How to Improve Your App’s User Retention

So you have acquired your app users! Success!! But the hard work is not over. App’s are ever changing and updating with new features, therefore, there is no end point with an app. You want your users to stick around and not disappear. Establishing a user retention plan is definitely the next step.

I have included 6 actions that can help you improve your app’s user retention.

1. Make a good first impression

First impressions are important in any situation and your app is no exception. UserTesting discovered that the signup process of a mobile app is extremely important when it comes to keeping the user focused and for promoting app loyalty. Let’s be honest, there is nothing more annoying than having to do a lot of typing before you are even in the app. Giving app users the option to sign up via Facebook/Google almost eliminates the need for typing and then the user is in the app and ready to get started before they know it.

2. Stop the waffle

Realistically the app user has downloaded your app for one particular reason, therefore they aren’t going to read an in-depth breakdown of every feature available. Get to the point and keep it snappy. You will have plenty of opportunities to show them all of your other cool features once they get a bit more comfortable.

3. Be a good listener

user retention

Listen to your users! All feedback, whether it’s good or bad, must be listened to. This is a great insight into your app’s user experience and can highlight anything you may need to add or change to improve the app. Your users have taken the time to provide their feedback, you owe it to them to read it and take action.

4. Push for engagement

Keeping your users engaged is without a doubt a key factor of user retention. One of the best ways to help retain your app users is with push notifications. A study conducted by BI Intelligence found that users who had enabled push notifications logged 53% more monthly sessions compared with those users who had not enabled push notifications. This indicates the effectiveness of push notifications in their ability to drive app engagement (a session measures the average number of times a user visits an app).

But you can’t just send out push notifications willy-nilly, there are certain rules and regulations that you need to follow. Segmenting your users, allows you to send out targeted, relevant push notifications. For example, send an incentive to come back, such as a special discount or create a reward-based or loyalty scheme to those users that have not opened the app in a while. Simples!

5. Let the user be in control

user retention

There is nothing worse than getting push notifications that you are not interested in, therefore by giving your users control you can reduce the chance of your app being deleted. By giving them the option to opt-in or opt-out whenever they please you are more likely to earn their trust and retain your app users. After a time, they may opt-in to your messaging again once they realize you are there to provide them with valuable, targeted and meaningful offers or information.

6. Monitor app engagement

By using the right analytics tool, you can track who is using your app and how. Thanks to these tools it is easier to get detailed insight into your app’s user behavior. Usage data, such as screen views, session duration, and app launch frequency can be incredibly handy for monitoring app engagement.

Why focus on user retention?

Cheaper than user acquisition

Acquiring new customers is a lot more expensive than retaining the ones you already have. Loyal users only require a nudge to keep them engaged with your app. This can be accomplished by offering a discount for referring a friend, killing two birds with one stone.

Loyal customers are easier to monetize

You are more likely to convince existing customers to make a purchase. The probability of an existing user making an in-app purchase is 60-70%, whereas for a new user that chance can be from 5 – 20%.

Engaged customers provide more feedback

user retention

Feedback is critical to the success of any app. Users that provide feedback are often willing to give brands the benefit of the doubt when finding issues or bugs with your app. They’re telling you how to earn their business repeatedly with their suggestions. This is vital insight from your target users. As research has shown, people who have complained about an issue and seen it resolved are 84% less likely to decrease their spend.


Getting users to download your app is one thing but getting them to stick around is harder than you think. But with these simple actions, you can increase the number of users that stick around and use your app. For users that have opted-in, push notifications increased the average 90-day retention rate by 180%.

In addition, remember to listen to your users. Feedback good or bad is insight and very helpful when it comes to creating a marketing strategy.

Author bio:

Hannah Strain is a Marketing Executive at Hurree. Hurree is the marketing automation platform for apps that helps engage users and keep them active at a time that suits them. It goes one step further by automatically enhancing that 1 to 1 personal experience for the user without demanding any additional time from the marketer.

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