Increasing Headspace Retention: Healthier and Happier User Cohorts

Headspace retention case study in app

+109%

uplift in week 1 retention

+49%

increase in paid conversions within 1 day

+14%

uplift in first meditation leading up to winter promo campaign

+6%

uplift new user activation


The Challenge

Headspace wanted to improve 2 key metrics:

Global user retention

New user activation

“Phiture's strategic guidance, tactical expertise, and custom tools have quantum-leaped my team's ability to delight our members with best-in-class lifecycle marketing campaigns (across email, push, and, most of all, dynamic in-app modals).”

Brian Rabben, Head Of Channels @ Headspace

The Solution

Throughout the project, we worked side-by-side with the Headspace team to deliver and develop methodical solutions. Phiture’s in-house retention experts identified that in-app messages were a crucial channel to drive higher retention and conversions. We also tested many hypotheses with CRM experiments, resulting in high-performing, optimized engagement and reactivation campaigns encompassing push, in-app, and Email channels, deployed and optimized through the Braze platform. In collaboration with the client, Phiture’s retention team designed solutions to improve the 0-1 strategy (encouraging users to take part in their first meditation) in the run-up to their crucial winter promotional period. Campaigns included rich push notifications with artwork that corresponded to specific packs and leveraged Headspace’s compelling brand. Each push notification deep-linked users directly to the content, the selection of which was based on aggregated engagement data, indicating the most popular meditation packs.

In developing the solution, the retention team focused on:- Utilizing in-app messaging channels- Optimizing the engagement and reactivation campaigns- Employing rich push notifications- Implementing deep linking

Headspace retention case study in app

The Results

Phiture accelerated users converting to paid subscriptions by driving an average 49% more paid conversions within 1 day. The first round of experiments resulted in a 6% uplift in new user activation. Further iterations resulted in an extra uplift in activation of 20%. Users who received these campaigns were retained by an average of 109% higher than control in Week 1. These innovative features re-activated thousands of deeply dormant users, proving that deep-linking to specific content is highly effective for activation and heightening engagement.


Since launching in 2010, Headspace has been innovative in helping people lead a healthier, happier and more well-rested life. Founded by Andy Puddicombe and Rich Pierson, it has offices in Santa Monica, San Francisco and London and has millions of users around the world. The Headspace app allows people to experience the benefits of meditation anytime, anywhere by providing guided sessions and mindfulness training. Client: HeadspaceServices: Custom in-app messaging, retention, engagement, reactivation, deep linking, rich push notifications, data analysis, campaign optimizationProject period: 2018 - 2019Headspace Logo