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What Re-Installs Mean for Mobile

At YouAppi, one of the biggest key performance indicators we use is app installs. Can we give your app a boost to the number of users that download and install your app? Usually, the answer is an unqualified, “YES!” Of course, like with all mobile advertising that comes with the industry issue of uninstalls. The biggest drawback to mobile marketing is the simple fact that one quarter to one-third of users will uninstall, but that may not be the negative that it first appears. New tracking of re-installation numbers might mean that an uninstall doesn’t mean losing a customer.

Why Users Uninstall

Before you can understand the importance of re-installs on the mobile marketing ecosystem, it’s important to understand what drives un-installs. While a bad onboarding experience can mean an instant deletion, many uninstalls are really a result of technology limitations. Mobile devices have limited storage. Users tend to download apps when they need them and delete them when they are not used regularly. That doesn’t mean the need won’t crop up again, but it does mean that users are cautious about which apps live on their devices versus which ones simply pass through.

While space is a driving issue, it’s not the only reason why users install and uninstall. With so many apps offering very similar services, the most common reason for an uninstall is simply to try something different. App users might uninstall one chat app in favor of another and then decide down the road that the original app offered more functionality for their purposes. It’s a constantly revolving system with users trying new things only to return to the tried and true.

Are Re-Installs That Popular?

With new tracking, it is clear that more users reinstall popular apps than ever. In fact, reinstall rates trend as high as 75 percent in some verticals. Remember that subway tracking app for New York City that you used once? Maybe you’ll be downloading it again during your next trip to the Big Apple. Did a former employer use Basecamp, while a new one prefers Google Docs? Productivity, entertainment, and travel apps are the most frequently uninstalled, and have some of the highest re-install rates.

Why Re-Installs Can Reinvigorate Mobile Marketing

If you are regularly adding new users, and re-adding experienced users, it can be a good indication that your app is extending its reach. After all, users tend to re-download the apps they find most useful. They might try an alternative, but reverting to the original app means they found more value in your version. In many cases, search is the leading driver for app re-installations, which are not related to user acquisition campaigns. You’ll see new downloads coming from active campaigns, and search targets leading to returning customers.

First-Time User or Repeat Customer?

Studies show that repeat customers offer tremendous value for a business. In fact, the ideal mix puts existing customers right in line with generating new revenue. After all, customer retention is a good indicator of how well you are serving your target market. If customers keep coming back, it shows that your service is adding value to their lives. To continue to grow in an increasingly crowded app marketplace, you need to appeal to both existing customers and find new targets, and a high mobile re-install rate may demonstrate your ability to do exactly that.