How to Re-Engage Users Who Abandoned Your App After First Use


In the past few years, the mobile app industry has evolved to a great extent. The modern-day digital world that we are all part of, requires us to be more tech-savvy and well-informed regarding all technological, and specifically mobile apps related advancements, at any given time.

As far as organizations, digital marketers and app designers are concerned, they have both good and bad trends that they can make use of. For instance, Localytics reported that app engagement and app retention are on the rise prior to 2019. Contrary to this, a report found out that each year businesses lose around $1.6 trillion when their existing users quit using their products or services.



App Abandonment Trends from


So what is app abandonment? – App abandonment is calculated as the percentage of app users who abandon an app after its first use.

By the end of the first quarter of 2020, there were more than 2.56 million apps on Google Playstore and around 1.85 million apps on iOS. However, the number of apps that are downloaded, installed and frequently used by the users is significantly small.

This points out to the fact that user abandonment or app abandonment rate is still at an alarming level, even with all the modern-day techniques and methodologies that businesses use to bring inactive users back to their app. How bad is it? Statistica recorded the following trends for mobile apps that were used only once during the past decade:

Image Source: Statistica

It is quite evident from this statistic that digital marketers and business owners need to ‘up’ their game in all the possible ways. In 2019, the number of mobile apps that were not launched or used by a user for more than one time, reached the 2015 mark of 25% – no organization would want such high numbers for their respective mobile app.

App Retention Trends from 2012-2019

What is app/user retention? – this is the ability of an organization or a platform to retain its users for a specific time period. According to a user retention study at Localytics, they set user retention as the percentage of users who return to their app for more than 10 times. With this benchmark, they observed a user base of around 12,000 apps. The following trends were observed:

Image Source:Localytics

One of the key findings of this study was that users who continue to use an app for a period of three months or more after their first use are likely to spend a lot more than 11 sessions in the app. This trend clearly indicates that if you can retain your app user for a period, then the probability of your user frequently using the app is relatively high.

Ways to Re-engage App Users

Now that we are crystal clear about the adverse effects of high user abandonment rate, let us talk about how to re-engage users with an app and some of the re engagement strategies through which organizations can achieve better user engagement numbers.


Email Re Engagement Strategy

A lot of organizations and digital marketers do not make use of this important tool that they have at their disposal once a user signs up for an app. That is correct – a user’s email address is something that will always remain a way of communicating with your inactive user who, for some reason, is not regularly using an app.

Maintaining an email list since day one and implementing the right email engagement strategy can bring back a lot of your lost users. Email marketing tools such as MailChimp, can be an effective way to reach out to your users.


Presence on Social Media Channels

Needless to say, if you are not paying attention to your virtual presence on social media these days, there is a higher probability that your existing users, no matter how loyal they are to your brand, might at some point stop using your product due to a better-priced or competitive product – and eventually, tend to ‘forget’ you.

To avoid this, you can build a strong and impactful social media presence on all those digital outlets that your users use. Gather your users’ social media usage trends, see where your existing and potential users spend most of their time and then make yourself visible and active on those social media platforms.

Social sharing tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer make it easier for you to send your social media post across all the major five or six platforms at once. While doing so, always keep an eye on relatively newer or upcoming social media platforms or apps as well. For instance, Snapchat could be one of the effective tools to reach out to your inactive users to increase user engagement. Moreover, it can even attract new users and eventually assist you in user acquisition strategies as well.


Push Notifications

This is by far one of the most effective and commonly-used methodology as far as user reengagement is concerned. Depending on the nature of your business and the category that your mobile app falls in, you can devise effective strategies to gain your long lost users’ attention by a simple push notification.

If your user retention rate has gone down in recent times, you can reach out to your users via a simple and precise message, an offer, a reward or any other way that can convince your user to at least give it a thorough look by launching your app.

Remember, your user will not really care about what you want. So if your push notification strategy is not well thought out, it can very easily backfire, too. This could lead to your user deleting your mobile app permanently.

Read all about the top push notifications trends, strategies and research


App UX/UI Modifications 

Even though your app performed well, let’s say two years ago, it does not mean your users might still like the app design, interface, themes, colors, app sections, etc. Be it user behavior, market trends or app performance – everything evolves into a better version of what it is at a certain point in time.

There is no shame in accepting the fact that your mobile app might not be as good as it used to be at some point. This is what UX/UI designers constantly try to achieve – to build an app that gives the best user experience and user interface, and more importantly, to ensure the app is in line with all the latest market trends and expectations. 

Using the appropriate analytics tools, you can figure out where your app is underperforming and what are the areas that you might need to revisit, fix or simply improve. App designers are expected to always stay ahead of their game in terms of market analysis, user feedback, current and upcoming app trends, in-app themes, etc. 


Loyalty Programs

User Loyalty Program How to re-engage users who abandoned your ap after first use

Image source: Dribble

There is nothing better than not letting your users leave or switch to another brand in the first place, is there? – Loyalty programs can help you achieve that to a great extent. 

Giving your existing users or users various incentives in exchange of earning their business again, can make your users stick to your business for a longer duration. For instance, giving out users loyalty points that can be later redeemed for a complimentary product or a discount, in exchange of performing a certain activity in the app can keep them as an active app user.

In cohesion with the gamification concept, a lot of mobile app developers, product managers and digital marketers are now making use of these loyalty programs in order to achieve their user engagement and user re-engagement targets.

So, How to Re-engage Users That Abandoned Your App After First Use?

There will always be new methodologies and techniques to re-engage users with an app; engage your abandoned, current and new users. Once your product adoption, user acquisition and other sales or marketing techniques have made  users sign up, the next part is to make sure those users continue using your app even after their initial requirement has been met successfully.–

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