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Uninstall vs Breakup

An unusual look at the app and user relationship, it is strikingly similar to the relationship between a guy and a girl

Guest Post - 21 July 2016

A famous app marketer recently said ‘Relationships are too valuable to let them break away’. We couldn’t agree more.

In a time where app marketers are running intensive install campaigns to win new users, there is a serious problem going unnoticed – uninstalls.

Studies have shown that if a user doesn’t come back to your app within the first 7 days of install, he might probably never come back. Now that is alarming.

So why do users uninstall an app? Taking an unusual look at the app and user relationship, in several ways, it is strikingly similar to the relationship between a guy and a girl.

Let’s compare:

For simplicity purposes, I’m going to set the guy as the protagonist in our little story here.

In the beginning…

A guy meets a girl through a dating site. He likes her. He think she’s beautiful and funny. The first few months are a bliss. They are madly in love with each other. Romantic gestures, expensive gifts and long hours on the phone. They spend so much time with each other.

In a parallel universe, a user discovers an app. A friend might have recommended it or he could have found it on social media or an ad on the TV or on the app store. User installs the app. He likes the way it looks so cool, easy to navigate and also, it’s free. The first few days are great. The user spends tons of time on the app. He checks out all the features, plays around in the app and even makes some transactions or two!

Somewhere along the line…

Uninstall vs breakup

After about 2 months, flaws begin to get noticed, boredom sets in, love isn’t expressed anymore. They don’t have anything new to offer each other. In the app world, around the 6th day, the user gets bored with the app, there’s nothing new in it for him, nothing exciting.

5th month onwards, they stop meeting or talking. They don’t even miss each other anymore. In parallel, during the 7th – 15th day, time spent by the user on the app is almost zero. By the 20th day, he has forgotten this app on his phone. 6th month. They decide it doesn’t make sense to drag it. It’s time to see other people. They decide to break up! 30th day on the app, the user accidentally comes across this app on his phone he once used to like. He doesn’t like it or use it anymore. It didn’t make sense to waste space. He decides to uninstall it!

The boy finds a new girl. The user finds a new app.

If you are an app marketer with an ambitious e-commerce company, you can’t let this be your story. I don’t have to remind you that retaining existing users is much more cost effective than acquiring new users.

It's time you had the pulse of your users. What do they like in your app? What do they not? When was the last time a user visited your app? Why are they not spending time on your app? Your users are sending you signals all the time. Making sense of those signals is the first step towards retaining them.

Predict those who are about to uninstall your app. Drive retention campaigns with personalized messaging across channels – push, email, display, social. Prevent uninstalls and boost user retention.

The next time you are in the same room with your CEO and he asks you ‘Hey Mark, where’s the RoI on the marketing budget?’ you get to say ‘Here it is John. I’m your hero’.

- Disclosure: This is a guest post by Dharshan Chandran, a growth marketer at Vizury, a multi-channel mobile marketing platform. He can be contacted at marketing@vizury.com or his Twitter account at @Random_Rhapsody

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