Retention Rate: Comprehensive Guide to Its Importance and Calculation

Retention Rate: Comprehensive Guide to Its Importance and Calculation

If you're in business, understanding Retention Rate is vital.

Why? It measures two things:

  • The loyalty of your customers

  • How long your product or service remains relevant

In this piece, we're about to undertake a journey. We will delve into the nitty-gritty of Retention Rate.

You'll learn:

  • What it is

  • How to calculate it

  • Why it's crucial for your business's success.

Stay tuned to discover more on this critical business metric!

Understanding Retention Rate

Retention Rate is a measure that tells us what percentage of customers keep using a product or service over time. This valuable statistic helps us see how loyal customers are to the product or business. Simply put, it’s a way of tracking if customers stick around.

A high retention rate is something all business aim for. Why? Because it's an indication of excellent customer experience and robust business practice. If your retention rate is high, it means customers love what you’re offering and keep coming back for more. It shows that you're not just attracting customers, but also satisfying them consistently, which is a sign of a healthy, sustainable business.

Retention Rate Importance

Retention Rate is a key gauge of business success. It's like a health check for your business. The higher your retention rate, the healthier your business.

Higher retention rates pave the way for increased revenue. This is because getting new customers often costs more than keeping the ones you already have. This might seem counterintuitive, but think about all the resources you pour into attracting a new customer - advertising, promotions and sales team efforts. On the other hand, maintaining existing customers doesn't require as much effort.

Boosting the retention rate can have a big impact on profits. Even a small increase can lead to significant gains. For example, if your business has a retention rate of 75% and you manage to nudge it up to 80%, that's an additional 5% of customers who've decided to stick around. Depending on your business size, this could translate to a hefty margin in revenue.

In summary, a strong emphasis on improving and maintaining a high retention rate can not only help keep your customers happy but also drive your business towards sustainability and growth.

Calculating Retention Rate

Calculating retention rate needs you to pay attention to key factors. One of these is defining a critical event. This could be when a customer purchases your product or signs up for your service. This crucial step marks the starting point in this calculation.

Next, comes figuring out the usage interval. The nature of your product determines this period. For instance, if you run an online magazine, your usage interval might be a month. If you operate a fast food restaurant, it could be just a day. This is because how often customers use your product varies.

Lastly, it boils down to comparison. You need to count the number of users at the start of your usage interval and again at the end. Now, you compare these figures. This gives you the retention rate. Keep in mind that a higher rate indicates more customers staying with you over that period. In simpler terms, it means your business is keeping its customers happy!

In short:

  • Define your critical event (purchase, signup, etc.)

  • Set your usage interval based on your product/service

  • Compare user numbers at the beginning and end of this period

The understanding drawn from this simple calculation can help your business grow by enhancing customer loyalty.

Different Types of Retention Rates

There are several ways to track retention, and some may be more suitable for your business than others. Here are three key types that you should know about:

Customer Retention Rate: This focuses specifically on paying customers or subscribers. In essence, it's a measure of how many clients continue to pay for your product or service over time.

User Retention Rate: This is broader than customer retention and includes all users, whether they are paying customers or free users. For businesses with a freemium model, this kind of rate can provide valuable insights into user behavior.

Cohort Retention Rate: This method allows for segment-based analysis. For instance, you can evaluate the retention rate for a group (or cohort) of users who signed up in the same month.

Different retention rates provide different insights, and using the right one can help your business to improve its strategies and, ultimately, its bottom line.

Time-Based Retention Rates

Time-based retention rates are a valuable tool for businesses. They allow you to gauge customer loyalty over various periods of time. There are three main types of time-based retention rates: N-day Retention Rate, Unbounded Retention Rate, and Bracketed Retention Rate.

N-day Retention Rate

The N-day Retention Rate gives us data on exact days post sign-up. For example, how many customers are still around 30 days after signing up? It's calculated by choosing a specific day (N) after sign-up and finding out what percentage of customers are still active.

Unbounded Retention Rate

The Unbounded Retention Rate is flexible. It allows us to calculate the retention rate on any given day. This can be crucial when reviewing peak usage times or capitalizing on specific times of the year.

Bracketed Retention Rate

Finally, there's Bracketed Retention Rate. This method tracks retention within custom periods. We can measure retention from months two to six, for instance. This gives an insight into long-term customer behaviour. These periods could be configured based on the nature of your business or seasonal trends.

These time-based calculations give a useful perspective on customer loyalty over time. They help businesses plan strategies and tailor their services to enhance customer retention.

Strategies to Improve Retention Rate

Understanding how to improve your retention rate is crucial for your business success. Here are some key strategies to consider:

  • Consider Cancelled Customers: Don't mark cancelled customers as churned right away. This approach helps keep the retention rates higher. Instead, reach out to them for their feedback and try to win them back.

