5 Ways To Increase User Engagement And Retention For Your App

by Naomi Jul 09, 2021

Did you know that 70% of app users are likely to ditch your app within 30 days?
People are quick at installing apps on their phones and are faster at forgetting about them. 
They are unlikely to forget about their favorite social media or gaming apps. 
But your newly launched app must be backed with an appropriate mobile app retention strategy to thrive.

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In a world where a new app finds existence every day, engaging and retaining visitors with your app is complex. 
Today, we will talk about all possible ways to increase user retention for your app. 

Start by taking a look at how a well-laid mobile app retention strategy is crucial to retain visitors.

mobile app retention strategy

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After the pandemic, mobile app downloads have increased by 23.3%. People are busy exploring and updating their favorites.
Let’s move forward to how you can use to ensure you engage and retain these curious users.

Run As Far As You Can From Complex Onboarding Process

App onboarding is the most crucial aspect as it is the first impression of your app on its potential users. 
People are impatient enough to abandon your app within minutes of complexity. 
A simple value-filled experience will ensure users return for more
No one has the time to put in their minds to work on understanding your app. 
Make it as simple as you can to retain your visitors. 
Here are the three elements of app onboarding: 

  • Collecting every relevant information and guiding them towards an effective setup
  • Showing them how the app can make their lives easier
  • Using the collected information to make their experience personalized.

Users spend time on different type of mobile appsImage Source

How To Increase User Engagement On App By Avoiding A Grand Tour?

Some people do prefer a tour when they are hardly acquainted with the functioning of your app. 
But most people would love to explore it themselves. 
To make that work, you must give the option to skip the tour at whichever point they want. 
Most people even prefer filling up basic information at later stages. They are impatient enough to explore the app first. 
To keep these people intact on your app and increase mobile app engagement, you must have a skip option. 

Things That Add To A Complex Process

Here are a few things that you must avoid to engage and retain your visitors. 

1. Long And Tiring Onboarding Process

A long and tiring onboarding process is the biggest hurdle that most users fail to pass. 
They will abandon the process in between if it gets more extended than a minute. 

2. Being Unclear With Your Motives Of Seeking Information 

People love the clarity and especially when you are asking for personal information. 
Mentioning the reason behind specific details and taking permission of access saves time. 
This develops trust among your users and makes the process quicker. 
If you give your users enough time to think and wonder, they are more likely to wander.

ways to increase app user engagement

Let’s take an example of the onboarding process of LinkedIn, the most significant professional network.
From the beginning, it focuses on the value it provides, i.e., building a reliable business network.

Firstly, it begins by understanding the user’s current situation, whether a working professional or a student. 
It aims at connecting like-minded individuals to help them thrive in their respective industries.

building a reliable business network

Since the beginning, Linkedin remains clear of the benefit it offers to the people. 
Secondly, it guides the user throughout in setting up the profile. Every next step is clearly mentioned to make the process easier. 
From filling in the essential information to helping users in making initial connections, LinkedIn makes an excellent first impression. 
Would people still rely on LinkedIn if the initial process was tedious? 
The following great example is Instagram, the most-loved social networking site among users.
Nothing will get you more users for your app than an intense fear of missing out. 
Instagram establishes this fear by reminding Facebook users of their friends who are already thriving on this app. 
The onboarding process is quite simple as you get the option of signing up with your Facebook account. 

Instagram the most-loved social networking site

You don’t have to fill in additional details since Instagram extracts the same through Facebook.

Are You Giving Enough Emphasis To Value Proposition? 

No one cares about your app features; they care about what they can do with those features.

Twitter Post

Which approach seems to give better results? Undoubtedly, the second one focuses more on the users’ perspective. 
Your head should focus on making your users’ lives easier. 

If you are looking forward to building or modifying your app then DotcomPal got you covered. 

Things To Avoid To Increase Mobile App Engagement 

Let’s say your first-time visitors have judgy eyes and are looking forward to all possible flaws. 
Here are some things that will make them quickly click on the uninstall button. 

Not Launching A Fully-Functional App

No one returns to an app that crashes in between the session. Your users are not willing to be a part of an experiment. 
Before launching an app, you must make it fully functional. Updating it based on the response you get should be strictly avoided. 

No One Likes Spending Time Between A Mess
Some apps have too many scattered options that confuse visitors. People prefer a simple and understandable interface. 
Let’s take the example of Tumblr, which uses a simple interface to increase mobile app engagement. 

Tumblr increase mobile app engagement

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The neat icons attract attention and make posting fun and easy. 
A Slow App Gets Uninstalled Quickly
In a world filled with impatient people, what makes you think a slow app could survive? 
Speed is a crucial factor that adds up to an effective mobile app retention strategy. 
Not Providing Value For Money Paid
When you develop an app, you need to price it based on the value it provides. 
If your competitors provide more at a low cost, you are less likely to retain your audience. 
There should always be something unique at a price paid by them. 
Even if the competitors charge the same amount as you, people are likely to give it a shot. 
If they succeed at offering better features, you lose your current and potential audience to them. 

