6 Important Cellular Advertising and marketing Metrics

Virtually every little thing in our digital world was questioned, if not flipped the wrong way up, this previous yr. What hasn’t modified is the dialog round cellular advertising and marketing metrics. By and enormous, the standard cellular advertising and marketing reporting dashboard appears the identical because it did eight years in the past: Income is king, downloads are queen, and app retailer optimization is a one-and-done recreation of key phrases. However are these the metrics that actually converse to cellular advertising and marketing efficiency in 2021? Can a static dashboard do justice to a dynamic business?

We are saying, it’s time for a change. Certain, the cellular advertising and marketing metrics of outdated are removed from damaged, however that doesn’t imply they will’t be improved. An over-reliance on conventional metrics might price cellular entrepreneurs missed alternatives and a sacrificed ROI, particularly as cellular continues to solidify as a number one channel throughout all industries.

To higher information your cellular advertising and marketing decision-making, we’ve recognized six different cellular advertising and marketing metrics that talk to the present state of the cellular app business. Learn on to construct a reporting dashboard able to measuring no matter the brand new yr throws at you.

Out with the outdated, in with the brand new!

Six Cellular Advertising and marketing Metrics Value Adopting, and Six Value Ditching

1. Uninstalls, Not Installs

Historically, installs (or downloads, or registrations) have stood out because the chief KPI of any cellular app advertising and marketing marketing campaign. But, with every little thing we now learn about an app’s retention, utilization, and monetization, installs are now not the be-all, end-all that they have been within the early days of the App Retailer. Let’s say farewell to installs and welcome in a extra highly effective metric: uninstalls.

The place installs fall brief

At its core, installs are an acquisition metric. The determine tells you the way many individuals have found your app and proceeded to obtain and subsequently set up it. It’s a fairly easy metric and gives some appreciable (albeit assumptive) insights into aggressive benefit and sustainability:

  • In case you have extra installs than your competitor, you’re in fine condition.
  • For those who see an upward development in installs, your app is exhibiting wholesome development.

The one downside? Installs aren’t big-picture. They fail to seize any information on the price or the worth of an set up. With extra data, the statements above can simply as doubtless produce a destructive outcome:

Your competitor has extra lively and constant prospects, though your app has seen extra installs. Extra prospects are leaving your app than putting in it, making total buyer development destructive though set up development is optimistic. Alternatively, you’re paying extra to amass prospects within the type of paid promoting than you’re accumulating, thereby producing a destructive return in your rising installs.

Customer Acquisition + Customer Retention

In different phrases, installs alone don’t present sufficient data to make any significant analyses.

How uninstalls present a greater indication of an app’s well being

A greater metric for indicating an app’s total sustainability is the antithesis of an set up, the uninstall.

Whereas installs are an acquisition metric, uninstalls are a retention metric. They inform you what number of of your cellular prospects discontinue utilizing your app every week and whether or not this development is rising or diminishing. Not like acquisition metrics, which could be assumptive or downright defective, retention metrics present indeniable proof into the long-term sustainability of your app.

To show the distinction between utilizing installs and uninstalls to evaluate an app’s well being, take into account the next situation:

For instance’s sake, assume you’ve orchestrated an acquisition marketing campaign, both natural or paid, able to bringing in 100 new prospects per week for one month. From an acquisition perspective, this might be a powerful marketing campaign. You’d measure a development of 400 prospects on the finish of the month (100 installs/week x Four weeks). Not too shabby.

From a retention perspective, the outcomes look somewhat bleak. True, you’ve gotten 400 new installs; however few of these new gamers will proceed to make use of your app 24 hours after the set up, not to mention on the finish of the four-week interval. As a substitute of the promising 400 new prospects measured above, you’d measure 92 new prospects by month’s finish to account for the dwindling retention price. The mathematics right here is a bit more sophisticated, nevertheless it primarily reductions for buyer churn on the finish of every week:

Installs vs. Uninstalls

The outcome appears like this:

Customer Acquisition

In case your acquisition marketing campaign was a paid one, this new uninstall-based ROI measurement carries a good stronger burden: As just one in 4 prospects will proceed to make use of your recreation on the finish of the month, your price per set up is actually 4x better should you solely intend to measure loyal or worthwhile installs. Down the road, we’ll see how this elements into our measurement of your return on funding.

