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Home Blog App Marketing Mobile App Retention Strategies For 2021

Mobile App Retention Strategies For 2021

Feb 22 2021

app retention rate

In the process of product operation, there is an important data indicator -- user retention rate. Improving user retention is a problem that every product needs to solve, whether it is the control of user quality in channel pulling new users or the promotion of users in the later stage, all need operators to analyze data, understand users, and implement operational solutions to improve user retention in combination with their app business scenarios.

You can develop an effective app install campaign that will help you attract new users and increase installs, but that doesn't mean you should stop there. 71% of app users churn within the first 90 days of downloading an app, so you're under pressure to retain them. To help you minimize churn, we've put together some tips for retaining and interacting with users after installation. Make the user lead process easier and more efficient.

What is a good retention rate?

The definition of good app retention depends on the app's industry, user base, business model, and the definition of retention. For some applications, retention is related to regular subscriptions. For other applications, retention is about one-time visits or purchases. Product teams should benchmark their retention rates against similar companies in their industry.

In business, a lot of daily grinds are needed to retain customers and mobile apps aren't different. Undoubtedly, the number of installs signal that an app is popular amongst users, however, it doesn't tell the whole story. The real success of an application is defined by the number of users who keep coming back to your app to perform an action for which the app is designed.

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Why app retention rate is the key business metric for business growth?

There are many of factors that affect app retention, but for most companies, it comes down to whether users find value in the product. Does it make their lives easier? Does it provide a utility they cannot live without? Is the app so engaging  they can't put it down? To improve retention, product teams must try to understand where users find value in their product and deliver more of those experiences. Consumer apps face typically suffer from high user loss, known as customer churn, because consumers have so many alternatives. Unlike with B2B apps, where users are typically locked-in for a subscription period, consumer app users can churn with little provocation. Successful companies combat churn by tracking metrics and analyzing customer research.

Why do me need analyze app retention rate?

It is a good way to analyze the retention rate of an app, and it also allows the software operation team to have a detailed understanding of the entire app. what are the methods of app retention rate analysis? To make users remember and love your app is the ultimate goal of every software developer to develop app. In fact, after relevant data research, it can be found that users have a cyclical cycle for a new app experience and will have a process of experience. If the users still exist after this process, then these users will not be easily lost and will become the most valuable customer group of the whole mobile software in the future. Therefore, the A/B cloud service platform built by Yell Technology can be used to compare the difference between the two by changing one condition in the form of data analysis to conclude whether app optimization should be in the direction of A or B.

What are the methods of app retention rate analysis?

What are the methods of app retention rate analysis? The first one is to do a good job of community operation of the software. In fact, many cell phone software will now establish a special product integration end alone, which is often referred to as the community. In these communities often gather a group of users with the same hobbies, these users communicate with each other often more able to let users stay. The reason is actually very simple, in this community once a person has a fixed friend, these friends in the same area to communicate also formed a fixed relationship. Some software also regularly hold offline or online communication activities, which can make the connection between users and the app even closer. In addition, some communities can also bring valuable information to users, which is very attractive to users.

What are the methods of app retention rate analysis? Making good use of the app's message pushing function is also a secret weapon for careful retention rate analysis. Many people hate the advertising push of some software, but a reasonable and appropriate software push can largely improve the user's activity, thus also improve the retention rate of the whole software. People are actually a kind of animal with memory, if you have not been in contact with a software for a long time, there will often be a sense of rust. What is the way to analyze the retention rate of the app? Push messages can make users remember that they have such a software again. Of course, when pushing messages, you should pay attention to the frequency and the intensity of advertising. Too frequent pushes can be a nuisance to the user's daily life and may cause them to delete the software.

The Three Phases of User Retention


Before moving ahead with the three phases of user retention, you need to know the meaning of the term "cohort". It sounds like a typical Physics term, however, here it is just a fancy word for a group of people who have something in common like your app.


Cohorts are defined into two categories -- Acquisition Cohorts and Behavioral Cohorts. Acquisition Cohorts track the users who installed the app on the same day or through the same marketing channel. On the other hand, Behavioral Cohorts track users based on the specific action taken like purchased products.

Now, you must be thinking about how the cohort relates to customer acquisition. With Cohort analysis you can easily compare how different user groups behave overtime during onboarding, registration, purchasing, and uninstalling. The best way to improve user retention is to work on techniques that stabilize the user retention curve as fast as possible. And how would you do that? By optimizing your techniques for the three distinct phases of user retention- the onboarding phase, the nurture phase, and the attrition phase differently.


