How to Drastically Improve Your Mobile App’s User Retention

How to Drastically Improve Your Mobile App’s User Retention

05 Jul 2021


Akash Shakya

Mobile apps are like websites: if you want them to be successful, you need to give people a reason to stay. If your app has high user retention rates, most of the people who download it will come back again and again.

Mobile apps also have a higher chance of being downloaded in general. Again, this is because they are quicker and easier than downloading from a website directly.

The following 11 strategies can help improve your mobile app’s user retention rate. This is so that more people keep coming back for more!

Whenever you’re ready to learn more about user retention, keep reading.

What Is User Retention?

User retention is the percentage of users who return to an app, typically within a given time period.

Sometimes people call this “time spent” or “engagement” or just “retention.” The concept is that if you increase your user retention rate, more and more new customers will come back again. This is all without having to do any additional marketing to maintain their level of engagement with your app.

In other words: higher retention rates = less work!

Retention rate is a measure of your app’s performance on how often users return to use it. The higher the retention rate, the better!

Understanding user engagement and what leads people to stop using an app can help you improve your mobile apps. This is, so they become more likely to be used repeatedly by your customers.

Retention rates vary greatly between different industries. From 22% in education books (e-learning) for companies like McGraw Hill Education or Pearson Publishing.

All the way up to 97% in health & fitness apps. This is where Fitbit reigns as king among its competitors Timex Group BV., Jawbone Inc., Nike Inc.

User Retention Strategies

Now we’ll look at how you can improve user retention related specifically to this week’s topic: mobile apps.

Mobile apps often come with a short, free trial period for the user to try out before paying.

Suppose you provide a link in your app’s interface that lets users get back into the app without re-downloading. This can dramatically increase engagement and retention rates!

Here we will outline numerous proven strategies that will drastically increase yours.

Push Notifications

Push notification is an effective way to reengage customers and keep them coming back. But a poorly timed or ineffective push could be just as bad as no push at all!

You have two main options when it comes to timing, but in both cases, you should make sure that the content of your message isn’t too long for people’s attention spans (around 160 characters) and that it stands out on their phones.

For example, if they’re about to leave work, they may not pay much attention – send them something during lunch instead!

Personalized Touch

It sounds like common sense, but actually making an effort to learn more about your users’ wants and needs is essential.

It would help if you also got to know your app users by reading reviews and checking out other apps they use to tailor their experience.

Consider an App Upgrade

If you’re thinking about updating your app with new features or improvements, then it’s a good idea to offer current customers the opportunity of upgrading too!

Remember that if you don’t have enough subscribers, this won’t work (and if someone has already upgraded, there’s no point in asking again).

Addressing Problems Head-On

Whenever something goes wrong or something bad happens, make sure you address these problems head-on – take responsibility and show that you care about customer satisfaction even when things go wrong.

This sets up positive expectations for the future. This will increase their likelihood of staying engaged.

Share What Your Customers Are Doing

It’s essential to share what your customers are doing. Whether they’re posting about their experiences, talking on social media, or telling you directly.

This is a great way for people to see how much fun other users have with your app, making them want to get involved.

Customers Should Know Why They Use Your App

The best thing that you can do for customer retention is making sure that they know why they use your app in the first place!

You need to be very clear as soon as someone downloads it (or even before) so there’s no mystery or confusion around this point – if anything, think of this like an advertorial where you explain exactly how your app will make them happy.

Treat Your Customers Like Gold

The key thing about customer retention is that it’s worth so much more than the initial cost of getting a new user. This means you need to treat your customers like gold!

Make sure they’re always at the centre of everything you do – from their first download onwards.

Help Customer Service Answer Questions Quickly And Easily

If anything goes wrong with your app or any problems users come across, you want to work with your customer service team as quickly as possible to fix things right away.

This makes for happier customers who’ll keep coming back instead of leaving in frustration because they’ve been left waiting for a response.

Keep Your App Updated

It’s important to maintain your app and keep it updated, as this will help make sure that you have the latest features and content available to users. 

You will also be giving them an enjoyable experience which means they’ll want to come back again in the future.

Build Long-Term Value With The Help Of Analytics

Using analytics will be really helpful when trying to figure out how people are interacting with your mobile app so far – but remember that these numbers are only useful if you’re able to use them correctly!

