9 key app engagement metrics and how to optimize them

Sara Ana Cemazar
January 17, 2023
min read

Imagine a world where your app resembles a bustling metropolis, teeming with engaged users and crowded with activity. Fascinating, for sure. But how do you transform this vision into a reality? 

The answer is simple: by understanding and optimizing your app engagement metrics. Without measuring user engagement, you're flying blind - you'll never know which areas of your app are thriving and which need improvement.

But don't worry. You're not alone on this journey. In this article, we'll be your tour guides as we explore some crucial app engagement metrics that matter most. From user retention rates to in-app purchases, we'll uncover the secrets to keeping users engaged and coming back for more.

So, whether you're a developer, marketer, or product manager, strap on your adventure hat, and let's discover how to take your app to new heights of user engagement and success!

9 critical app engagement metrics

By understanding and tracking these app engagement metrics for your white-label apps, you'll be able to diagnose any issues and prescribe the perfect remedy for a healthier, more engaged user base and enhance user retention.

1. App sessions

This app engagement metric measures the number of times a user opens and interacts with your app. It provides insight into how often users return to your app and how long they spend on it.

App sessions indicate the level of user engagement and how frequently users are returning to your app. This metric tracks patterns in usage and user behavior and can also measures the impact of any changes or updates you make to your app. By understanding how many sessions your users have, you can optimize your app to increase the likelihood of returning and keeping them engaged.

2. Screen views

It measures the number of times a user views a specific screen within your app. This app engagement metric provides insight into which areas of your app are most popular and how users navigate through your app.

app engagement metrics

Screen views are a great way to understand how users interact with your app. You can optimize the user experience by tracking screen views by focusing on the most popular areas and improving the less popular sections. You can also use this metric to understand the user flow and identify potential roadblocks or bottlenecks in the user journey that may hinder user engagement.

3. Stickiness

As an app engagement metric, stickiness measures the daily active users (DAU) ratio to monthly active users (MAU) and is expressed as a percentage. It provides insight into how engaged users are with your app and how frequently they return.

Stickiness should be tracked as it allows for actionable insights into the degree of user engagement. A higher stickiness ratio indicates that users are returning to your app regularly. In contrast, a lower stickiness ratio may indicate that users return less frequently or become inactive. 

By understanding the stickiness of your app, you can focus on strategies to increase levels of engagement and user retention, such as push notifications, personalized content, and in-app rewards.

How can you improve user stickiness?

There are several strategies you can use to improve user stickiness. These strategies are not mutually exclusive and can be implemented together for a more comprehensive approach to increase user stickiness. Let’s take a detailed look at it.

  • Personalization: Personalized content and instant messaging can make users feel more connected to your app and encourage them to return.
  • Push Notifications: Carefully timed and relevant push notifications can remind users of your app and encourage them to return.
  • In-App rewards: Implementing a reward system for frequent use or completing specific actions within the app can motivate users to return and increase engagement.
  • Onboarding: A well-designed onboarding process can help users understand the value of your app and how to use it effectively, which can lead to increased user engagement.
  • Add value: Continuously adding new features and updating the app to improve user experience can help keep users engaged and coming back for more.
  • Regular communication: Regularly communicating with users through in-app messaging, email, or social media can help build trust and establish a relationship that will encourage users to return.
  • A/B testing: Test different strategies and variations of your app to optimize the user experience and increase user engagement, stickiness, and retention.

4. Churn rate

This app engagement metric measures the rate at which users stop using your app and is typically expressed as a percentage. It provides insight into how well you are retaining users over time.

Churn rate is an important metric to track as it can help you identify why users are leaving your app and take action to retain them. A high churn rate indicates that many users are not returning to your app, whereas a low churn rate indicates that your app is effectively retaining users.

5. Conversion rate

This app engagement metric measures the percentage of users who complete a specific action or goal within your app, such as making a purchase or signing up for a subscription. It provides insight into how well your app is achieving its intended purpose and how effective your call-to-action elements are.

Conversion rate provides valuable insights to identify where users are dropping off during the conversion process and take action to improve it.

6. Session duration

This app engagement metric measures the amount of time a user spends in your app during a single session. It provides insight into how engaged users are with your app and how long they are spending on different screens or features.

Monitoring session duration can evaluate user engagement and identify areas where they may drop off. A longer session duration indicates that users are spending more time in your app, whereas a shorter session duration may indicate that users are quickly losing interest.

To calculate the session duration, you can measure the time between when a user opens your app and when they close it.

7. Cost per acquisition

This app engagement metric measures the cost of acquiring a new user or customer through advertising or other marketing efforts. It provides insight into the efficiency of your acquisition strategy and enables you to determine the return on investment (ROI) of your marketing expenditure.

