Daily Active User (DAU) | Definition
Daily active users (DAU) is a metric used in marketing to measure the number of unique users who engage with a product or service, such as a mobile app or website, within a 24-hour-period. This metric is typically used to measure the growth and success of a product or service and to identify opportunities for improvement.
Why is DAU important?
DAU is important because it shows how many users are engaging with an app or website. Measuring daily active users can help determine:
- User retention: DAU can measure how well a website or app is retaining users. When there are more users utilizing a product over a given time period, they are finding value in it while a decreasing number of users can indicate loss of interest in the product.
- Trends and patterns: Once DAU has been measured over a period of time, marketers can start to see trends or patterns in their user’s behavior which can be used to make improvements to certain products or identify growth opportunities.
- Campaign effectiveness: Marketers can use DAU to determine how effective a campaign was. If a campaign leads to an increase in DAU, it can suggest that the campaign was successful, to a degree.
While it’s a simple metric to calculate, measuring DAU is important in marketing because it helps marketers understand user engagement.
How to calculate DAU
DAU can be calculated by counting the number of unique users who perform a certain action (eg, logging in, viewing a product, or interacting with other users) on a daily basis. Start by:
- Determine what user action is considered “active” for an app or website. “Active” users can be users who post, comment or like content, or it could be anyone who is on a website for a defined period of time. Knowing what is considered an active user is critical in gaining an accurate understanding of DAU.
- Collect user engagement data through analytics or measurement tools.
- Count the unique users that qualify as “active”. Some tools will show the total DAU over a period of time as well as the unique DAU. Know that unique users are those who have visited the app or website at least once and are only counted once within the reporting time period.
- Analyze DAU numbers over time to identify trends and patterns.
Depending on the product or service and the tools used, calculating DAU can look different.
What is a good DAU count?
There is not a specific number that is considered good when measuring DAU. Every industry and platform will have different amounts of users over the course of any time period. According to one source, apps that have a DAU ratio over 20% are good and any with a DAU ratio over 50% are doing really well. When measuring DAU, look at the amount of active users over time. A steady increase indicates positive growth and effective marketing. Depending on the industry, DAU can decrease dramatically during certain times of the year and increase more at other times.
As a marketer, don’t rely on DAU as your sole metric for calculating campaign effectiveness and web or app success. DAU should be measured along with other metrics such as MAU and ROAS.
How to improve DAU
There are a number of effective ways to increase DAU. They include:
- Communication – One of the easiest ways to increase your daily active users is to communicate with them. Incorporate push notifications and/or alerts into your app to encourage users to go back into your app to complete a purchase or finish a game. Email communication can also be an effective way to improve DAU. Send out regular emails to your customers or potential customers with special in-app offers or discounts.
- Personalization – Users like to feel special. Try personalizing the in-app experience to specific audiences. Segment audiences based on geographic location, interests, age, gender, or behavior patterns. You can also use their name in push notification or email messaging. When users feel served content that aligns with their interest, they are more likely to continue their journey.
- Gamification – Gamification, the act of incorporating game elements into other app activities, can increase DAU because it rewards actions. By incorporating rewards into your app, you can motivate users to go back into the app to perform an action.
- Continuous improvement – With any product or service, continuous improvement is needed to keep users interested and engaged. Listen to your customers/users and find out what they like and don’t like. Work to make improvements to your app and communicate those updates to your users through email or social media.
There are many other ways to increase your DAU. When working to boost this metric, make sure to establish a goal and create a plan that allows you to accurately measure and analyze your app data, which will save you time and money.
DAU and Kochava
As a mobile measurement partner (MMP), Kochava can measure DAU, monthly active users (MAU), and many other app metrics across channels and platforms. Kochava calculates DAU by counting the number of unique devices that open the app. This data is then aggregated and reported in the Kochava dashboard.
Additionally, Kochava can provide insights into user behavior, such as session length and frequency, to help marketers understand how users engage with the app over time.