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What Is Mobile App Engagement?

App engagement is a process that describes the number of active users during a measured period. It also shows how much time they spend in the app and what actions they take. You can consider visits, purchases, or some other form of interaction with your product.

The key metrics to analyze app engagement are:

  • Daily active users
  • Monthly active users
  • Retention rate
  • Churn rate
  • Number of sessions
  • Session length

A long-term relationship with users is the driving force of the app’s success and profitability. As app engagement affects customer loyalty and lifetime value, its increase becomes one of the core goals for app owners. That’s why you need to focus on your mobile app engagement strategy, not only on the number of downloads.

What Is a User Retention?

The definition of user retention may vary since many companies have their own standards and benchmarks to measure it. Generally, it can be described as the percentage of users who return to the app within three months after the first session. The higher this value, the more audience interacting with the app turns into loyal users.

Together, mobile app engagement and user retention metrics can tell how well the app matches the users’ expectations and how sticky it is. Ultimately, that means having more opportunities to monetize your application.

How to Increase Mobile App Engagement and User Retention

There’s no multipurpose recipe for winning user attention, time, and loyalty as it differs depending on the app’s nature and business niche. Yet, we’ve found five common ways to help you improve mobile app engagement and user retention and build an efficient strategy for your product.

1. Provide Seamless Onboarding

Onboarding is an effective process to welcome and retain not only new employees but also new app users. The first impression matters. In order to make them stay, you should guide them through their first interaction with your app in a valuable, intuitive, and transparent manner.

Be informative but keep it simple. Don’t stress users with too many steps when logging in or creating an account. Instead, provide them with multiple options to sign up, for example with Google or Facebook accounts.

If you’d like to help a user and introduce the key features of your app, it might be a better choice to offer contextual instructions rather than long up-front tutorials. We all know the value of time.

2. Send Relevant Push Notifications

You need to bombard them with tons of notifications on unrelated topics as it can lead to the opposite — uninstall rates boost. The goal should be to remind users about the value that’s relevant to them.

Think of it this way. It’s nice to enter a local coffee shop when a barista welcomes you by name and knows your favorite drink. Similarly, personalization makes mobile app users feel appreciated and improves conversion rates. Use push notifications to shape the customer journey, provide them with meaningful information and benefits based on profile data and user behavior.

3. Support Continuous Communication

Building relationships with users means having a continuous conversation with them, knowing their needs and expectations, and endeavoring to help them. This can be achieved by supporting various communication options within an app.

For example, you can use in-app messages to ask users for feedback, inform them about the latest updates, or delight them with special offers and discounts. Segmenting your audience can help you deliver more tailored messages and keep users engaged.

Another way to increase user retention is to enable in-app chats. They allow users to ask for support or send info requests and quickly receive help. Chatbots empowered with AI technologies can facilitate addressing user needs and provide 24/7 assistance in real time.

4. Offer Reward Programs

Depending on your business model and the app’s nature, you can turn to incentive programs that work efficiently for user engagement and retention growth. For instance, a reward system that allows users to accumulate points or access special offers encourages them to open an app more often and increases their loyalty.

Incentives warm up the users’ interest in your app and don’t let them forget about it. There are many good examples in the app market, where brands drive mobile app engagement with such reward programs. Among them are the apps many of us use — Starbucks, Uber, Amazon, or Airbnb.

5. Update and Maintain Your App Regularly

By regularly improving and polishing your app, you make it more attractive for users. Updates always result in better app engagement. Whether it’s an MVP product with a key set of features or a full-fledged mobile app, there’s always a way for perfection.

It’s important to collect users’ feedback, keep up with their requirements, update the app, and fix the bugs. Additionally, consider tracking user behavior and taking advantage of analytics to add maximum value to your solutions. Tools like Google Analytics for mobile apps or Adobe Analytics can help you with that.


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