Are Users Who Perform App Uninstalls Lost for Good? No! Here’s Why

By John Koetsier January 27, 2016

Every mobile app experiences at least some app uninstalls from users. And for mobile app marketers, a high rate of uninstalls can be among the most frustrating and challenging business metrics. After all the effort to attract users, having them uninstall can feel extremely disappointing.

At Singular, one of the questions we have been asked most often when we implemented our app uninstall attribution measurement is…
Are app uninstalls lost forever?

Our research shows…absolutely not! In fact, proactive and customized remarketing initiatives can drive conversion rates that are even higher than for your other install programs – if you take a personalized approach and have the facility to specifically communicate with app uninstallers.

But first things first.

Why People Uninstall Apps

Other posts on this blog discuss the reasons why people perform app uninstalls. But a capsule summary of the reasons why people uninstall apps includes:

  • Unmet User Expectations: When an app fails to live up to its hype, users question its value and necessity in their lives
  • App Performance Issues: When operation of an app is clunky, whether because of bugs or high CPU demands, users become frustrated
  • Onerous User Requirements: When registration is tedious, time consuming, or otherwise challenging, people may uninstall without even getting to their first real app experiences
  • Better Apps Available: When users become aware of competing apps that deliver better performance or utility, you can expect a big chunk of them to abandon your app
  • App Experience Completed: When a user finishes an app like a game, or no longer has need for its core utility, the app is far more likely to be removed from a device.
  • Need to Free Up Space on the Device: When Android users reach the maximum amount of stored content for their devices, they need to remove apps in order to make room for others. This is a particularly common circumstance for users in the developing world

Since there is a broad set of reasons why people uninstall apps from an iPhone or Android device, the extent to which a particular uninstaller will be challenging to win back is going to vary.

Understanding the Reasons Why YOUR USERS Uninstall Apps

To create a strategy and action plan for app uninstalls and user win-backs, you need to first understand why people uninstalled an app from their device in the first place.

With Singular, you can define an audience of app uninstallers and work with your media or research partners to reach out to these specific anonymized individuals for their feedback.

Delivering surveys to iPhone and Android app uninstallers can provide valuable insights to help you devise an uninstall marketing action plan – one that can both reduce future uninstalls and potentially win back uninstallers.

Data-Driven Reinstall Efforts for iOS and/or Android Uninstallers

Equipped with research information, you can formulate highly targeted marketing efforts to address the app uninstalls challenges and encourage former users to reinstall.

As mentioned above, Singular offers the opportunity to define an audience of Android and/or iOS uninstallers and deliver it to your automation platform or media partners for personalized marketing messages and offers.

What Pros Say

A series of interviews we conducted with industry pros revealed that reinstall programs against recent iOS and Android app uninstallers frequently delivers conversion metrics that are well above average versus greenfield install programs.

But these folks also emphasized that in the absence of proactive remarketing programs, uninstallers don’t return to install an app in large numbers. This use case is definitely an example for which proactive marketing investment yields strong dividends.

Note: This blog post on app uninstalls was published first on the Apsalar blog, prior to Apsalar’s merger with Singular. Learn more about our united company at

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