How to Increase Mobile App Engagement and User Retention : Proven Strategies


Today, mobile applications are the hottest means to get connected to the Internet for modern-day, tech-savvy customers. The ease of usage offered by handheld devices makes them immensely popular among digital customers for connecting to the internet through different mobile apps. While the increasing demand of mobile apps among customers might be good news for you as a mobile app development company, it can also become a challenge.


As the number of apps increases further, it might get difficult for you to engage and retain mobile users. Why? The reason is simple: with millions of apps present on the play store, it takes seconds for users to delete poorly performing apps that deliver minimum value, from their smartphone. To save your app from getting uninstalled, it’s important to make them entertaining and valuable for improved app engagement and user retention.


Mobile app engagement and user retention are two main metrics that businesses from retail & ecommerce, banking, healthcare and other sectors can use to get genuine insights about the success of an application. High engagement and retention equal to the app success whereas low app engagement and retention are a recipe for failure.

So, before we move on to the strategies to boost mobile app engagement and user retention, let’s first understand:


App-ify Your Ideas

Talk to our experts today


What is App Engagement Exactly?


App engagement is directly related to the set of metrics that measures user interaction with a mobile app. Put it simply – app engagement tactics give a reason to app visitors to keep coming back to your mobile app, or open your app and perform the desired actions you want.

User Retention: This is a highly subjective term. As per the industry benchmark, it refers to the percentage of app users who return back to your app within three months, after they install it. To make it more specific and quantifiable, it can be defined as the number of users that returns to your app at least once in 30 days, after installation.

Note: Every brand has set its own benchmark to measure user retention rate, which depends upon the nature or type of the app they built.

Common App Engagement metrics include:


Active Users: It refers to the number of users who open your app at a particular time (session/day/month). This metric is further subdivided into:

App Retention Rate: As an app developer, this metric provides you with an idea about the percentage of users who keep coming back to your app after they install it for a certain period of time.

Churn Rate: This metric simply denotes the percentage of users that your app is unable to retain.

Session Length: This simply tells you about the time a particular user spent on your app, every time they open it.

The Challenge: App Engagement & User Retention


Achieving higher mobile app engagement and user retention is a difficult task today, even for the top mobile app development companies. According to last year statistics, only 32 percent of users returned to a mobile app after they installed it globally. And, what’s more, interesting is that 25 percent of the users stopped the usage of a mobile app after one use.

App engagement and user retention is a constant challenge for app developers and product managers. The mobile app ecosystem is extremely competitive, with over 2.8 million apps available today. It is difficult to gain and keep users’ attention.


Enterprise mobile app development processes struggle with high churn and declining engagement over time. Users download many apps but end up using only a few regularly. Initial high download numbers often fail to translate into long term active users and revenue. As users explore more apps, they become choosier about which ones provide the most value.


There are many reasons why users stop using apps:


Bugs and a poor user experience can quickly drive users away. Lack of new features and content updates results in apps becoming stale. Users’ needs and interests change over time. Competitor apps often rise that provide a better solution. Even for successful apps, engagement metrics like session length, time spent in app, and frequency of use tend to drop slowly over time.


Once users stop using an app regularly, it becomes much harder to re-engage them. Notifications and push alerts are often ignored. Mobile app development companies in USA can take months or years to come back, if at all. This means losing revenue from in-app purchases, ads, and subscriptions. High churn also impacts the app’s ranking and visibility in app stores, further hindering growth.


How to Solve it?


To improve app engagement and reduce churn, developers must focus on continuous improvement. Fixing of bugs to be regularly done. User feedback should be monitored closely and incorporated into future updates. New features and fresh content should be provided regularly. Push notifications should be used judiciously to provide value, not just promote the app. The product roadmap should evolve based on usage data and market trends. Competitive analysis is needed to stay ahead.


