This post is the last in a series on how to create—and measure—engaging campus mobile apps

Mobile metrics allow you to measure app open and re-open rates, location and time of interaction, content delivered, and much more. How do you know what’s important? Which metrics will give insights about what’s happening at your school?

As you set parameters and baselines for measuring mobile engagement, it might help to equate them to online/website engagement metrics that are familiar to many. Here are three top measures of app success:

1. ACQUISITION METRICS: WHERE DO USERS COME FROM?

  • App opens – equates to total “visits.” In the mobile context, these visits are considered “sessions.”
  • New versus active users—Being able to distinguish between the growth rate of your user base and the loyalty of your user base helps you understand if your application is being marketed effectively, and if the experience is valuable enough to keep users coming back day in and day out.

2. ENGAGEMENT METRICS: HOW STICKY IS YOUR APP?

  • Time spent in app – Building off of Astin’s Theory of Involvement, we know that increased levels of psychological engagement lead to higher levels of involvement with education overall. The average time spent in mobile apps ranges between 2 and 8 minutes, so be sure to set a baseline in order to track your progress.
  • User actions — With mobile apps you can track specific actions that users take. Every tap should be trackable, meaning you can tell how many users take a tour, add an event from the app to their personal calendar, or check in on the basketball score. Understanding what sorts of content your users are most interested in will help you make decisions on how to build a more engaging app.

3. OUTCOMES METRICS: DOES YOUR APP BOLSTER BROADER GOALS?

  • Conversions — Gauge success with specific conversion targets such as boosting recruitment, retention, academic performance, attendance and more. Your conversion targets — and overall app strategy — should align with your administration’s broader ambitions.
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This table shows key metrics for measuring apps and their corresponding value

A few final tips for creating engaging apps and measuring their success:

Use your analytics. Analytics allow you to determine which app features are working (or not). Leverage that information to drive future improvements—and ultimately improve engagement with your users. Understand your users. The more you track and listen to feedback, the more you’ll know about users and the more accurate you’ll be at gearing app offerings to their specific interests. Even the anecdotal information found in comments or app store reviews can go a long way toward helping you understand the user experience and why app engagement is trending up or down. Plus, personalizing the app experience based on user data will create stickiness and foster loyalty.

Check your tools. Make sure you have the right technology to enable ongoing measurement and easy app edits. Does your app infrastructure allow you to track every tap a user makes within your app? And when analytics reveal a problem, does your technology allow you to make changes quickly? The end goal should be to make editing an app as easy as editing a website. Such ease and speed is essential in the swiftly moving mobile world.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on how to create and measure your mobile app strategy. If you have tips on crafting an engaging app and measuring the results from your own experience, please share them below!

Want to learn more about Mosaic?  Visit www.mymosaic.com.

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