With every of our proposed cellular advertising and marketing metrics, it’s necessary to acknowledge that app advertising and marketing metrics are best when utilized in mixture with different metrics. Used alone, uninstalls can’t present all the data we have to deal with the assumptions in set up measurement. Specifically, they will’t converse to the return on funding of a paid acquisition marketing campaign. Nonetheless, when utilized in tandem with different metrics like ROI or LTV, which we cowl later, we will deal with such questions.

2. The Silent Majority, Not (Simply) the Vocal Minority

Not a metric in and of itself, this subsequent callout includes a variety of metrics together with the proportion of your cellular prospects you’ve engaged/conversed with and the representativeness of your buyer insights in your app’s better viewers. Merely, we suggest transferring away from the lowest-hanging fruit of the shopper insights world (your rankings and opinions, customer support contacts, social media mentions, and many others.) and towards a complete understanding of the voice of all prospects.

As a result of many manufacturers wrestle to collect buyer suggestions in proactive, non-intrusive methods, suggestions usually comes from the smallest, most vocal group of shoppers. Many manufacturers at the moment might imagine they construct merchandise round their prospects based mostly on suggestions from a majority, however they couldn’t be farther from the reality. In actuality, our information reveals that manufacturers solely hear from lower than 1% of their buyer base, which we name the “vocal minority.”

The Silent Majority

The vocal minority is fabricated from up of two teams of shoppers: those that are in danger, and people who are VIPs. The at-risk prospects have usually had a destructive expertise together with your model that triggered their suggestions—their meal was dangerous, their flight was delayed, or they bumped into an irritating bug in your app. They’ve raised their proverbial palms to warn you of their downside, whether or not it’s a one-off incidence or affecting a bigger group of your prospects. The VIP group’s expertise is simply the other. These are your all-star, loyal prospects—those who interact in each e mail, refer you to their associates, work together with you thru different digital channels, and who buy your items and/or providers repeatedly.

There’s a lot to be taught from the vocal minority of at-risk and VIP prospects. The vocal minority has rather a lot to say, and product professionals and entrepreneurs should take heed to the group’s suggestions and reply to it (and act on it!) accordingly. However bear in mind, the vocal minority makes up ~1% of the common model’s buyer base. Essentially the most harmful choice a model could make is performing on suggestions that doesn’t precisely symbolize nearly all of its prospects.

To listen to from extra of your buyer base and gather significant decision-driving data, what’s a model to do? You have to shift your priorities and the way in which you ask for suggestions to unlock the “silent majority” of your prospects.

Activate the Silent Majority

The silent majority is made up of roughly 99% of your prospects who don’t fall into the vocal minority. These prospects span throughout a broad spectrum of sentiment, however they have an inclination to fall someplace in the midst of loving your model and being in danger for churn. The overwhelming majority of your prospects fall into the silent majority, and usually, their suggestions and loyalty aren’t being fostered or prioritized.

The next step is crossing the hurdle of getting the silent majority to supply suggestions. Fortuitously, prospects anticipate you to ask them for suggestions immediately. Our analysis reveals 51% of shoppers anticipate corporations to ask for his or her suggestions throughout all channels (e mail, telephone, in-store, on-line, in-app), and that quantity is even increased for shoppers preferring to go away in-app suggestions (64%). What’s even higher is that app prospects are very prepared to present suggestions: 98% of our respondents stated they are going to doubtless give suggestions when requested. The bottom line is to be proactive in asking for his or her suggestions somewhat than ready for them to boost their palms, and to ask on the proper second inside your digital expertise to be able to give conversations the most effective alternative to start.

3. Return on Advert Spend, Not Value Per Set up

Value Per Set up (CPI) is broadly considered the dominant consider cost-benefit analyses of paid promoting campaigns. It’s a metric that spreads your promoting price over all installs generated by these adverts. It’s additionally a metric that fails to take into consideration the more and more complicated nature of cellular advertising and marketing.

Only one piece of the puzzle

When cellular apps first caught on, the Value Per Set up metric was a favourite of entrepreneurs in all places for its familiarity. The metric relied on the identical instinct that guided digital advertising and marketing for years: decrease price (in digital, PPC, or CPM) and maximize outcomes (clicks and impressions).

