What’s A Good Retention Rate For Small Business Mobile Apps?

by | Feb 21, 2017 | Blog, Digital Marketing, Mobile Application, Mobile Applications, Mobile Strategy

Mobile App Retention - Mixed Media Ventures

The average rate of retention for any mobile application after a month of download is estimated at roughly 39%. This still goes on to fall to around 25% after three months. Recent research indicated that above-average retention rates exist for media and entertainment applications while this is not so for gaming.

Truth of the matter is, that across all industries, about 75% of all the users who downloaded an app after it was launched will often ditch it within just 90 days. Taking a deeper dive and looking closely at retention averages based on the industry, there isn’t much of a difference across the board.

You may be wondering how retention rates are calculated.  Industry wide, retention rates are calculated by the number of people who revisit an app after 30 days of downloading it and using it.  Clearly, analytics are used to gauge this number and marketing efforts are put in place to re-boost usability going forward, as well as encourage new downloads.

This relates to the fact that if you are not able to come up as quick as possible with a brilliant retention strategy, the user base of your mobile app will turn out to reduce drastically. This may leave you scratching your head while trying your best in figuring out what actually went wrong, and how to increase user activity.

As a result of this, the next big step to take in the event the app you recently launched begins to generate downloads is to find possible ways and strategies of retaining the users, be it a business app, an entertainment app, project management app, or gaming app.

Ways of Improving Your Retention Rate

In-App Messaging and Push Notifications

In-App Messaging and Push Notifications help to boost engagement and likewise, retention by providing offers and relevant information to the user of your mobile application. In-app messaging has been noticed to increase the rate of user retention by three-fold. However, it is more than simply sending in-app and push messages. Sending the wrong ones can jeopardize your app retention quickly. If you can do it right, there is a high possibility of increasing the activity on your app by up to 27%.  Recently we blogged about creating push notifications your customers want to engage with (Part one) and Part Two.

Customer Feedback

Taking note to gain invaluable feedback from your customers and app user is another way of improving your app retention. Also, try as much as possible to make it exceptionally easy for your customers and app user to give you feedback. This is definitely a must-have for every app. You can also build a channel for your customer to interact, whether it be taking surveys or providing invaluable reviews.  If you are an app owner through Mixed Media Ventures, contact us and ask us how you can better engage your customers via your app.

Predictive Insights

Try to understand the subset of users at risk of churning out. This provides you with an opportunity to save them. By making use of predictive app marketing (see the link for more on predictive app marketing), you can come up with highly personalized messaging campaigns that help to keep them around. This is a good way of getting them re-engage before it turns out to be too late.  Geofencing push notifications might be a way to enable engagement when they are going by your location, entering the town your business is in, or driving by the competition, etc.  This is a method you can use that is passive in nature, that you can change the message on whenever you wish.


App users desire personalization. What they seek for is to tailor their interactions to their specific location, preferences, and in-app behavior. Actually, a recent study revealed that an expected element of future apps is personalization.  We’ll be writing a blog post about this soon, as mobile personalization is going to become increasingly important going forward for mobile app owners and their users.  Starbucks is a perfect example of this regarding their rewards or loyalty program.

Use Data to Guide You

Also, try as much as possible to make use of your data insights in understanding how productive you are at retaining users, and also, how impactful your various app marketing strategies have turned out to be. Having the right data insights makes it possible for you to fortify your interactions with customers and users. This will eventually result in an increase in retention.

In conclusion, a good retention rate for small business mobile apps should be around 25%. Anything above 25% should be your aim. Top performing applications have been successfully able to improve their rate of user retention. They have achieved this by tapping into user data and coming up with more sophisticated personalized marketing campaigns. Nothing prevents you from doing the same for your app.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.



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