Retain your app audience

Ask yourself a question. How many apps do you have on your phone? How many do you use on a daily/hourly basis? The answer to both the questions would most likely result in two different numbers. And you aren’t alone because according to a recent survey; on an average only 5 apps see heavy usage among the downloaded apps in phones.

Apps generally tend to be free or available for a small sum of money. Thus, users end up downloading many of these free/cheap apps and then gather dust in your launcher. These one-time use apps are the first to face the uninstalling axe when the user is to download a new app.

User retention for apps gets tougher by the day as developers strive hard to remain relevant to the user, especially on a regular basis. A lot of time and effort is spent in the development, launching and marketing of an app. To make the app a sustainable investment, constant user engagement and retention is required as ads remain a prominent source of revenue for apps.

How do app developers take up on this challenge then?

First Impression

The first impression on the user is very crucial for apps to grab their attention for a longer run. If the user faces disappointment in their first use, it’s very likely that the app is on the way towards an install. A clean interface and onboarding process is key to attract the users enough to delve deeper into the app.

Simple and Easy On-Boarding Process

Making account creation/login process too detail oriented can put off new users enough to quit the app right away. Patience in the digital age is a luxury not many possess.

Make the process simpler by experimenting with different login options like social, email or even no login at all (if possible), to make the process as fast and seamless as possible.

Ensure great performance

It goes without saying that performance is the most key factor in engaging your audience for the long run. To ensure that the browsing user becomes a permanent one, evaluate its load time and work towards making the experience is free from glitches.

Deep Linking

Deep linking in apps is what URLs are for websites. It helps in directing users towards relevant sections of the app. This improves the user experience, cuts down navigation time and keeps the user engaged.

Like this e-commerce app takes the user directly to the product they want to buy, rather than wasting time in navigating through content.

Gathering the right insight

Customer data collected by an app can give incredible insight into how to reach out and retain users but only if app tracking is done right.

Compelling Notifications

A compelling notification can revive the user’s dwindling interest in an app, convincing it for a second look. But such channels are only available if the user consents to them. To ensure that it happens, try to communicate to them about the benefits of the process.

Send time optimisation

The best ways of engagement can fall flat if done at the wrong time. If the user gets a compelling message or notification when he/she’s at work, they’ll most likely ignore it.

To increase the chances that customers respond to your outreach, use send-time optimisation. This powerful tool takes advantage of predictive intelligence to identify when each member of your audience is most likely to engage with a message and then ensures that they receive it during that high-engagement window.

Activity Messaging

For apps that are more socially inclined, activity messaging is a powerful tool to attract less engaged users. Instead of relying on user’s want to get back to the app, automated notifications can be used to let them know when their friends join, share something, or carry out other actions that might be of interest, giving them a compelling reason to open the app.

Multi-channel contact

Most apps tend to rely on push notifications to pull user attention towards the app. But there are multiple other channels such as email, in-app messages etc., which when used well can take user retention rates to a high.

Social Sharing

If you’ve managed to keep your audience interested in your app that signifies your content is share-worthy.

Each social media network has its advantages and offers a different type of community to target. So, capitalise on this chance to expand your app’s audience by enabling sharing options to your app’s content etc.


The most crucial aspect of your user engagement strategy should be the feedback. By listening to your users, you are exposed to consumer opinion that can aid you in improving your app. Your engagement with users also creates a positive effect on your ratings in App Stores.

There’s no sure way of ensuring retention of your app audience. These steps have proved their mettle in the past but that shouldn’t stop you from finding your way rather than blindly following these steps.

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