How To Improve Mobile App Retention: 5 Tips You Need To Know

Mobile app retention

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If you’re in the business of mobile apps, then you know how important it is to keep users engaged. In facts, according to Loyalitics, the average app loses 77% of their users within the first 3 days from the download.

So what to do if you’re losing users faster than you acquire them? In this blog post, we’ll share 5 tips that will help you keep your users coming back for more.

Read on and check which of these tips can be applied to you.


What’s behind app engagement and success


Before we start, I want to manage your expectations and be realistic: good retention is the result of delivering real value to users. This means you must invest in understanding your users’ needs and improving their user experience. Build relationships with your customers and focus on the transformation that users will have by using your app. How will you change their life? If you can clearly state and measure the impact your app has on users’ lives, then you are delivering real value.

Now that this has been said, let’s have a look at what you should keep in mind to improve the retention of your app.


1- Keep it simple – the user should be able to understand what your app does within seconds of opening it


Mobile app retention should not be a mystery, and it shouldn’t take long to understand the purpose of your app. The key is to keep it simple – if you can achieve this, users will immediately grasp what your app is all about. Clarity of design and minimalistic features are the way to go. Once your app is focused and easy to use, users will be more likely to continue using it and happily explore the many bells and whistles that may follow.


2- Make it visually appealing – use bright colors and attractive graphics to draw the user in


One of the key factors in increasing the retention of your mobile app is good UI design. There’s no better way to make your app visually appealing than by using bright colors and attractive elements (graphics, illustrations etc.). This can help to draw users in and keep their attention, leading to increased engagement and satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential that you invest resources into ensuring that your app looks as good as it works – for the sake of user experience and overall success.


3- Use positive reinforcement – give the user a sense of accomplishment after completing tasks within the app


As we know from behavioural science, positive reinforcement is a powerful way to keep a user engaged. The same is true for your app experience. Whether rewarding them for completing a task with a single click or providing an incremental reward for larger tasks, this tactic will give the user a sense of accomplishment and make sure that using the app remains enjoyable – leading to repeat visits and usage. Especially in game-like apps, it can be extremely effective to give users rewards and recognition they appreciate after making progress within the app.


4- Be responsive to user feedback – if users are unhappy with something, make changes accordingly


As mobile app developers, it’s our job to listen to the people who are using our products and make changes accordingly when needed. User feedback is invaluable – after all, we want our mobile apps to be successful with a strong retention rate! That’s why we should take every piece of user feedback into consideration and be responsive with any solutions. It might not always be possible to make every adjustment that users ask for, but it’s important to prioritize their needs in order to create the best product possible.


5- Offer something unique – there are millions of apps out there, so make sure yours stands out from the rest


With millions of apps already out there, creating one that stands out from the others may seem daunting. But don’t be discouraged. Methodologies such as Lean Startup or Design Thinking suggest that you can iteratively create an app that successfully meets users’ needs and drives loyalty without shelling out any up-front costs. Test assumptions on a small scale to check if the concept works, then understand what resonates with its users to develop your app further. Ideally, this should bring your offering to market quickly and make it just unique enough for success.


6- Regularly update & maintain the app – performance and stability are key


Lastly, one of the best ways to ensure that your mobile app retains its users is by regularly updating and maintaining it. This means addressing any bugs or technical issues as soon as they arise, as well as ensuring that everything runs smoothly. Performance and stability can make a huge difference in terms of user retention, so it’s important to stay on top of any maintenance needs, no matter how small they may be. Regular updates will also give users the impression that your app is being actively maintained and cared for – a sign of trustworthiness which can go a long way in building user loyalty.


7- Don’t underestimate the power of offline engagement


Finally, don’t underestimate the power of offline engagement. A few days ago I saw this on my Linkedin:

Thursday dating app

I find this absolutely brilliant! Thursday is a dating app. They organise an offline ski trip for singles, where potential app users meet and are exposed for one week to the Thursday brand. I find this a masterpiece: achieve uninterrupted brand visibility and your users pay for it!

There are a variety of ways you can use to stay connected to your app users even when they’re not actively using it. Not all of them include a ski retreat. For example, send them push notifications or emails with relevant content or promotions. You can also set up special loyalty programs that incentivize users to keep coming back and engaging with your app. Whatever approach you take, make sure it resonates with users and encourages them to come back for more.


Creating a successful app is no easy feat, but if you keep these five things in mind during the design and development process, you’ll be well on your way. Of course, there are many other factors to consider (such as cost, feasibility, etc.), but if you can focus on creating an app that is simple, visually appealing, positive reinforcement focused, responsive to user feedback, and unique above all else – you will give yourself the best chance for success.

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