors; other times, it’s wiser to consider all visits.

2. Average Screens per Visit

Average screens per visit = the average number of unique screens each app user opens per visit

The average screens per visit, aka session depth, is one of the key user engagement metrics. People who love and interact with your app will open more screens per visit.

Following and optimizing the number of user interactions helps if:

  • You monetize your app with in-app ads, and people are more exposed to those ads when visiting more pages.
  • Your app users make in-app purchases.
  • Your loyal audience recommends your app to their loved ones.

3. Session Length

Session length = the duration of each session per user

Note: A longer average session length is technically more desirable in some cases.

  • Actively engaged users who play mobile games or find relevant info on your app are likelier to recommend it to others, make in-app purchases, or be exposed to ads.
  • Pro tip: You may not need to follow the session interval for your app if your users get their needs met faster. This can be the case with a payment app, where the number of sessions is a much better indicator of app engagement.
Average Session Length Formula

Warning: A longer session time may also indicate problems if correlated with increased uninstalls and crashes.

That means app users spend more time on it because they’re waiting for it to respond or load. So, find those bugs and fix them asap.

4. Churn Rate

Churn rate = the percentage of users who unsubscribe and uninstall your app

This mobile app KPI has the following formula:

Churn rate = [UL/ (US + UN)] x 100

  • UL = users who left
  • US = users at the start of the period
  • UN = new users throughout this time frame
Churn Formula

    The rate at which your app users uninstall or unsubscribe from your app is a clear sign that:

    • Your app needs technical/ design/ product improvements or:
    • Your communication needs improvements. Sometimes, people unsubscribe if your app has a high learning curve and you need to educate your audience better. Micro-influencer marketing for mobile applications would be an awesome place to start here.

    Check:

    • User journeys
    • In-app crashes for the average user
    • Design elements
    • Your advertising messages
    • Gamification elements

    For example, some mobile app users who play mobile games can uninstall an app if the in-app rewards are too hard to get.

    5. Registrations and Subscriptions

    Registrations and subscriptions = number of signups minus the number of unsubscribes

    Registering to newsletters, content, or app updates indicates high engagement rates. And you also want to minimize the number of unsubscribes.

    Usually, people are pretty lax about the newsletters and updates they subscribe to. They’ll keep that subscription active even if the content is mediocre. That means a high unsubscribe rate indicates a serious problem with:

    • Your content
    • The rate and time of day when you send those newsletters/ updates

    Pro tip: Monitor:

    • How long it takes new app users to subscribe to your content after they download your app.
    • The average subscription length.

Get the best KPIs with our Paris-based mobile app promotion agency

Revenue Metrics

Revenue mobile app metrics show you if your app is profitable. However, judge these metrics through the lens of your needs and app monetization efforts.

1. Average Revenue per User (ARPU)

ARPU = the cash that each unique user generates

Depending on your app monetization, this cash can be brought through:

  • In-app purchases
  • In-app ad impressions
  • Click-through rate on your mobile app advertisements
  • Subscriptions
  • Recommendations
  • Paid subscriptions

ARPU = Total app revenue/ Number of users

Top mobile app marketers need to find a way to increase this value, so analyze:

  • In-app user behavior
  • Ad quality
  • Potential influencer collaborations to maximize marketing spend
  • Price plans
  • Potential affiliate programs

2. Lifetime Value (LTV)

LTV = the revenue per user from the beginning of your relationship

The lifetime value may seem identical to the average revenue per user. But in this case, you’re looking at the cash every individual user generates.

By contrast, ARPU defines an average.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

Remember: Zero in on the most productive app users and try to understand their behavior. Then:

  • Recreate the same conditions for other app users to produce a similar user flow, or:
  • Target lookalike audiences with similar messages that best-performing audiences are exposed to.

3. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate = the rate of conversion judging by all the people who saw your app messages

There are two ways to gauge the conversion rate by looking at:

  • Paid advertising:
    • Display ads
    • Social media ads
    • Sponsored posts
  • Organic messages:

Pro tip: Analyze the marketing activities you’re using to bring those conversions. If these mobile marketing strategies don’t work:

4. Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

Cost per acquisition = How much each conversion costs

This conversion can come from:

  • User acquisition
  • The same customers, who maybe upgrade to the premium app version or purchase more things inside the app
Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

Note: Cost per acquisition (CPA) is not the same as cost per install (CPI), although they both measure customer acquisition costs. CPI refers to the cost of an install for users who download your app after seeing an ad.

Insider tip: User acquisition costs can be kept low with UGC ads that decrease ad fatigue and convince more potential customers. inBeat managed to drop CPAs to 75% for NielsenIQ and 40% for Phone Loops following this simple strategy.

