What is churn?

The definition of churn

A churned user is a user who has stopped using an app. There are two kinds of actions a user takes related to churn: either lapsing in use (which means no more sessions being recorded) or uninstalling the app from the device itself. But essentially, churn rate is the number of users that leave your app in a given period of time.

Why is churn rate important?

Companies are always going to have churn. Some users will not like an app or simply have no reason to return. By analyzing the rate of churn, app developers can figure out if changes need to be made, such as improving UX, optimizing feature requirements or adjusting prices.

What are the benefits of measuring churn?

If your user churn is high, you could be spending a lot of money on user acquisition but not getting the maximum ROI from the user. By identifying what the issues are, you can improve user retention and therefore revenue. Some mobile app verticals are happy with a high churn rate: hyper-casual gaming companies tend to view high churn rate as an accepted part of the business strategy.

However, many apps should measure churn to ensure that enough users are staying put, hitting the required milestones within their apps to remain profitable. If you’d like deeper use cases, we’ve put together a handful in this guide.

How do I measure user churn?

Churn can be measured by using a metric such as inactive users, retention rate or uninstalls. While such a metric will give you an idea of how your app is performing, if you add in-app event tracking, you can see exactly where in the user lifecycle your users tend to churn. This can enable you to pinpoint the exact places you might need to intervene to reduce the churn rate.

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