Mobile Apps: Your Ultimate Metrics-Driven Guide to Success

Data is the lifeblood of marketing success. It’s the only way you can measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and make sure you’re on track to reach your goals.

There are many metrics that provide valuable insights on different aspects of the mobile apps marketing process such as user interaction, satisfaction, acquisition and app performance, but it may be difficult to know which one to choose. That’s why we’ve prepared this guide to help you understand key app marketing metrics.

User Acquisition Metrics

  • Downloads: - Number of downloads is a measurement of your app’s popularity. It tells you how user interact with your marketing strategy. If you get lots of downloads then you know lots of people are responding well to your brand and marketing strategy. But on the other hand, few or no downloads can point to issues with your marketing efforts e.g. lack of app store optimization.

    The number of downloads is a misleading metric and it do nothing for the success of your app. Just knowing how many people have downloaded your app doesn’t tell you anything. After all, a user can download your app and delete it right away, or keep it and use very rarely or not at all.

  • Acquisition channels/Download Attribution - Attribution lets you dissect the app downloads to know the contribution of each and every channel where users come from (natural search, funded campaign, referral). It measures your marketing efforts so you can focus on the channels/campaigns that are most effective.

  • Viralness - Measures how many new users you acquire as a result of word of mouth from your existing users.

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) - This Metric will tell you how much money is spent to acquire a new user.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

User Retention Metrics

  • Retention rate - Retention rate basically means the percentage of users who come back to your app at least once in a given period of time. This metric is normally measured after 1-day, 7-day, and 30-day from first visit. It is calculated by dividing the amount of Active Users with the Amount of Installs.

Retention rate

User Engagement Metrics

  • Active Users - Number of users who have downloaded and installed your app over a certain time period: day (DAU), week (WAU), or month (MAU).

  • # of sessions - A session occurs each time a user opens your app and then closes it, Sessions will tell you how frequently your app is being used.

  • Session Length - It’s a metric which shows how much time users spend in your app, measured as the time between app open and close. Usually, when the user are more engaged, the longer their session will be.

  • Session Interval - The time span between two consecutive sessions for your app. This metric shows how frequently your users engage with your app. High session interval may indicate that your app is lacking enough content to keep them coming back.

  • App screens per session - Number of different app screens launched by the user in a single session.

App screens per session

  • Stickiness - Measuring the percentage of your monthly active users that come back to your app on a daily basis will tell you how sticky your app is. To calculate stickiness, divide DAU by MAU. Multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.


User Conversion Metrics

  • Conversion Rate (CR) - The conversion rate measures the percentage of unique users who performed key actions within your app out of the total number of users. Different apps have different key actions, but typical actions are, for example, downloading content, signing up for a newsletter, upgrading to the paid version, or clicking display ads.

Conversion Rate (CR)

User Churn Metrics

  • Abandonment Rate - Abandonment rate is the percentage of users who started moving through your conversion funnel but then abandon it before completing the conversion process (such as before signing up). There are numerous reasons that could result in interrupting the conversion process and cause abandonment like app crashes or poor user experience.

  • Uninstalls - How many users uninstall your app.

  • Churn Rate - It tells you how many users uninstalled your app after a given time. It is the opposite of the retention rate. In order for the app to achieve growth, the number must be low.

Churn Rate

User Satisfaction Metrics

  • Ratings and Reviews - Your app’s ratings and reviews are feedback left by users that show up in your app’s app store listings. They are critical when it comes to attract new users. Most of the people browsing through your app will check the ratings and reviews before deciding to download it. So, in case your app does not have good ratings or has more negative reviews, it will not just experience lower visibility in organic search results, but also lose a large number of users.

  • Net Promoter Score (NBS) - Net Promoter Score is a surveying metric that measures the likelihood of a user to recommend your app to others. The score is obtained by asking one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend [app] to a friend?” The answer is a number from 0 to 10. Responders are divided into three categories based on their answers:

    • 9-10: Promoters. These are users that are likely to recommend your app to people that they know. These may be used for testimonials.
    • 7-8: Passives. These are users that are satisfied, but they aren’t likely to refer you to people that they know.
    • 0-6: Detractors. These are users that are dissatisfied with your app and unlikely to recommend it / likely to churn or leave a negative review and rating.

To calculate the Net Promoter Score subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters.

App Performance Metrics

  • Crashes - Crashes measures the number of times the app is suddenly closed while it is being used. Buggy apps can frustrate users quickly and eventually delete your app.

  • Speed - App speed measures how fast it loads and is ready to use. Users have zero tolerance for slow performing apps. That means you should spend time experimenting speed optimization techniques and make user experience faster and flawless.

  • App Latency - Latency measures the delay between request and response delivery from an API.

  • App Load per Period - App load per period helps you assess the stability of your app and the effectiveness of resource utilization by overloading it with too many transactions or events at once.

Profitability Metrics

  • Paying Share - The percentage of paying users (users who made at least one payment in the form of subscriptions, in-app purchases, paid downloads, or any other revenue stream) out of the entire audience. In the end, the higher the percentage the better.

Paying Share

  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) - This metric tells you the revenue you earn from each user on average by taking total revenue divided by total users for a certain period of time.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

  • Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU) - is similar to ARPU but focuses on measuring only paying users

Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPPU)

  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) - helps you figure out how much total revenue you can expect from your average user during the entire time they spend as active users of your app. This metric lets you know whether you’re spending more to acquire users than they bringing in.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

  • Return on Investment (ROI) - is a performance measure used to assess if the money you put into creating and marketing your app as an investment is paying off in the long run

Return on Investment (ROI)


The big secret behind successful app marketing comes down to keeping your eye on the marketing strategy while regularly monitoring key metrics. By understanding these metrics you can ensure that you’ll be on your way to becoming a top app marketer that have successfully achieved all of your goals!