User Lifecycle: Why the Big Picture Matters

By Thomas Sommer | January 22nd, 2013

The fast growth of the freemium model over the past couple of years has made it obvious that mobile game developers and publishers need to draw a thick line between user acquisition and monetization. Getting people to download your app is merely the first step. What follows is the need to engage, retain and finally convert those people into paying users. In other words, from player to payer. This distinction requires you to think ahead and plan the various steps that will lead to the efficient monetization of your user base. We can think of this series of steps as AVREM:

The fast growth of the freemium model over the past couple of years has made it obvious that mobile game developers and publishers need to draw a thick line between user acquisition and monetization. Getting people to download your app is merely the first step. What follows is the need to engage, retain and finally convert those people into paying users. In other words, from player to payer. This distinction requires you to think ahead and plan the various steps that will lead to the efficient monetization of your user base. We can think of this series of steps as AVREM:

The fast growth of the freemium model over the past couple of years has made it obvious that mobile game developers and publishers need to draw a thick line between user acquisition and monetization. Getting people to download your app is merely the first step. What follows is the need to engage, retain and finally convert those people into paying users. In other words, from player to payer. This distinction requires you to think ahead and plan the various steps that will lead to the efficient monetization of your user base. We can think of this series of steps as AVREM:

The fast growth of the freemium model over the past couple of years has made it obvious that mobile game developers and publishers need to draw a thick line between user acquisition and monetization. Getting people to download your app is merely the first step. What follows is the need to engage, retain and finally convert those people into paying users. In other words, from player to payer. This distinction requires you to think ahead and plan the various steps that will lead to the efficient monetization of your user base. We can think of this series of steps as AVREM:

Acquisition - Virality - Retention - Engagement - Monetization.

Even though each of these steps requires distinct attention and uses specific metrics, they also impact each other and result in important trade-offs which you'll need to address. For instance, if your monetization strategy is too aggressive, then it comes at the expense of retention as your users become annoyed by repetitive push notifications and intrusive ads or get stuck in their game experience by disruptive in-app purchase items.

The Big Picture

Therefore, when marketing your app it's essential you take a holistic approach to the user lifecycle in order to secure a successful monetization strategy. Here's a quick and simple overview of the different phases of the lifecycle as well as some examples of typical KPI's to monitor in order to get a better view of the big picture:

Slide1

AtAppLift, we're committed to share our insights on mobile game marketing, and in the next weeks we'll be posting a series of articles on how to optimize each of these items throughout the user lifecycle. We'll be looking at best practices, we'll dive into the relevant metrics, and we'll help you address the arising trade-offs.

Here's a peek:

  1. User Acquisition: the first one which comes to mind. How many users download your app, what are your traffic sources (organic, inbound marketing, paid traffic etc.) and how much you pay for them (Cost Per Acquisition or CPA). We'll give you tips on how to optimize your app store marketing (among other things).
  2. Virality: is a happy by-product of Engagement and positively impacts User Acquisition. For instance, encourage and incentivize your users to leave positive AppStore reviews, and share your app on social media channels. The major KPI to measure virality is the K-factor (average number of invites sent by each user multiplied by their conversion rate).
  3. Retention: how many days your users keep on using your app after they've opened it for the first time. With the freemium model, users have no inherent incentive to keep using your game. Typical KPI's include Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30 retention.
  4. Engagement: how often your users open your app during the day and how long they stay engaged (how many daily sessions per Daily Active User (DAU) and average time per session).
  5. Monetization: your end goal the very reason you're in the game. The success of your monetization strategy will largely depend on your capacity to engage and retain users once you've acquired them. Most monetization strategies involve either the display of ad offers (banners, interstitials etc.), in-app purchase items (level unlock, purchase of virtual currencies etc.) or a mix of both.The most important KPI's for monetization are: percentage of paying users, Lifetime Value (LTV), Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). Monitoring these metrics is paramount because it will in turn enable you to know at which price you can buy traffic in order to get a positive return on investment (ROI).

