One of the essential goals that a mobile app business may pursue is to increase daily active users. DAU is a helpful metric that acts as a pulse check and gives insight into how valuable your product is to the user. Furthermore, a steadily growing number of DAU translates to a potential revenue increase.
In this blog post, we’ll answer your main questions on DAU and equip you with helpful insights gained from the recent benchmark study covering multiple industries and two OS. You’ll also learn the tried-and-tested tips that have worked for Pushwoosh customers.
How to increase DAU:
All about DAU: An app marketer’s FAQ
What is DAU (Daily Active Users)?
DAU is a crucial metric for apps, used to measure the total number of unique app users daily. In other words, it’s a vital indicator that shows a trend in your app’s health.
Pay attention: DAU only shows you the number of active users. It doesn’t provide a breakdown by new and recurring app visitors, nor does it give you reasons for an increase or drop in the number.
How to measure DAU
Since DAU is the total number of daily active users on a given day, the formula is very simple:
Immediately, you can see the flaw of the metric: it doesn't take into account if a user that opens the app daily actually takes any meaningful engagement action. It could be more illustrative to track the number of users that have completed the specific task the app was built for. For example, in a photo editing app, that would be making some adjustments to a photo and sharing it on social media. But DAU is a more simple and universal metric, so it doesn't get into such detail.
Why is DAU important for apps?
Some feel that metrics like DAU and MAU are vanity metrics, as they’re just reduced to numbers. However, this is far from the truth. DAU shows your user engagement and gives you valuable insight into how you can improve your product.
Measuring daily active users is a product health check you use to make informed decisions on what direction to take to increase user engagement.
What metric should you track besides DAU?
While DAU is an important customer engagement metric, it should not be used in isolation. DAU makes part of the Stickiness Rate calculation formula and, thus, is vital in app analytics. To measure your Stickiness Rate, you divide your number of daily active users by the number of monthly active users and multiply the result by 100%.
Stickiness Rate is a valuable metric that tells you more than DAU and MAU, taken separately. Rather than having new customers visiting and leaving your app every day, you want to have the same users opening your app regularly, and Stickiness Rate shows you the percentage of such users.
Nevertheless, there are app categories that should track DAU as a standalone metric. For apps that serve daily activities like streaming, training, messaging, and traffic checks, DAU is highly relevant on its own.
DAU benchmarks 
Different apps will have different DAU based on several factors, including the specific industry the app belongs to. Based on the recent research by Pushwoosh, the industries with the highest DAU include banking, news, and transportation with a median DAU of above 5% for iOS and Android.
The industries with the lowest DAU, on the other hand, include games and lifestyle apps, the least standing at 0.43% median for iOS and 1.05% for Android.
It’s important to note that there was a significant difference between DAU for some categories of Android and iOS apps. For example, the median percentage for the education industry was 5.77 for iOS, while on Android, the same industry has a median of 2.15. Similarly, news apps stood at 5.65% for iOS and 7.35% for Android.
3 Universal tips to increase DAU
Any effective communication campaign ultimately impacts your DAU and MAU, which is where Pushwoosh comes in. The platform enables omnichannel messaging with the use of push notifications, in-app messages, emails, SMS, and WhatsApp messages. Through these channels, you can reach out to your users and improve their engagement and experience in your app (or your website if you have one). In other words, if you're looking for tools to grow your DAU, Pushwoosh will be of great help.
Now let's check out several strategies and tactics you can apply to make an effective campaign for your DAU growth.
Use out-of-app communication channels
In-app communication is undoubtedly vital in customer engagement, but it is not enough to keep a good part of users active daily. With tons of other apps competing for their attention, how is yours going to stay at the top of your audience's minds?
Push notifications are a great way to remind your customers of the value they get from your app. In addition, emails, text messages, SMS, and even WhatsApp messages can be used to reach out to users who haven’t opened the app in a while.
These messages include abandoned cart alerts, incomplete action messages, and even inactivity notifications presenting new features, discounts, and even freebies to woo users and attract them back to the app. Remember to use the channels within an omnichannel strategy as it is a proven way to increase app engagement.
Provide personalized in-app experiences
Personalize any message you send to your customers. You can use demographics, geo locations, behavioral patterns, and consumption trends to create personalized experiences for your customers using Pushwoosh.