But, as we’ve seen above, cellular app advertising and marketing is extra sophisticated than this easy rule of thumb suggests (as is fashionable digital advertising and marketing, proven in its motion towards attributional metrics). The rule of thumb works effectively when there’s a small variety of advert networks to select from and a constant, definable worth which you can place on every outcome, or ad-generated set up.

In cellular, we don’t simply have Google and Bing to navigate. Immediately, there are tons of of commercial show networks, starting from programmatic to geolocal, affiliate, and every little thing in between. Every community makes a speciality of completely different buyer segments and has a barely completely different variation and CPI metric. Understanding the price of working with anybody community is a begin, however tells you nothing concerning the alternative price of not working with any of the networks that might provide superior outcomes.

Equally, merely calculating your common income per consumer is now not sufficient to information your CPI funding. Not solely is cellular advert blocking starting to pose a critical risk to the promoting business, however few adverts are producing the form of loyal prospects that entrepreneurs anticipate when factoring within the hefty price of paid acquisition. As above, few of your newly acquired prospects will proceed to make use of your app after the primary week—which means that a lot of your commercial bills are going towards unprofitable adverts.

In different phrases, understanding your buyer acquisition prices is critical however not ample in guiding your funding choice.

The boldness of a calculable return

Within the quickly evolving cellular advert panorama, entrepreneurs require a extra strong metric to information their advert {dollars}. They require a metric that tells not simply absolutely the price, however the relative price as effectively. They require the guarantee that they’re not simply making a great choice, however the most effective choice—one which maximizes income whereas minimizing prices (each in absolute and alternative phrases). In different phrases, they require a quantifiable and predictive return for his or her advert spend funding.

Whereas CPI falls brief in relation to relative prices, Return on Advert Spend (ROAS) does the job effectively by measuring your advert spend immediately towards the outcomes it produces. Whereas the outcomes you’re could also be in phrases aside from financial, ROAS usually takes the type of:


For those who’re measuring your anticipated return in {dollars}, you’ll be left with a single worth for ROAS. This worth lets you allocate your advertising and marketing price range with confidence, with two easy, but efficient pointers:

  • Proceed investing in adverts, if ROAS is optimistic (that’s, advert income > advert spend)
  • Allocate your price range elsewhere, if ROAS is destructive (that’s, advert spend > advert income)

Whereas this math could appear elementary, app publishers proceed to throw cash away on campaigns that price greater than they’re price. We see this mostly within the cellular recreation class, the place the common ROAS sits round -$1, which means each participant launched to the sport by an advert prices the writer a greenback.

Return from Ad Installs

Along with directing your advert {dollars}, ROAS makes evaluating the anticipated returns of various advert networks potential. This single financial worth could be immediately in contrast throughout campaigns and throughout advert networks to indicate the place your {dollars} could be spent most successfully. As a substitute of evaluating an array of incompatible acronyms (CPI, CPLU, CPM, CPC, CPA), ROAS leaves you with only one quantity that is still significant and related whatever the eccentricities of the marketing campaign.

4. Criticism, Not Adoration

Much less of a query of metrics and extra of a shift in priorities, this subsequent tip offers with the mentality that so many people have round one-star and five-star opinions. All of us love five-star opinions. They function self-validation, social proof, and a reminder of the loyal viewers you’ve fostered. When a one-star evaluate comes round, issues are completely different. We really feel disheartened and don’t give the evaluate the time of day. We’re left refreshing our screens, simply ready for a brand new five-star evaluate to push down that stain on our app’s status.

But, in 2020, this mentality has by no means been extra harmful to the method of steady innovation an app wants to remain related within the eyes of its prospects.

Falling sufferer to affirmation bias

There’s a cause five-star opinions fill us with a heat and fuzzy feeling. They inform us precisely what we wish to hear.

For app publishers, nevertheless, there’s a giant distinction between listening to what we wish to hear and listening to what we have to hear. 5-star opinions point out that our app is true on monitor. Excellent as is. No modifications wanted.

But, the app shops aren’t any place for stagnation. Even the highest 100 apps common one replace monthly to take care of their distinguished ranks and new market entrants are consistently embracing cellular and vying for share of a saturated market.