Personalized Interaction With User To Increase Mobile App Engagement

Let’s take an example wherein a person visits a showroom to purchase clothes. 
Will he be pleased if the person handling the store makes no effort to accompany him throughout the purchase? 
People always need a personal touch or interaction for making an informed decision. 
When you correctly use push notifications, your users wouldn’t mind hearing from you. 
Research has shown that mobile app push notification increases user engagement by 88%. 
Let’s say you have an app dedicated to women’s clothing. The moment someone abandons the shopping cart, you can send a reminder. 
You can schedule reminders from time to time until the person takes action. 
If the potential buyer got busy and forgot to make the purchase, your reminder will be appreciated. 
While sending out a push notification, make sure it creates a sense of urgency. 
You aim to make a user take a specific action (especially the lazy ones). 
Make sure your message is highly interactive instead of a boring one solely focus on sales. 

Here is an example of Jet, an online store that sends a little reminder to its potential buyers.

mobile app push notification increases user engagement

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When you observe this message, you will realize it’s light-worded but not personalized. 
Instead of simply mentioning “the stuff in your cart,” the exact items could be said. 
The moment you read this message, you realize it’s sent to many people at once. 
But when you send a more personalized message, your users are likely to pay attention. 
Most beginners found Dotcompal to be of great help in providing a personalized experience to their app users. 

Now let’s take another example wherein Boxed, an online retail company uses discounts to increase mobile app engagement.

 personalized experience to their app users

We all love being offered discounts on the things we want. 
What if the buyer was waiting for a discounted price to make the purchase?

He will be more than happy to return to your app. This is one of the best ways to increase user retention for your app. 
Here is another example of how Mcdonald’s lures in visitors with FREE medium fries. 

Gives discounted price to make the purchase

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DON’T Overdo It!

People wouldn’t think twice before pressing the mute button if you overdo this tactic. 
No one likes to get too many notifications from any app. 
If you send a reminder every half an hour, your value will cease to exist. 
But how to decide the frequency of push notifications to increase mobile app engagement? 
It depends upon the type of app you have. For example, a news app will send 4-5 notifications a day. 
Users wouldn’t mute it because they are looking forward to receiving essential pieces. 
But remember that the click-through rate will decrease with every notification. 
This implies that it will be highest on the first notification and gradually goes down.
By doing it right, you can increase your app retention by 3-10X. 
Another notable point is to keep the push notification limited to a few words. 

Boost Engagement And Retention Rates With Immediate Response

Addressing your users’ queries is the trick to boost your mobile app engagement. 
Some people are unhappy with your app, and they tend to leave negative reviews everywhere they go. 
This is where collecting feedbacks plays an important role. Persuade your users to share their experience with your app. It will also help you in making necessary improvements. 
If this is your first app, you will be haunted by negative reviews and low ratings. 
Remember that your dissatisfied users will definitely write a negative review. But it’s not necessary that you happy users will leave a positive one. 

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This implies that reducing negative reviews is of utmost importance. 
Below is an example of how the most-loved apps like Twitter receive a bunch of negative reviews. 


 reducing negative reviews

If apps like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., receive negative reviews, it wouldn’t affect them. 
But it will highly affect a recently launched app with a minimum user base.
To save you from that, here is a case study that goes into detail to help you reduce negative reviews by 80%.  
Dotcompal is the choice of most marketers as it manages all important tasks and boosts engagement. 

How To Conduct An In-App Survey?

An in-app survey will help you know if your current users are happy with your app. 
This gives you room for improvement, but most users skip these surveys. 
People are extremely busy with their lives, and no one will answer your eight-mark question in five to six paragraphs. 
To make your in-app surveys a success, you must: 

  • Keep them short and to-the-point 
  • Make them reply with just a click on emoticons 
  • Ask yes or no questions 

You can conduct these surveys at various times, but it is advisable to go for it after an update. 
You should always see if your users are happy with the changes you made. 

Here is an example of a micro survey conducted right after implementing a particular change. Asking users when they are experimenting with your changes brings relevancy and context. They are more likely to respond to these surveys. 

micro survey

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Use Gamification To Increase Mobile App Engagement

Gamification is a core part of the mobile app retention strategy of most non-gaming websites. 
This creates a sense of excitement to work and clear levels or quests to move further. 
Collaborating with friends and colleagues makes it more interesting. 
Here is an example of Fitocracy, a mobile fitness app that uses gamification to retain visitors.

Use Gamification to Increase Mobile App Engagement

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What would be the point of a fitness app if a person fails at measuring his progress in a fun manner? 
Snapchat is another excellent example of the use of gamification in an app. To maintain streaks, people remain highly active on this app. They open it at least once for sending a snap. 

use of gamification in an app

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If your app revolves around education, then gamification elements will eliminate the boredom. 
We all know that it’s hard to stay focused on online learning. It’s normal to get diverted and leave. 
To avoid this, Byju’s made use of gamification elements, like games, quizzes, competitions to keep the students engaged. Students into an interactive and fun learning experience.

use of gamification elements, like games, quizzes

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The Final Verdict 

Sometimes focusing on minor aspects lead to significant results. 
Implement these ways to increase user retention and engagement to your app and be an effective competitor. 
We will be happy to hear your results from implementation.