Even with the right strategy, limited resources make it difficult for most android and IOS app development companies to deliver continuous updates at the pace required. Users now expect a level of quality and convenience similar to the most popular apps. This means businesses must invest heavily in things like analytics, monitoring, A/B testing, and automation to keep up.


In summary, retaining and engaging app users at scale remains a grand challenge. While there are many tactics that can help, the ever-changing mobile landscape requires constant product improvement, innovation and dedication of sufficient resources. Business models developed by mobile app development company must also evolve to reduce dependence on high user volumes. But for apps that do succeed at user retention, the rewards of a loyal, satisfied customer base can be substantial.

Top Ways to Increase App Engagement & User Retention


Follow the below-given tactics or strategies to improve app engagement and user retention or your mobile app. It will also help your enterprise achieve the desired results or get the ROI you expect from your investment in mobile app development services.

Simplify App Onboarding Process


As an iOS or Android app development agency, make sure you deliver an excellent app onboarding experience for higher user engagement. The poor onboarding experience can leave a negative impact on your app engagement efforts. Simplified app onboarding experiences increases the lifetime of an app of up to 60 per cent. To make sure a user doesn’t abandon the app during registration, it’s important you allow them to enter the app smoothly.

Wondering how? Follow the steps below:

  • Reduce registration steps for users while they sign-up
  • Minimize the total number of information fields.
  • Get user information through innovative ways ( for eg. use buttons, icons, images for capturing user data)
  • Most importantly, keep it simple & straightforward.


To simplify onboarding, the initial screens a user sees should be minimal and focused. Explain the core value of the app quickly using simple language. Avoid long text blocks and overwhelm users with choices and options. Give a basic tour of the key features and functionality through walkthrough screens or a tutorial. Allow users to easily skip this if desired.

Limit requests for permissions and personal data to only what is absolutely needed at first launch. Ask for additional permissions and non-essential information later if required. Users are more willing to provide data after experiencing the value of the app.

Use visual elements like images, GIFs, and video clips to illustrate app benefits in an engaging manner. Minimal text and explanatory visuals create a seamless onboarding flow. Custom mobile app development company should focus on tasks users likely want to accomplish first, not every feature at once.

Utilize wizards or workflows to guide users through important first actions within the app. This teaches users the app’s functionality and provides a sense of accomplishment during onboarding. Prompt users to create profiles, follow relevant accounts, and make initial settings selections to establish a personalized experience.


Top app development companies in USA can prompt users to complete actions they will do frequently before overwhelming them with other details. For example, in a ride-sharing app prompt users to add a payment method during onboarding to make future trips quick and easy.

Test various onboarding flows with actual users to identify areas of confusion. Ask users to “think out loud” as they onboard to gain insights. A/B test by a mobile app development company with different onboarding screen designs and text to optimize for key metrics like completion rate, time spent, and user satisfaction.


Send Relevant Push notifications


Push notifications are one of the powerful techniques to grab app user attention and engage them. But, stay aware – if you use this in a wrongful way, it can become the reason for your app deletion from a user’s phone. Wondering how often you should send push notifications? Well, you must try to provide value through push notifications to keep users engaged. How? Think about personalization and value-service while crafting your personalization strategy. Follow the below strategies for grabbing your apps’ user attention and improve retention rate:

  • Send relevant push notifications only to your app audience. (Don’t spam, deliver notifications that provide value to users)
  • Send location-based notifications (If your app works with GPS functionality)
  • Deliver highly target push notifications



You can send a push notification via your food delivery app to customers as soon as they enter one of your partner restaurants for a quick meal.

Know more about how we can contribute to your Mobile App Success.

Talk to our experts today


Follow the Old School Marketing Trick – Send Emails to Engage


Another interesting tactic that you can use to engage with your app audience is by sending them classic, old-school emails. Even though this channel might seem old-fashioned to you today, it carries a significant value for your brand as you can send personal greetings and your company information. All big brands – from retail to banking to food businesses – use email marketing to greet customers when they onboard their mobile app. Sending timely reminders about products, services or other important issues via email is also common for brands.