5-star opinions trick us into considering that there’s no extra to be achieved; however simply as quickly as we come to imagine this, a competing app is sure to indicate that there’s extra to be achieved within the ultra-competitive world of the app shops.

A brand new respect for one-star opinions

As our personal Robi Ganguly advised Forbes, “Detrimental opinions are the holy grail of buyer suggestions.”

A destructive evaluate means greater than a single dissatisfied buyer. What so many app publishers don’t notice is that destructive suggestions, of any type, is extremely uncommon—and never as a result of their apps are simply that nice. The fact is that the common firm solely hears from one out of each 27 sad prospects. That implies that for each one destructive evaluate, 26 different prospects will merely cease utilizing your app with out offering any indication why. So whereas nobody likes to learn criticism, that one evaluate could be the reward it’s good to enhance your app and enhance the expertise for not solely that one buyer, however everybody who shares their ideas in silence.

Along with offering invaluable solutions and suggestions to information your product roadmap and subsequent app replace, one-star opinions offer you a possibility to interact prospects one-on-one and win them again. In accordance with our joint report with SurveyMonkey, 55% of shoppers who depart suggestions indicated that they’re unlikely to stay prospects if their suggestions goes seemingly ignored. A further Lee Sources survey discovered that 70% will do enterprise with you once more should you resolve their criticism.

So subsequent time you see a one-star evaluate, we urge you to consider it not as a stain in your app’s status, however as a present—a present of improved retention, income, and product high quality. That’s, if what to do with it.

5. Message High quality, Not Amount

Usually, app advertising and marketing is measured in actions: In push notifications despatched, prospects messaged, or ranking prompts proven. In consequence, we’re surrounded by model communication, to the purpose the place we’re uncovered to five,000 adverts each day. However as entrepreneurs ramp up their communication, they’re greeted with marginally worse outcomes (fewer clickthroughs, extra app exits, and many others.). They enter right into a vicious cycle of accelerating their messaging quantity to make up for the poor outcomes, all of the whereas the shopper is inundated with an app that now appears like Instances Sq.. In 2021, app publishers will acknowledge the necessity to transfer away from such volume-based cellular advertising and marketing metrics, and focus as a substitute on the standard of their messaging.

Augmenting the shopper expertise with contextualized messaging

There’s a cause push notifications and different types of model communication have gotten more and more much less efficient. Clients are bombarded.

With a view to ship the supposed outcomes, your communication should break by means of the muddle. It have to be related, respectful, and most significantly, helpful within the eyes of the recipient.

Delivering value-packed messages is much less a matter of which automobile you utilize for communication and extra about how you utilize it. Whether or not it’s a push, an in-app message, or an e mail marketing campaign, strategy it by means of the lens of the shopper: How will this add worth to their expertise?

At Apptentive, we’ve pioneered a framework and set of associated instruments for a greater option to talk together with your cellular prospects communication—one which breaks by means of the muddle and provides worth. This comes down to 2 issues:

  • Personalization: Is the message related to the recipient? Is it distinctive to their particular person desires and desires? Does it improve their relationship together with your app?
  • Contextualization: Will your message make sense on the time and place it’s delivered? Is it tied to the shopper’s journey together with your app?

In 2021, push and different types of communication will turn out to be much less of a common announcement and extra of a private dialog. And the publishers that transfer on this path will discover that messaging can, as soon as once more, be used to drive retention and engagement.

6. Buyer Lifetime Worth, Not Common Income Per Consumer

Our last metric re-evaluation is one we’ve touched on in a number of of the propositions above. Simply as installs fail to seize the retention piece and simply as CPI information fails to account for relative prices, the Common Income Per Consumer (ARPU) metric that so many app advertising and marketing dashboards spotlight is a misguided and overly simplified determine. In 2021, we anticipate to see publishers getting extra granular with their income estimations and attributions and with the ability to operationalize non-monetary components of buyer loyalty to raised information their monetary projections.

Not all prospects have been created equal

Simply as its title implies, ARPU spreads your whole app income (from adverts, downloads, in-app transactions, or no matter your distinctive enterprise mannequin might include) over your whole lively buyer base:


The metric is often used to information monetary projections, revealing insights into:

  • What number of lively prospects your app must make a revenue
  • How a lot an lively buyer is price
  • How a lot you may spend to amass a buyer

However, whereas ARPU does a good job at addressing the above questions, its insights are restricted. It’s topic to nevertheless you outline ‘lively’ and the truth that a few of your income, notably within the type of advert impressions, will doubtless have been generated by prospects who fall outdoors of this bucket.

