Category Archives: Retention Playbook

3 Ways To Measure 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 our first post from the Playbook here.

get the playbook here


Retention impacts every important business metric that you (and your investors) care about—active user count, engagement, customer lifetime value, payback period, and more. A business that retains its users increases its revenue and becomes profitable faster than one that does not. And yet, as we mentioned in our first Playbook post, keeping users engrossed in your app is no small task.

It’s especially daunting when you realize that you’re not just competing with other apps in your space—you’re competing with apathy. You’re competing with inattention. There are too many apps out there for anyone to wait patiently for yours to deliver value.

Even the best apps are going to lose the majority of their users in just a few days, but if you make user retention your team’s primary growth focus, you can totally change the trajectory of your company.

To cut through the static and distractions, you need to quickly deliver an experience that users want to return to again and again. There’s no better tool for doing so than analytics. As the old maxim goes, “what gets measured gets done.”

Let’s start with how we measure our retention.

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Why You Need A Retention Playbook

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. 

download the playbook here


When it comes to growth, retention is king.

Without good retention, your app’s like a leaky bucket—you can pour in as many users as you like and wind up with nothing.

1-leaking-bucket

A mobile app with good acquisition but bad retention may grow quickly at first, but it will hit a plateau. Then it’s just a matter of time before you’ve churned through all the people in your market—and the slow, painful decline begins.

It’s excruciating to watch happen, and because building a successful app has never been harder, it’s become an all too common result.

Retention is not sexy the way marketing, advertising, and other means of user acquisition are sexy, but even the most clever growth hack will ultimately leave you high and dry if your product can’t retain its users. You’re competing to chart in the App Store and grab the attention of your potential users—and the competition’s never been tougher.

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