By Jonathan Chen
Director of Product and Customer Support
Earlier this year, Apsalar led the industry in introducing uninstall tracking – first for Android and then for iOS. We’re leading again with the global launch of the industry’s first-ever user-level reinstall tracking. This launch follows a private beta that took place earlier in the year.
REINSTALL TRACKING EXPLAINED
Reinstall tracking relates to instances in which a user installs an app, uninstalls it later, and then subsequently reinstalls that app. With user-level uninstall tracking, Apsalar records an uninstall as an action/event and credits it to a specific device advertising ID. We measure uninstalls as an event rather than as a negation of an install because marketers told us they want to understand their overall relationship with a user, not a segment of that relationship. If we simply negated the install, every successive reinstall would have to be treated as a new user. That would wreak havoc on long-term planning and user analysis.
Reinstall measurement appends a user profile with a new reinstall when a user that once had an app reinstalls and launches that app. It appends the user profile with a new action, thus enabling long-term business analysis like LTV and ROAS.
When we first introduced uninstall measurement, most marketers felt they had little need for reinstall measurement. But now, many brands are experiencing large numbers of app reinstalls, and want a way to both analyze this phenomenon and credit their partners and campaigns with these activities.
WHY MEASURING REINSTALLS MATTERS
Smart marketers recognize that driving an install is just a small portion of the “battle” to create a profitable, loyal app user. At Apsalar, we’ve been issuing reporting on Android uninstall rates for several quarters. That data shows that lots of people uninstall apps. Here’s a summary chart of the uninstall rates that we have observed in a number of app categories and regions around the world. These rates represent the percentage of installers that uninstall within the first 30 days.
We focus on reporting 30-day uninstall rates because marketers are most interested in uninstalls that occur in the first hours/days/weeks of an install. Marketers worry less about uninstalls that occur after this period because they are less indicative of product or marketing issues. Such uninstalls are far more difficult to influence with proactive re-engagement.
MANY PEOPLE WHO UNINSTALL ARE ACTUALLY SATISFIED WITH THE APP
Many people who uninstall your app are perfectly satisfied with the utility and experience it provides. One of the most common reasons why people uninstall an app is that they run out of storage on their device. When storage issues arise, they may uninstall your app because they don’t feel an immediate need for it. For example, if a user has a travel app but no immediate plans for a trip, then they may uninstall that app to make room for another app.
Uninstalls are more likely to occur when:
- A device has a relatively small amount of total storage space
- A device has a relatively small amount of available storage space
- When apps are used sporadically, for example a travel planning app
- When a user has multiple apps that serve the same or similar function
- When apps take up a large amount of storage space
There are also millions of mobile users who periodically “clean out” apps they don’t use very often.
Uninstall rates vary by category, and the likelihood of reinstalls also varies by category. For example, a user is unlikely to reinstall a completed game, but may reinstall a travel planning app when booking needs again arise.
REINSTALLERS CAN BE A BIG SOURCE OF POTENTIAL REVENUE
When a user uninstalls an app but may have need for it again later, driving a reinstall can be very profitable. Travel is probably the simplest use case here. Imagine that an infrequent user books a hotel stay on your travel app. Then, needing space for another app and having no immediate need for your travel app, she uninstalls your app and installs the other app.
She’s still a potentially valuable customer for you. When she needs to make a travel booking again, you’d want to do everything you could to ensure that she reinstalls your app.
You might double – or triple, or… – the lifetime value of that customer by driving a reinstall. In addition, it’s probably going to be easier to get both a reinstall and a second purchase out of a past user than a first purchase from a new user.
REINSTALLS AND APSALAR’S AUDIENCES SERVICES
As you probably know, Apsalar offers a set of services that enable marketers to build and deploy audiences of app users for customized, targeted marketing efforts. One of the most popular use cases for these services is in reinstall marketing. Marketers create a dynamic audience of recent uninstallers and deliver that to one of their media partners for re-engagement marketing to drive reinstalls.
Hourly data updates eliminate wasting dollars on people who have already reinstalled.
GETTING ACCESS TO THE NEW REINSTALL DATA
Reinstall tracking is available to those who use a version of our SDK that enables uninstall tracking. For Android, that means version 6.2 or higher. For iOS, it’s version 7.2 or higher. You can see which SDK version(s) you have installed by clicking Applications on the left hand navigation.
To activate Uninstall Tracking, visit this support page. Our Account and Support teams will be glad to help you as well. Activating uninstall tracking will automatically activate reinstall tracking. Note: those who use server-to-server, API-based tracking cannot use uninstall or reinstall tracking at this time.
THANKS TO THE TEAM
Reinstall tracking is now available to clients worldwide. Thanks to everyone on the team that made this innovation possible, as well as the clients and partners who helped guide us in our planning and execution of this important new feature!