5. Gross Revenue

Gross revenue = the total earnings from your app across all channels

Gross revenue differs from ROAS or ROI, though you should correlate all these metrics.

  • ROAS = Return on ad spend, meaning how much money your app earns from your mobile marketing efforts
  • ROI = Return on investment, meaning how much revenue a specific investment generated

From that perspective, you can calculate ROAS to measure gross revenue, whereas ROI reflects net income after subtracting your expenses.

Pro tip: You want your ROI to increase along with gross revenue. Mobile app marketing done right can help through search engine optimization, social media marketing, influencer advertising, and app store optimization.

That leads us to the final point:

App Store Optimization (ASO) KPIs

App store optimization indicators show if your app is optimized enough for the App Store and Google Play Store.

Remember: When judging ASO vs. SEO, both are equally important, though not the same.

ASO refers to the app store, whereas SEO ensures your app’s website is optimized for search engines.

1. App Store Category Ranking

App store category ranking = your app’s rank in its specific category

When you create an app, you want your app to rank as close to the top in the app store for your particular category. For example, if people are looking for a fitness app, they’ll see your app’s name dominating that category.

Therefore, they’re more likely to try it.

Pro tip: You also want your app to rank highly on the trending page. But in this case, your app won’t rank for a specific keyword like “fitness app.”

To increase your app store category ranking:

  • Optimize your app name, visuals, and description.
  • Hone your social media marketing strategy and follow the latest trends in mobile app advertising to generate more buzz around your app.
  • Start a referral program to get more organic searches.

2. Keyword Rankings

Keyword rankings = the keywords that lead to app discovery and app downloads

Your keyword rankings show:

  • Which phrases led people to your app
  • Which terms led people to download your app

Pro tip: Focus on different keywords according to your goals:

  • Increase your traffic: Choose keywords with high search intent and medium competition.
  • Improve your visibility: Focus on informational keywords with high search volume and medium keyword difficulty.
  • Increase sales: Choose keywords with high purchase intent.

Pro tip: Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush will help with keyword discovery for ASO and SEO.

3. Views to Installs

Views to installs = the number of times users saw your app store listing before downloading it

Note: This indicator is basically the equivalent of the conversion rate, but for the App Store.

You ideally want that metric to be low because that means your advertising and app listing optimization efforts are effective.

However, some apps have higher views-to-install rates because of their nature. For example, a niche medical app may require more views before downloading than a gaming app.

4. Reviews and Ratings

  • Reviews = Quality of feedback in the app store
  • Ratings = Scores given by app store users

Ratings take less effort than reviews, so review quality is a better indicator of customer experience.

Note: Generic apps may have better reviews and ratings than niche apps. That happens because niche apps:

  • Are tougher to use, so users need to put in more effort to master them.
  • Rank higher on the urgency & functionality scale, so their users have higher expectations.

Pro tip: Learn valuable insights from negative reviews to optimize your app, as well as your educational and advertising efforts.

5. Installs and Uninstalls

  • Installs = number of app installations
  • Uninstalls = number of app uninstallations

Remember: Downloading an app is not the same as installing it. You want to keep track of how many installs you have:

  • Total, and:
  • For every unique user

Monitor:

  • App installations on different devices for the same users
  • Where your app installs come from
  • Where people install your app
  • When app users decide to uninstall your app (e.g., maybe after you released an update or removed a feature)

Which Mobile App Marketing KPIs Will You Monitor?

This article took you through 20 mobile app marketing KPIs and actionable insights to monitor them.

However, not all metrics are equally effective in measuring your app’s performance.

To decide which ones you’ll monitor in your campaign and which app attribution tools you’ll need, consider:

  • Your current marketing goals
  • The type of app you have in terms of niche and functionality

Let’s say your gym has an app where people can keep track of their gym visits and book classes.

Obviously, the conversion and install rates will be proportional to the new gym members.

App category ranking and keyword ranking might not matter much, either.

Better app performance indicators are user flow, churn rate, uninstall rate and app store reviews.

So:

  • Choose the most relevant mobile app KPIs.
  • Write a coherent report on all these metrics.
  • Perform a cohesive analysis to see how these indicators are interconnected.

Alternatively, inBeat can do all that for you as part of our in-depth mobile marketing campaigns.

We’ll help you set the right KPIs for your goals and implement the right creative strategies to reach those goals.

Let’s set up a free strategy call, and we’ll discuss the best tactics for your app marketing needs.

Want some examples of successful user acquisition campaigns? Check out case studies of our mobile app advertising agency in Brazil!

Table of contents