Periodic emails sent to existing app users can serve as valuable reminders of the app’s usefulness and functionality. They can highlight new features, upcoming releases, time-sensitive offers and other reasons for users to re-open the app. Done right; emails entice users to take immediate action that leads them back into the app.

Content in app emails should be highly relevant, personalized and concise. Focus of mobile app development services on benefits and values that will motivate each recipient to use the app again. Leverage data like past usage patterns and in-app behaviors to tailor email content for maximum impact.

With emails, businesses have more design freedom and the ability to include images, GIFs, videos and other rich media that draw users’ attention. Links can point directly to parts of the app where the most value currently exists. Offers and incentives exclusive to email subscribers can further motivate users to act.

Here are some tips that you can follow to boost app engagement via email:

    • Introduce a new feature or product update via email.
    • Provide tips or suggestions to explore the unused feature of your mobile app
    • Notify them about the discounts or freebies available on your app.
  • Greet customers on important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries
  • Notify customers about the upcoming product events


Think About Your App Personalization


Note this – when you will place personalization at the core of your app engagement strategy, your app engagement metric will automatically improve. Remember smartphones have been designed, keeping the idea of delivering private messages to users. So, it’s important you communicate with every app user on a personal level. Being a mobile app developer, think about the user journey, clearly define KPIs and learn how users want to engage with your app. As an app owner, it’s important to partner a reliable mobile development company to deliver our personalized messages through in-app or push alerts.


Personalizing the app experience for each user based on their behaviors, preferences and data can go a long way toward increasing user engagement and retention. When an app notices and reacts to each user as an individual, it shows that users matter and creates a sense of ownership.


Simple personalization like remembering names, photos, settings, and relevant data across user sessions indicates the app was designed with each person in mind. More advanced personalization like tailored recommendations, notifications and suggested content keep the experience fresh for each user. These can be done with the help of an enterprise mobile app development company. 

As an app accumulates data about a particular user’s activities, preferences and needs, it can evolve over time to provide an increasingly relevant and useful experience for that individual. New features can display insights, analytics and productivity benefits specific to the user. Tasks and workflows can adapt based on that particular user’s behaviors and goals thorough the mobile application development consulting services.

Use In-App Analytics Tools for Deeper Customer Insights


Leveraging in-app analytics tools can provide valuable insights to improve your app and increase user engagement. Analytics tools track metrics like session length, active users, churn, and more. They identify trends and behaviors that help explain why users engage or disengage.

Deeper insights into how and why users actually use your app can point to opportunities to make the experience even better. App development companies in USA may find certain features are underutilized or that users get stuck at a particular step. Analytics can reveal tasks users accomplish most and least frequently.

Armed with these customer insights, you can refine your app in ways that increase its relevance and utility for users. You may optimize workflows, surface more helpful recommendations, or spawn new features based directly on how people actually use the app.

Users generally respond positively when an app evolves to better match their needs and desires. Incorporating insights from analytics into your product roadmap and update plans can help reignite user interest and motivation. Over time, these improvements compound to increase metrics like return rate, retention, and revenue.


But for analytics to be truly helpful, an IOS and android app development agency must act on the data they provide.


Analytics tools only reveal opportunities – it’s up to product teams to implement changes that delight users and improve the experience.

As an app developer, remember that every app is unique with a different set of engagement KPIs. If you want to take your app engagement efforts to the next level, you must learn about mobile app analytics. With mobile app tracking tools (e.g., Localytics, Good Analytics, Mixpanel, etc.), you can gather invaluable insights about the app elements that attract the users most. You can also use this data information to know your customers better such as who are the users of your app, You can also categorize them into age, gender, nationality and frequency of app usage, and track their usage pattern.

Choose Advertising to Connect with App Audience


With the help of reputable app developers, you can use different forms of digital advertising to improve user engagement for your mobile app. Display ads related to app discounts, rewards, etc. on different channels (e.g. social media, search engines, etc.) to connect with your audience. Investing in search ads helps you connect with potential customers who are looking for services, similar to the ones offered by you.

