As a startup founder who’s interest is in growing the business, you have to try and figure out what’s working and what’s not working and build a feedback loop. And without a very solid analytics foundation, it’s nearly impossible to get that feedback loop.
Google Analytics isn’t your only solution, if you’re looking for an answer to the problem. It doesn’t give you user-level insights to be able to run and scale growth experiments that impact the time and money you spend in mobile analytics tracking.
If you’re not fully equipped with data about your product or service, it’s really hard to make decisions that impact the growth of your business. For example, insights such as what’s the most effective marketing channel, where do your most active users come from, etc.
Integrating the right tools from the get go can get you the best mobile analytics insights you need within minutes as opposed to spending days trying to get the data and then process it.
When selecting what mobile app analytics tools you want to integrate, ask yourself what your objectives are. Based on your objectives, you can decide which of the categories below is relevant to you at the early stage and choose to integrate a tool from one, a combination or all of the categories.
#1 – High-level visitor and usage data
Mobile app analytics tools such as Flurry Analytics (now part of Yahoo!) and Google Analytics, both fall in this category and are available for free.
In the initial stage of your mobile app development, this category of analytics can serve to be very crucial, helping you understand who your users are and whether they’re engaged within your app.
You can track these through the following metrics – usage-based such as session length, frequency of use and retention, active users, etc.; audience information such as user’s age, gender, demographics; technical data such as devices, carriers, firmware versions, etc; and event-tracking such as user path through defined events.
You can also track and optimize user acquisition campaigns in this category to understand and optimize marketing channels.
What you don’t get at this stage is cohort analysis or in-depth analytics of the lifecycle of a user engaged within your app.
#2 – Cohort analysis
Cohort analytics for mobile apps allows you to see patterns clearly across the lifecycle of a customer (or user), rather than slicing across all customers blindly without accounting for the natural cycle that a customer undergoes. By seeing these patterns over time, you can adapt and tailor your product or its features to those specific cohorts.
When you want to track a user journey, typically post product/market fit, to understand how each specific user navigates and interacts through your mobile app features – to understand what features are working and what aren’t. Also, this will help you determine the most preferred user-flow and use case for your mobile app.
Mobile app analytics tool Mixpanel lets you track user data that is event based with a nice UI to display the in-depth analysis data and results. It’s also fairly easy to create funnels in Mixpanel.
Mixpanel lets you analyze your app retention by seeing how often your customers return and engage with your application. And to get the full picture, it uses cohort analysis which groups your users by day, week or month based on a specific event.
#3 – Cohort + Customer Communication
A step further into analytics for mobile apps is to communicate with your customers/users based on event triggers (manually or automated) to further engage and retain your existing users.
What you want to do at this stage is also to segment users between engaged and non-engaged – those that signed up once and never showed up again, those that signed up and only used once or twice and those that signed up and continue to use the application consistently.
Once you can identify this segment, you will then be able to have targeted communication based on their status. For example, you may want to send some offer or coupon or an on-boarding webinar to the non-engaged users to help them understand the product better. For the engaged ones, you can plan a campaign that keeps them happy using your product.
You can get insights on such user behavior and create segments using mobile app analytics tools such as Intercom, Customer.io and Vero.
Having an analytics stack from day one is as important as marketing for your mobile app. In fact, for your customer acquisition, engagement and retention to be more effective, consider one or a combination of these analytics tools to get better insights about your customers. If you’ve come across a better mobile app analytics tool or one that has added value to your business, please mention in the comments below.