Retention And Churn Rate: The Measure Of Entertainment


How can one measure entertainment of mobile app? Especially, when he is a developer who is blindly in love with his creation. At this point, the analytics steps in with its crucial metric showing how engaged your users are with an app -- the ‘retention rate’. From this value you’ll know the number of users who return to the app and remain active over a longer period. For those who deleted or simply stopped using an app there’s another metric called ‘churn rate’. Both are defined by a certain time frame (30 days, 60 days, etc.).

A disappointing fact we all should deal with is that, once the app is downloaded, it loses more and more users in course of time. As churn rates on day 90, 120 and further on grow, a question pops up, if people behind the figures can really be re-engaged or where is the point of user no return, if there’s any? The answers are important to minimize futile re-engagement efforts, saving money and time that can be spent on more useful things.   

Recently we bumped into a study by the business intelligence platform Adjust, to find out two major things:

Tech tip. No matter the cost of long-term data storing, you should save data on users throughout the longest possible period. Limiting your data to only active users and those who returned after several months breaks will twist your analytics, where short-term retention is overestimated and long-term one is out of sight.

Remarketing tip. To calculate the stop line where ‘over is actually over’, use any tool to build a chart and see the ratio between X number of users returning after break and Y number of new installs in that period. It’s up for you to decide the % threshold and cut off users outside it from your push notifications, campaigns, etc. For example, your userbase is growing by 500 new users every month, the chart shows only 1% on day 300, which means only 5 users return after such a long break, so is trying to bring them back really worthwhile?

Once you answer this and adjust your strategy, you’ll start to spend budgets more wisely on campaigns, but the most important question will remain: how to boost retention if it’s low?

Localytics, the leading mobile engagement platform, shared their formula for keeping users and called it a 3x3 rule. From the pulled data on numbers of sessions per user and numbers of users that churn/return within the given period they’ve discovered a negative correlation between them. Taking into account the average churn rate and churn rates by days the team concluded that a user who has 3 sessions in the first 3 days after download is most likely to become an active retained user.

There are different ways of driving user into the app that depend greatly on the type of app (travel / gaming / technology / etc.). By the way, among 5 categories the gaming apps have shown the lowest average retention rate over 3 months after download, which means game developers struggle most for keeping their players around. Below are a few recommendations that might help if you’re one of them.

1. Bring users right into the middle of action
Avoid obligatory log-ins, long intros with a lot of text. You can present a short comic strip with a plot while the game is loading and bring player directly onto level 1.

2. Make it easy as pie
Confused user is a churned user. If you teach him how to play your game with a series of easy, clear, bite-sized tutorials he will keep playing your game and probably get hooked on. Mission accomplished!

3. Give bonuses
Reward players for achievements and, if they exit, send notifications about prizes waiting for them in the game. It will bring them back and encourage to continue playing. But don’t make it a routine, make it a surprise. And don’t be too generous, because lavish gifts that simplify progress will deprive them of a sense of accomplishment.

4. Get personal
Play on the emotional side of things by creating a personalized experience. If you have the information, address player with a ‘Hello’ message mentioning his/her name. Allow your player to choose music, background, skins or whatever that’s used in your game. Offering users to invite their friends to play the game is also good, because it adds competition, besides with friends around users are most likely to stay for longer periods.

Let us know your opinion or share own tips in comments!
Posted by Renatus on January 10, 2017