Churn Rate Defined

Churn rate is the percentage of users your product or app loses within a given time frame. Mobile app churn rate is typically measured at either one, seven, or 30 days after installation and is an essential metric for measuring user satisfaction at different points in an app’s lifecycle.

While a certain level of churn is expected for every business, mobile app teams should be doing everything in their power to keep their churn rate as low as possible. Simply put, if your app is to see any sustained growth, you must keep your user retention higher than your user churn.

How to Use it in a Sentence

With the rise of subscription-based businesses, app developers and marketers need to identify when and why their user churn rate is on the rise.

Common Churn Rate FAQs

Retention rates for mobile apps vary by vertical. As of 2022, day-30 retention rates ranged from 2.4% (in the gaming category) to 11.3% (in the news category).

A high churn rate indicates users are abandoning your app! The lower your churn rate, the more users you retain.

Churn rate is expressed as a percentage. You can calculate churn rate by taking the total number of lost users over a given time period divided by the number of users you started with at the beginning of that time period and multiplying by 100. Written as a formula, that looks like:

# of lost users at the end of the time period/# of users at the beginning of the time period X 100 = % Churn Rate

For example, let’s say you want to calculate your churn rate over a 10-day period. You have 20 users on day one and 12 users on day 10. By subtracting 12 from 20, you’ll find that you lost eight users over the 10-day period.

8/20 x 100 = 40% churn rate

Tracking your business’s churn rate is critical to understanding the efficacy of your marketing efforts as well as gauging overall user satisfaction. Keeping track of your user churn rate over time can also help you forecast revenue and identify friction points in your user journey, as losing users typically means losing revenue. For example, if you notice a higher churn rate in the third week after a user downloads your app than in the first two weeks, this could indicate that you need to do more to engage and educate users or address UX barriers in that stage.

If you spend all your time trying to stay ahead of your user churn, your app is essentially treading water, making it extremely difficult to grow revenue.

There are several contributing factors that can lead to soaring churn rates, including a frustrating user experience, overly aggressive marketing strategies, or too much focus on acquisition and not enough focus on user retention strategies.

The following factors can all contribute to high churn rates:

  • A poor UX

  • Product bugs

  • Poor user education

  • Poor customer service

  • Low perceived value/satisfaction

  • Product is too expensive

  • Rising competition

Your brand or app is attracting the wrong customers