How You Can Prevent App Uninstalls And Improve Mobile Marketing

Nearly 80% of apps get uninstalled in seven days and around 50% on Day 1. Most apps fall into next 5000th or 10000th app bucket and hence chances of getting uninstalled is even higher.  I’m going to share 4 tips on how you can reduce uninstalls but before that let’s understand the issue better.
Retention curve
In US, mobile app ad dollars continue to gain steam, increasing 42.6% to nearly $30 billion in 2016, or 73.2% of all US mobile ad spending (source e-marketer) and most of other international markets show similar trends.

Key Metrics

As ever more money gets pumped into app marketing, the million dollar question which marketers like me are grappling with is how to make the app a part of customer convenience and not just a short term business goal.

We have to ask ourselves what is in the app which will make customers choose it over zillions of other apps fighting to sneak into the home screen. Or, to put it differently, “are you resolving any key problem with respect to consumer’s day to day life?”  If you struggle to answer this then you will keep on draining marketing dollars to make people retain your app.

Some apps will always find a safe berth owing to the value they add to users’ life.

-      Apps like Whatsapp, Snap-chat, Gmail and Facebook address the communication need.

-      Apps like Uber address conveyance and comfort need.

-      Apps like Candy Crush, YouTube, #pokemongo , Angry Birds fill in the recreational void.

So, remaining apps have to compete fiercely for the limited space available on mobile.

Here are 4 ideas that can reduce the uninstalls – particularly for your e-commerce app:

   1     Create app only moments:

  • This can be in form of app only sections (content, categories, features, daily offer zone on app etc.)
  • Offer priority delivery to all orders made via app. Companies have to be smart and innovative and give compelling reasons to users to prefer their app over others.

   2     App re-engagement and retention program: With more than half of apps getting uninstalled in first 24-48 hours and 80% of users never come back after seven days of installation. So, an app marketing program has to move away from traditional install campaigns to a more overarching install plus engagement to give apps best chance to engage and stay on installers’ mobile.

   3     Personalization in true sense: Unlike erstwhile email campaigns app communication is real time with each message life on mobile having shelf life of few seconds. So, app communications should be well thought off integrating as much of user personal and behavioral data to have higher response rate. Quality of communication matters and not quantity. Frequent irrelevant messages will trigger further uninstalls.

   4     App should adhere to best practices (more of hygiene which is now commonly followed)

  • Keep app file size low (5-10)MB preferable
  • Avoid frequent version updates
  • Minimal user permission needed to be asked while installing and personal details of users in app shouldn’t be asked unless absolutely necessary.

As a closing remark, I would like to mention that one shouldn’t resort to driving app installs by running incentives and offers only campaigns. Users are smart enough to Install -> Use Offer -> Uninstall -> Never come back.

App campaigns need to be driven more smartly with company’s core proposition as the central theme. This combined with targeted campaigns will give quality installs and higher life time ROI. Offer driven campaigns help in initial visibility and improving app rankings in but are not a sustainable means of marketing. Hence a fine balance has to be maintained between core app campaigns and incentive driven campaigns.

The bottom line is target right, get installs, engage, re-engage and continue the communication journey with customers.

Written exclusively for Paul Writer.

Image Courtesy License Anat Sifri.

About the author  ⁄ Ranjit Behera

Ranjit Behera

Ranjit Behera is the Head of Digital Marketing at Aditya Birla Online Fashion ( He has expertise in Digital Marketing and Product Management. Specialisations include Paid and Organic Search, Analytics, Social Media, Sales and Marketing, Development and Support. He was a co-founder of one of India’s earliest online shopping portals, and has worked with Zivame and iQuanti prior to joining He is an alumnus of IIM, Bangalore and NIT, Rourkela.

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