Stay tuned for the first article in our series on the user lifecycle!

In the meantime, don't hesitate to leave a comment or ask us directly!

Acquisition - Virality - Retention - Engagement - Monetization.

Even though each of these steps requires distinct attention and uses specific metrics, they also impact each other and result in important trade-offs which you'll need to address. For instance, if your monetization strategy is too aggressive, then it comes at the expense of retention as your users become annoyed by repetitive push notifications and intrusive ads or get stuck in their game experience by disruptive in-app purchase items.

The Big Picture

Therefore, when marketing your app it's essential you take a holistic approach to the user lifecycle in order to secure a successful monetization strategy. Here's a quick and simple overview of the different phases of the lifecycle as well as some examples of typical KPI's to monitor in order to get a better view of the big picture:

Slide1

AtAppLift, we're committed to share our insights on mobile game marketing, and in the next weeks we'll be posting a series of articles on how to optimize each of these items throughout the user lifecycle. We'll be looking at best practices, we'll dive into the relevant metrics, and we'll help you address the arising trade-offs.

Here's a peek:

  1. User Acquisition: the first one which comes to mind. How many users download your app, what are your traffic sources (organic, inbound marketing, paid traffic etc.) and how much you pay for them (Cost Per Acquisition or CPA). We'll give you tips on how to optimize your app store marketing (among other things).
  2. Virality: is a happy by-product of Engagement and positively impacts User Acquisition. For instance, encourage and incentivize your users to leave positive AppStore reviews, and share your app on social media channels. The major KPI to measure virality is the K-factor (average number of invites sent by each user multiplied by their conversion rate).
  3. Retention: how many days your users keep on using your app after they've opened it for the first time. With the freemium model, users have no inherent incentive to keep using your game. Typical KPI's include Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30 retention.
  4. Engagement: how often your users open your app during the day and how long they stay engaged (how many daily sessions per Daily Active User (DAU) and average time per session).
  5. Monetization: your end goal the very reason you're in the game. The success of your monetization strategy will largely depend on your capacity to engage and retain users once you've acquired them. Most monetization strategies involve either the display of ad offers (banners, interstitials etc.), in-app purchase items (level unlock, purchase of virtual currencies etc.) or a mix of both.The most important KPI's for monetization are: percentage of paying users, Lifetime Value (LTV), Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). Monitoring these metrics is paramount because it will in turn enable you to know at which price you can buy traffic in order to get a positive return on investment (ROI).

Stay tuned for the first article in our series on the user lifecycle!

In the meantime, don't hesitate to leave a comment or ask us directly!

Acquisition - Virality - Retention - Engagement - Monetization.

Even though each of these steps requires distinct attention and uses specific metrics, they also impact each other and result in important trade-offs which you'll need to address. For instance, if your monetization strategy is too aggressive, then it comes at the expense of retention as your users become annoyed by repetitive push notifications and intrusive ads or get stuck in their game experience by disruptive in-app purchase items.

The Big Picture

Therefore, when marketing your app it's essential you take a holistic approach to the user lifecycle in order to secure a successful monetization strategy. Here's a quick and simple overview of the different phases of the lifecycle as well as some examples of typical KPI's to monitor in order to get a better view of the big picture:

Slide1

AtAppLift, we're committed to share our insights on mobile game marketing, and in the next weeks we'll be posting a series of articles on how to optimize each of these items throughout the user lifecycle. We'll be looking at best practices, we'll dive into the relevant metrics, and we'll help you address the arising trade-offs.