  • Gather Feedback Regularly: Regular customer feedback is invaluable. It aids in identifying areas needing improvement. Survey, polls, or one-on-one interactions can be effective tools for collecting feedback.

  • Utilize Product Usage Data: Understanding how customers use your product is critical. By analyzing this data, you can perceive customer behavior patterns. These insights can guide user experience (UX) improvements, leading to a better customer experience and consequently, greater loyalty.

Remember, improving retention rate is not a one-time task but a continuous effort. Regular evaluation and fine-tuning of these strategies can lead to significant enhancements in customer loyalty and business profits.

Retention Rate Examples

Retention strategies vary from one business to another. Let's now delve into some real-life examples of companies successfully boosting their retention rates:

The Calm App: This mobile app managed to significantly improve their retention rate in a unique way. They heavily promoted their less known or 'hidden' features, allowing users to discover and make full use of the app. This strategy not only increased user engagement but also encouraged users to stick with the app.

Kwit App: Personalization proved to be a potent tool for Kwit's retention game. They tailored the user experience based on individual user details. This move made users feel valued and aided in maintaining a higher retention rate.

Fishbrain: By experimenting and iterating on their product, Fishbrain achieved an uptick in their retention rate. They used two platforms, Amplitude and Braize, for these experiments. These platforms helped them track and analyze user behavior, helping them make the necessary adjustments for improved retention.

These examples illustrate different strategies businesses can employ to boost their retention rate.


The Retention Rate is a critical metric that every business needs to grasp. Why? Because it's a handy measure of customer loyalty. The more you understand this concept, the better your chances of keeping your customers hooked to your product or service.

Calculating and increasing the retention rate isn't rocket science. Many methods are available, each offering its unique perspective. For example, you can opt for Customer Retention Rate, User Retention Rate, or even Cohort Retention Rate. Pick the one that suits your business model the best.

But remember, computation alone isn't enough. You need to actively work towards boosting your retention rate. How? By:

  • Discarding the assumption that cancelled customers are lost forever

  • Frequently gathering feedback from your customer base

  • Using your product usage data to identify patterns and make effective changes

Learning from successful ventures can give you a leg up. Look at the Calm app, for instance. They managed to up their retention rate by showcasing hidden app features. Or take Kwit, which boosted user stickiness through personalized experiences. Then there's Fishbrain, they used tech tools like Amplitude and Braze and saw a significant rise in their retention rate.

Every business could benefit from an increased retention rate. It improves customer loyalty, boosts profits, and most importantly, fosters sustainable growth. So, ensure you give it the importance it deserves. Your bottom-line figures will thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Retention Rate and Churn Rate?

The retention rate is the percentage of customers who continue to use a product or service over time. On the other hand, churn rate refers to the percentage of customers who stop using a product or service over the same period. Both are essential metrics for businesses, but whereas a high retention rate is desirable, a high churn rate is not.

Can we consider churned customers as cancelled customers?

No, churned customers and cancelled customers should be treated differently. A cancelled customer may still have future interactions with the business. Treating them as a churned customer can negatively impact the retention rate.

How does gathering customer feedback improve Retention Rate?

Gathering customer feedback allows businesses to identify areas that need improvements. By making necessary changes based on feedback, a business can enhance customer experience and satisfaction, which eventually helps to boost its retention rate.

Does Retention Rate affect profit?

Definitely! Higher retention rates mean more loyal customers, which in turn translates to more revenue. Remember, acquiring new customers is costlier than retaining existing ones, so improvements in retention rates can significantly increase profits.

What role does user experience play in retention rates?

User experience is critical in retaining customers. If customers find the product easy to use and fulfilling their needs, they are likely to stick around. Changes in a product based on user behaviour analysis can make significant improvements in the user experience, thereby increasing the retention rate.

What tools can help measure and improve retention rate?

Tools like Amplitude and Braze are useful in conducting experiments and gathering data about user behaviour. They provide deep insights that can help businesses make crucial product improvements, ultimately aiding in improving the retention rate.

What is a surprising strategy to improve Retention Rate?

One surprising strategy is to promote hidden features of a product or service. For instance, the Calm app improved their retention rate by promoting hidden features. This strategy works because often customers are not aware of many beneficial features a product offers, so by promoting these, businesses can keep users engaged longer.

Find the



phone numbers

of your prospects

Build a list of leads filled with contact info.


Export Leads from LinkedIn


Better coverage than other vendors


Try it for free



you couldn't reach before

Find the emails & phone numbers of your prospects.

Stop missing opportunities because you cannot find your prospects' emails and phone numbers.

Trusted by the fastest-growing agencies and B2B companies:



you couldn't reach before

Find the emails & phone numbers of your prospects.

Stop missing opportunities because you cannot find your prospects' emails and phone numbers.

Trusted by the fastest-growing agencies and B2B companies: