It’s back to school time and class is now in session. Welcome to the GeekGamerGuy School of App Prosperity where you will learn the ins and outs of app development and how to successfully launch and optimize your app.

See the full introduction here.

Metrics 101: Measure twice, cut once.

Many new developers think that once the app is launched their work is done but the reality is that’s just beginning. One of the most critical pre-launch initiatives is a metrics plan for your app. Metrics are user actions and behaviors that are tracked for the purpose of determining the success of your app and where improvement may be needed. In an ideal world you could track every action and behavior of a user in every app but the reality is that’s too much data to parse in too little time.

The following are the minimum metrics you should be tracking either locally or through a third party:

Acquisition Metrics:

  • Daily Total New User Acquisition: Self-explanatory.
  • Daily Session: Total daily sessions and total unique sessions.
  • Acquisition Channels: Where are the users coming in from (GeekGamerGuy, Organic, FAAD, Banners, etc).
  • User re-engagement: How many times do your users come back in a day or in a week? For how long?
  • Average Game Session: When the users log into the game, how long do they play? This is a good measure to see if you need more content in the game or need to increase the energy/actions you give the users.

Revenue Metrics:

  • ARPDAU: Average Revenue Per Daily Active User.
  • ARPPU: Average Revenue Per Paying User.
  • Daily Direct Payment Revenue (IAP): What is your daily revenue through iTunes, Google Checkout, Paypal, etc.?
  • Daily Alt Payment Revenue: What is your daily revenue through GeekGamerGuy, Banner Ads, etc.?
  • Percentage of paying users: Percent of Daily Active Users who have participated in a payment transaction.
  • IAP Purchase Breakdown: What is the breakdown of sales of various IAP packages? ($1.99, $4.99, etc.)
  • Daily Real Money Creation and spend: How much real money currency was bought/awarded and spent that day?
  • Daily in-game currency creation and spend: How much in-game currency was made in the game that day and how much was spent? This is a great metric to determine if your economy is getting overinflated.

New User Metrics:

  • New User Flow: How many new users installed the game, opened it, started the tutorial, completed the tutorial, and played after the tutorial?
  • Tutorial Flow: Within the tutorial, where are the users dropping off? Place checkpoints in the tutorial to be able to track where the users are in the flow.
  • Task Flow: Are users completing tasks after the tutorial? Is there a point at which users regularly drop off and rarely get past?
  • First Purchase Event: When do users make their first purchase?
  • Achievements: If the game offers achievements or awards for users, which ones are the users achieving?
  • User Level: Track what level the users reach. You’ll want to use this information to determine when users start to monetize, to interact with friends, or to drop out of the game.
  • Item Purchase: What items are players buying in the game?
  • Item Use: What items are the players using? Are there items that they buy and hoard? Are there items that never get used? It’s a good metric to see what type of items you should be making more of and which ones should be adjusted.

A/B Testing

  • IAP A/B Testing: This can get very sophisticated and complicated. The essence of it is to try different levels of things such as IAP package pricing, coins per package, etc., and compare the level of success of price A and price B. Adjust the programs to be most effective. Repeat.
  • Virtual Goods A/B Testing: You’ll want to try pricing the same item at a couple of different prices to see if there is a sweet spot. Price accordingly.

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