For example, logging user sessions can tell you who has been using the app frequently or not at all; looking at their device type tells you what kind of phones they’ve got and what kind of operating system they’re running, and seeing how much time people spend in the app can give you a good idea as to what parts they enjoy.

Analytics will also tell you where your users are coming from, which is important for marketing purposes – but this part is actually harder work than just having an analytics account!

There are many different ways that businesses advertise themselves and their products online, so it’s worth reading up on each one and figuring out what would be best for your mobile app before getting started.

Set Goals And Priorities

One thing I find really helpful when trying to plan my day-to-day tasks regarding user retention strategies using goals or priorities lists like these to keep myself on track.

It’s effortless to get caught up in the daily activities and lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve.

The other important thing is that it doesn’t matter how good your product is if people don’t know about it, so always be thinking of creative ways to advertise!

There are many different channels from which companies can promote their products nowadays, thanks to new digital advancements – some even using social media networks like Facebook or Twitter.

The possibilities are endless, but again this takes more time than simply having analytics accounts set up. You have two options here; either figure out where your customers are and advertise accordingly, or be where your customers will show up.

Create More Opportunity

Another step you can take is to add more ways for people to interact with your app in the first place! Make sure there’s a good balance between what they’re doing at any given time; some users might prefer chatting with other members while others enjoy playing games.

Keep them engaged by offering incentives that require certain actions like inviting friends, completing tasks, etc., so it feels rewarding instead of simply obligatory.

And don’t forget: keep expanding on features and improving old ones even after releases! This way of thinking prevents stagnation from taking over, which keeps the user base interested and consistently coming back for more updates.

Leverage Social Media

Build a following and encourage new followers to review your app on social media, like Twitter or Facebook.

Suppose you have customers who are particularly active in the social sphere – for instance, if they post messages about gardening seeds daily! – then, ask them to share helpful tips with their friends as well.

Make it easy by setting up a button that says “Share our App” next to every tweet of theirs. Share these posts through your own account, too, so all of your followers can get involved and feel welcomed into the community! 

Rewards Program

This last tip is not as common, but it works. If you have a rewards program or referral system that your customer enjoys using, use this to incentivize them to keep them engaged with and on your app.

For example, if someone refers their friend who downloads and installs the app, they can both get free credits for extra purchases within your mobile application!

The more people stick around, the longer they’ll stay customers of yours moving forward too…which means more money for you down (and up!) the line!

The key is getting users back into your product – so start sending messages and incentivizing them to use your app more!

Take Chances

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Only through trying new things will you start to see new results in terms of retention rate.

Don’t be afraid to take chances with your app content. You never know what might become the most popular feature of all time or the one that brings in new, passionate users for life!

Make sure you’re adjusting your strategy if nothing is working. Sometimes it’s not about adding more features but just removing some and reevaluating how things are going. Going back to basics can sometimes do wonders for the user retention rate.

Keep experimenting until you find a good balance between old features and new ones, so no one gets bored over time while also still leaving room for growth potential in terms of updates/features.

The importance of a well-designed user interface that will keep users coming back for more.


Ensure the content is relevant, timely, and exciting so people want to continue using your app. Sometimes it’s not worth trying new things when you can do what works best!

Provide incentives such as asking them to invite friends or providing rewards in exchange for completing certain goals (such as getting five stars on all levels), so they have something up their sleeve if they ever think about quitting out of boredom.

The key is experimenting with different strategies until you find one that works best for yourself and your application. A great UI design also goes a long way towards retaining customers; make sure there are plenty of options for the user to explore and intuitive.

As your app is being used, data can be collected about what features users want most often or need more improvement. This information will help you tailor future updates, so people keep coming back for more!

What’s important when developing a mobile application isn’t just creating an amazing product with high-quality graphics- it’s also making sure that said product provides something new and engaging on every visit.

Full-Scale Mobile App Development

In summary, if you want to improve user retention for your mobile application drastically, try the tips above. In any case, it might seem quite daunting to take on all of these changes on your own. 

Luckily, you’re not alone. You can outsource all of this to specialists who already know what they are doing. If you’re looking for some mentorship or guidance on how best to implement any of our previous suggestions, then reach out to us.

We also offer full-scale mobile app development with user retention in mind from the get-go.

Akash Shakya

Coming from distributed computing background, Akash manages the Sydney operations. He is highly technical yet very business focused and is always driven to create successful business products for our clients.

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