5 Reasons App Developers Should Focus More on User Retention

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Partner Post - Adscend Media - Offer wall, mobile video, and offers platform

Posted: March 3, 2016


Tony Cohn is a marketing manager with Adscend Media, a leading incentive-based advertising network. Tony has a wide range of performance marketing industry experience and comes from a social media and SEO background. Originally from the Bay Area, Tony currently resides in Sacramento, CA.


If you have been searching the Internets during the last few years for new ways to evaluate the performance of your mobile app or game, you will see that retention rate is a metric that has taken the app industry by storm. Doing a quick search will easily reveal a slew of recent posts by app industry pros like Kissmetrics, Apptentive, and Mixpanel, with developers across all major industry forums also seeming to have a Gollum ring-like focus on this newer metric. Why all the fuss? Let’s dive deeper and find out!

According to Mofluid, retention rate is “the percentage of users returning to your app in a given period of time” and can be calculated in many different ways (AppLift has a great breakdown of the main retention rate calculation types). Developers are including retention rate in their monthly reporting because it helps them focus on a key pillar of today’s app monetization strategy: retaining users. Sure, it’s still all about doing what you can to improve your eCPM,EPC, ARPDAU, and other direct financial metrics. However, more “big picture” developers are seeing the importance of retaining users to their bottom line, and have become obsessed with doing whatever is necessary to retain their users. If you want to create sustainable long-term success with your app, you probably should be too and here is why:

5 Reasons Why You Should Focus More on User Retention:

User Turnover is Out of Control:
Users simply don’t need to stick around to get your content, as they probably can easily find it on another app. Recent studies don’t lie, as most apps lose 77% of users within the first three days of launch (Applause). With new users becoming increasingly fickle, the importance of keeping your loyal users is dramatically increased.

Most Users Will Only Open Your App Once:
If your app is like most, over 90% of your new users will only open your app or mobile game once and will leave without even saying good bye (at least allowing you the opportunity to fire back “How Rude” in a Stephanie Tanner from Full House voice). Thus, if you are going to create any sort of sustainable revenue base, you need to keep more of your users.

Increased Competition:
The ‘Net is a crowded place, with the competition to gain users increasing every year. For example, since 2010, there has been a 611.4% increase in apps listed in the App Store alone (Pocket Gamer). With gaining new users for your app getting tougher each day, retaining your existing user base takes on even more importance.

Loyal Users Spend More:
Retaining your app users has direct financial benefits, as loyal users tend to make more in-app purchases. For example, a recent study by Swrve showed that only 0.15 percent of mobile gamers account for 50 percent of all in-game revenue. Thus, retaining and nurturing your users is key (cue DJ Khaled emoji) to successful app revenue generation.

Most Users Don’t Make In-App Purchases:
With most recent studies also pegging the amount of users who make in-app purchases at less 5%, it’s obvious that users aren’t fans of spending money in app. Hence, you truly need to keep as many as your users as possible if you hope to be able to continue to thrive from your app’s revenue.

Freaked Out? No Worries! There’s an Easy Way to Increase Retention:
From providing stellar customer service, to creating a thriving community around your app, there are many ways to improve your retention rate. However, one of the easiest ways to improve the retention rate on your app is to choose a smarter monetization solution. Not to toot our own horn, (beeeeeeeeeeeeeep) but our rewarded ad solutions (Offer Wall and Rewarded Video) are proven retention builders, as these solutions are packed with features to keep users coming back to your app daily. Allowing users to earn valuable in-app items (such as character upgrades, virtual currency, bonus levels, etc.) in exchange for engaging with an advertiser-sponsored offer, our rewarded ads allow you to add a powerful retention-boosting solution to your app or mobile game.

Here’s a quick overview of how our reward ad solutions can boost your retention rates:

Reward Users with More Access to Your App:
There is a reason why users downloaded your app–they’re interested!  As previously mentioned, in exchange for engaging in an offer, our rewarded ad solutions allow users to experience more of your app, giving them complementary access to your premium features (isn’t it time you let you users get to try the final levels of your game anyway?). As users get a taste of what your app can provide, they will visit your app more often to enjoy the perks of deeper involvement.

Eliminate Price as a Purchasing Factor and Monetize Your Non-Paying Users:
By offering premium content to your users without requiring payment, our rewarded ad solutions increase the worth of your app. Thus with a perceived higher value, users will be more likely to spend time in your app vs. an app that requires payment for premium features.

Let Users Choose How They Earn Rewards:
Our rewarded ad solutions not only reward your users for interacting with ads, these solutions allow you to give users multiple options to earn rewards. From installing an app, to watching a short video, to completing a quick survey, our rewarded ad solutions give your users the chance to interact with offers in whichever format they feel most comfortable with. By providing users with multiple options to earn your premium features, you will notice your users are more engaged and are spending more time in your app.

Ready to Try Our Rewarded Ad Solutions?
Join Adscend Media today to get access to our rewarded ad solutions.

Got Questions About Retention?
If you have any questions about retention or retention rate, or have questions about how rewarded ad solutions improve retention, please reach out to us!

You can visit the Adscend Media website here.