Push Notifications Lift App Retention Rates

This year, 196.2 million US mobile device users ages 14 and older, representing 81.5% of mobile users, will install at least one app on their devices, says a new study from Localytics, reported by Emarketer. According to the research, monthly app launches among users worldwide, who received push notifications, averaged 13.2 in May 2015, 26.9% higher than the average of 10.4 for users who didn’t receive them.

Push notifications are the key in preventing apps from getting lost in the sea of icons on mobile screens, says the report.

The study also looked at app retention rates between February 2015 and the end of May 2015, and found a huge gap in averages depending on whether or not downloaders received push notifications. 61% of new app users receiving push notifications launched the app within the first month, more than double the 28% of installers who did not receive push notifications within that timeframe.

Average App Retention Rate Over First 3 Months (Mobile App Users Worldwide; Push Notifications Sent vs. Not Sent; Feb-May, 2015)


New App Users Launched App


Push Sent

Push Not Sent










Source: Localytics, June 2015;Read as “61% of new app users launched the app within the 1st month, 50% the second month after initial engagement with app”

The difference in retention rates continued to widen throughout the study period. Three months after installation, 46% of new users who received push notifications launched the app, 253.8% higher than the 13% not using push notifications.

Average Retention Rates Over The First 30, 60, and 90 Days of Use for Mobile Apps Worldwide (Push Sent vs. Not Sent)

End of Days Used

Received Push

Push Not Sent

30 days









Source: Kahuna, June 2015; Read as “27.6% of users who received push notification were still using app 90 days after first using vs. 10.1% of users not receiving push.”

Analysis conducted by Kahuna between January 2015 and May 2015 found similar results, with average retention rates slightly lower among both groups. 45.3% of mobile app users worldwide who received push notifications were still using the app 30 days after first using it, 122.1% higher than the average retention rate of 20.4% among those who didn’t receive push notifications.

Just as in the Localytics study, the gap continued to widen as time went on, says the report. After 90 days of use, retention rates averaged 27.6% among push notification recipients, vs. 10.1% among non-recipients.

Concluding, the report suggests that companies using apps would be wise to encourage downloaders to opt in to push messages if they want to keep them coming back.

For more information from Localytics, please visit here.



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