Why not include those who haven’t finished the onboarding in the report?
Easy: they have no reason to come back to your product. They just ruin your stats and give a false image of what’s happening.
To find out more about how basing your retention reports on sign-ups offers an inaccurate image on your business growth, you can check out this article.
So, when analyzing the retention of your users you have to take into account two aspects:
What is the retention after the first week?
Basically you need to know how many people finish the onboarding and come back to your app after one week.
Which is the moment when retention stabilizes?
Many times retention has high values after one week, but it gradually decreases as the time passes. It can drop dramatically in a matter of weeks until it stabilizes.
Ideally, the stabilization should happen during the first week. This is what you should be aiming for and it is no impossible feat. In fact, we do have a client who’s retention stabilizes at around 45% during the first week.
Why is it ideal to stabilize retention during the first week? Because if you manage to do so this early in the game, all you have to do is optimize just one thing: the number of people who come back during the first week. If you manage to increase retention from 45% to say… 60% during the first week, this figure will stay there even after the first week.
If retention stabilizes after more than one week, your efforts of optimizing retention during the first week offer no guarantee that the results will extend over the following period. So then you will have two optimization projects to put in place: optimizing retention during the first week, and optimizing the moment of stabilization.
Once you know the stats related to retention, you need an optimization strategy.