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High Churn Rates Hamper Game Apps’ Growth — Here Is How to Beat the Odds

A tale as old as time: mobile games invest a lot in acquiring new users while their retention sees a drawdown. The latest game apps data study by Pushwoosh has shown an unfortunate trend for game apps, especially those on Android: their churn rates soar to 75.4% by Day 30. At that, more than half of the costly-acquired audience stops being active on the very same day of the game app install.

Android Mobile Game's Churn Rate

In this seemingly fatal situation, is there a way to turn the tables? Pushwoosh Team has found one — here is your strategic plan backed with the most recent data.

1. Rebalance Your Acquisition And Retention Efforts

Insight: Acquiring lots of new players is as risky for retention as failing to attract any users at all. Our data analysis has revealed that the highest churn rates on days 1, 7, and even 30 occur when the app growth rate is either lower or significantly higher than the median.

App Growth and Churn Rate for Android

Actions to take: 

  • A possible reason behind this picture is irrelevant user acquisition. To decrease your churn rates, you may need to review your acquisition strategy alongside your retention campaign to synergize the efforts.
  • Get inspired by slowly-growing game apps. We have found quite a few cases of mobile games with low growth rates which also enjoy minimum churn rates. Apparently, these apps have figured out how to obtain and retain their precious users — so can you!

2. To strengthen Retention and Minimize Churn, Encourage User Activity In Your Game App

Insight: Game apps with high numbers of daily (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU) have lower Churn Rates and higher Retention Rates are. This means engaged players are more likely to stay active in the app in the short- and in the long-term.

Daily Active User (DAU) Churn Rates

Action to take: work on growing regular user activity in your game — through promoting daily, weekly, and monthly offers, for example. This is how the popular GC.SKINS app grew its DAU by 16.62% in the course of eight months. The best part is that the game marketers achieved this boost in a quite effortless way — by sending automated push notifications on a schedule.
And this is where we pass to the next important tactic…

3. To Grow Engagement In The Game App, Start Off By Engaging Users With Your Messaging

Insight: Higher push notification CTRs and User CTRs correlate with higher numbers of DAU and MAU, our data study has confirmed. This means as long as you keep players interested in your communications, users will keep coming back to your app.

Retention and App Growth Rates

Actions to take:

  • To begin with, get more players to opt-in for your push notifications. If you have a look at the detailed stats in the Pushwoosh research, you’ll see that a large percentage of opted-in players is characteristic of game apps with high-performing messaging and outstanding user activity.
  • Try all means to improve clickability of your messages: from timeless classics such as limited-time offers to experimental techniques and copies. Experimental is the key word here: A/B/N test your ideas and only scale the winning tactics!

With great retention comes greater revenue

As you now see, high engagement (CTRs, DAU, and MAU) leads to improved retention, which, in turn, is followed by an increase in revenue. The cumulative effect is especially visible when a mobile game is monetized with in-app advertising, but if your business counts on in-app purchases, you may certainly rely on the same principles.

Here is an inspiring example: one game app from our study sample has managed to surpass the medians on all fronts!

Increased Game App Engagement and Retention

Why don’t you adopt the same Engage → Retain → Grow approach and see how it will benefit your metrics?

Gain First-Hand Insight Into Game App Growth

Discover this year’s benchmarks for 14 key metrics specified for iOS/Android and broken down by game app audience size. Find out which metrics and tweaks in your marketing strategy have the highest impact on your game app growth. Get access to the field-proven strategy and over 23 practical tips illustrated with examples and case studies from top game apps.

Download Pushwoosh’s Data Study and Guide for Free

Elena Kozlova

Elena is a Content Marketing Manager at Pushwoosh, the top customer engagement platform for mobile-driven businesses. Pushwoosh’s tech-easy solutions help marketers boost gamers’ engagement and stickiness with push notifications, in-app messages, and behavior-based omnichannel communications. As a result, mobile game publishers can successfully monetize their apps and achieve growth.

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