What is User Engagement? How to Measure It?

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How do you measure success? It all depends on how you define success for your business. However, we have come to know that it usually goes beyond how many people download your app. When we consider that 23% of users abandon an app after the first use and 62% of users would use an app less than 11 times, we can see that user engagement is the essential factor to win out.  

If you are new or do not have much idea about the significance of user engagement in the life of mobile app owners, then give the following article a read.

The article covers a wide range of topics, from basic user engagement metrics to the dos and don’ts. Do not miss it out!

What Is User Engagement?

User engagement, meaning in simple words, would be the frequency and the time a user engages with your application. In other words, for the mobile world, user engagement refers to the level of users’ involvement with your app. However, the definition varies from category to category of the mobile app. So any interaction that a user has with your mobile app influences your application engagement directly. When you are checking user engagement metrics for apps, you typically assess the users’ response to your product or service through the app. Engagement can look like a log-in, purchase, register, subscription, or any activity on your app. Nonetheless, if you are looking for ideal mobile engagement metrics, know that it does not exist.

Majority questions why is user engagement important? For your app, in-app engagement is what guides you to assess the meeting and reach the benchmark. The emotional cycle of ongoing interaction, in-app engagement holds a lot of importance as it helps you understand. Would you ever want your user only to download your app and forget it in some phone window? Definitely not! So, user engagement analytics are essential for your app to build a relationship with your clients, understand their needs and wants through their user behavior and offer them a flawless user experience.

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Remember that an engaged user is someone who interacts with the services, products, promotions, or bonuses offered by your mobile app by clicking, commenting, sharing, or liking on it. Such users will be the source for measuring user engagement.

How to Measure User Engagement

Suppose you just launched your mobile trading app. You gained a lot of attention; people wrote about your app, thousands downloaded it and signed up. You are overwhelmed by the response. Gradually things start changing for your app; people lose interest, interact less and uninstall your app. You are demotivated again.

So considering the ongoing competition of the digital market, user engagement indicates if your app will be successful or a failure. It is directly related to the overall profitability, credibility, and trustworthiness of your business. So before you know exactly the mobile app engagement metrics that you should work on for the app stickiness benchmark, you will have to identify the metrics that matter to your business.

For this purpose, the experts have defined certain engagement metrics for mobile apps to identify and work on them to enhance user engagement. Some of the best metrics to measure user engagement are discussed in the next section.

What Are the Best Metrics for Measuring User Engagement?

To get high user engagement, you have to identify and measure the right metrics for better optimizing your app. Following are the eight metrics that will help you measure customer engagement:

1) Active Users (Daily, Weekly, and Monthly)

The best way to measure app engagement is the metric in which you track the number of active users over a certain period, i.e., daily, weekly, or monthly. The daily active user definition is that it follows the activity of users daily. Commonly, the user engagement metrics after signup is considered to measure user engagement. Similarly, weekly active users’ definition is the activity or engagement of users over the week. Lastly, the monthly users’ formula helps in identifying the user engagement in a better way. Do a comparison of all three and get an idea about your client’s satisfaction, sentiments, and interactions.

2) App Session Length

The time that a user spends on your app is the session length. Some even consider the time user spends on the background. Session length is best to understand if the app is worthy enough to keep the user engaged or not.

3) App Session Intervals

One of the most important mobile app user engagement metrics is the session intervals metric. It offers insight into how frequently the users return to your app by measuring the time between their visits to the app. Long intervals mean less engaged users, and likewise, short intervals mean your app is irresistible for the users. The best way is to offer them solid reasons not to live without your app for app engagement and user retention.

4) App Stickiness

As the title suggests, the app marketing user engagement deals with how quickly your app sticks into the minds of people and for how long. If your user feels like your app is what they need to turn too often and it will offer a solution to their problems, then the stickiness of your app will be more. Your users are likely to come back to your mobile app, increasing your app’s engagement length. 

A common question in this regard is how to measure monthly active users? The simple formula is to divide the DAU (daily active users) by MAU (monthly active users) for the ratio. If the number is closer to 1, it means your app’s stickiness is more.

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Image Source: Braze (Calculation of app stickiness)

5) Retention Rate

For you, the loyalty or the power to retain your users is the source of revenue. Therefore, you need to track this metric from day one. Retention rate shows the percentage of users your app retains over a certain time (30 days. 90 days, etc.). It tells the satisfaction level of your users. You can check the retention rate by applying the app retention rate formula, which goes as follows:

Retention Rate = % of users in a cohort who use the app in a specific period / % of users in a cohort who use the app in a previous period.

The formula will help you track metrics and discover the exact loophole that is causing a decrease in the retention rate.

6) Conversion Rate

The conversion rate metric measured the number of app installs from the search results. Usually, it offers information on how appealing your app’s icon is, its name, description, etc. If tracked rightly, the metric can get your app lifetime engaged users. For calculating, divide the number of users who visited your app page by the number of app installs.

7) User Engagement Rate

Any interaction with your applications adds to the average mobile user engagement rate. It can include likes, comments, views, shares, mentions, messages, etc. The metric helps in analyzing the real progress of your app and its content. You can calculate the user engagement rate by dividing total engagement by total users multiplied by 100.

8) Churn Rate

Mobile app churn rate tells the number of users that stop interacting, engaging, or using your app over a certain time. The metric is like a health checkup of the app, and the formula used is as follows:

Churn Rate = Total number of churned customers / Total number of customers

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Best Tools to Track User Engagement:

Tools to track user engagement are to be chosen wisely. Following is the list of top-notch analytics, in-app communication, user feedback, notifications, and survey tracking tools:

Amplitude: A cross-platform that offers user behavior insights.

Mixpanel: Tracks and analyzes user interaction on the app.

AppDynamics: A tool with mapping, monitoring, activity tracking solutions.

Hubspot: Allows segmentation, email tracking, and application engagement analytics.

AppAnnie: Access to comprehensive data including competitors.

For a detailed analysis of app analytics tools, please visit: ​​9 Best Free Mobile App Analytics Tools for Developers

Common Mistakes About In-App Engagement:

Now that you know the do’s, you should be aware of the don’ts as well. Following are the mistakes that are common and lead to a huge fall in user engagement:

  • A putting-off onboarding experience.
  • Not conveying how the app will make users’ life easier.
  • Failing to understand the exact needs and wants of your users.
  • Not being able to realize the importance of creativity to keep your users engaged.
  • Inability to communicate on time with your users.
  • Not creating personalized messages for the users.
  • Dropping too many messages to the users

Measuring User Engagement - In a Nutshell

All in all, user engagement for a mobile app owner is nothing less than his bread and butter. On average, people have around sixty to ninety apps on their own, out of which only 10-12 percent are used regularly. If the tips mentioned above are used rightly, your app can become one of the 10% of apps used daily. 

Engagement metrics are just one part of the picture. If you wish to know more about the mobile app metrics, you need to go through the following article as well: Mobile Application Performance Metrics You Should Be Tracking.

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