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Tips For Reducing Your Mobile App Churn Rate

When it comes to measuring the success of your mobile app, there are many different ways you can go about it.

User acquisition, engagement, and retention are each important KPIs; but it’s also critical to know how many users are uninstalling your app, and at what point they do so.

This number is referred to as the “app churn rate.”

While it may not be a metric worth celebrating, churn is a reality of mobile app development. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of users uninstall an app about a day after it’s first installed.

Furthermore, within a week of the initial download, only 12% of users were still active. No matter how you look at it, that doesn’t leave you much time to grab and keep the attention of your users.

You’ve got to make sure your users understand the value of your app immediately. And the key to this is quickly analyzing when, where, and why users are leaving.

Nip Churn in the Bud

Before diving into tactics to help decrease uninstall rates, it’s important to consider these statistics:

  • 29% of users uninstall apps within minutes if they’re not useful to them.
  • 70% will uninstall an app that takes too long to load. What’s more, for 43% of users, more than three seconds constitutes “too long.”
  • 50.6% of users will uninstall an app that takes up too much room on their device.

Each of these statistics represents an important aspect of app development you’ve probably already considered, but they remain critical as you bring your product to market. There are no tips or tricks powerful enough to overcome a poor user experience.

Vital Metrics for Lowering App Churn Rates

When implementing any strategy to reduce your churn rate, there are two principle metrics to focus on:

  • Engagement rates: This refers to how active users are on a specific app. For example, highly engaged users interact with an app 11 or more times per month.
  • Retention rates: This refers to the percentage of users that come back to an app within the first three months of installation.

Five Tactics to Reduce your App Churn Rate

Simple, Clean, and Efficient Onboarding

The onboarding process is the first experience users have with your mobile app. Make sure it’s an easy and enjoyable process with these simple tips.

Get to the Point

Let your users fall in love with your product from the beginning. Remind them right away that your app helps solve a specific problem they have.

As you call attention to your features throughout the onboarding process, tie each to specific solutions instead of showing off how “cool” they are. The focus should always remain on what the app can do for users.

Make Registration Quick & Easy

It’s a common mistake to ask users for personal information and a plethora of permissions right away. Instead, ask only for what is immediately needed.

You can always ask for more once you’ve earned the trust of your users; putting up these kinds of roadblocks before they see the value of your solution is an obvious path to high churn rates.

Avoid Overwhelming New Users

The best onboarding practices utilize a careful balance between the information users need, and what can wait. If your app is in a well-established category, you might not need to provide a full tour.

In fact, unless your app is something completely new, it might be advantageous to use progressive onboarding, which lets them explore on their own and offers helpful prompts as needed.


In today’s digital world, users have come to expect a certain amount of personalization from the applications they use.

Luckily for mobile app developers, creating a personalized experience doesn’t actually require any personal or demographic information.

Indeed, a lot can be learned about users simply from how they interact with your app.

One example of this comes from shopping apps: once a user has explored or purchased a few items, they start to receive notifications about related products. This, of course, goes well beyond shopping.

Consider apps like Netflix, Spotify, and YouTube, all of which learn viewing behavior and offer new content based on those insights.

Think about how your app’s experience can be tailored to users based on the features they use most, the rewards they enjoy, and how they use your app.

Open Communication

Keep the lines of communication open with your users through in-app messaging, push notifications, social media, and email. Of course, you don’t want to spam users, so make sure each message has a specific purpose.

Inform users of events that may interest them, send notifications when their contacts are online, remind them of an upcoming promotion, or just thank them for sticking around with a discount or in-app offer.

Generous and Strategic Rewards

Speaking of offers, one of the best ways to keep people coming back is with time-sensitive rewards. If you’re in the gaming, fitness or hospitality Industry, daily challenges and trophies work well; for retail, consider limited discounts and gifts with purchases.

You might also consider offering a reward for daily logins. Just make sure your offer is both relevant and valuable to your users, and tied to one of your app’s central features, if possible.

Strategic rewards help to keep your users engaged, which in turn keeps them from uninstalling and contributes to your app churn rate.

Fix Any Problems

Of course, the very best way to keep your app churn rate down is to figure out why users uninstall your app and then address it. This is done through a careful analysis of your analytics to understand at what point in the journey users become frustrated and leave.

  • Is there a feature that’s malfunctioning?
  • Is your onboarding process too confusing or cumbersome?
  • Has your messaging gone over the edge into spam?

No matter what the issue is, it can be discovered through a thorough review of your analytics, and then repaired.

Final Thoughts on your App Churn Rate

Persuading your target audience to download and use your app isn’t easy. So losing a big chunk of users after only a month can not only be alarming, but it can also prevent you from reaching your app’s long-term goals.

That’s why your goal from the beginning of the development process must be to not only create an app that serves a specific problem, but one that offers a great user experience as well.

It’s this combination that maximizes engagement, and changes one-time users into daily users.

With fierce competition in the app market, having a strategy to reduce your app churn rate is a vital aspect of your mobile app development process. By keeping your users engaged, you’ll be able to keep that number down.

Eric Raye
Eric Raye
Eric Raye is a Marketing Specialist at Clearbridge Mobile, a mobile app development company helping companies build better relationships with customers by delivering best-in-class mobile app experiences. He writes about all things related to mobile app development, UX/UI, strategy, and marketing. In his spare time Eric writes sci-fi and horror, and hopes to one day be a published novelist.

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