Metrics App Success

Since Red e App is a mobile employee communication app, the data from mobile app measurement tells us if we as a company are succeeding, and if we are having success with our business model.

It tells us who and how many people use the service and how often it’s used. But whether your company centers on mobile apps or if they just exist to better service your existing business, you must pay attention to the app’s usage statistics.

Fortunately, there are many services out there that cater to measuring mobile usage. The iTunes and Google Play store will give you some basic information about the apps performance. For more advanced information, services to look into include Segment.ioGeckoboard  and MixPanel. Different services are available depending on the mobile data you seek to find.

But before you choose a service(s), you must ask what kind of information you want to measure. Every mobile app developer/company will have their own different set of criteria based upon their business model. However, these are a basic set of commonly used metrics to determine the success of a mobile app:

1. Total downloads: Of course, the number of downloads cannot tell you everything about an app’s success or failure, but these figures are a good place to start to determine exactly the route you are heading. Don’t worry if the number of downloads isn’t turning into cash right away. It is usually important to build up your customer base before monetizing. Even the most successful apps –Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat — took a while to monetize (with Snapchat still dabbling with a monetization strategy).

2. Monthly Average Users: (Or, as many people refer to as MAU’s (pronounced: Maow’s). As it turns out, the aforementioned ginormous companies track Monthly Average Users, and for the most part, your average successful mobile app will have somewhere around the same percentage of monthly active users to total downloads ratio (somewhere around the 25 – 40% range). MAU’s tell you if your product is getting traction, if the content is useful and if people continue to participate or interact with your app. This is a powerful metric to track over time and because the big companies out there also use this metric you can track your progress against the biggest and brightest (and not so bright).

3. Engagement: Everyone in the world could download your app, but it won’t do any good for you if it just sits on a screen unopened. Successful apps have high engagement – people visit them frequently and use them for a long duration. Pay attention to total visits and how long people engage with the app to gauge success. Also look for trends such as visits and engagement on certain days and times to get a better sense of the ebbs and flows of mobile usage. As well, engagement isn’t only app driven. Engagement can be human and proactive. At Red e App our engagement is very human and ongoing (I might add), we don’t only allow our apps to do the talking, but often it is completely appropriate for our teams to engage our customers to get their input and share their data with them to ensure they understand it.

4. Average revenue per user: It’s great if people are downloading and engaging with your service. It’s even better when revenue goes up in a hurry. But make sure that user growth and engagement grow proportionally. If not, it may indicate problems with your pricing model or that users simply don’t want to dish out money for the premium product you offer.

5. Demographic trends: You shouldn’t just look at the daily traffic of your app — successful app developers get a better idea about the people using it. Look at a host of different demographic trends when measuring mobile success to make sure you reach your target audience (or find a new one). This market research is important information to determine how to best market your product or even to get a better idea on product upgrades.

Have any good ideas on how to better measure our mobile app usage? What kind of information should we look out for?

Jonathan Erwin
Founder and CEO