On 10/21/19, Tithe.ly launched version 2.0 of our app analytics, giving churches the ability to measure and optimize engagement in a church app unlike ever before on any church app platform. Below is an overview of how these metrics can be used.
Measuring growth is nothing new in the church space. While the metric used for progress may be different from church to church (and from year to year), there is no denying that measurement is important for making sure you’re going in the right direction, and for figuring out how to better optimize what you do.
At Tithe.ly, we have always offered the ability to view basic metrics within your church app, but we’ve wanted to offer more. Most church apps offer basic details like sessions and user counts, but we know that churches can use much more information. This is because every church has its own culture, and because of that, every church will use their app differently.
Over the last year, our development team has been cooking up a brand new analytics platform that we believe can help you better understand how your church app is being used. We hope that with this information, you can determine what your church engages with, what needs to be promoted, and what areas might need to be trimmed to shape your app into the perfect tool for your church.
Let’s dive into what makes this new analytics platform so special …
1. Overall App Usage: A Basic Snapshot
A simple snapshot of app usage is the extent of what most platforms offer (and is all that the Tithe.ly Church Apps platform offered before our big version 2.0 update), but it is still important and it is a great way to get an overview of when people are viewing your app and how many are viewing it.
With our new analytics platform, we give the ability to view 3 different metrics when analyzing overall app usage:
- Sessions: This shows how many times the app has been opened by users.
- New Users: This number indicates how many new devices installed the app.
- Active Users: This number indicates how many “active” devices have used the app.
Of these metrics, we consider “Sessions” to be the most important, since “New Users” will eventually be nearly zero on a daily basis once everyone at your church has downloaded the app (since everyone will have the app and no one will be downloading it for the first time), and “Active Users” requires someone to use the app regularly (and many may only use the app once or twice a week). But “Sessions” will track every time the app has been used regardless of whether someone is a new user or is using the app daily.
Along with these 3 new metrics, we now also offer the ability to view metrics over different time frames. You can view them over the last 7, 30, 60, 90, or 365 days, and you can break the data down to show daily, weekly, or monthly usage.
By viewing these metrics with different time frames selected, you can get a good idea of when people are using your app throughout the week. Even better, you can see how app usage increases whenever you mention the app on a Sunday morning, on social media, or at an event.
2. Area Views: Where Are People Navigating
Now things start to get exciting! With our updated analytics, you can see how many times any individual section of your app has been viewed. You can view this data over the same time frames that are available within the basic app usage (7, 30, 60, 90, or 365 days).
Over time, this gives you an incredibly powerful way to see what sections of the app are drawing the attention of your users.. With this knowledge, you’ll know what sections are highly utilized (meaning that you need to make sure they remain prominent in the app), and what sections are unused (meaning that you may need to make them more obvious in the app, you may need to promote them more on Sundays and on social media, or you may just need to remove them).
At Tithe.ly, we believe that less is more when it comes to church apps. That doesn’t mean your church app should not have a LOT of amazing content, but it does mean that you need to be cautious about bloating your church app with content people will not need or want to regularly access. The “Area Views” data can help you see what content needs to be trimmed to make your app feel useful to everyone who is using it.
3. Post Views: What Content Are People Engaging With
“Area Views” gives you a better idea of how your church app is being used than any other church app platform can, but we didn’t stop there. We know that churches are often familiar with seeing analytics for how podcasts episodes are viewed, and we wanted to give the same experience across your entire church app.
When you are viewing the “Area Views,” many area names will start with an asterisk. The asterisk indicates that these areas contain individual posts, and if you select the blue bar above that area name, it will load out all of the posts for that area, showing how many times each post has been viewed.
This means that from within your Tithe.ly dashboard, you can now see how many times people have viewed individual:
- Audio sermons
- Sermon notes
- Prayer requests
- Blog posts
- Push notification messages
- Photo albums
Just like with “Area Views” and “Overall App Usage,” this information can be broken down to show usage across 7, 30, 60, 90, or 365 days. With these post metrics, you can ensure people are viewing the information that is important within the app, and if they are not, you can start pushing to promote it and see how that influences app usage from week to week.
Over to you
Our new analytics tool gives your church the ability to measure many different dimensions of app usage, and we can’t wait to see how it helps churches shape their apps into exactly what they need.
Keep in mind that if your app is not being used the way you were hoping, then you are a few simple steps away from WATCHING that change happen. By simply mentioning the app on Sunday morning on a weekly basis, you can easily create momentum that you will see within the app from week to week. As you think through what relevant content you church can offer every single week (events calendar, sermon notes, prayer requests) and start pushing those items, you’ll be amazed at what 5 seconds of promotion can do every week!