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The mobile app market crosses the $5 billion revenue mark in 2020.
Research findings suggest that consumers spend more than 90% of their time using apps. Mobile apps are usually the preferred device for delivering a personalized experience.

Aggressive marketing has ensured that mobile apps of all kinds are accessible to customers. But at every stage, marketers need to figure out which process has the most significant impact on customer acquisition and customer retention. Measuring and working on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be instrumental in kick-starting meaningful marketing efforts. Factors such as – marketability, engagement rates, and usability – are employed when designing an effective mobile advertising campaign. But how do you know if your mobile apps are performing successfully?

For any mobile app to remain relevant, growth marketers must not focus only on getting customers to install an app. The real value goes beyond app installs.

Why Key Performance Indicator (KPI) matters?

Successful mobile app marketing strategies involve using KPIs that measure actionable data, track customer interaction and behavioral patterns. They help determine how many consumers are using the app and scrutinize its efficiency in customer interaction.

However, more significant than capturing customers’ data is what you do with the data. How do we find out which information is relevant or which data is actionable, which data has to be kept track of, and or which data needs to be ignored?

Here are some vital mobile app KPIs that help you gauge what you should look for beyond app installs – 

  • Activation

While getting users to sign up is necessary, it is also essential to keep them active on your app. Activation takes place when a customer spends a specific amount of time on your website, views a couple of pages, uses a free trial, or uses a promo code offered by your brand. The most riveting part of this app metrics is that a solution is being provided to your potential customers’ problems or needs by your brand. 

For instance, a consumer needs a skincare product that provides an effective treatment for dry skin. Your beauty brand has also announced the release of a dry skin product. By running an ad campaign, you let the consumer find your website, view the different types of skincare products that treat dry skin, and add items to their cart with a promo code for a certain percentage of discount your website displayed via a popup. There was a particular match-up between the consumer’s need and the solution your brand offered. Hence, the engagement and subsequent activation. The activation rate can be tracked by tracking actions and strengthening the website’s user-friendliness and user experience.

  • Daily Active Users (DAU)

The Daily Active Users (DAU) app metric tells you how indispensable your app is for those who have installed it. DAU refers to each person who uses your app hundreds of times or once per day. It is different from the number of sessions. A single user who signs in to an app three times a day will be counted as one daily active user. DAU reflects the number of users who have installed an app and use it every day. It helps evaluate the potential of the app, increase engagement and retention. Cohorting DAU can help assess the success of a specific new feature within the app.

Similarly, the Monthly Active Users (MAU) are the number of unique users who engage with the app over 30 days. It essentially means that a user engages with an app on five different days within 30 days and counts as a monthly active user. The MAU matters because it indicates the user base’s size, provides a broader perspective in user base growth evaluation and calculates another important quality KPI called stickiness. The sticky users are preferable since they are more valuable to your app. 

  • Retention

If you are content with your download metrics, you probably need a reality check. It is crucial to find out how many customers actually used the app and how many of them eventually uninstalled the app. This data becomes available when the customer retention rate is measured. Retention rate implies the number of people who reuse the app after installing it for the first time. Apps that offer a great user experience display the highest retention rates. Retention rate is a crucial mobile app metric that reveals actual consumer behavior and can assess the in-app monetization strategy’s success. 
Retention rate is the number of users who come back after a given time duration has elapsed. The higher the retention rate, the more favorable implications for future revenue generation from the app. The Retention Rate is calculated in the following way –

Retention Rate = ((CE – CN) / CS)) X 100

CE equates to the number of customers at the end of a period,
CN equates to the number of new customers acquired during a period, and
CS equates to the number of customers at the beginning of the period.
Through these critical mobile app KPIs, growth marketers can analyze the probable reasons why customers stick or not stick to an app. This metric facilitates plans for fine-tuning user experience while targeting people with specific demographic profiles.

  • Average Time Spent – Measuring Sessions and Session Length

A session is measured by the time duration during which a user is engaged and performs actions on an app. Session lengths indicate how engaging an app is. Session depth reflects how close the users get to the target action – for example, a click or purchase. The average screens per visit metric demonstrate the quality of the user experience design and its ability to engage users. A high number of average screens per visit implies that an app has a user-friendly, intuitive design that inspires transitions between screens.

How successful an app is, is measured by the frequency with which customers open the app. This mobile app metric specifies the number of times a user opens an app, how long or short the interval is between app openings, and the user’s duration within the app. The metric captures the persona of the user and indicates what keeps them glued to the app. This metric presents a bigger picture of consumer expectations driving app usage. This metric generates information that will be useful in redesigning in-app data access pathways that improve user experience. 

The session length is the amount of time a user spends viewing or performing actions in your app. Depending upon the type of app, the ideal session length varies. The session length metric helps determine whether the user is spending enough time on the app to trigger essential actions. For an e-commerce company, this action would be a purchase; for travel, it would be booking a ticket, reading and sharing content, or buying an ebook; for meditation, completing a meditation session. If the length of a session is not long enough, it implies a problem that needs to be resolved.

  • Lifetime Value

The Lifetime Value (LTV) metric is the revenue a user generates throughout the entire duration they are logged into an app. This metric determines the value of each user segment. It is calculated by multiplying the number of days of engagement by average spending per day. It allows you to choose how much should be spent to acquire a different set of users. 

LTV = Number of Days of Engagement X Average Spend Per Day 

To ensure that you make profits from your mobile app, the LTV should always be higher than the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). LTV helps in predicting the revenue the app will bring in the future. The LTV of the users can be extended by meeting their needs. Regularly checking users’ feedback is the best way to address their needs and boost users’ LTV. Responsive customer support with a timely response to user’s needs makes apps attractive to users.


These were some of the most important mobile app KPIs and metrics for any mobile app that growth marketers can track to maximize the app revenue. Measuring the performance at each stage of development allows for optimizing the app to suit users’ needs and maximizing the app revenue.