You should focus on calculating the Cost per Acquisition because it helps you understand the actual cost of acquiring new customers and determine the profitability of your acquisition strategy.

8. Customer lifetime value

This app engagement metric measures the total amount of revenue a customer is expected to generate for your business over their lifetime. It provides insight into the long-term value of a customer to prioritize acquisition and user retention efforts.

CLV is an important metric to track as it assesses the true value of a customer and identifies opportunities to increase revenue.

9. Return on investment (ROI)

This app engagement metric measures the profitability of an investment by comparing the revenue generated to the cost of the investment. It helps you understand the efficiency of your marketing and acquisition efforts and determine the overall return on investment. ROI is a crucial measure as it enables you to understand the overall profitability of your investment and make informed decisions about where to allocate resources.

Why should you measure app engagement?

Measuring app engagement is vital for several reasons:

1. Identify areas for improvement

app engagement metrics

By regularly measuring app engagement, you can identify areas where users are dropping off and make adjustments to improve user retention.

2. Optimize user experience

By measuring app engagement and understanding how users interact with your app, you can optimize the user experience to increase user engagement and retention. A study by Forrester Research found that every dollar invested in user experience can lead to $100 in return. 

3. Prioritize features

According to a study by Leanplum, apps that prioritize feature development see an average retention increase of 28%. By measuring app engagement and understanding which features are most popular, you can prioritize your development efforts and focus on the features that users want most.

4. Monitor business performance

According to a study by App Annie, the average mobile app generates $9,000 per month in revenue. By regularly measuring app engagement, you can monitor the overall performance of your business and make data-driven decisions to improve your app and increase revenue.

5. Make informed decisions

According to a study by Google, apps that use data to make decisions see average revenue growth of 20%. By regularly measuring app engagement, you can gain valuable insights into user behavior and make data-driven decisions that will drive growth and improve your bottom line.

Are all app engagement metrics equally important?

The metrics mentioned above are primary app engagement metrics that every business should consider. But it widely depends on your industry and niche — you’ll need to prioritize the success metrics that are the most relevant to you.

Some metrics are commonly considered vanity metrics, which do not directly reflect the success or performance of an app. These metrics are often used to boost morale or to make an app look more successful than it is. Some examples of vanity metrics include downloads, registrations, social media shares, etc.

Final thoughts?

When it comes to mobile apps, engagement and retention are king. Without measuring how users interact with your app, you're essentially flying blind. And let's face it, without user engagement, your app is nothing more than a digital ghost town. These 9 key app engagement metrics are important to understand the pulse of your app and show you how to give it a much-needed boost.

If you are ready to take your app's engagement to the next level, try Rocket.Chat+. As an open-source platform, it facilitates seamless integration and flexibility, offering scale-oriented enterprises the ability to build personalized in-app chat in mobile and web apps.  

Talk to our experts to learn more!

Get started with Rocket.Chat’s secure collaboration platform

Talk to sales

Frequently asked questions about <anything>

Sara is an SEO Strategist at Rocket.Chat. She is passionate about topics around digital transformation, workplace experience, open source, and data privacy and security.
Sara Ana Cemazar
Related Article:
Team collaboration: 5 reasons to improve it and 6 ways to master it
Want to collaborate securely with your team?
Deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise or in the cloud and keep your conversations private.
  • Digital sovereignty
  • Federation capabilities
  • Scalable and white-labeled
Talk to sales
Looking for a HIPAA-ready communications platform?
Enable patients and healthcare providers to securely communicate without exposing their data.
  • Highly scalable and secure
  • Full patient conversation history
  • HIPAA-ready
Talk to sales
The #1 communications platform for government
Deploy Rocket.Chat on-premise, in the cloud, or air-gapped environment.
  • Secure data governance and digital sovereignty
  • Trusted by State, Local, and Federal agencies across the world
  • Matrix federation capabilities for cross-agency communication
Talk to sales
Want to customize Rocket.Chat according to your own preferences?
See behind the engine and change the code how you see fit.
  • Open source code
  • Highly secure and scalable
  • Unmatched flexibility
Talk to sales
Looking for a secure collaboration platform?
Keep your conversations private while enjoying a seamless collaboration experience with Rocket.Chat.
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Cloud or on-prem deployment
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
Talk to sales
Want to build a highly secure in-app chat experience?
Use Rocket.Chat’s APIs, frameworks, and managed backend to build a secure in-app or live chat experience for your customers.
  • Supports compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, FINRA, and more
  • Highly secure and flexible
  • On-prem or cloud deployment
Talk to sales

Our best content, once a week

Share this on:

Get your free, personalized demo now!

Build the most secure chat experience for your team or customers

Book demo