Calculating the ROI for mobile app marketing has always been complicated because of so many moving parts.
For the most part, a lot of that has to do with complex user behavior on the mobile.
To understand exactly how complex, let’s look at Bruce.
He’s a 25 year old sneakerhead who can drop up to $5,000 on a pair of sneakers, and is always on the lookout for rare and limited edition trainers.
You are a sneaker app with the merchandise that would send Bruce to cloud nine.
However, Bruce isn’t just going to download your app even if he hears about your awesome collection.
Instead, this is how he will probably interact with your brand, over a period ranging anywhere from a day to a few months, depending on how badly he needs those shoes.
Mobile App Buyer Journey
Plot twist: Bruce is Batman!
He finally gets the sneakers, and you get a new user,.
Now comes the hard part for you as a marketer: how do you calculate the ROI of your app marketing?
Getting the metrics of your mobile app right
In Bruce’s story, you might be tempted to attribute the download and sale to the deals website, because that’s what your analytics would show as source of traffic.
If you go down that route, you might ramp up your investment in that website, issuing more coupons and potentially neglecting other channels.
That would be a mistake!
His decision to buy was likely influenced by what he saw online across multiple channels. The deals website was just the means to an end, and not the reason.
Google, for example, found out that one car buyer went through 900 + digital interactions over a period of three months before making a decision.
Image courtesy Think With Google
Notice the different channels at play in this buyer journey?
While the number of interactions are high because the car is a higher value purchase compared to a shoe or a $1.99 app the principles behind customer behavior are consistent: people will use multiple channels to find out about your product or service before they make the final decision.
Understanding how a buyer finds out about your app is crucial if you want to really calculate the ROI of your app marketing.
But that’s just one piece of the puzzle.
You also need to know:
Whether users are responding to your onboarding process and not abandoning or uninstalling the app immediately.
How are users responding to different retargeting or marketing campaigns to get them to be more active on the app.
The channels and Colombia Phone Numbers List campaigns which are sending the most loyal or most high value users.
The customer acquisition cost for users who join following a referral campaign, and the channels which drive the highest referral installs.
And much more.
So many questions, so few answers. 🙁
Fortunately for you, there are a bunch of frameworks you can use to uncover the metrics that would help you answer these questions.
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We will be using the familiar AARRR (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue) framework.
This article goes into details about determining your mobile marketing KPIs but for tl;dr version, here’s what you will get after going through the process of figuring out your metrics by using the Goals-Signals -Metrics framework.
Goals Signals Metrics
Acquisition Users understand the features and benefits of the app – Users download the app
– Positive comments on social media about the app features following marketing campaign
– Increased interaction with blog posts and marketing email campaigns
– Number of downloads
– Cost per install/channel and CPI/campaign
– App store ranking
– App Abandonment rate
– Cost per purchaser
– Cost per acquisition
Activation Users complete their profile and complete desired actions (place order, watch content etc) – User activity in-app
– Interaction with push notifications or emails
– Increase in number of onboarded users
– Increase in goal completion
– DAU/MAU/core daily active users
– Push Notification open rate
– Email open rates
– Length per session
– Goal completion rate
– Cart abandonment rate
Retention Users return regularly to your app – Low dropoff in number of users from D1-D30
– Repeat orders
– Deeper interaction with app features
– Shorter time between multiple sessions
– Increased usage of coupons
– Increase in user generated content
– D1, D7, and D30 user numbers
– Churn rate
– Negative churn rate
– Number of orders/user
– Session frequency
Referral Users talk about your app in positive terms and drive more downloads – Glowing reviews on App and Play Store.
– 5 star ratings
– Positive chatter on social media about your app
– Increase downloads from referral links and discount coupons
– Number of reviews
– Active users sending invites
– CAC of referrals
– Customer Lifetime Value
– Loyal customer value