A hush-hush secret guide to reducing app uninstalls and enhancing app retention

If it takes ‘X’ amount of effort, time, hard work, resources, and expertise to make your users download your app, it’s going to take ‘2X’ time and effort to retain your users and stop them from uninstalling your app.

Yes, brace yourself! App retention is the key to the success of an app. This article walks you through the different steps involved in enhancing your app retention rate.

So, what’s included?

→ What is App retention rate?

→ Why do customers uninstall apps?

→ What are the factors that determine the app retention rate?

→ How to reduce app uninstalls?

→ How to maximize your app’s retention rate?

Answers to these questions not only helps you to understand app retention but also makes you derive your own app uninstall reduction strategy with the help of these insights from proven practices. 

→ What is App retention rate?

The ratio of the number of users who continue to use your app on a regular basis and consistently from the time of installing it on their devices to the total number of users can be called as app retention rate. It indicates the performance of your app and helps you track the progress, outcomes, and other metrics of your business. That’s exactly why this app retention rate is considered as one of the most important KPIs (key performance indicators).

→ Why do customers uninstall apps?

Here are some interesting insights from various research on why your users uninstall your apps:

1) Users are more likely to uninstall your app if it consumes a lot of space on their device. 

2) Complex sign up / sign in modules may also demotivate your users and make them delete or uninstall your app.

3) Trust issues, collection of unnecessary personal information, and other such security-related issues serve as a prime motive for your users to uninstall the apps.

4) Push notifications is an interesting tool but only when used appropriately. 71% of mobile app users reported in a survey that they tend to delete/uninstall their apps because of annoying notifications. 

5) Other reasons include the consumption of mobile internet data (even when the app is running only in the background), slower page loads, and sudden mobile crashes triggered by the app.

→ What are the factors that determine the app retention rate?


1) Usability, ease of access, and functionality

2) Personalization of content, features, and interface

3) Motivation, incentives, and reward system

4) Timely app updates and effective communication

These are the major factors that help you retain your users and keep them coming back to your app.

→ How to reduce app uninstalls?

Following is a step-by-step approach on how to reduce app uninstalls:

Step 1: Identify drop-off points

Step 2: Use cross-platform promotion

Step 3: Understand in-app analytics to identify sweet spots

Step 4: Leverage uninstall data
Step 5: Reach out to dormant users

Step 6: Conduct surveys to study the reasons for app uninstalls 

Step 1: Identify drop-off points

Use in-depth customer behavior analytics to study, understand, and identify the exact places from where customers drop off the app. Explore the possibilities of improving those exit points and giving an alternative user experience. The in-app experience that you provide needs to be engaging enough to make customers spend more time on your app, navigate across multiple pages, and attain their goal effortlessly. There are many analytical tools, customer behavior tools, and user journey recording tools that help you understand the bounce rate, heat map, and retention rates of your app.


Step 2: Use cross-platform promotion

An omnichannel strategy not only helps you to increase your app visibility but also plays an integral part in re-engaging your customers across multiple platforms. For example, you can leverage email marketing to connect with your audience and remind them of your app, offerings, solutions, discounts, etc. Since users have the habit of checking emails on a daily basis, emails with information about your app make them go to the app and engage more on the app. You can also add enticing CTAs on the emails that take them to the app.

Step 3: Understand in-app analytics to identify sweet spots

Just like identifying the critical drop-off points, you can also discover the sweet spots on your app where customers engage more. When you decipher the reasons that entice them to engage better, you can apply those insights to the drop-off points as well.

Step 4: Leverage uninstall data

You should try to understand the pain points faced by your users with the data of the user lists who have uninstalled your app. Sometimes, it may be because you have targetted the wrong audience base who aren’t your potential audiences. With various attributes like age, gender, demographics, and other interests, an in-depth analysis will let you draw actionable insights to understand real-time reasons for app uninstalls.

Step 5: Reach out to dormant users

This is an effective way of stopping your users before even they uninstall the apps. When the users are dormant for longer than a while you should give them reasons to visit your app and engage on the app. This is possible with the appropriate segmentation of your users based on their in-app behavior as active, dormant, and inactive users.   

Step 6: Conduct surveys to study the reasons for app uninstalls 

App uninstalls are inevitable and a part of a user’s engagement lifecycle. But the best way to make the most out of app uninstalls is to care to hear from those who uninstalled before letting them go. You can use survey tools to reach out to them with detailed questions and simple choices to understand their feedback. This not only helps you to understand the uninstall reasons and improve your app but also gives your uninstallers a positive outlook on your brand/business that you care to hear.

→ How to maximize your app’s retention rate?

We discussed the efficient ways and best practices to decrease app uninstalls. But the best way to reduce the uninstall rates is to increase the app retention rate. That’s something like prevention that is better than cure metaphorically. So, what follows is a shortlist of proven methodologies to enhance app retention rates.

1) Enhancing your user experience

2) Effective communication across all channels

3) Thoughtful personalization 

1) Enhancing your user experience

It’s all about the user experience. Right from the first screen to the last touchpoint on the app, you should provide a seamless, engaging, and rewarding user experience to your customers. Here are a few hacks to increase engagement, win trust, improve retention, and thereby avoid uninstalls.

→ Simple register, sing in, sing up process

→ Consumption of less mobile data

→ Occupying less space on the device

→ Enhancing security features

→ Increasing page load speeds

→ Avoiding mobile crashes

2) Effective communication across all channels

→ Your communication needs to be highly relevant, straightforward, and verbatim.

→ More importantly, your communication shouldn’t be misleading. Because, when your users don’t find the purpose in the actual app as communicated in the ads, they immediately uninstall the app.

→ Use push notifications judiciously. It’s reported that over 71% of app uninstalls have annoying push notifications as their topmost reason in a survey.

→ Use a consistent and uniform communication across the multiple channels and engagement phases of your app. The marketing content, in-app content, social media content, and push notification messages – all of these need to be in the same tone and voice and reflect the same purpose. Differences in these may lead to instant uninstalls.

3) Thoughtful personalization 

Besides providing a personalized in-app experience, it is mandatory that you grant your users the choice of personalizing the app the way they want it. For example, you can have a feature called favorites or quick links that let your users choose what needs to appear on the first page of the app. This gives them concrete reasons to continue using your app. 

Hope you found these ways interesting and insightful. Follow this space for more resourceful and informative content on the different phases involved in mobile app development. If you are looking for a free consultation on how to approach your mobile app development strategically, or if you want to custom build a mobile app solution for your business, feel free to get in touch with us. Our mobile app development specialists would love to talk to you. We are just an email away. Write to us at hello@siamcomputing.com

At Siam Computing, we have an expert team of specialists, certified mobile app developers, coders, programmers, testers, content strategists, and consultants who provide a fully integrated, end-to-end, and custom mobile app solutions that are dynamic, robust, and tailored to meet the varying business needs of a broad spectrum of domestic and international clients. With over a decade of hands-on experience, in-depth knowledge and understanding of technology, and hospitable customer service Siam Computing has a successful track record of creating adept mobile app solutions for a wide range of industries.