How to Keep Mobile App Users Coming Back for More: Six Strategies to Increase User Retention

It’s always exciting to see the download stats on your app climb to new heights. Downloads mean your app is getting in front of users’ eyes, which is excellent.
It’s always exciting to see the download stats on your app climb to new heights. Downloads mean your app is getting in front of users’ eyes, which is excellent. However, just getting your app downloaded doesn’t mean users will keep using it once it’s on their phone.

On average, 25% of downloaded apps are opened only once before being deleted. First impressions matter and this statistic shows that a quarter of the apps out there simply don’t do enough to keep users interested.

So how can you increase user retention and ensure that they won’t delete your app so hastily?

Use Push Notifications

People download a lot of apps. In fact, in 2020, there were approximately 218 billion app downloads worldwide. The truth is, sometimes users stop opening your app because they simply forget that they even installed it on their device.

Sending strategically timed push notifications is a great way to remind your users about your app and give them a little nudge to open it. Don’t overdo it, though, because nobody likes being bombarded with notifications. However, if you send an occasional notification during peak usage times, you’re sure to retain more users.

Improve User Onboarding

People often give up on using apps because they don’t fully understand all the features. No matter how well-designed the UX may be, there will always be a population segment that needs a little guidance.

A helpful way to onboard users the first time they launch your app is with a brief slideshow. A few slides to provide an overview of the features and how to use them will give users more confidence to know what they are doing.

Win-Back Campaigns

A win-back campaign is an excellent strategy if your app is monetized through a subscription or in-app purchases. The idea is to identify users who have stopped engaging with the app and send them a special offer to encourage them to use it again.

This offer could be as simple as 50% off their subscription for a month or a $5 credit toward in-app purchases. You want to get them back in the door and let the other retention improvement strategies keep them in the fold.


Like a win-back campaign, remarketing involves an attempt to earn back the business of those who used your app at one time but stopped for some reason. If your app requires users to create an account, then you’ve got an email address that they, hopefully, have consented to receive marketing emails to.

This email remarketing concept is essential, as many users opt-out of push messaging, so reaching them can be complicated even if they still have the app installed on their device.

Gamify It

You may have heard of gamification, as it’s a concept that has picked up a lot of steam in recent years. The idea is to turn a regular task into a game, which helps to keep the user’s attention.

For example, you may track daily logins in your app, and every time a user logs in, they can see their consecutive day streak grow. You can take the gamification even further by offering prizes for reaching certain milestones that can be paid in the form of a credit toward in-app purchases, for example.

Leverage the Data

You should be tracking and analyzing data the moment your app is made available to download. To ensure that you are on the right track with your marketing efforts, it’s essential to see as much information about how users are interacting with your app as possible.

If your retention rate is poor, one reason could be that your marketing efforts are simply missing the mark. Users have one impression of the app, based on your marketing campaigns, and when they download it, they discover that it’s not what they expected.

Constantly tracking and analyzing your data to adjust your marketing efforts could make a world of difference.

Final Thoughts

Getting your app downloaded is the easy part. Ok, maybe it’s not easy, but it’s easier than keeping your app on people’s devices. Beyond that, the real tall task is in keeping them engaged.

There are a lot of strategies you can take to improve retention, such as win-back campaigns, remarketing emails, push notifications, and better user onboarding. Arguably the most critical part of your strategy is to track and analyze the data continuously.

It may also be worth seeking assistance from a professional in this complicated space. Camber Creative is your one-stop shop if you need help with your app’s planning, design, marketing, and anything in between. We can help with your retention strategy to keep those users coming back for more.


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