[Market & Industry] Mobile app marketing using a lockscreen feature - Strategy to increase the retention rate
[Buzzvil People] Sandy Lee, Creative Designer
August 31, 2017
[Buzzvil People] Jane Choi, Sales Product Planning Manager
October 13, 2017

[Market & Industry] Mobile app marketing using a lockscreen feature – Strategy to increase the retention rate

Maturing Smartphone/Mobile App Market

It has been almost 8 years since I-phone 3GS, the product that opened the door to the era of Smartphone, was first introduced in Korea in late 2009.

Korean Smartphone market is currently at a mature stage as an approximately 85% of total Korean population is using Smartphone devices. Followed by the market’s maturity, there has been an increasing number of users owning their 2nd or 3rd Smartphones and it is generally accepted that mobile apps that Smartphone users are using on a recurring basis have been fixed. We wonder how many apps those of you reading this article downloaded during the last month.

According to the report conducted by ComScore, a well-known US based market research firm, around 50% of US smartphone users don’t download any single mobile app for a month. The time when we actively searched for usable apps after purchasing Smartphones for the first time is now behind us. The following data will help you better understand the cause of this occurrence.

As of first quarter of 2017, the average number of apps used per an individual user during a day is around 11.5 in US and 9.8 in Korea, which is a little lower than US. We came to think that this figure is too little compared to the total number of apps registered on Googleplay, which is approximately 2.8 million as of March, 2017(Statista, 2017), and a great deal of effort that numerous app developers must have put in developing this infinite number of apps.

After user acquisition

Even after managing to have users download your app by putting in a lot of efforts (In other words, spending a lot of money on marketing), if you are forced into the fierce competition in order to be included in the 9.8 apps that Smartphone users are using every day, what kind strategy should app marketers implement? Let’s find an answer together by looking into two types of scenarios.

First, let’s say that there is a new user who downloaded the app to try it for the first time. He sort of likes the app. After using the app for a while, he receives a push notification that your friend left a comment on your recent Facebook posting. Then, he ends up leaving the app to go to his Facebook page. While he reads Facebook postings updated by his friends, he forgets the fact that he just installed the new app. Then, he doesn’t reopen the new app ever since. (A)

There is a user using an existing app. While he likes contents offered by the app, he thinks that it is not worth paying for them out of his own pocket. After reading free contents for a while, he becomes tired of quickly reaching the daily limit , which eventually leads him to leave the app. (B)

You can achieve a significant improvement on both of above mentioned cases by taking control of the lockscreen.

It can naturally encourage a user who downloaded the app for the first time to activate the lockscreen feature and provide them with benefits related with goods/services offered by the app. It is easier to obtain the consent from the first-time user as they tend to be more curious about and receptive to the newly downloaded app and they can also take advantage of benefits that usually come with the consent. Once the lockscreen is turned on, in-app contents and event news are constantly fed into users and it will help turning ex-users who left the app before forming a “habit” of using it into ‘habitual’ users through utility features (e.g, shortcut) appearing on the lockscreen.

Furthermore, allowing users to consume points they earned between uses of the lockscreens to purchase the paid content at no cost will not only bring users unwilling to pay for the content and leaving the app back to the app but also this positive experience will drive those returning users to pay for the service next time they use it.

The effect that the increased retention rate has on CAC improvement

Let’s suppose that there is an app with an average Customer Acquisition Cost(CAC) of $2. The percentage of users who continue to use the app one day after the installation is 20%. In this case, an actual CAC is same as $2/20% =$10/per user. Namely, you pay $10 to acquire an actual user.

There is an app whose CAC is equally $2 but its retention rate one day later is now 30%. In this case, the actual CAC is $6.67. ($2/30%)

As witnessed above, the 10% improvement in the retention rate plays a significant role in improving CAC of actual users.That is why many app marketers focus on increasing the retention rate.

BuzzScreen, Lockscreen SDK

If that is the case, are we supposed to develop the lockscreen feature on our own? You can easily take advantage of this feature utilizing BuzzScreen Lockscreen SDK.

Lockscreen for BuzzScreen Partners’

Starting in 2015 with SK Planet’s OK Cashbag, Buzzvil has focused on SDK platform business and helped mobile app marketers monetize their apps through ads and improve the retention rate.

As of September 2017, we have partnered with over 40 apps, including preload apps of 3 major domestic telecommunication companies, 11st, CJ One, battlecomics, T-money, and others, to obtain various references, and at the same time continuously improve our services.

BuzzScreen Partner’s List by Category


Sometimes, there is concern that adding the lockscreen feature to an existing app might deteriorate user experience with auto-activation and forced exposure to all users. Subsequent to the installation of SDK, the lockscreen feature can be only activated after the user consent is acquired, which means the user experience will remain intact.

Once the lockscreen is activated, app marketers can have the advantage of acquiring users activating the app 24 hours a day. Notably, these activated users become naturally engaged in the app without even realizing that they are using it while they are, in fact, constantly being exposed to information fed by the app through interesting contents and ads appearing on the lockscreen.

In addition, it comes with a benefit similar to acquiring users “always logged on” a web browser as it accumulates various data as to which content users prefer to consume and which ads they actively respond to and then analyze the accumulated data in connection with existing users’ behavior data.

Are you still worried about the user retention? Please, contact Buzzvil now.