7 Mobile App Engagement Strategies For User Retention

Consumers expect very good.

From websites to mobile apps, potential customers are quick to give up experiences that don’t meet their expectations.

For this reason, creating a top-notch app is essential for companies looking to build long-term relationships with their visitors.

But no matter how many hours your developers and designers spend creating the perfect app, if it doesn’t actually move the needle, the effort won’t be worth it.

This is where the data comes in. Tracking your mobile app’s engagement can help you make smarter decisions and convert customers into subscribers — and with 230 billion apps downloaded by 2020 *, conversion opportunities are endless.

Read on to learn more about mobile app engagement, retention, and best strategies for your business.

Table of Contents:

What is mobile app engagement?

Mobile app engagement is a measure of your users’ response to your app as a complete or specific feature of your app. By collecting metrics surrounding how users interact with your app, you can make smart marketing decisions.

Engagement metrics include – but are not limited to – app time, steps taken and daily uninstall (also known as awful churn rate).

What is mobile app retention?

Holding a mobile app is keeping your app users as subscribers. Mobile app retention rate refers to the number of users who download and continue using your app in the long run.

While every app download is a good start, seeing a high user retention rate means you’re doing something right. After all, that is the only way to truly grow.

The definition of mobile app engagement and app retention

Now that you understand the difference between a mobile app engagement and retention, it’s a good idea to look at your retention rate before starting a new engagement strategy.

Use our retention rate calculator to see how many of your app users are coming back for more.

How mobile apps increase the ability to hold engagement

If you want to keep your customers engaged and interested, you have to give them what they want. But if you don’t have the data, how do you know what to pay them? The mobile app engagement metrics provide marketers with the data they need to make strategic decisions that their customers respond to.

Also, engagement information allows marketers to get to know their audience at a deeper level, build a stronger bond, and move forward with strategies that have a higher ROI (when those fall flat).

By using this data to improve your app, you can give your audience a better experience and increase your retention rate — allowing customers to move on for a lifetime.

Required Mobile App Engagement Metrics

Let’s face it – data is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Collecting and analyzing data can then be difficult to turn it into something meaningful, especially for marketers who specialize in creativity rather than analysis.

To make the process easier, we’ve broken down the most essential mobile app metrics for your marketing team below.

App engagement metrics infographic

Daily uninstall

Take a moment to consider how many apps you’ve downloaded and then deleted in the last year.

What was their fault? How did they meet your expectations? From a bad platform to an aggressive notification, users have many reasons to uninstall the app.

This is a growing problem. It is estimated that 56% of users uninstall apps within seven days of installation. *

We surveyed 2,000 mobile app users in 2021 to find out the main reasons for uninstalling mobile apps and found the top 3 reasons:

  1. They no longer use the app
  2. Limited storage space
  3. Too many ads

This is why it is important to track your uninstall numbers regularly. Knowing this metric can help you understand where things are going wrong during the onboarding process, gain valuable data, and get more users over time.

Launch the app in the app launch retention cohort

If you read that headline and are immediately confused – don’t panic. The retention teams are not as complicated as they seem.

From app launch to app launch retention cohorts is a phrase that refers to users who install your app, interact with it, and then come back.

By dividing your users into groups, you’ll be able to better understand why users are with your app and how their behavior changes over time.

There are various ways to group your users which will be valuable for your retention efforts Some of these options include:

  • Daily acquisitions
  • Type of behavior
  • Return user

App stickiness

Understanding your app’s stickiness in relation to your retention rate is a great way to determine exactly what you’re doing and why users like your app.

You can see Daily Active Users (DAU) vs. Monthly Active Users (MAU) to better understand how your app is performing over time. However, it is important to note that these numbers may vary from day to day, so the metrics you see when determining the health of your applications should not be the same.

Whether you consider yourself an “active user” who interacts with your app or provides information about yourself, knowing these metrics allows you to determine the overall health of your app.

By dividing your app’s MAU by DAU, you can calculate how “sticky” your app is or how often users return. Comparing these metrics over time will help you see how effective your marketing campaign and other efforts are.

Additional metrics to consider

There are several other mobile app engagement metrics that you should keep track of, in addition to uninstall rates, retention peers, and active users.

Daily net changes. To determine how your user base has changed each day, try this formula:

Number of new users + number of reactivated users = X

X – Number of churned users = daily net change.

Length of session. Knowing how much the average user spends on your app can help you determine how successful it is.

If you find that your users are interacting with a specific part of your app for longer than others, consider making that section more accessible or sending a push notification to draw more engagement.

Session interval. Tracking how much time a user spends on your app between the first and second sessions is a great way to tell if your onboarding process works.

Memory rate. After seeing how many users are still associated with your app after the first day, seven days, and thirty days, you can determine your retention rate and make changes that may increase over time.

7 strategies to increase mobile app engagement

Once you’ve started tracking all the important engagement metrics for your app, you may start to see some negative patterns. Below are seven strategies for increasing engagement that you can address and correct those patterns.

7 strategies to increase mobile app engagement - Infographic

1. Smooth onboarding

First impressions everything, especially with technology. If your app is too confusing or does not offer the promised value, users will bounce back quickly.

This is why smoothing the onboarding process is so important for growth.

Your team can enhance the onboarding experience for your customers by simplifying your interface, giving users the option to personalize, instantly displaying your values ​​and encouraging conversions.

By showing your users why your app is the best and allowing them to change their experience to suit their needs, you can create the ultimate goal for any company: to convert users to a lifetime customer.

2. Segment your audience

One of the biggest mistakes marketers make is to assume that their entire customer base is the same. In reality, it cannot be far from the truth.

By dividing your audience, you can create personalized campaigns that will lead to more openness, interaction and shopping.

You can divide your audience based on location, purchasing habits, time spent on the app, or even how long your app is on their phone. Then, you can target those different groups to get the desired results.

3. Use push notifications at the right time

Generic push notifications are annoying, and if you send them too many times, they can actually uninstall more users. DCI has even noticed that 71% of users have uninstalled apps due to annoying notifications. *

But when done right, personalized and engaging push notifications can be a great conversion tool in your marketing tool belt.

The right time to send these notifications is when a user forgets to complete an action, if there is a big sale, or if they become inactive.

4. Analysis and personalization

Analyze the data you collect, determine what your customers want, and then personalize your campaigns to help them convert and use them to your advantage.

By making each campaign unique to different audiences, you can be seen as a brand that cares, increasing loyalty and conversion rate at once.

5. If all else fails, notice again

Sometimes, even the most thoughtful marketing campaigns do not succeed. When that happens, embrace retargeting to get the results you want. By re-targeting customers you have lost on other platforms, you can get them back through personalized ads and smart deep links for new experiences of their choice.

6. Offer loyalty incentives

With so many efforts being made to gain new customers and bring back those you lost, long-term customers can sometimes get lost in the mix. But loyal customers often cost more than their new competitors *, so keeping them happy is crucial to your company’s bottom line.

Membership programs, rewards systems, and value-driven clubs are all loyalty incentive programs that have been proven to work for companies like Sephora, Expedia, and even Ben & Jerry’s.

7. Develop a win-back strategy

While many of the above strategies can be used to bring users back to your app, there are a few more options that you should hold on to.

First, you need to move on to inactive users. By asking them what they think can be improved, you can get valuable feedback that will return old customers.

Other strategies you can try include sending incentives or creating a personalized customer service experience to alleviate a lasting problem.


Customers want a personalized and seamless experience with their favorite apps, and by following these strategies, you can give them what they want and, in return, get what you want: their engagement and their business.

Easy with Mobile Marketing Expert Guidance

Posted on March 24, 2022

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