LTV — The Right Kind of Reporting and What to Do With It

By Anna Schmitt | November 7th, 2017

Acquiring a large number of users of their app is a huge dream for any app advertiser. But are they the right kind? Are they engaging with your app?

Take a step back and look at the results of the users acquired and what they mean. Any user acquisition strategy remains incomplete without a proper re-engagement strategy to back it up. Only if the users are engaging with an app, can advertisers maximize their ROAS and for this, they need insights on which users perform and which don’t. These insights can help make decisions about which traffic sources you should invest more budget in, as well as can give advertisers a starting point for segmenting their users into dynamic audiences for retargeting and re-engagement purposes.

Knowledge about the fact that a user has opened the app 24 hours after install or how much they have spent in the app, can help make such meaningful decisions. The same goes for the opposite, a user that has downloaded the app but not engaged with it since.


There are two levels of analysis app advertisers should be doing:

1. LTV analysis: The ideal reporting should enable advertisers to map LTV data, that is post-install events, against their campaign data. Only then can one understand the true LTV of users as well as how to optimize based on these findings — where are you doing well, who are your ideal users, who is not performing, etc. With such insights, advertisers will be able to segment and re-engage users to maximize ROAS.

2. Industry benchmark analysis: Advertisers must aim for a reporting type that lets them evaluate how their app is ranking against their peers in the industry and adjust strategy, as well as pinpoint areas that may need to be improved on or those that are doing well. This level of transparency keeps advertisers on their toes and helps them grow and excel: for advertisers, understanding how one compares to other apps in the same category is the best lever to adjust and boost their own performance.

How to Use These Insights to Your Advantage?

Having these post-install events integrated in a reporting suite is just the first step to increased profitability. Without turning these insights into tangible results, the reporting cannot unfurl its full potential. Once the LTV-data has been properly analyzed, the next step should be to implement a strategy that closes the loop and covers the whole funnel, from acquisition, to growth and through to retention.

The insights marketers can derive from this reporting can redefine the way they look at their entire user acquisition strategy. Are they investing in the right channels, using the right creative levers and using the most suitable re-engagement approach? All these points will be challenged by such reporting and this is a prime opportunity for re-assessment and re-adjustment of the overall strategy. A crucial aspect remains: it’s not about saving money, it’s about challenging the way it is spent and investing it more wisely and more strategically.

This can be achieved by:

1. Choosing the right UA channels with focus on acquisition and growth: The right kind of reporting can show which traffic sources delivered which degree of performance. It can assist in spotting an imbalance in your marketing mix. A healthy balance should be achieved between incentivized and non-incentivized traffic channels to ensure you can scale from a qualitative viewpoint. If some channels are taken out of the mix or spend on them is reduced, it gives you the scope to re-invest this budget into other, more effective channels that better suit your strategy.

2. Retaining your most valuable users: You should be able to also leverage this reporting to inspire your retargeting efforts. It is important you focus on your goals when it comes to retargeting and re-engagement and to define KPIs that make sense for you on an individual basis - is it about monetization or engagement, boosting subscriptions or driving more sales? Once you’ve determined your individual goals, you can use the LTV data to segment your users and assign them a different strategy based on where those users are in the funnel. Furthermore, the reporting should give you the ability to start your retargeting efforts from day 1, neatly tying them to your UA strategies - which is ideal, since 80% of app users are likely churned after 7 days.

3. Questioning your strategy: It is important to note that this is an ongoing momentum that needs to be sustained by constant monitoring, analyzing and adjusting the strategy where required. Your users change and so does their LTV. It is a fluent concept that enables you to act swiftly and keeps you engaged always to ensure the maximum ROAS for your app.

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Anna Schmitt
Anna is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Berlin office. Aside from work, she is a passionate photographer who loves to travel and also write short stories. If you catch her in deep thought, she's probably either dreaming about her love for London or planning her next meal at an Asian restaurant!

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