5 Tips to Increase App User Retention

As app publishers, we all are aware that user acquisition is the main metric for evaluating application success. However, no matter how high the downloads are, without active and loyal users, this is not a full measure of success . Regarding app retention, keeping clients faithful and fulfilled over time remains an obstacle for all businesses.

On the profits side, where retention is cheaper than acquisition, it has a high return on investment. Research shows that enhancing app retention rates by 5% increases profits from 25% to 95%. In this article, we will find in-depth answers to the essential questions about mobile app retention.

What is Mobile App Engagement?

Engagement is driving customer loyalty and developing the lifetime estimation of every client. While engagement portrays how active users are on the application, highly engaged users are those who join 11 or more sessions in a month.

Re-engagement – retention is resuscitating the slipping by, inactive, or churned customers to come back to the application and resume more significant levels of engagement. Forbes forecasts that it is six or more times more expensive to gain another client than hold a current one, and this expense is rising. With most applications being easy to download, a download is simply a declaration of interest and does not ensure in-app purchases, proceeding to use the application, or taking steps in the onboarding process.

What are the Most Common Mobile App Engagement Metrics and KPIs?

Active Users

This is a critical metric for app developers, and it’s sort of the going money in the world of applications. This metric will assist you with understanding how valuable and significant your application is by distinguishing what number of users return to your application. 

This should be evaluated regularly or on a month to month basis. Both are, yet day by day, dynamic users is an indication of a truly captivating application.


DAU (Daily Active Users) is a metric used to measure how many unique users visit your application in a day. It’s one of the numerous ways that is utilized to quantify the accomplishment of a product. DAU mirrors the most fundamental way of measuring user engagement.

DAU =  number of users who opened app in a single day


MAU refers to the quantity of unique users who visited your website or mobile app within  a month. Essentially, month to month, dynamic users are the key performance indicator (KPI) that estimates user commitment. 

MAU is utilized by web organizations, including long-range interpersonal communication, web-based gaming, and portable application organizations.

MAU = number of users who opened app in a month long period

Retention Rate

Retention rate is the percentage of users who still use an app a certain number of days after the install process. How to calculate app retention rate?

Retention Rate = number of users who use app within a set time

Churn Rate

Churn rate means the percentage of users or subscribers who cancel or do not renovate their subscriptions during a given time. How to calculate churn rate?

Churn Rate = 1 – app’s retention rate

Session Length

Session length is the measure of time a user spends on your site or application during a session. Average session length is the total of all session lengths divided by the quantity of sessions in a given time span. How to calculate session length?

Session Length = time opened the app – time closed the app

What is the Difference Between User Engagement and Retention?

The industry benchmark is the level of an application’s clients who come back to the application within 3 months of their first session. Localytics even characterizes portable application client maintenance as a client that profits from the application in any event 1 time inside 30 days. It is imperative to take note that each brand will have an individual meaning of commitment as maintenance, contingent upon the purpose of the application.

Why is App Retention Essential to Growth?

Retention is famously low for mobile apps and it’s deteriorating. In 2019, only 32% of users launched an application in excess of multiple times. That is down from 38% in 2018.

The normal cost per install in 2018 was $4.08. What’s more, that is only for an install. Cost per subscription buy is $74.93, and cost per membership is as high as $148. Many dollars are being squandered to secure clients who churn very quickly. 

That makes one wonder: Why are organizations so centered around gaining new clients when they can’t keep the ones they currently have?

How to Increase Mobile App Retention?

Most mobile specialists concur that in the realm of applications, maintenance is the most significant estimation to check exactly how important your application is according to your clients. It allows you to perceive what number of clients who download your application and use it once, return. This measurement enables you to see what is working and what isn’t in your offer to connect with your clients. It helps you to refine your application to hold whatever number clients could reasonably be expected. This refinement of your application is vital in boosting your versatile application maintenance, and in this manner, expanding changes.

1. Analyze Your Data to Optimize for the Best

The best methodology for estimating your portable application maintenance is cohort analysis. This is where you group various users by  their conduct in a given time period. 

Source: Clevertap - Cohort Analysis: Beginners Guide to Improving Retention

The key here is to distinguish distinctive reasons why users quit using your application. You would then be able to make a suitable move to hold onto these user groups. 

Your associate examination can consider pretty much any information. For example, you can utilize heatmaps to display the touch motions of your clients while they utilize your versatile application. If you do this, you can increase the comprehension of the different hindrances your client faces when using your mobile application.

You can likewise make and review visual chronicles. These let you replay real user meetings to recognize shifts in how individuals utilize your app during a specific time period subsequent to downloading.

2. Reflect Social Media to Your App

Social media allows you to find the organic users that will increase app retention rate. The experience of meaningful content is necessary to attract attention. Once you put effort into it, you can share the same post synchronously in your application in order not to repeat the same effort. So, you get the app’s sync compatible with social media.

At this point, Storyly can import your best content to your application. Adding your most engaging content on your app supports your conversion actions. 

Storyly users have more than a 10% retention rate on the first day. Moreover, the average session time of users who watch the story in one content app is 24% longer.

3. Get Personal

Mobile users need you to tailor content to them explicitly. This incorporates increasingly customized messages suited to their specific needs. 

The substance you convey should be founded on their in-application behavior, area, and inclinations. Fortunately, once you begin to individualize the client experience, you should see a marked increase in commitment, maintenance, and transformations. 

Source: Emarketer - Future Expectations for the Mobile Experience According to Internet Users Worldwide, Feb 2016

Customizing the client experience can help separate your mobile application from competitors and keep your users locked in. It likewise assists with building your versatile application’s client loyalty. 

The more you think about your users, the easier it is to customize their encounters. There are two factors for creating customized experiences: Static and dynamic.

Static personalization utilizes factors that don’t change. For instance, it can be as basic as putting your user’s name in a notification. 

Dynamic personalization is increasingly centered around social components. The clearest case of this is a user’s purchase history.

Storyly is an incredible choice to help succeed. Conveying a consistent, customized user experience in applicable messaging builds individual and lasting associations with users. You can make customized stories based on your users’ feed, use instinctive Storyly layouts to feature, and convert your clients in the most familiar way. With Storyly, you can create stories and target them to specific user segments.

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4. Ask Users For Feedback

There’s often nothing better than getting immediate feedback from users. 

Two-way communication is crucial to increase your application audience and boost retention. If you have a dissatisfied client and seek input and provide a resolution at the earliest opportunity, it’s significantly more unlikely that they’ll leave you a negative review. 


Also, indicating that you care about your users and want to improve the user experience is a surefire path to boost engagement and long term dedication.

Adding interactive components to your mobile app, such as utilizing stories including asking users’ opinions, getting them to rate a product, reactions, and countdowns, is also an interactive way of getting feedback. This time, you know where to find it.

5. Gamify Your App

What is gamification? Gamification means applying game dynamics to mobile apps. It encourages users to return to the app and increases retention. If you gamify your app properly, it can result in higher traffic, duration time, and user engagement. 

44% of users download an app ‘for fun’. If you place gamification in the basic logic of your application, you will benefit with immediate results. By using Storyly, you actually gamify your entire app. You can have a look at ‘Best Gamification Practices to Boost User Engagement’ article.

Final Thoughts

The mobile app world is getting more and more competitive in recent times. This industry is set to grow at a higher rate in the coming years. The more the mobile app industry expands, the more user attention is lost. This is a clear indication of the importance of user retention. In this article, you learned how to improve retention rates and keep users coming back to your app.

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