  • The Onboarding Phase

This is the most crucial phase for customer retention. If you fail in retention during the Onboarding Phase, then you can hardly do anything in the next stages to make up for it.
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This is the phase in which users interact with your app and your brand for the first time. And, as it is said, the first impression is the last impression, failing at this stage can make you lose customers forever.
To make sure that you pass this phase without any hurdle, your app should offer an amazing user interface and user experience, must be equipped with unique features and the app must be able to solve the intended purpose.


  • The Nurture Stage

The second phase, namely The Nurture Stage is mainly dependent on user habits. Help users create new habits around the app, remind them about the abandoned carts, the fitness schedule, or the newly released song through push notifications. Push notifications are less intrusive than other forms of user engagement, which effectively aids in customer retention.


  • The Attrition Stage

The first two phases, namely The Onboarding Stage and The Nurture Stage are utterly dependent on behavioral psychology. However, The Attrition Stage is more about building a great product and improving it continuously.
Constant software updates, checking the app for bugs, enhancing the UI and updating the features according to users' demands and feedback are some of the things that are equally needed to keep customers coming back.

How to grow your mobile app retention?


Focus on user experience

Although the performance of many brands of cell phones is now improving, but the app still has to do a good job of performance optimization, to avoid the app flashback, memory, slow running and other light problems, now the user is capricious, and the homogenization phenomenon is serious, app replacement is very high. To sum up, it is to make the user comfortable to use.

A good user experience is an important measure of the quality of an app. Getting it right requires a considerable amount of effort, but it's all worth it. Your app will impress your users so much that they will come back for more when they need it.


Good user guidance

It is important to guide new users to use, especially for games, shopping, finance and financial app, the use operation is tedious, so you need user guidance to help users to use your app fluently.

Try to make the app as simple and intuitive as possible, and try to make it so that you don't need a tutorial to use it. It may be that the user is having trouble using the app or it's not working the way he wants it to, and if a feature of the app is costing the user a lot of time, then he may not come back to it. So it's important to find out what the problem is and try to fix it.

Simplify the login and account creation process as much as possible by reducing the number of steps users need to take to create an account or get started.

Highlight and explain key features to users at sign-up, which is particularly applicable to complex apps. guide users through guides that explain how to use the features in the app through visuals, but don't throw out too much information at once. Introduce only the most important features at the beginning, and then gradually introduce these additional features after the user moves on to other features of the app.

Also, make sure that users can understand the value of your product through the user orientation process. Present your value proposition during the registration process to remind users why they have installed the app and the benefits it can bring to them.

Don't forget to A/B test

A good user experience is often found in the details. If you don't know how to improve your user experience, A/B testing is a good way to do it. When you receive feedback, you'll know how to do it right.

If you create user engagement and retention campaigns, but don't test and measure their effectiveness, you're doing it wrong. Testing is critical for you to find effective ways to stay engaged with your users. While you can test many different variables, test one variable at a time to help you determine which variable is having a positive impact on marketing performance.

How to conduct A/B testing?

  • Identify the main goal to focus on based on your campaign, for example, increasing 7-day user retention.
  • Come up with some A/B testing ideas for that metric, and then make a hypothesis for how the release will meet your goals.
  • Use A/B testing software to create variants in the features to be changed.
  • Run the experiment. Make sure to run it long enough to ensure a sufficient number of test audiences.
  • After the experiment is complete, analyze the results.


Provide significant updates

Our survey found that 91% of users reported that they would use the app again if they saw improvements in it. This means that even if users give up on the app for the first time, there is still hope that they will use it again.

Make sure you respond to customer reviews in the app Store in a timely manner. Reassure users that your team is working on bugs and empathizing with their poor experience. Also give a personalized response - address customers by their first name and quote them directly about the issue they mentioned. Responding to customer complaints shows that you value customer feedback and gives users a reason to continue using your app rather than uninstalling it. But don't stop there, you should also respond to satisfied customers to thank them for their support.

Seek feedback as well. When customers use your app, ask them to rate it or leave a review on the app Store. You can prompt users to give feedback by popping up banner ads or inserts during app use, just make sure they pop up at the right time, not when the user is completing a task.

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