Just the simple act of including a customer’s name in a brand message helps create a connection, so imagine how much more you can accomplish when personalization is built into your app. For example, you can get shoppers back to your e-commerce app with relevant product recommendations, gently remind your customers of an appointment they may want to schedule at your place or entertain them at the right moments — just when another gamer has challenged them!
Personalization makes customers feel special and valued, making it easier for your app to build into your users' daily habits.
Optimize your customer journey
Set a goal to be proactive rather than reactive in your customer communications. It's more effective to anticipate churn when users are beginning to show less interest in your app rather than try to win them back when they are lost.
Empathize with your audience to understand each individual's end goal so you can optimize their experience in your app. When customers receive timely support and relevant communications, they are more likely to stay active in the app.
9 Examples of how to improve DAU in your specific industry
The tips discussed above can boost DAU for apps in any industry. Now, let's dive a little deeper into specific tips designed to improve DAU in specific types of apps.
- Daily bonus
Scheduled push notifications with daily offers and other incentives improve DAU for mobile gaming apps. Repeat push notifications with a custom-set frequency, which appear on the user’s screen even when the app is not launched, are great for re-engagement.
Bladestorm, for instance, has used broadcast recurring push notifications to propose a new bonus to gamers every weekday. This is how the game publisher managed to increase both DAU and MAU, and we're proud to say that their success was made possible with Pushwoosh!
- Automated broadcast promo
Promotional push notifications like “Claim your free reward” help to increase both DAU and MAU too.
Beach Bum, another Pushwoosh success story, achieved 3x DAU growth using automated messaging. With automated push notifications, Beach Bum has significantly increased its in-app purchases and customer engagement.
- In-app rewards
Rewards are also highly effective for mobile gaming apps. The rewards can take the form of in-app messages to thank the users for being active in the app. Stickers and bonus points are also highly motivating.
Apps that use gamification techniques can also use rewards to keep users motivated. For example, Duolingo gives congratulatory stickers to users for milestones in their streaks.
- Behavior-based messaging
Event-triggered push notifications like “You’ve got maximum energy — use it now!” sent with Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder can also be used to drive DAU based on real-time user behavior.
You can also mix it up, trying new things like event-triggered in-app messages with new app features, events, items, or challenges. These can be sent to unsteadily engaged users, motivating them to open the app more regularly.
Media streaming apps
- New content alert
Push notifications can be sent to users based on their preferences. Triggered events like content viewed or added to “watch later” can also be used to customize push notifications for maximum engagement. For example, “a new episode of your favorite series premieres tonight!”
- "You may also like…"
Based on user preferences, you can suggest more content to watch. Create a message like “[insert name of movie/TV show] fans also like [name of another movie/TV show]. Check it out!” and target it at the watchers of the named piece.
- "Go on watching"
These are push notifications in response to the non-finishing of a movie, episode, or series. The message can be something like “Find out how [movie/series name] ends” and you’ll send it to the segment of users who have started but haven’t finished the mentioned piece.
While DAU is not the top-priority metric for banking apps, it’s still important to keep users engaged so you have an easier time promoting relevant offers to them.
- "Check your expenses"
You can send push notifications to alert users of the amount they’ve spent in a given period. Invite them to check the full statistics of their expenses on the app. After they’ve seen the stats, you can suggest a relevant product, like a credit or a cashback option for their favorite categories. Highly personalized offers like these are the most effective.
- Useful educational content
You can also share valuable information like finance tips and recommendations from the bank’s blog. Updates on the bank products or news from partners should also be shared with users regularly.
These messages can also be highly personalized. For example, if a user has used the app to make a bill payment, you can send them a push like “How to save on utility bills.” If they visited the investment section of the app, a notification with “Tips for investors” would be appropriate and timely.
Besides push notifications, you can use emails to deliver educational content, like Payit, a Pushwoosh customer, does:
Grow your DAU with Pushwoosh
Start the journey toward increasing your daily active users with Pushwoosh. Our platform is designed to help you engage your customers at every stage of their lifecycle. With automated messaging and scheduled communication campaigns, you have all the tools at your disposal to reach your goals.
Join the 80,000+ companies from various industries using Pushwoosh’s tech-easy solutions for their omnichannel customer engagement needs. For any inquiries, get in touch with our team. Request a demo today, and we’ll help you create a map toward improving your DAU.