Targeted in-app ads that are relevant to a user’s past actions and interests within the app can catch their attention. These ads can highlight new features, special offers, and content that the user might find interesting. They appear at opportune moments to minimize irritating the user.

Well-timed push notifications can also function like ads by reminding users of reasons to re-open the app. For example, a game developed with mobile app development services might send push notifications about special events or bonus levels at times when existing users are likely to respond.

Advertising can help re-engage lapsed users who haven’t used the app in a while. Ads targeted to these dormant users can explain what’s new within the app that may entice them to give it another try.

 In-app advertising that complements the core user experience can increase engagement metrics like session length and frequency of use. But a enterprise mobile app development company must find the right balance and avoid annoying users with too many ads.


Wrapping Up…!


Hope you enjoyed the above list of measures that are useful to boost app engagement & user retention for your mobile app. Remember that one-time sale is not the key to your app success. You have to attract, retain and deliver value to your customers for long-term to increase app engagement.


By partnering a reliable Android and iOS app development company you can craft a robust app engagement strategy to retain and engage customers like never before.




What is App Retention?


App retention refers to the percentage of people who actively uses your mobile app in a given period of time A high retention rate indicates that users find the app valuable and worth continuing to use. They keep coming back because the app satisfies their needs. But when retention rates drop, it means users are losing interest and the app is failing to retain them.

Several factors influence app retention. A good user experience with few bugs and a seamless workflow tends to boost retention. Regular updates by top mobile app development companies in USA with new features and content that enhance utility and match users’ evolving needs also help retain users. On the other hand, irrelevant features, technical issues and a lack of updates contribute to lower retention.

Measuring and tracking retention rates over time provides valuable insights into the health of an app. Declining retention often serves as an early warning sign, allowing businesses to identify issues and make changes to improve the app before massive user loss occurs.


How to drive an App Engagement?


There are several ways a enterprise mobile app development company can drive higher engagement from users. The key is to understand what motivates users and remove barriers that prevent them from using the app frequently and easily.

  • Provide continuous value through regular updates that incorporate user feedback and add new features, tools and content. Focus on enhancing the core benefits that attracted users in the first place.
  • Make the user experience seamless with a smooth interface, optimized workflows and few bugs. Proactively fix issues and polish rough edges.
  • Leverage data from analytics to gain insights into what tasks users accomplish most and how they interact with the app. Optimize the product based on actual usage patterns.
  • Offer personalized recommendations, content and notifications tailored to each user’s interests and previous behaviors. Mobile application development consulting services should show that the app understands individual needs.
  • Experiment with different engagement strategies through A/B testing. Compare variations in the UI, features and messaging to identify what most motivates users to take desired actions within the app.
  • Remind users of reasons to use the app through emails, push notifications and other messages. But avoid interrupting them with too many that provide no value.


How do I Increase Adoption of my Mobile App?


For increasing your mobile app adoption, apply strategies like social sharing   your app idea,providing selective in-app offers. Also,request customer feedback, run effective campaigns, and deliver personalized app experiences to users.


What drives user retention?


A good user experience drives user retention. Users continue using an app when it provides value, meets their needs, and brings enjoyment. More specifically:

  • Useful features that improve users’ lives: When users find an app helps them accomplish tasks or achieve goals, they retain and use it.
  • Smooth workflow and interface: Few bugs, glitches or crashes retain users better than a poor user experience.
  • Continual improvement: Regular updates and refinements that incorporate user feedback keep the app fresh and valuable.
  • Personalization: When mobile app development services show it understands individual users and can adapt, it becomes indispensable.
  • Relevance: An app that stays aligned with users’ changing needs and interests retains relevance over time.
  • Enjoyment: If an app brings users happiness and motivation beyond mere utility, they remain loyal.