5 smart ways to engage and retain users.

If technology is ephemeral (lasting for a short time), so are today’s apps. Most of smartphone users have dozens of apps installed in their devices, however only a few remain as their personal favourites, using them regularly. And the fate of the majority of other apps?

There are two sides to this spectrum, one is the state of flux in apps, and the other is the increasingly unsteady nature of app users – either they come back to your app or abandon it after using just once.

For businesses that invest so much time and money in their app only to find their product has been abandoned so early can be a painful experience.

This scenario is forcing businesses to wonder what could be the reason for this lacklustre response. A straight and simple answer would be – user engagement. Increase user engagement to increase retention rate of your app. Well, that’s easier said than done. When it comes to user retention, even the most strategic business players scramble for right strategies to retain their apps at the top rung of the ladder.

So, what makes users abandon an app so quickly? Are there any methods to make users the app regularly?

There are several reasons for this. And businesses deploy several methods to improve this situation. However, we have rounded up five most widely used methods, which could help you to make users engage better with your apps.
1. In-app messaging

This is one of the crucial ways to building user engagement. By sending in-app messaging you not only update users of important notifications, you also make the app sort of tangible and instil users with a ‘we are there for you’ feeling, which is reassuring for both, the first time users and the existing ones.

Prior research shows that when in-app notifications are sent, the abandonment rate (abandoned after just one use) clocks at 13% compared the 25% when the in-app messaging is not provided at all. So, you have 12% more chances of engaging your users through in-app messaging.

The report also states that providing in-app messaging right from the first session could enable 54% of users to visit the app 11 more times, compared to 34% users visiting the app 11 more times (when not provided with in-app messages from the first session).

If you are launching a new app or trying to increase retention for your existing app, in-messaging could be your weapon to keep users hooked to your app.

2. Loading time

Will you still go back to an app that snoozes every time you try to bring it up? Not really, right? That’s the mindset with most users. Quick loading app at least gives the users a chance peek into your app before they even get into performing an operation.

In this age of download/install-free apps, quick loading apps have better chances of not only getting into the user devices quickly, but can also increase regular interaction rate. So, power up your apps to load faster for better user engagement and retention.

3. Individualized Push Notifications

You’re aware of the power of push notifications. Those personalized push notifications are fine, but not enough. The boundary has widened. In case if you’re not aware of it – now is the trend of ‘individualized’ push notifications.

When you personalize your notification, by adding user’s name, you give a personal touch. This is a good method, but when it comes to click through rates, not that powerful. In order to increase the user engagement, many top apps go for individualized push notifications.

By implementing the individualized method, you understand and connect with your users on three different levels:

By their profile attributes: you are creating attributes based on the number of session they had with the app; their favourite item/part of the app; and the demographic information of the user.

By their behavioral attributes: you are accruing details of user’s particular action in the app.

And by their profile and behavioural conditions: Send push notifications to users about a particular item or aspect they love the most in the app, irrespective of how long they have been inactive with the app previously.

Through this method you not only increase user engagement, but can also boost your app’s click-through-rates.

4. Building trust through onboarding

First impression is the best impressing might be a cliche, but it still holds good, especially with apps. Of those millions of apps floating on the net, only few manage to reach its goal, and those that got there are the ones that have managed to impress users and earn their trust.

When users launch your app for the first time, ensure it guides them well and smooth. Registering/creating an account with an app gives them a sense of security. So, convince them rightly and educate them about the benefits of registering and creating account with your app.

The welcome or beginner screen sets the stage how the relationship between your app and its user will be. It can make or break it. So, be careful. Instead of straight away asking for them to register, a friendly and informative welcome screen could ensure a better onboarding experience.

Use push notifications wisely. The reason we stress on this again, is due to the limitations set by certain mobile operating systems. For instance, iOS allows notification payload of 2kb, and it will refuse notifications when that limit is exceeded. So, it’s imperative to build trust and make your first impression as impactful as possible.

5. Convert users as brand advocates

This method is somewhere tied to the previous method of onboarding. The stronger the trust you build, the better the users will follow your requests.

Using smartly constructed push notifications inform your users to spread your offers or about your app in the social media. But ensure that your users get something – genuinely something – in return for doing this. For example, tell them they could avail 50% discount if they let their friends on Twitter or Facebook know about the offer.

When done correctly, this methods turns out to be not just an effective user engagement and retention tool, but also you are making your users to advocate your brand across social channels.


Creating a great initial buzz around your app is great, but what is more important is to deliver continuous value. If not, any app for that matter, is bound to lose its steam very soon.

The idea is to create an app that provides long-term value to its users. This aspect is either overlooked or somehow completely ignored by most businesses.

For the kind of money and time you invest in an app, it is crucial you also bring in the right strategies to help your app stay in power for a longer time.

At Ideaplunge, we have been crafting successful apps and offering technical solutions for businesses spread across various industries. If you have an idea for a mobile or a web app, we offer comprehensive solutions to turn your ideas into flawless products.

Or contact our friendly experts for a free consultation.

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