Tag Archives: trail-navigator

Business Update – low retention, growing traffic

Here’s a quick update on how it’s all coming along.

Key Metrics

As a reminder, acquisitions is the number of people that installed the app. Activation count is how many of those people opened a walk in the app on the same day. Retention is the number of users that opened a walk in the app in 1 week or later.

Retention rate is still low – around 13%. I think I need to figure out how to make my app more “sticky”. Do you have any ideas?

Premium Subscribers

?This chart shows how many people started a free trial premium subscription, week by week.

In the end of November I changed the app to let people see their current location on the map without premium subscription. My idea was that more people would use the app regularly and more people would subscribe to premium. Then, for 7 weeks starting from February there was just one new trial subscriber. That’s when I freaked out and reverted the change.

Web Traffic

?The number of visitors to the Trail Navigator Victoria website is growing.

Orange columns are the number of visitors from Australia, week by week. For each week, the chart also shows how many of those visitors installed the app.

The majority of traffic is coming from Google search. Here are the top search queries for the past 28 days:

dandenong ranges loop35
yellow gum circuit26
red bluff lookout13
yellow gum circuit track13
canyon walk bright10
mount beauty gorge walk10
mount difficult8
chute road and mount macedon circuit8
gold heritage walk7
camels hump and sanatorium lake7

My goal is to increase the number of visitors and the install ratio. At the moment, about 6% of people who visit the Trail Navigator website install the app.


Business update – premium subscribers and SEO

Here’s an update on how my business is doing.

Key Metrics

On average, 150 people install the Trail Navigator Victoria app per week. Most installs are from Facebook and Google ads. Activation means that a person selected a walk after installing the app. Retention is the count of people that selected a walk in 1 week or later.

Premium Subscriptions

I also gathered subscription data from Google Play and Apple App Store. This chart shows how many people started trial premium subscriptions, week by week. It also shows how many people cancelled their premium subscription:

Trail Navigator Victoria has 24 premium subscribers at the moment.

The app started getting reviews on Google Play Store. Here’s a recent one:

1.5x the price of Trailforks but less functionality. If Trailforks didn’t exist, I’d be all over this, it’s really not bad.

I asked that user which functionality he missed from the Trail Navigator Victoria app but unfortunately he did not respond.

I put my efforts into Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I added national parks pages to the Trail Navigator Victoria website, for example Wilsons Promontory National Park. I also added pages for Melbourne suburbs and towns in Victoria. Each page has a list of walks in nature nearby, for example Ballarat Central. Traffic from Google is slowly growing:

I also hire writers for the Trail Navigator blog. Here’s a recent blog post by Sarah Thompson: Tower Hill Nature Reserve

Thanks for reading!

Tracking key metrics in Trail Navigator Victoria app

I finally got around to track activation and retention for my Trail Navigator app. I was tracking acquisitions only before (number of people that installed the app).

I decided to define activation as someone opening a walk on the same day as he installs the app. Retention is the number of users that opened a walk in the app in 1 week or later.

Each group of columns represents a weekly cohort of users. For example in the week starting 30 January 150 people opened the app for the first time. Among those people 105 opened a walk on the same day (activations). 17 out of those  people came back to the app in a week or more and opened a walk.

As you can see the retention rate is quite low. I’m not sure what to do about it yet. I made viewing the current location on the map (blue dot) and getting directions to the starting point (using Google Maps) premium features recently (end of January 2023). Perhaps people don’t see enough value in free features? I’m going to show my app to people that like walks in nature and ask.

Premium subscription is $4.99 per month or $44.99 per year with 1-week free trial. Right now I have 12 premium subscribers.

New App – Trail Navigator Victoria

I’m working on a new mobile app now – Trail Navigator Victoria. It helps people that love walking in nature to explore the best walks in Victoria, Australia.

This is how the idea for the app was born: we would go for a walk with our children. We would often miss a turn or take a wrong turn and would have to go back. Also, kids would ask me all the time ‘How much further?’ and I didn’t have the answer.

Initially I wanted the app to help to create a route and then follow it but after talking to some potential clients I noticed that people are interested in good, pre-defined routes. So I created an app that shows a map of Victoria with walks as pins on the map:

I released the app in November 2021.

I’m getting about 150 downloads per week:

I’m running ads on Facebook and Google to get those installs.

The app is free but it has an optional paid premium subscription. It allows you to:

  • Use the app offline
  • Get an alert if you stray away from the route for more than 100 meters
  • Get rid of ads

At the moment I have 6 premium subscribers. The ads brought just $3 for December.

My goal is to bring the revenue from the app to at least $100 per month by the end of 2023.

You can get the app from Trail Navigator Victoria website.