How to Optimize Subscription Retention Rates for Mobile Apps?

Subscription retention rate is a critical metric that decides the growth of your app business. Learn strategies to optimize it!

As per the latest reports, over 2.67 million apps are on Google Play Store and 2.184 million on Apple Store. It is a staggering number. With millions of apps on Google and Apple Store, mobile marketers find it increasingly difficult to retain users. The average retention rate for many industries is quite low. 

As per research conducted across 31 mobile app categories, the retention rate was 25.3% on Day 1. It went down to 5.7% by Day 30. User retention is a crucial way to determine the success of a mobile app. If marketers can retain users, it will help them increase business and reach targeted numbers. 


retention-key-statistics(source: BusinessofApps)

User retention is a crucial metric to determine the success of a mobile app. Businesses can determine the user retention of subscription apps through subscription retention rates. It gives you the percentage of subscribers that continue to use the app. 


daily-retention-rate(source: AppsFlyer)

Monitoring and optimizing subscription retention rates helps developers lead their subscription apps to success. It depends on many factors. To know how to retain subscribers, you must be mindful of your subscription retention strategies and optimize them to get the best results. 

But before we discuss subscription retention rates and how you can maximize subscription retention rates, let us learn the difference between user acquisition and retention. It will help us understand why the subscription retention rate is an essential metric.

User Retention vs. User Acquisition

User acquisition refers to the process of attracting new users. When a developer launches a new app, he primarily aims to acquire new users. It is an essential metric that reflects the app’s ability to grow and tap into a new client base. A high acquisition rate reflects an app’s ability to attract new users and expand its reach effectively. User acquisition is essentially the first step in the process. 

After an app has established its base, developers need to retain their users. User retention refers to the percentage of users that continue to use the app after download and registration. A high retention rate indicates that app users are happy with the app and will continue using it. It is a reflection of brand loyalty. 

While both these metrics are crucial, user retention is considered more critical. Targeting existing users is more cost-effective and practical. These users are more likely to perform actions like in-app subscriptions or purchases. Let us learn about the subscription retention rate and how you can optimize it for the best results. 

What is the Subscription Retention Rate?

The subscription retention rate refers to the percentage of users who continue paying for a service without cancellations during a given period. It is the simplest subscription retention rate meaning/definition. For companies that offer subscription-based services, it is an essential metric to determine the success of their venture. 

When businesses measure the subscription retention rate over time, it gives vital information on user behavior and identifies persistent trends. Then, they can make strategic decisions about their future pricing, marketing, and development plans.  

Benchmarks of retention rate and subscription retention rate? 

The optimal retention rate can vary from one industry to another. For most categories, the day 30 retention rate is less than 6% according to Appsflyer’s report.



From a Revenuecat report, annual subscription retention rates are varied from 17%-43%, and monthly subscription retention is varied from 5% to 19%.

How to Measure the Subscription Retention Rate

It is easy to measure the subscription retention rate. You just need a subscription retention rate formula and a few parameters.

First, you should know the total number of subscribers at the beginning of the period. Then, see the number of subscribers by the end of the period. 

For instance, if you want to see the retention rate of the first month, you should know the number of subscribers at the start of the month and then the number of subscribers who renewed the subscription at the end of the month. 

Divide the number of subscribers at the end of the period by the total number of subscribers at the beginning of the period. Multiply the result by 100% for the final answer. 

The subscription retention rate formula is as follows:

Subscription Retention Rate = ([E- N]/ S) x 100%


E: Number of customers at the end of the period

N: Number of new customers acquired during that period

S: Number of customers at the start of the period

Let’s say you had 2000 subscribers at the beginning of the month, and you have 1000 subscribers by the end of the month. 200 out of these subscribers are new. 

E - N = 1000 - 200 = 800

Hence, the subscription retention rate would be: (800 / 2,000) x 100% = 40%

It indicates that your subscription retention rate is 40%. 

How to Optimize Subscription Retention Rates for Mobile Apps?

Are you wondering how to retain subscribers? Do you want to know how to get a higher subscription retention rate? The answer is simple- optimize your subscription retention rate with helpful strategies. It all comes down to how well you can keep up with the needs of your subscribers and whether you can provide them with the services they are willing to invest in. 

There are millions of apps on the Play Store. You need to be a cut above the rest. So, you have created the best app with a brilliant UI. Next, it is time to market it well to your potential customers. 

Optimizing your strategy helps you do that. It involves a holistic approach to optimize your marketing to understand your target audience, analyze data and implement effective tactics. Here are some subscription retention rates optimization best practices you can follow:

1. Invite Users for Beta Testing

If you best test your app with a few invite-only users, you can ensure a higher retention rate. Developers can see if there are any bugs or issues that will affect the user experience. The users engaging with your app will provide feedback and help you eradicate any significant complications that may affect user retention after launch. 

2. Start Early Tracking

Measuring the data along your app user journey accurately gives you insights into what is working and what needs to be adjusted. You can detect retention issues, monitor user behavior, and identify churn patterns. It allows developers to plan for future growth. You can gauge your performance and make necessary optimizations. 

3. Email Marketing

Usually, small to mid-size businesses rely on email marketing to improve user retention rates and increase engagement. You can share discounts, newsletters, and other information with your customers. It is an effective strategy for building brand loyalty. It is a win-win situation. Your customers get good offers, and you get to market your brand effectively.

4. App Store Optimization (ASO)

Optimizing mobile applications to increase their ranking in the app store search results is called app store optimization. ASO increases app visibility by optimizing app titles and descriptions, doing keyword research, creating engaging media, and getting positive reviews and ratings. When you implement ASO, you should optimize the app’s title and description, conduct keyword research, and localize the app. 

Optimize Your Subscription Retention Rates with

You know how important it is to track your subscription retention rate. allows you to track your app’s key metrics, subscription retention rate being one of the subscription metrics that tracks. It gives you insight into real-time data analytics of your cross-platform strategy implementation.

subscription-retention-rate(source: is the best free subscription analytics platform that allows developers to analyze the performance of in-app subscriptions for subscription apps. This tool improves the efficiency of developers, marketers, analysts, and app owners, which can lead to the growth of your subscribers.

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How to Optimize Subscription Retention Rates for Mobile Apps?

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