Activation to Subscriber (AtS) ratio is the percentage of people who subscribe to your app compared to the ones who have acted on your app paywall.
AtS is only relevant when the app proposes Introductory Offers (please see our ItS article for more about Introductory Offers). If this is not the case, ItA values will be the same as ItS (Install to Subscription) values. However, Introductory Offers are a great tool to improve ItS ratios and we warmly recommend them.
A Brief Note on Introductory Offers:
It is fairly difficult to get users who installed your app to subscribe (the ratio is usually in single digits) and this is why Apple offers the possibility to onboard your users via Introductory Offers. These offers enable the user to see and experience your app with its full features either for free or a discounted price. Using Introductory Offers usually increases your ItS ratio but creates this second step that needs to be monitored which involves users that started an introductory period to become fully paying “real” subscribers.
With the usage of Introductory Offers, and based on how you combine them with “Direct Subscription Offers”, an action on your paywall can represent either a direct subscription or an introductory offer which might become a subscription or not. The AtS ratio is calculated by dividing the total number of subscribers by the total number of actions taken (or activations) on your paywall. Here, your subscribers will be composed of both direct and indirect ones (that pass through introductory offers) by definition.
A low AtS means that even though users were interested with your app and were willing to take the time to try it out, they were not convinced enough to pay up when the Introductory Offer came to an end. It can also show that the app doesn’t address a recurrent need for the user and the usage during the Introductory Offer was simply enough.
To improve a low AtS, one of the most obvious actions to take is to review your pricing strategy. Reviewing the price points of the competition, switching package types (weekly, monthly etc) can all yield great results but pricing is too important to summarize in an article dedicated to another subject, so please click to learn more about pricing strategies.
Another course of action would be to review your app description and other onboarding pages to review how well your promise matches what you deliver. A mismatch between what you say you do in the app and what you deliver can lead to very low AtS values or even Refund requests, which if too many can even get your app removed from the AppStore. Please note that a bad UI/UX can lead your users to misunderstand your features and lead to the same result.
Please click to learn more about handling customer expectations and improving UX/UI.