computer screen showing an analytics dashboard with user acquisition KPIs
Mobile Data , User Acquisition

User Acquisition KPIs: Which KPIs Are Most Important?

Monitoring metrics makes all of your user acquisition efforts meaningful. UA managers are always opportunistic optimizers. They always search for the best ways to grow their partners’ user base. And when it comes to user growth, there are certain metrics to track.

From onboarding new partners, defining user acquisition KPIs, and monitoring crucial data from UA campaigns, Account Manager Gökberk tells us how he measures his partners’ success on the demand side of adjoe’s business.

You’ve Just Onboarded a New Partner – Where Do You Start with Your UA Efforts?

The most important thing from the get-go is to understand what a partner needs and what they expect from you as a UA manager. And this is nonnegotiable to get the ball rolling in the right direction. 

Start off by asking questions about 

  • what the partner’s goals are (e.g. 10% ROAS on Day 7),
  • how their app economy works (e.g. 80% in-app purchases, 20% in-app ads)
  • which stage their app is in (soft launch, early to late stages)

Then it’s about developing a winning strategy together with your partner to reach a high-quality target audience for them – with a campaign structure that will summon the most suitable and engaged users for them.

a young man and woman sitting at a table in an office building talking to each other

How Do You Calculate User Acquisition as a UA Account Manager?

There’s no single right way to measure UA performance or to look into the data available to you. That’s because the first variable is your partner’s goals.

We prioritize optimizing and segmenting the campaigns in a way that ensures we hit our partners’ goals and maintain a good scale – while gathering more campaign and user data along the way. It’s the data you need to make precise decisions about how to maximize your partners’ performance and reach their goals. 

But that’s not to say there aren’t specific user acquisition KPIs we look at when we measure performance.

In-App Retention 

UA managers at adjoe look at an app’s stickiness – without this, it’s hard to know where an app really stands in terms of user experience. High Day 7 and Day 14 cohorts give a good indication of whether a segment is a compatible user pool. Retention metrics are a large driving factor for ROAS; if users spend more time in an app, there is more opportunity for them to make in-app purchases or engage with in-app ads. 

graph mockup of dashboard with in-app retention

First-Time Deposits

One of the important user acquisition KPIs – first-time deposits – calculates how many unique users acquired are depositing money directly into the partner’s app. This rate typically varies depending on the app vertical you’re working with – from hypercasual, RPG, or casual titles. Tracking first-time deposits ultimately shows you how many of these users are driving ROAS, which you can go on to use to calculate an app’s long-term performance. 

Average Revenue per User

Shortened to ARPU, UA managers need to understand the quality of the average user acquired and how much they are spending in a certain app. It’s a key metric for publishers, as it demonstrates how much revenue the app is generating, on average, from each user over a given period of time. This metric is also important for developers to assess which monetization methods generate the most revenue for their app over different periods of time. 

Lifetime Value 

Abbreviated to LTV, this metric is calculated differently from partner to partner, depending on how they monetize their app. Whether that’s through in-app purchases, a subscription model, in-app advertising, and so on. You might find that every KPI – from ARPU to retention and ROAS – contributes to this final metric, which ultimately defines your user quality. 

How Do You Define Benchmarks and User Acquisition KPIs?

When it comes to defining which KPIs and benchmarks you want to track with your partners, you’ve got to consider their app’s economy and monetization strategy. For example, if we are looking into a ROAS target for a UA activity, the goals are usually determined by the progression of the users and the predictive models that show us on which day the app will start being profitable. 

Some apps – such as hypercasual games – have much shorter breakeven periods, so it’s easier to come to a conclusion about profitability within a shorter time period. Some titles require a lot more data to better understand whether they will be able to start being profitable sooner or later. 

How Regularly Do You Track and Monitor KPIs with a Partner?

As an account manager, you check your partners’ performance on a daily basis. You look at the short-term results first to better estimate how the performance of your activity is evolving. After all, without knowing the data – you don’t have much grounds to build your strategy. For urgent optimizations or fixes, you should get in touch with partners on a daily basis and discuss strategy on a weekly or biweekly basis. 

Do You Predict Any Changes to How UA Will Work in the Future?

It’s hard to foresee exactly which KPIs may come into the picture with more formats and monetization models entering the in-app sphere. But we will start seeing differences in how we measure an app’s performance. For example, privacy regulation changes on operating systems are going to affect how data and KPIs are calculated. 

So, even if we don’t see new metrics, there will be a lot of changes made to the way the data is calculated. AI algorithms that use indexes to better identify paying users will become crucial for UA managers to grow their partners’ UA efforts. 

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