Here's a breakdown of which apps have the best user retention rates

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Free-to-play apps have soared in popularity, but the key for developers to make money off them is to retain customers.

The longer a user holds onto an app, the more time marketers have to re-engage them and ultimately get them to convert. But new data from Localytics shows that 75% of app users, on average, stop using their apps within 90 days of downloading them.

Localytics considered “retention” to occur when a user returns to an app at least once within 30 days of downloading. The study analysed retention rates ove three months and looked at the share of original users who were still engaged with the app after the first, second, and third months.

The retention rates varied by category. Media and Entertainment had the highest retention rate after three months at 24%. Technology placed second ar 19%, followed by Travel and Lifestyle and E-Commerce and Retail at 18% apiece. Gaming had the lowest retention rate at 10%.

Developers must understand these retention rates in order to market effectively to customers. People download different apps for different reasons, so using a catch-all campaign to try to attract customers would be ineffective.

Media and entertainment app users, for example, are less likely to churn during a 90-day period because they stream music and video frequently.

But gaming users tend to bail after the first month. Many free-to-play games are exciting and fun at first, but to truly progress or experience the full game, users need to spend money on items and upgrades. If users balk at this, then the fun of the game dries up and players abandon ship. Therefore, marketers must find ways re-engage these users.

There are numerous strategies mobile marketers can take, but it’s clear that understanding the audience is crucial to effectively engaging customers.

Jessica Smith, a research analyst at BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on mobile marketing that takes a close look at the different tactics being used today, spanning legacy mobile technologies like SMS to emerging capabilities like beacon-aided location-based marketing. The report also identifies some of the most useful mobile marketing technologies that mobile marketers are putting to good use as parts of larger strategies.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • As consumers spend more time on their mobile devices, marketing campaigns are following suit. Mobile ad spend continues to lag mobile time spent, providing an opportunity for creative marketers.
  • Marketers should leverage different mobile tactics depending on the size and demographics of the audience they want to reach and the type of message they want to send. With all tactics, marketers need to respect the personal nature of the mobile device and pay attention to the potential for communication overload.
  • Mobile messaging — particularly SMS and email — has the broadest reach and highest adoption among mobile users. Messaging apps, relative newcomers but gaining fast in popularity, offer more innovative and engaging outreach options.
  • Emerging technology, such as dynamic creative optimization, is breathing new life into mobile browser-based ad campaigns, but marketers should keep an eye on consumer adoption of mobile ad blockers.
  • In-app advertising can generate high engagement rates, especially with video. Location-based apps and beacons offer additional data that can enhance targeting capabilities.

In full, the report:

  • Identifies the major mobile technologies being used to reach consumers.
  • Sizes up the potential reach and potential of each of these mobile technologies.
  • Presents an example of a company or brand that has successfully leveraged that mobile technology to reach consumers.
  • Assesses the efficacy of each approach.
  • Examines the potential pitfalls and other shortcomings of each mobile technology.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the world of mobile marketing, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of how mobile marketing is rapidly evolving.

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