Mobile App Key Performance Indicators

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List of KPIs for Mobile Apps


Measuring the success of an app is at the top of almost all developers’ priority. But are you sure that you’re properly measuring and analyzing the right metrics? There had always been warnings about vanity metrics, metrics that are good to look at but doesn’t really contribute to the business side of things. Actionable metrics, on the other hand, are the best performance indicators. They measure metrics that ultimately lead to revenue and scaling success of a mobile app.


In this article, we would discuss key performance indicators for mobile app acquisition, engagement, and revenue.

Cost per Acquisition (CPA)

CPA is measured by dividing the cost of user acquisition by the number of acquired users. User acquisition models can vary but the most common metrics are install rate, cost per install (CPI), and cost per action (CPA).


Retention Rate

Retention rate is an important performance indicator, more so than downloads. It can determine the success of your app over a certain period of time and determine user lifetime (LT). LT  is one factor in determining the lifetime value (LTV) of an app user.


Retention is mainly based on the frequency of app sessions. The retention rate of an app is determined by dividing the number of daily users by the total number or users at a given time. Common time frames for the measurement of retention rate are 1 day, 7 days, and 30 days after download. The formula for retention rate is Day X users/Day 0 users.


Churn Rate

The churn rate metric is the opposite of retention rate. With the use of this performance indicator, you’ll find out the percentage of users that uninstall or abandon your app. The formula is 1 – retention rate. For example, if your retention rate is 20%, you’ll have 1 – .20 = 80% churn rate.


Daily Active Users (DAU)/Monthly Active Users (MAU)

The DAU and MAU metrics are very important for apps that use advertising as the main revenue model. The data these metrics provide will help you analyze user trends and also to calculate app stickiness.


Session Length

Session length is the measurement of the length of time users spend on the app from its opening to closing. Long session lengths are a positive sign of engaged users. This performance indicator also lets you assess the efficiency of your app flows.


Session Interval

Session interval, on the other hand, is the time period between a user’s first and second app session. This performance metric can signal if the user deems the app to have immediate value as to run the app the second time. Analyzing session intervals can help you optimize user experience and consider contextual app notifications and prompts.


Lifetime Value (LTV)

Lifetime value is the measurement of potential revenue throughout the length of a user’s usage of the app. LTV is commonly the main revenue metric, showing not only the lifetime value of each app users but also the financial value of the app. There are many ways to calculate LTV, mostly depending on how you define user value.


Average Revenue per User (ARPU)/Average Revenue per Paying User (ARPPU)

The ARPU performance metric determines the average revenue users generate. In order to determine the ARPU, divide the lifetime revenue of the app by the number of lifetime users of the app. Tracking this metric can determine if you are acquiring (or will acquire) users with the highest LTV at the lowest CPA.



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