What is DAU: Learn About One of the Most Important Engagement Metrics

What is DAU?

When publishing an app or designing a business website, how do you measure its success? This is a question every company struggles with, and the answer is rarely, if ever straightforward. There is a multitude of metrics, calculations, and business intelligence reports you can use to measure success.

There is one metric that stands out above the rest and has the potential to greatly inform you on the success and health of your app/website, and that's Daily Active Users (DAU). You've likely heard the term before, but in this blog post, we'll delve deeper, going over why precisely DAU is important, how to calculate it, and ways to potentially increase the DAU of your app/website and see more success. If you've been struggling with the retention of existing users and the attraction of new ones, you can't miss this.

Why Is DAU Important?

The importance of DAU can't be overstated. There are a number of key areas where calculating the DAU will help your company immensely.

  • Daily Active Users (DAU) lets you understand the size of your user base: how many people use your app in a day? How many visit your website? These are key user engagement metrics that quite literally define the success of your service. The number of unique users and active users an app has is often used as a stand-in for how successful it is, and if you want to get an idea of the size of your users and the amount of success you have, you need to closely measure and monitor the DAU.
  • Daily Active Users (DAU) is indicative of potential revenue: DAU, more than all other metrics, is indicative of how much revenue your company brings in. Even if conversion and retention rates are low, a high enough DAU could still net your business an increase in profits. This is how consequential it is.
  • Daily Active Users (DAU) helps you understand the health of your service: The DAU is a great metric to measure the health of your business. An upward trend in the DAU is usually very good news for the app and the company, and a downward trend could spell the end of your company, and you'd need to take immediate steps to rectify it. Apps and websites live and die by how many users actively engage with them, and you can't afford not to monitor the DAU.

How Do You Calculate DAU?

Since the DAU is such an important metric, great care needs to be taken to make sure the data you collect is accurate and meaningful. Thankfully, calculating monthly active users and daily active users is usually relatively straightforward, but there are key things you need to keep in mind.

  • Have a precise definition of active: What constitutes active, precisely? Is it enough for someone to fire up your app for 2 minutes to be counted as an active user? Does the user need to engage with any specific services to be counted as active? The answer to these questions will depend heavily on the type of website/app you are in charge of. More commercial apps might need a stricter definition of "active users" for the data to be meaningful. Ultimately, this is an important decision you need to make.
  • Segment and track users carefully: Segmenting and tracking users is highly important. You need to make sure you only count active users, otherwise, the data will be completely meaningless. Furthermore, by segmenting users and calculating DAU across channels and platforms, you get a much more accurate idea of how you're doing with specific areas, regions, and demographics. This could be vital information for the success of your app.

Tips on Increasing Daily Active Users (DAU)

Getting a high DAU is, in a way, the entire point of development and marketing, so "increasing" it isn't very simple, but there are absolutely easy and low-investment ways of measurably increasing daily active users and even monthly active users, and we'll go over some of them below.

#1 Push Notifications and In-app Messages

Push notifications, messages, and alerts help users remember your app exists. This is a key way to engage with users, and while going overboard and spamming your user base with notifications is an absolute no-go, a moderate amount of alters and notifications is a great, low-cost way to boost DAU.

#2 Give Users an Incentive to Engage Daily

What incentives does a user have to engage with your app daily? This is a key question that should inform the development of your app/website and its service delivery. To get unique users to consistently show up and engage with your app, you need to offer something meaningful in return.

Whether this is exclusive promotions, in-app credit, or another boon, it will depend on your industry, and you can get very creative with it. As long as it helps convert a user to an active user, there are no wrong answers.

#3 Create a Funnel

Each day, there are millions of things vying for a person's attention, and without constant reminders, a user might quickly forget about your app. To increase daily active users, it is important to create an ecosystem and funnels to get people to continuously use your services. Whether these are online forums, blogs, articles, ads, or other marketing ploys, the options are limitless.

- Releasecat Team

Releasecat Team


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