16 metrics Gaming app marketers should measure

By Igal Frid
gaming app marketing metrics

Mobile gaming marketers live and breathe measurement – eCPI, ARPU, DAU, and so many other three-to-five-letter acronyms.

However, not all metrics are created equal.

Given the variety of KPIs to choose from, only careful selection of thez right combination leads to the meaningful insights used to drive important marketing decisions.

To point you in the right direction, we’ve covered 16 metrics spanning the entire user journey.

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • KPIs to measure (detailed ahead in this blog!)
  • Which and how many in-app events to configure
  • Selecting media sources to run with
  • Creative variations
  • Recommended segments

Acquisition metrics

The first hurdle of mobile marketing is to drive installs. With over 5 million apps worldwide, it’s safe to say every dollar counts. Gaming is a particularly driving force of the app economy, with 35% of non-organic installs coming from this vertical in 2019.

One key to coming out on top is knowing the effectiveness of your ad spend in order to reduce it per user and improve ROI. That’s where the following KPIs come into play:

Effective cost per mille (eCPM)


The revenue generated per 1,000 impressions

To calculate eCPM, divide the total earnings from advertising by the total number of impressions and multiply by 1,000.

eCPM = (Total Ad Revenue / Total Impressions) * 1,000

eCPM = (Total Ad Revenue / Total Impressions) * 1,000

Why it matters:

eCPM offers a basic approach to evaluating the value of your traffic and determining your CPM. Cost Per Mille is the rate a given advertiser is willing to pay for 1,000 impressions, while eCPM is the publisher earnings per 1,000 impressions.


Game on! Mobile attribution and marketing analytics for gaming


Cost per install (CPI)


The cost of generating one new install

Why it matters:

CPI is affected by many variables, such as geography, platform, and device, and is used to determine the price of acquiring a new user.

CPI and IPM in mobile gaming marketing

Install Per Mille (IPM)


The number of installs generated for every 1,000 impressions. IPM is calculated by dividing total installs by total impressions and multiplying by 1,000.

IPM = (Total Installs / Total Impressions) * 1,000

Why it matters:

IPM helps evaluate the performance of a campaign. The higher the IPM, the more effective it is. A low IPM may indicate low user engagement with a given creative, which means you should try and optimize targeting or change the creative itself (read more about IPM and conversion rate optimization.)

Organic conversion rate


The percentage of conversions driven by non-paid channels, such as organic search, social media, press, etc.

Why it matters:

Organic Conversion Rate informs your non-paid distribution power and highlights opportunities to drive new users to your app without spending on user acquisition.



K-Factor tells you how many organic users you get as the result of a paid UA campaign.

For example: If a game has an option for a multiplayer experience, and a user invited three friends to join who subsequently installed the app, you just earned three new ‘free’ users.

K = number of invites sent by each user / conversion rate of each invite

Why it matters:

A high K-Factor indicates the virality of your app and enables you to reduce your average UA spend per user. If, for example, you paid $3 for one install, and that one install triggered two additional organic installs, you actually paid $1 dollar for those three installs (read more about organic multipliers).

Usage and engagement metrics

Retention rate, DAU, and churn help highlight the way in which users interact with your app – how often they are using it, for how long, and over what period of time. These metrics indicate whether or not you are bringing the right users and help identify problems with poor segmentation, specific level difficulty, and functionality.

By benchmarking and observing these metrics long term, you will be able to boost your segmentation and monetization strategies, as well as build a loyal user base that keeps returning to your app.

Retention rate


The percentage of players that return to your app during a defined period of time after the initial install (typically measured at 1, 3, 7, 14, and 30 days).

Why it matters:

Retention rate is a key indicator of your app’s performance over time. A high rate demonstrates your game provides value to users generating repeat usage. It is the basis of monetization and a key factor in prediction models.

Retention is another key factor in evaluating the quality of your users. It helps you create UA strategies and plan budget distribution between the different media sources you work with.

Let’s say you have two media sources, A and B. On day 14 of a campaign, you notice that users coming from A have a 15% retention rate while users from B only have a 10% retention rate. Being a savvy mobile marketer, you immediately put more budget into A and tone down spend on B. After all, a higher retention rate signals better users and more revenue over time!

If users coming from Media Source A have a 15% retention rate on Day 14, and users coming from Media Source B have a 10% retention rate on the same day, it is preferable to shift more budget toward media source A. That way, you will gain higher quality users that will play your game for a longer period of time and generate more revenue.

Igal Frid

Igal Frid is the Mobile Insights Specialist at AppsFlyer. He brings half a decade of experience with digital advertising leaders ironSource and Universal McCann, focusing on brand advertising, growth strategy, and the mobile gaming ecosystem. Igal is passionate about data, trends, and graphs, but his favorite question (in every subject) is “Why?“ You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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