Install to Subscriber (ItS)

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Install to Subscriber (ItS) ratio is the percentage of people who subscribe to your app compared to the ones who installed it.

ItS is one of the major metrics we follow to spot the pain points in your app and is critical to improve your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

Downloads, Redownloads & First-Time Downloads:

It is very critical to have the right metrics to base your decisions on and download numbers present a challenge in that regard. In the App world, users can download the same app several times. This can happen in several ways but there are two major instances where this occurs. 

  • The user specifically downloads the same app several times, on one or several devices
  • The user has automatic downloads activated on all devices and therefore all apps are downloaded automatically to different devices.

In both cases, each separate download counts as one. Knowing that a user shares any subscription across devices, this case can skew your ItS numbers. This is where  First-Time Downloads come into play: this number counts all the downloads of a unique user as one even if (s)he downloads several times and/or to several devices. For all ratio calculations this is the number to take into account and our Install numbers represent First-Time Downloads.

Please also note that all Install / Download figures that you will get from your marketing channels such as Google, Facebook etc will be total downloads.

There are several hurdles to go from “Installed” to “Subscribed”. Even a longer than usual launch time in an app could result in some users leaving it, and knowing that nearly 1 user in 4 abandons an app after just one launch, it is fairly safe to say that every single detail counts to keep your ItS rates high.

A low ItS is a problem that needs to be tackled but can be created by a variety of root causes from issues on your onboarding screens & paywalls, your price points or even the app and the experience it offers.

To simplify things, we at Madduck Insights, break down ItS to two major sub-steps: 

  • the first step involves having the user navigate to your paywall and subscribe to one of your offers: we call this Install to Activation ratio (ItA). 
  • the second one, which can be optional based on your package types (more on that later), involves the users that signed up for an introductory period to become “real” subscribers: we call this Activation to Subscriber ratio (AtS). 

ItA & AtS are therefore defined as the two main root causes of any ItS problem.

Please click to learn more about ItA, AtS and how to improve 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. 

Along with CPI (Cost per Install), ItS is one of the two main components of your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). It is a very good place to start digging to decrease your costs. We use ItS actively to determine potential issues; you can use ItS as a filter to see your insights.