Liftoff: Mobile messaging improves app retention levels by 62%

 Liftoff has released its annual Mobile App Engagement Index in conjunction with mobile marketing platform, Leanplum, highlighting trends in consumer app engagement.

Over 257 billion ad impressions, more than 58.4 million app installations and 47.4 million post-install events in seven major app categories (dating, finance, gaming, shopping, travel, utility and media) were analysed.

Increasing acceptance of subscription apps

The continued dominance of Amazon Prime, Netflix and Spotify has increased people’s acceptance of paying regularly for a service. The latest research shows that the subscription model is becoming increasingly popular with mobile users. Compared to the previous year, customer acquisition costs for subscription-based apps fell by almost half, from $162.22 in the previous year to a comparatively low $86.99.

Women conquer the app engagement throne

Unlike last year, this year’s data shows that women are the new premium user segment in the app economy. They are twice as likely to subscribe as men and are generally more involved in mobile apps. Especially when it comes to making bookings or reservations via apps: With a conversion rate of 62%, women reserve with a 40% higher rate than men.

Gaming apps meet with resistance from in-app purchases

In all categories of mobile apps, acquisition costs have fallen, while commitment and conversion rates have grown significantly. With one exception: the cost of recruiting a user who makes an in-app purchase – especially in mobile gaming, this is an important sales channel.

Compared to the previous year, these costs rose by more than half to 101.58 US dollars, while the purchase rates in the app fell by almost half to 2.9 percent. This suggests that feverish competition for users, fuelled by the free-to-play (F2P) model, is driving up acquisition costs.

Mobile messaging indispensable for user retention

EMEA has the highest usage rates of returning users compared to APAC, LATAM and NAR with 15.5% active users. Once users have arrived in the app, they spend up to 5 minutes and 38 seconds there. On average, however, they take the longest – 11 days – to return to an app.

Therefore, marketers need resources to increase this return rate. Push notifications are one of the most effective ways for this. Timing is crucial here: Those who provide their users with helpful information from day 1 onwards after the acquisition can look forward to a return rate of up to 37% to the app on day 3 and up to 62% on day 14. In combination with e-mails, the effect is even greater: the number of weekly in-app activities then triples.

The best way to protect your acquisition investment and retain customers throughout their lifecycle is by forming a relationship — and that starts with contextual mobile messaging. The latest data proves that this approach can increase retention by 62%.

Joyce Solano, Senior Vice President Global Marketing from Leanplum