Introducing Lifetime Value Reporting in Google Analytics
Google recently added a new report to the Audiences section of Google Analytics: Lifetime Value (beta).
This welcome addition will help advertisers to better-understand the value of users as measured by revenue and engagement metrics, across multiple sessions during the 90 days following a user acquisition.
Choose from a range of metrics to see lifetime value per user for the metric over a period of 90 days, in increments of days, weeks or months.
Available lifetime value metrics are:
- Goal Completions Per User (LTV)
- Page Views per User (LTV)
- Session Duration Per User (LTV)
- Sessions Per User (LTV)
The following are also available for accounts with ecommerce tracking enabled:
- Revenue Per User (LTV)
- Transactions Per User (LTV)
How Can the Lifetime Value Report be used in the Planning of Online Advertising Campaigns?
With this information, it is possible to compare lifetime value across channels and campaigns to inform a potential re-focussing of marketing budget according to lifetime performance.
In addition, where lifetime value metrics start to level off, advertisers may wish to reengage with users at that stage to boost performance.
In the example below for one of our clients, following a levelling of ‘Revenue Per User (LTV)’ towards the end of month one, users were targeted with a special offer incentive via remarketing ads on day 32. This had the effect of generating incremental sales which served to boost lifetime revenue per user:
Thirdly, this new report can be used to understand the lifetime value of users that were acquired during key events such as Black Friday or Christmas. If users that are acquired on Black Friday tend to have a higher lifetime value than the average user, it may be wise to consider investing additional budget to acquire more Black Friday users during subsequent years.
How does Google Calculate Lifetime Value Metrics?
We wondered the same thing!
Lifetime value is calculated using the cumulative sum of the metric value divided by the total number of users acquired during the acquisition date range. For example, if you acquired 100 users during the acquisition date range, then Sessions Per User is calculated as follows:
Sounds Great – Any Drawbacks?
Whilst the report is a great first step towards providing advertisers with the tools required to be able to fully understand customer lifetime value, it does present the following limitations:
- Data is only available from 1st March 2017 onwards
- Lifetime value is currently limited to a 90-day period
- The report does not account for cross-device or cross-browser behaviour (as users are defined by cookies)
Regardless, this new report has definitely got us talking! We look forward to seeing how it evolves with time as more data becomes available for analysis.