The metric additional depends on the assumptions that each one lively prospects generate the identical quantity of income and that each one lively prospects will proceed to make use of your app for the timeframe you’ve chosen for the calculation, usually one month. In actuality, solely about 20 p.c of your prospects make up nearly all of your income, and fewer than 40% of shoppers will use your app for a interval lasting longer than 30 days.

In different phrases, publishers counting on ARPU threat misallocating their revenues and forming projections on the idea that each one lively prospects will generate the identical quantity of income as a buyer who makes use of your app for a whole month.

Seeing prospects as greater than greenback indicators

On no account is ARPU a nasty metric. It’s, nevertheless, an excessively simplified metric; and if you’re coping with one thing as exact as monetary planning, easy could be harmful. For dependable projections, you want a extra all-encompassing cellular advertising and marketing metric: Buyer Lifetime Worth (LTV).

LTV overcomes lots of the limitations of ARPU by incorporating every little thing about your prospects to calculate a extra exact metric of worth. Whereas ARPU is tormented by an assumption of a typical (one-month) use interval, LTV builds retention proper into the calculation to find out the true size of a buyer relationship. The ensuing system usually takes the type of:


From this system, we will see that LTV has three parts:

  1. Monetization, or ARPU: The greenback quantity {that a} buyer contributes to your backside line over a given timeframe
  2. Retention, or 1/Churn: The extent of engagement and loyalty prospects exhibit to your app, expressed within the size of the common use interval
  3. Virality, or referral worth: The sum worth of further installs {that a} buyer will ship your means

By including the weather of retention and virality to the extra conventional ARPU metric, LTV gives a extra holistic view of the value of a buyer relationship. It reveals the facility of retention advertising and marketing and the advantage of making an app that prospects not solely love however like to share.

Moreover, the LTV metric permits for significant segmentation and even reporting on the extent of the person buyer. With the appropriate analytics and buyer insights, app publishers can get as granular as they like in relation to deciphering buyer worth, exploring questions together with:

  • What levers do I’ve for growing income?
  • Is it extra worthwhile to go after the monetization, retention, or virality angle?
  • Are prospects who found my app organically extra helpful than these acquired by paid means?
  • What position do referrals play in my app’s success?
  • How a lot does a misplaced buyer price?

Like many of the cellular advertising and marketing metrics we’ve proposed for app publishers in 2021, LTV isn’t a radically completely different idea from ARPU. It nonetheless gives roughly the identical data and could be equally used to information your choices and advert {dollars}. It’s, nevertheless, an enchancment upon ARPU. It fills within the data gaps that ARPU skims over with assumptions, and it acknowledges the significance of much less quantifiable components, similar to retention and referrals.

Wrapping it up

For those who managed to make it this far, you’re effectively in your option to cellular advertising and marketing metrics success.

If not (and let’s be actual, this put up is fairly dense), here’s a abstract of the highlights with six fast ideas:

  • Measure uninstalls as a substitute of installs to raised gauge buyer development and tendencies in retention.
  • Give a voice to the silent majority to know the desires and desires of your app’s prospects and cater your product accordingly.
  • Observe ROAS as a substitute of CPI to match acquisition campaigns apples-to-apples and acknowledge the relative prices of promoting.
  • Acknowledge the worth inherent in one-star opinions in fueling steady enchancment and keep away from equating five-star opinions with an ideal product.
  • Give attention to the standard, not the amount, of your messages by personalizing and contextualizing your model communication.
  • Add precision to your monetary projections by ditching ARPU for LTV, a metric able to monetizing non-monetary contributions and strong sufficient to be calculated individually or on a cohort foundation.

The app business is quickly evolving and more and more complicated. 2020 dramatically redefined what it means to compete within the app enterprise, and 2021 is prone to pose simply as many obstacles and alternatives to the world of apps.

These six cellular advertising and marketing metrics are designed to make sure that you’re prepared for each the obstacles and alternatives of 2021. Mastering these metrics will set you up for fulfillment with the precision and accuracy to information your cellular app technique in at the moment’s app ecosystem.

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