Category Archives: Retention 101

user-retention-bootcamp-header

Want to Grow Your Business? Focus on User Retention

Do you care about growth? Growth of your business, growth of your customer base and growth of your revenue? Then you should care about user retention.

Without retention, your product is a leaky bucket; you can invest as much as you can into user acquisition, and yet still have no long term users, which means no sustainable growth and no means to generate revenue.

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sabotage app downloads

Are You Sabotaging Your App Downloads? Read This Before You Launch

Daily, we hear companies tout their new app as the latest and greatest. Have you ever stopped to think about the sheer number of apps that exist today? The stats are mind blowing. Here are just a few of them:

  • 2.2 million apps exist in Google Play and 2 million in the Apple App Store.
  • In 2015, app downloads numbered 180 billion. Meaning, approximately 493 million apps were downloaded each day.
  • By 2020, 6.4 billion people, 80% of the population, will have a smartphone.
  • In 2016 there were 211 billion downloads of free apps and 13 billion paid downloads.

Why the explosive growth? It’s simple really: along with regularly increasing number of smartphone users, app developers are more in tune with what their audiences want and have improved their product offerings. As they gather user feedback and better understand user behavior, they expand their product offerings to meet the needs of the population. Apple had it right when they coined the phrase, “There’s an app for that.”

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user analysis strategies

Who Are Your Active Users? Strategies for User Analysis

It has been argued that as a SaaS metric, active users leaves something to be desired. It’s easy to measure and it is cause for celebration when it surges, but it only scratches the surface of what you stand to learn from your users.

At a minimum, it doesn’t give any indication of how successful your marketing campaigns are at attracting new users. Because of this, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to learn from your users and implement strategies that are meaningful to them and keep them engaged.

So, having said that, how should you analyze active users to get to the heart of what users need and what you can do for them?

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product-analytics-playbook

Introducing the Product Analytics Playbook

The beginning of an industry

Over the past few months, we’ve posted several excerpts on the blog from a big project we’ve been working on: a comprehensive playbook for using analytics data to improve user retention. Putting together the playbook has a been a huge undertaking from many people at Amplitude. I don’t think we knew what we were signing up for when we started. After thousands of hours of work, hundreds of analyses, and working with dozens of our customers, we’re excited to finally share it with you.

Today we’re releasing the Product Analytics Playbook, Volume 1: Mastering Retention. Volume 1 is a comprehensive approach to retention across all stages of the user lifecycle. It covers how to build retention into your product. It also covers how to leverage user behavior data to identify opportunities to improve your product. Understanding and improving retention is core to long term product success and the cornerstone of using product analytics to build better products.

get the playbook here

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the-retention-lifecycle-framework

The Retention Lifecycle Framework: A Process for Improving User Retention

This article is an excerpt from the first volume of The Product Analytics Playbook: Mastering Retention. Retention is the one metric that matters for sustainable growth. The Playbook is a comprehensive guide to understanding user retention that provides a novel framework for analyzing retention at every stage of the user journey. You can find other excerpts from the Playbook here.

get the playbook here


Google “how to improve user retention” and you’ll come across hundreds if not thousands of tactics and strategies on how to do exactly that. There’s an overwhelming wealth of information on the kinds of marketing and product changes you can experiment with to get the boost in retention that you want.

What’s missing, however, is a systematic framework for improving retention that companies can continuously iterate on, as well as one that will work for companies at any stage of growth. Over the past several months, we came up with framework to accomplish exactly that.

Once you’ve determined your product’s critical event and its usage frequency, you can apply The Retention Lifecycle Framework to your users. (For a refresher on critical events and usage frequency, be sure to check out our previous Retention Playbook excerpts.)

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1 Trillion Events Later: A New Way to Think About Retention

If you’re in the mobile app business, you’ve probably heard this statistic — that 80% of mobile app users churn after just 3 days, and that the average app loses all of their new users within a month.

Today, we’re announcing that these retention findings may, in fact, be inaccurate for the vast majority of apps in the industry. Amplitude has now tracked over 1 trillion user actions across 500 million devices. After analyzing our customer data, we’ve discovered the standard industry method of calculating retention grossly underestimates retention numbers, suggesting that the future of apps isn’t as grim as it was made out to be. Now, we want to share these insights with you.

1 trillion events webinar cta 1

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playbook-usage-interval

How Often Should People Use Your App?

This article is an excerpt from the first volume of The Product Analytics Playbook: Mastering Retention. Retention is the one metric that matters for sustainable growth. The Playbook is a comprehensive guide to understanding user retention that provides a novel framework for analyzing retention at every stage of the user journey. You can find other excerpts from the Playbook here.

get the playbook here


“Retain or die” is a commonly repeated mantra here at Amplitude and is gathering momentum throughout the tech industry as a whole.

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about what retention is and why it’s important–but before diving into the various strategies and tactics that can improve the metric, we have to first take a step back and think of retention in the context of how users use your product. This comes in two parts.

  1. Understanding your critical event.
  2. Determining your product’s usage interval.

A few weeks ago, we talked about how understanding your product usage starts first with defining your app’s critical event. Your critical event is the one meaningful action you want users to perform in order to be counted as truly “active” or “retained.” This could be submitting an order, sending a message, or starting a new game. The important thing is that this action is at the core of your app’s product experience; it differentiates users who just “show up” from those who actually derive value from your app. (Check out our post on critical events for more details).

Just as important as defining your critical event is determining how often people do it. Today, we’ll be talking about your product’s usage interval, or how often you expect people to use your product, and why it matters for your retention metric.

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