iPhone 6

iPhone 6Nearly 1 in 4 people abandon a mobile app after just one use. Learn how to keep your creation from becoming just another “use it and lose it” app.

Mobile users aren’t quite retaining interest in apps like they used to. According to Localytics, the percentage of users who abandon an app after just one use is now 23%, up from 20% in 2014. App developers are scrambling to find ways of continuously delivering what consumers want well after the download, and to keep their apps from becoming irrelevant.

Abandoned Apps

An annual study monitoring app retention rates by Localytics found that mobile users are still installing apps — they’re just not keeping them for very long. The study examined retention and abandonment rates across a wide user base of nearly 37,000 mobile apps. Researchers considered an app “retained” if the mobile app was used 11 or more times. Apps that were used only one time were labeled “abandoned.”

Localytics found that overall app retention hovered around 38%, which means that the vast majority of users — 62% — will use an app fewer than 11 times. Although app retention increased from 5% between 2015 and 2016, researchers warn that more work needs to be done to convert mobile users into loyal customers.

The study also discovered that apps with 15,000 to 50,000 monthly active users saw the strongest lift with retention and abandonment. This growth is attributed to the tendency of apps with this kind of medium-sized user base to rely on push notifications, in-app messages, email, and remarketing.

Push notifications were notably effective at increasing app retention. Localytics found that user retention reached as high as 49% among users who have push notifications enabled on their phone. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to better user engagement. Adweek reports that mobile apps that used push notifications during the onboarding process saw next-day retention increase by 50%, and two-month retention increase by as much as 71%.

So how can app developers drive user engagement to ensure that mobile users are not only downloading their apps, but also keeping them?

Retention Recovery

Localytics offered some tips for mobile app developers who are trying to increase their app’s retention.

The research firm urges mobile app developers to drive user engagement by identifying what users make up their audience, as well as what those users want out of the app. Personalizing in-app messages or push notifications that are tailored to the right audience can increase conversion rates by up to 200%, according to App Boy.

Additionally, Localytics warns against simply adding new features to an app without identifying user interests. Successful app developers understand the content their users typically interact with and how to add features that complement their audience’s interests. Offering new features that are built to satisfy a specific user base can be extremely effective at increasing a mobile app’s retention rates.

Whatever your retention strategy is, one thing is certain: App developers should be thinking about how to keep their apps from being forgotten. Create something your users will remember using Infinite Monkeys, an easy-to-use DIY app building platform. Use the simple drag-and-drop interface to create a fun, ad-free mobile experience for as little as $1 a month.