Here's a peek:

  1. User Acquisition: the first one which comes to mind. How many users download your app, what are your traffic sources (organic, inbound marketing, paid traffic etc.) and how much you pay for them (Cost Per Acquisition or CPA). We'll give you tips on how to optimize your app store marketing (among other things).
  2. Virality: is a happy by-product of Engagement and positively impacts User Acquisition. For instance, encourage and incentivize your users to leave positive AppStore reviews, and share your app on social media channels. The major KPI to measure virality is the K-factor (average number of invites sent by each user multiplied by their conversion rate).
  3. Retention: how many days your users keep on using your app after they've opened it for the first time. With the freemium model, users have no inherent incentive to keep using your game. Typical KPI's include Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30 retention.
  4. Engagement: how often your users open your app during the day and how long they stay engaged (how many daily sessions per Daily Active User (DAU) and average time per session).
  5. Monetization: your end goal the very reason you're in the game. The success of your monetization strategy will largely depend on your capacity to engage and retain users once you've acquired them. Most monetization strategies involve either the display of ad offers (banners, interstitials etc.), in-app purchase items (level unlock, purchase of virtual currencies etc.) or a mix of both.The most important KPI's for monetization are: percentage of paying users, Lifetime Value (LTV), Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). Monitoring these metrics is paramount because it will in turn enable you to know at which price you can buy traffic in order to get a positive return on investment (ROI).

Stay tuned for the first article in our series on the user lifecycle!

In the meantime, don't hesitate to leave a comment or ask us directly!

Acquisition - Virality - Retention - Engagement - Monetization.

Even though each of these steps requires distinct attention and uses specific metrics, they also impact each other and result in important trade-offs which you'll need to address. For instance, if your monetization strategy is too aggressive, then it comes at the expense of retention as your users become annoyed by repetitive push notifications and intrusive ads or get stuck in their game experience by disruptive in-app purchase items.

The Big Picture

Therefore, when marketing your app it's essential you take a holistic approach to the user lifecycle in order to secure a successful monetization strategy. Here's a quick and simple overview of the different phases of the lifecycle as well as some examples of typical KPI's to monitor in order to get a better view of the big picture:

Slide1

AtAppLift, we're committed to share our insights on mobile game marketing, and in the next weeks we'll be posting a series of articles on how to optimize each of these items throughout the user lifecycle. We'll be looking at best practices, we'll dive into the relevant metrics, and we'll help you address the arising trade-offs.

Here's a peek:

  1. User Acquisition: the first one which comes to mind. How many users download your app, what are your traffic sources (organic, inbound marketing, paid traffic etc.) and how much you pay for them (Cost Per Acquisition or CPA). We'll give you tips on how to optimize your app store marketing (among other things).
  2. Virality: is a happy by-product of Engagement and positively impacts User Acquisition. For instance, encourage and incentivize your users to leave positive AppStore reviews, and share your app on social media channels. The major KPI to measure virality is the K-factor (average number of invites sent by each user multiplied by their conversion rate).
  3. Retention: how many days your users keep on using your app after they've opened it for the first time. With the freemium model, users have no inherent incentive to keep using your game. Typical KPI's include Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30 retention.
  4. Engagement: how often your users open your app during the day and how long they stay engaged (how many daily sessions per Daily Active User (DAU) and average time per session).
  5. Monetization: your end goal the very reason you're in the game. The success of your monetization strategy will largely depend on your capacity to engage and retain users once you've acquired them. Most monetization strategies involve either the display of ad offers (banners, interstitials etc.), in-app purchase items (level unlock, purchase of virtual currencies etc.) or a mix of both.The most important KPI's for monetization are: percentage of paying users, Lifetime Value (LTV), Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU). Monitoring these metrics is paramount because it will in turn enable you to know at which price you can buy traffic in order to get a positive return on investment (ROI).

Stay tuned for the first article in our series on the user lifecycle!

In the meantime, don't hesitate to leave a comment or ask us directly!

Thomas Sommer
Thomas heads up content marketing at AppLift. As such he’s in charge of sourcing, curating, creating and distributing insightful content to increase visibility and thought leadership for the company. Thomas loves to scrutinize the relentless and trilling developments of the mobile industry. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thomas