We’ve seen mobile adoption boom in 2021, registering significant growth across downloads, usage, and app store consumer spend. As of last year, over 435,000 apps were downloaded per minute, which not only indicates  consumers’ appetite for mobile but also of growing competition in the mobile space.

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one, which means app marketers must shift their focus from app installs to in-app behavior to promote engagement, customer lifetime value and user retention.

We partnered with Yodel Mobile— the leading app growth consultancy— to create a comprehensive report aimed at equipping app owners with the essential knowledge needed to combat mobile app churn in 2022. This article summarizes the main points of the report, but if you’re interested in more detailed advice, frameworks, and case studies that can help you reduce churn at every stage of the user lifecycle, download the full report here.

What is User Churn?

Churn rate is the number of users who stop using your app in a specified period of time. This app metric is usually measured at one day, seven days, and 30 days after users first download the app and informs app teams where exactly in the app user journey users start dropping off.

Churn and retention are opposite sides of the same coin. Every mobile app team should be looking to maximize user retention and minimize user churn. App marketers and developers alike should understand and regularly assess churn rate in order to identify and solve friction points in the app experience.

Calculating user churn and tracking it over time is critical to identifying core product and marketing issues and gives you an idea of how you can plug the hole of a leaky funnel. Here’s a simple formula you can use to calculate churn of your mobile app.  

Churn rate equation graphic

The math here is simple. For your app to grow, your number of retained users must exceed the number of users who churn.

What are the Top Strategies to Reduce Churn and Maximize User Retention?

Here are some steps you can start on to address a trend of increased churn.

1.   Examine Your Advertising

Your first step to reducing user churn should start at the top of the funnel when you’re raising awareness about your brand. Running A/B tests, optimizing your campaigns, and testing various audience targeting strategies can help you increase retention and effectively decrease user churn.

2.   Optimize Your App Store Listing

Many apps underestimate the importance of their app store listing, which is a powerful source of organic traffic and organic user acquisition. By providing clear and practical information about your app through metadata and screenshot optimisation, users will feel informed enough to fully maximise your app’s value. This will significantly decrease churn and, when combined with an optimised app UX, will compel your users to stick around.

3.  Strengthen Your Onboarding Process

To increase the chances that users get hooked on your app, you’ll want to make sure that your onboarding process is as streamlined as possible. To reduce churn, revisit your user onboarding process and assess whereimprovements can be made. An educational and easy-to-follow onboarding process is critical to creating a “stickier” user experience and driving more consistent engagement.

4.   Customize Your Users Messages

Leveraging mobile push notifications, in-app messages, and/or email can have a positive impact on your retention. These channels allow you to personalise your approach toward your users, generate personal connections and tailor your offering to their needs. The more relevant a message is to a specific user, the more likely that it will resonate and inspire action.

5.   Encourage Reviews from Users

At least 77 percent of users read at least one review before downloading a free app, so protecting your app from negative reviews and maximising the number of positive ones is essential for your app’s success. To convince your users to leave 5-star reviews, implement review prompts, consider Net Promoter Score Surveys, and divert unhappy users away from the app stores to an email or a separate messaging platform.

6.  Take a Look at the Analytics

After you know how your users behave within your app, you can segment them for re-engagement outreach campaigns and make improvements to your app. Your messaging analytics can also help you understand what types of communication are effective and identify points of churn in your user journey.

The Bottom Line

Measuring, tracking, and managing user churn rate can help you attract the right users, increase their interactions with your brand and inform your messaging strategy to strengthen and scale your cross-channel campaigns. By paying attention to each stage of the user lifecycle, you’ll be able to lead the way to improved engagement, user experience, and retention, which all work together to reduce churn.

Learn more strategies on how you can reduce mobile app churn by downloading the Report: Combating Mobile App Churn in 2022 here.

This post was guest authored by Agata Baran, Marketing Manager at Yodel Mobile.

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