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A Guide To Mobile App User’s Retention Strategies

Building an application is a long process, and a lot goes into it. Once that phase is completed, the dream has finally been released. But your challenges are not over just with mobile app development and release; getting a loyal userbase will be another big challenge. The best way to overcome this challenge is by building the strategies into the app itself. User retention is significant for the growth of your business; by retaining users, your organization can make a considerable profit.

What is user retention?

Simply said, user retention is the rate of users returning to the application. It measures the growth of a product within a specific time period. Keeping the users engaged in your application for a long time can be tough. Therefore, one needs to plan and strategize accordingly. User retention can measure user logins on a global basis and logins for a user subset, completing a workflow or retention for specific behaviors such as a visit to a particular part of an application. 

Three phases drive user retention; these are summarised below.

Activation: With the completion of onboarding, the user should immediately be able to see the value of the application. 

Habit: The final step will be creating the usage habits. The process should trigger the user to get back to the product. 

User-path visualization: Build and finalize the path a user would have to take to perform your application’s core function. 

How much is a good user retention rate?

Generally, the retention rate varies according to the industry and application type. Although, according to Statista, the average user retention rate is around 5.6 percent after one month. If we talk about the factors determining the average user retention rate, it basically depends on how mature the company is and the application. 

For a more detailed view of industry-specific retention rates, consider the below-mentioned data:

  • 4.1% for productivity
  • 5% for business
  • 6% for communication
  • 10.2% for digital banking
  • 5.6% for eCommerce
  • 2.5% for education
  • 4% for health and fitness
  • 3.9% for social

With that said, this guide has put together a list of all the ways to get your application running with the best user-retention strategies.


User retention is successful when the onboarding of users. Create a simple and smooth one that can quickly lead the new user to the next phase. Make sure the functionalities are not complicated or complex, as it will lead to the user leaving the site. The users must be guided through the processes and their actions quickly. Below are some tips to simplify and optimize the onboarding process.

  • Informative tooltips 
  • In-app tutorials and demos
  • Offering personalization options upfront
  • Creating interactive walkthroughs
  • In-app knowledge base or customer support link

Personalized user experience:

It is mesmerizing to feel valued and taken care of. And by personalizing the content, the chances of getting more loyal users will increase. This way, users can get a more personalized way of operating your application. Usually, many applications fail to provide their users with a customized experience, and that is where you can win over the users. 

When it’s about how to do that, data is the key; one can use it wisely to create customized experiences for the users. Data from the user profiles include birth date, behavior, application usage frequency, conversion history, and more. 

Content : 

When it’s about the content, you need to think like an app used to make the content engaging and make sure that the users will like it. To identify what the users will love, you need to think about what engages a user the most and what apps are doing this the most. This part may require feedback tools and in-app analytics tools for a more profound and precise result. 

In-app messages: 

In-app messages are extremely targeted notifications or messages users receive when interacting with a desktop or mobile application. There are several in-app messages to choose from; these include product tours, mobile carousels, and chatbots. According to a few surveys, in-app messages are one of the most effective communication tools. You can deliver messages to the right person based on the data and previous activities through in-app messages. 


To ensure that your users are constantly engaged, active and interested, you need to listen to and understand what your users are saying. You can send surveys or feedback forms to your target audience.

Provide the users a way to share their experiences, reviews, comments, and ratings. Once you collect all the user feedback, you can use it to improvise your services to provide a better user experience. Furthermore, you can get advantages in many ways; for example, suppose a user raises an annoying issue that needs to be fixed. 

Optimum performance: 

If you want to maintain your user retention, high-quality performance is what should be ensured in the first place. And for that, your application needs to run smoothly, without any hindrances, bugs, errors, or any kind of sluggish behavior. If the app performance is not up to the mark, people will simply move on to a new application. The list of the issues can be extensive, so you need to put in a lot of time and effort in order to understand, identify and monitor bugs and fix other persisting issues. 

Gamification of the functionalities:

Games in any form are undoubtedly fun and highly engaging. Therefore, gamifying your application would be a great and exciting way of attracting a significant audience.

Including game techniques in little steps will motivate the users to return regularly. For example, take a health app; most offer rewards when a user completes a challenge. One more effective form of gamification could be the checklists or progress bars to motivate the users to complete the tasks. 

Push notifications:

Push notifications are one of the most proven ways to grab user attention. But overuse of these push notifications can lead to the users getting irritated. Therefore, if you want to use push notifications in the correct way, then imply personalized push notifications, timing, including CTA, and ofcourse limited notifications. 

Rewards for engaged and loyal users:

Most of the users check if they can receive rewards or some special tokens. Rewards, when used in a proper way, can engage the users to a great extent. Different types of discounts and rewards make users interested and believe they are saving a lot of money. Furthermore, it’s a great way to get the users to choose you over the competitors. You can offer users many types of rewards, such as freebies, VIP programs, exclusive features, access to updates, premium content, etc. 

Stunning and engaging UI: 

Design-related factors are one of the most significant factors through which the users will get the first impression of your product. People will definitely judge your project as per the UI as it will be the first thing they see. That is why you need to invest time and effort to ensure that the UI is eye-catching, robust, and engaging. 


User engagement is the ultimate factor that determines whether your app will fail or succeed. Therefore, user retention strategies are the most important when it’s about the growth of your product. 

All in all, you need to identify your target userbase and make sure that your mobile app can solve the user problems and respond efficiently to the user. Furthermore, a personalized approach can always get you loyal users. Retention is not something that can be quickly fixed anytime. Therefore, one has to put in adequately planned elements in the application to get the desired results. With the help of these tips, you can easily get ahold of the steps to be taken and improve retention. 

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