How to Track Mobile App Conversions

To understand the meaning behind downloads for your mobile app, you need to know how to track conversions effectively. On a mobile app, a download is by no means a conversion, although it does have valuable data that can increase your conversions.

So, if a download isn’t a conversion, what is?

A conversion is when a mobile app boosts sales, whether directly or indirectly. However, harnessing the data behind downloads can help you learn how to measure and increase conversions. So, without further ado, we’re here to school you on the right way to gain and measure conversions on mobile apps.

Define Conversions

What does a conversion mean to you? A sale? A registration? A user who registers and shares your product with others? Before you can see if your app is helping you increase overall conversions, you need to define what a conversion means to you and how your app will help you achieve it.

For example, perhaps your app’s goal is to increase engagement and brand visibility. This isn’t easy to measure as far as conversions go. Take a look at apps for air travel, for example. While an app like Delta’s allows flyers to track their flight status and check in on the go, it doesn’t exactly directly impact their sales. However, it does provide a unique function that speaks directly towards a frazzled travelers’ needs.

For an app like this, conversions would not be hard sales, but how long users spent on the app and how long they spent using features, which in turn builds their perception of Delta’s ease of use and customer responsiveness.

Clearly, conversions are defined differently depending on your wants and needs. Define your conversion goals before you start cracking your download data so you know what to look for.

Time to Understand Download Data

App stores do not allow you to track cookies, Javascript, or other data beyond downloads, which was a real setback for analytics because what happens before and after a user downloads is just as important as the download itself. You need to know how users found your app in the first place, which will help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing techniques and see what channels are drawing in new users as well as converting current customers to app users.

Luckily, you can track campaigns using third-party applications that allow you to easily track in-app conversions and traffic sources. You can put the power back in your hands to find out where users are finding your app – whether from ads, emails, texts, mobile webs, QR codes, and more. Additionally, find out what happens after users download, how they use your app, and what draws the most attention so you can maximize user experience and response.

Re-Target and Tweak Your App

Once you have the data to understand what’s working for you, as well as what isn’t, it’s time to make a plan so you can optimize your app. Use analytics to see what channels are driving money to your app, and even have the ability to see how much money and conversions each channel is driving so you can maximize your budget on the channels that pay back. As you make changes, see in real time how these changes impact growth and conversions so you can continuously adjust as necessary.

Repeat the above steps, over and over (and over and over) again

The real work of an app is non-stop. It’s a competitive field, so you need to continuously make sure your app is relevant and valuable to your users. Tracking your app installations should be just as important as tracking any other form of user engagement – if you see a huge burst in installations from a certain source, or a slowdown of total installations, these are red flags to you that something isn’t working as it should.

A Case Study: Airbnb

Airbnb is a unique marketplace experience where users can either rent out their own apartment to guests from abroad or find someone to accommodate them for their own trip. The entire process from booking through, review can be done remotely online or via your mobile device.

Airbnb saw a 5x increase in conversions after implementing the mobile application. Airbnb used the mobile application to their advantage by measuring how long people were spending on certain features of the app, the most frequent actions, and what percentage of people were just passively browsing the app. Using this information they were able to transform their downloads into a nearly 500% increase in conversions.

This guide gives you the basics on how to track mobile app conversions, but we’re always interested in tips and tricks our users have found to make the job easier and more effective. What’s your experience been for tracking mobile app conversions? Do you have any advice about surprising insights you’ve gained from mobile tracking?

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