Monthly active users (MAU)

Myroslav Protsan

SEO Specialist, Reteno

March 11, 2024

An app Monthly Active Users (MAU) metric provides a deeper insight into user engagement and retention rates than a daily or weekly active users metric. Read on to learn about Monthly Active Users and why you need to measure it for your app or website.

What Is MAU? 

MAU is a metric for measuring the number of unique app or site visitors and engagement within 30 days. This key performance indicator (KPI) summarizes the daily and weekly active users metric to give an in-depth report on users' app onboarding and usage patterns in a 30-day or more period. 

Why Is MAU an Important Metric

MAU is an important KPI because it can help you to:

Know Your Marketing Campaign Effectiveness

Often, marketing campaigns take weeks or months to take effect or show results. For example, SEO can take between three to six months for full effects. With that being the case, a monthly active user metric is the best bet to show that these marketing strategies work. This is because, with MAU, brands have a whole month or, in some cases, a couple of months to show solid evidence of their progress.

Quickly Identify Churn Rate

MAU shows brands a compounded analysis of their customers’ app engagement and usage patterns and trends, helping them predict churn rates. Identifying churn rates on time will help you to make early adjustments to retain customers.

Determine App Growth Rate

Aside from churn rate, MAU can also help your brand determine app growth rate and future trajectory. This way, you can know how fast users leave or unsubscribe from your app, how many app downloads you’ve recorded over time, the demography of your users, etc. Understanding an app’s growth rate makes estimating its present and future market valuation easier should investors come asking.

Improve Customer Experience

Another reason brands are usually interested in MAU reports is because it's necessary for improving customer experience. Most MAU analytics apps show areas where users visit more or less often when they access your app or website. Such information will help you determine the right places and campaigns to channel your resources.

How to Monitor and Calculate Monthly Active Users

You can calculate MAU the same way you calculate the daily and weekly active users—using Google Analytics and Apple’s App Analytics. However, there are other tools you can explore. But before calculating your app’s monthly active users, you must have a clear MAU definition stating what “active users” means to you. 

This is important because different brands have different goals and define “active users” differently. For some brands, active user means the number of monthly app downloads their app gets. Others may only care about the monthly sum of users signing up and using a product or feature. 

For e-commerce brands, it could be the average order value their online store gets, and the list continues. Moreover, during MAU analysis, most apps would allow you to create segments that narrow down the “active user” information you seek. With that being the case, here’s how to use Google Analytics and Apple’s App Analytics to calculate monthly active users.

Google Analytics 4

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) allows you to monitor the user engagement of various apps called “properties” on the app. The first step to using GA4 is to sign in and select the right property, which is the app under consideration. If you don’t have an account yet on GA4, you’d have to create one first and add your app as a property.

Once logged in, click on the “Report” section on the left side of the screen. Then select Engagement. You will see various parameters for analyzing your app's performance and engagement on the screen that appears. Scroll down to “user activity over time.” Here, you’ll find the number of active users on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.

Apart from this method, GA4 allows you to be more detailed in your analysis of monthly active users through the Explore menu on the left-hand side of the screen. However, this is for experienced users, as you would have to toggle between various segments, variables, and metrics.

Apple App Analytics

  • Log in to your Apple Store Connect and select the app you want to analyze.
  • On the left-hand side of the screen, locate the App Analytics button. Click on it and select “Metrics.”
  • A dropdown menu will appear. Select Monthly.
  • Scroll down to the “Engagement” section and choose “Active Devices.”
  • Finally, choose a range of dates under consideration to see the daily active users for that period.

Note: these tools may not have all you need to get the desired results. In that case, you can use paid MAU analytics tools.

DAU/MAU Ratio: What is It?

The DAU/MAU ratio determines your app’s stickiness or daily performance. Stickiness refers to how loyal your app users are. Hence, it’s a measure of churn rate, user acquisition yield, app engagement, and overall performance. The stickier your app, the better for you. 

But to get stickier, your app must meet the demands of the users as well as the goals or roadmap of the stakeholders or owners. To determine your app’s DAU/MAU ratio or daily stickiness, you must divide the daily active users (DAU) by the monthly active users (MAU). Then, multiply the result by 100 percent. 

For example, if you have 10,000 daily and 20,000 monthly users, your DAU/MAU ratio is (10,000/20,000) × 100, which is 50%. This implies that 50% of your monthly users use your app daily.

How to Improve MAU

An unconvincing or poor MAU metric doesn’t mean you’re doing everything wrong; it simply means you should try something new. These few tips could help out:

Use Push Notifications and In-App Messages

Using mobile push notifications and in-app messages is a great way to communicate with your audience or customers, improve user retention, and possibly increase in-app purchases.

For example, in an e-commerce store, you may suggest another product, plan, feature, or promo to your customers using push notifications and in-app messages. It doesn’t matter if they buy or not; it will at least keep them engaged and increase their chances of acting on the suggestion. The result would likely improve your marketplace average order value.

Include Personalization

Sometimes, users get overwhelmed when they first visit your app or website. However, personalization shows them that they are not alone on the platform. In fact, it shows that you understand their pain points and are there to help. You can start by suggesting gender-specific products, rating top features or in-app products, or showing new users trending stuff or what others are buying or viewing. 

Much more than that, you can study the user’s behavior and show them only things they would love. This is a win-win situation that drives engagement and increases repeat purchases. Personalization extends to your marketing campaigns. When done well, it piques users' interest in your marketing campaign and drives higher opt-in and click-through rates. 

Gamification

Suppose your app or website has an increased bounce rate (i.e., users are onboarding and leaving almost immediately). In that case, you can try to optimize your app or website’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). However, gamification is a more appealing and fast-growing marketing concept or technique to increase the level of customer engagement. You may conduct user research to know what your users like, then gamify some events or sections of the app. Studies have shown that gamification drives higher retention rates and reduces churn or bounce rates.

MAU is priceless as it helps you to monitor your app’s growth and success. If you want to increase your monthly active users, try out Reteno today.

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