Key User Acquisition Metrics & Measurement
Don’t just fire your user acquisition efforts into the dark. If you want to get more users for less money and effort, you need to measure, adjust your tactics and then measure again.
Tracking the performance of different acquisition channels, user segments and creative assets will help you optimize your UA tactics to deliver more high-value users. Testing, making changes and analyzing outcomes is common practice for all app publishers.
Since acquisition is the pivot point between app launch and user engagement, the data you collect at this stage can impact decisions throughout your app’s lifecycle.
Align Metrics With Your Business Goals
As with all parts of the app process, your business goals should drive the metrics you choose to focus on. Cost per install (CPI) will be one of your key metrics, but some publishers focus on it to the exclusion of longer-term measurements like average revenue per user (ARPU) and lifetime value (LTV). These provide a more complete picture of the acquisition process and can have a bigger impact on your bottom line.
Uber views the amount a user spends on their first ride as a way to judge the potential value of the relationship. Its acquisition efforts are focused on identifying, reaching and converting users with the highest first-ride-cost profile since those are the users who will provide the highest return.
Examine Acquisition Channel and Flow
In order to hone your outreach efforts, pay attention to where your users come from and track their activity in your app. The idea of cohort analysis, as this is called, can help you narrow down which user segments translate into more high-value users. (We cover this more in the Engage topic.)
For example, you may discover that users who download your app after clicking on a Facebook ad are more likely to install and become long-term users than users you reach through a particular ad network. That data would mean you should focus more of your time on optimizing the performance of Facebook rather than on the ad network.
Get More Data From Deep Links
When it comes to your UA efforts, you may also want to take advantage of deep links. At their most basic, deep links bring users directly to a specific location or piece of content within your app.
For example, a deep link allows you to offer users a special deal if they install your app. A deep link can recognize a user who clicked on the original link for the deal, follow them through the installation and registration process, and immediately show them that deal again as soon as they’re inside your app.
If that just feels too advanced for where you’re at now, you’ll at least want to design a user experience that doesn’t default to an error message. The last thing a person interested in your app wants is to be stopped while trying to get information or insight — it’s a surefire way to lose their interest.
Next, we summarize the question of why acquisition matters is easy to answer.