Blog Closing the loop on life cycle tracking:...

Closing the loop on life cycle tracking: Finally measure uninstalls and reinstalls

For many verticals, the most successful apps get that way by building lasting relationships with their users. With a new product release, we’re illuminating the entire user life cycle, making it easier to keep those relationships strong. Say hello to Uninstall and Reinstall Tracking.

Uninstalls and reinstalls: Your newest marketing KPI

Here's the bottom line: if you're running re-engagement campaigns of any kind (and for most verticals, you should be – retargeted users stick around longer and generate 37% more revenue events than new users), you need to care about uninstall and reinstall data. A quick look at the typical user life cycle shows why. This is a typical user journey:

  1. A user installs your app and completes a certain amount of events (in-app purchases, levels played, etc) as they interact with the app for the first time.
  2. Eventually, their interest wanes and they stop using the app. They either lapse (keeping the app on their phone) or churn (uninstalling the app).
  3. They can be re-engaged (perhaps once or several times) with retargeting advertisements.
  4. Ideally, they convert and continue on towards reinstall and reattribution.

Access to uninstall and reinstall data helps marketers determine app cyclicality. Uninstall and reinstall tracking uncover new insight into when users churn and the quality of users from any given source. And now, for the first time ever, this entire series of events can be tracked in a marketing dashboard.

For those who activate the product, you'll find new KPIs in Adjust’s deliverables and cohorts reports – represented as brand-new in-app events.

Reinstall Tracking is an industry-first tool: Two use cases


Let's say you’re a marketer for a travel app and you want to run a video ad campaign about your new speedy check-in feature. You want to track how many users trigger the new feature, as well as their subsequent retention.

You know that 90% of your users will uninstall your app after they check into their flight (this is a common pattern for many travel apps). But those same users are likely to reinstall the app the next time they fly. In this case, if your team ignores uninstalls and reinstalls, the campaign will show a high conversion rate with low retention, which is neither the whole story nor the most important takeaway of the campaign.

By enabling uninstall and reinstall tracking, the travel app can pinpoint the moment users are most likely to uninstall and reinstall, allowing them to take smarter re-engagement actions that better understand their users’ needs.

If you know your user is likely to uninstall just after their flight, you might decide to retarget that user with an offer for 20% off a hotel booking – but make the offer an in-app exclusive. The user is encouraged keep the app for longer, or even make a second purchase.


Uninstalls and reinstalls are a key KPI for e-commerce apps: re-engagement strategies differ greatly depending on whether (for example) a user abandons their cart and then uninstalls the app, versus a cart abandoner who keeps the app on their mobile device.

Knowing for certain that a user has uninstalled means that it is possible to deliver a better-targeted re-engagement campaign to users who still have the app installed. It’s also possible to target those users who have uninstalled with a personalized re-engagement campaign that drives reinstalls and rewards users for reinstalling, and retaining

Precision retargeting with Uninstall and Reinstall Tracking + Audience Builder

Uninstall and Reinstall tracking are powerful tools. But once you have it, what do you do with it?

Audience Builder allows app marketers to take control of their retargeting campaigns. Whether you use Audience Builder to build custom segments to deliver to your third-party retargeting partner, or use the tool to plug a list of device IDs into Facebook, the end effect is that marketers are in charge of how their data gets sliced, diced and shared. Audience Builder makes re-engagement campaigns more exact, more secure and more cost-effective.

With uninstalls and reinstalls as a new KPI, it’s possible to use Audience Builder to create a custom list of users who have – surprise – uninstalled or reinstalled.

This makes it possible to see and target all of the users who have actually churned, and zero-in on them with direct messaging based on their last interaction.

Are your users uninstalling your app after they make a big purchase? Are they abandoning their cart but keeping the app on their phone? In both cases the user is inactive, but once uninstalls and reinstalls are visible, it’s possible for a marketer to know when to target a user with a great sale or when to hold off.

Uninstall and Reinstall Tracking get rid of the user journey black box

With Adjust, it is now possible to confirm that a reinstall took place. Most attribution providers do not track reinstalls. Instead, a reinstall might appear as a session or an attribution, both of which are misleading. When a reinstall is mislabeled, it can be difficult to really understand user quality. It’s impossible to tell if a certain partner delivered users who churned immediately, versus users who uninstalled the app and reinstalled it at a later date. Having reinstall data allows you to retarget or re-engage your users based on in-depth user behavior.

Users who uninstalled and then reinstalled used to be marked by a period of time without activity. Until now it was impossible to confirm that a reinstall took place. It was also impossible to do any kind of user retargeting or re-engagement campaigning based on uninstall and reinstall behavior.

Where can I learn more about Uninstall and Reinstall Tracking?

For a detailed look at how Uninstall and Reinstall Tracking work, take a look at our official documentation.

If you’d like to try out the new features, get in touch with your sales or support contacts here.

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