Image of user retention

Best 10 ways to keep your customer on board and improve User Retention

When we launch a new product, our first objective is to attract as many people as possible and lead them to use it. Acquiring users is a very difficult task, because there are many apps and games out there and our goal is to convince them to not only have a look, but download and use our app. We don’t want them to use it once or twice, though – we want them to use it forever or at least as long as possible.

Sometimes we do not spend time planning out strategies to keep our existing users happy because we are devoted to acquiring new ones. But it doesn’t work this way! What you have to do now is research and find out everything you can about your users’ actions once they have downloaded your product. This will give you some insights into how to improve and optimize your app or game.

Continue reading and you will find out the 10 best ways to strengthen your retention rates!

10 Ways to Increase User Retention on Mobile Apps

In this article, Cristina Stefanova from TheTool, a specialist ASO and Mobile App Marketing tool, will highlight the importance of taking care of our users in order to get them attached to your app or game and turn them into loyal users. Follow these tips to ensure an effective retention strategy!

1. Bringing the new users on board

Let’s start with the basics. You need to get a considerable volume of installs. To do that, you need two basic things. The first one is a product and an easy in-app experience and the second one is App Store Optimization (ASO).

On boarding example

You have to make sure that when the visitors get into your app they are provided with easy to follow instructions and seamless experiences. Present them with some new and awesome content from the very first action they take (signing in). Take a minimalist approach and think how to drive users into your app: don’t overwhelm them with the unnecessary information, don’t make them follow too many steps to sign in or don’t make them go through the confusing features or functionalities in their first session.

Remember that there are millions of apps in the stores and that you have to really delight users with something unique and useful!

2. Engage your users and study their behavior

Once they’ve got your app or game installed, it’s time to find out what are they using it for. Find out how they interact with your app: the 30 first days are crucial and most relevant here. Understand how your users behave – where are the tapping or swiping? Discover what are the screens that lead to a dropout and the actions they carry out when they are using your app.

This information is more than necessary. You need to find out what is improvable and the best way to do it is keeping track of in-app events!

3. Personalization

This is one of the factors that drives the most engagement. Who doesn’t like to be treated in a unique way? Nowadays, the majority of apps and games include pop-up personalized screens and match interactions to user preferences, location and in-app actions. So don’t fall out here and adapt your product to your user’s needs.

This also applies to push notifications, emails or messages – keep reading and you will find out!

4. Incentivization

Rewarding your users will boost the retention rate, too. Users love getting discounts or special offers, so why don’t you use them in your app? Inserting exclusive content, coupons or rewards in your app’s flow can be determining!

Example of Mobile App Incentive

This, of course, depends on your product – decide what to use to give incentives or how to offer them. If you have a game, you can provide users with some extra coins or weapons for the next level and if you have IAPs, you can just give them discounts. Free apps can also benefit from incentivization with special rewards.

Example of Mobile App rewards

5. Updates and changes

App iterations are a must in user retention strategies. Don’t take for granted that your product is perfect and fully functional – it can always be better! Include new features, personalized content, messages or whatever you can come up with frequently to keep users thinking about your app or game and coming back to it!

Read the feedback users are leaving and track their behavior to understand what changes to make in your product. These actions will lead you to retain your customers and increase the lifetime value!

6. Show the users how to make the most out of your app

The above step is useless if users don’t get to know about those new updates or don’t know how to use them. It is very important that you educate your users and showcase the value and benefits of your product. You can start teaching them from the onboarding and notify them every time something new comes up.

7. Embrace several messaging channels

If you are really looking to boost your retention, you have to use multiple messaging channels, such as push notifications, emails or in-app messages. But be careful, you have to find the perfect balance and not bother your users with the same message across all these channels. So take time and plan out your messaging strategy to attract them and not push them away!

8. A/B test your messages

This is a step that you have to continuously go through to spot your most successful message version (time, content, call-to-action message, visual content and anything you include in your messages). In that way, you will find out what type of message brings you the most engagement.

9. Lead the users to where they want to be

When you send messages that include a special offer/discount/level, make sure that you are using deep linking to lead your users exactly to the place in your app they want to be (and not at your app’s main screen). This would keep you from annoying your users and retaining them instead!

10. Message your users – don’t be scared and find the perfect timing!

As we mentioned above, there are millions of apps and games in the market and users tend to explore and look for new ones all the time. That’s why you’ve got to remind them about your product from time to time. How? Through messages and notifications.

Image Example of Personalised Push Notification

Push notifications have been proved to be the best messaging source in terms of retention and engagement rates. They can be used to remind users of your app or game and also help boost engagement rate, by giving users a reason to come back to your app once again.

In-app messages occur at specific times when users interact with your app. They act as special guides that are leading users to complete key actions of your user engagement plan.

Emails are used to remind users about your app or product from time to time and to show them that you have some new content or feature to consequently keep your app on the top of their minds!

Make sure you personalize your messages, for example, by including user’s name or tailoring them to user behavior and interests. Implement your messaging strategy correctly and find the perfect timing to reach out to your users.

To sum up: 10 Tactics to Drive User Retention

In this article, we gave you the 10 most powerful tips to keep your users engaged with your app and therefore, increase Lifetime Value (LTV). Remember that it is very important to start out by giving the users a very easy and practical onboarding experience that will attract them from the very first session. Personalize your content and communication to make your users feel special. Test different messages and features to find out what they like the most. Use different messaging channels to remind them of your app and reward them with special discounts or offers!

Perfection doesn’t exist, so keep on testing and improving the functionality and features of your app!

If you follow these tips you will be making sure that your user experience is following the right path. Get started!


Cristina Stefanova is a Social Media Manager and Content Marketing Specialist at TheTool. When she is not writing about App Marketing & Mobile Growth you can find her watching series, going for a run or shopping!