User Retention Glossary

August 7, 2019

User retention is a metric that measures how well you can keep users from uninstalling. Since mobile apps lose 77% of its Daily Active Users (DAUs) within the first 3 days, this metric is critical to gauge how well (and how long) your app can survive.

User Retention

What is User Retention?

To define it more clearly: user retention (or mobile app retention) is essentially about getting users to keep coming back to your app.

And the only way to do this is to engage them. To connect with them and get them to respond by using the app: reading, clicking, buying, upgrading, sharing, and much more.

Engagement means sending emails, push notifications, in-app notifications, and web notifications. It means enticing users with offers, discounts, and promotions. It means communicating with them and personalizing your communication so that users want to receive what you send.

App Retention: Why It’s Crucial to Your Survival

All mobile apps are leaky buckets. And by that we mean, they are losing users faster than these can be acquired. The average app loses 77% of its Daily Active Users (DAUs) within the first 3 days. Within 30 days, it’s lost 90% of its DAUs. And by 90 days, that number jumps to over 95%.

App retention is a strategy to keep users from uninstalling.

The benefits are astounding!

  • A 10% increase in user retention can increase the value of a business by more than 30%.01
  • When app retention is given proper importance, you decrease your churn rate for the long term. This means you need fewer new users to grow your user base.
  • When you focus on user retention, you get your diehard customers to spend more. Which also means you increase revenue over time. For example in ecommerce, the average repeat customer spends 67% more in months 31-36 of their shopping relationship than in months 0-6.02

Customer Retention Strategy: Ideas and Examples

The challenge in retaining users is to engage them consistently – to reach out with personalized push notifications, emails, and omnichannel campaigns that invite them back into your app. The more they use your app, the better your chances at retaining them as a customer and the better the customer lifetime value (CLTV) of that user is.

Your customer retention strategy should contain tactics to engage users at various stages during the customer lifecycle.

Onboarding Strategies

  • Welcome users with an in-app message + email
  • Deliver value to get them to opt in
  • Engage users within the first week
  • Ensure you have top-notch customer service

Nurturing Strategies

  • Identify power users
  • Use segmentation to personalize messages to power users and at-risk users
  • Send push notifications to engage users
  • Use deep links to get users back into specific app screens

Attrition Strategies

  • Automate a win-back campaign for inactive users
  • Ask for feedback from users who uninstalled

For a more detailed explanation of each tactic, download our User Retention Pocket Guide.

Related Terms

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