7 Best Ways to Retain Mobile App Users

Mobile app user retention is undoubtedly one of the most critical metrics for any app owner. In today's highly competitive market, acquiring new users is a significant challenge. However, keeping them engaged and retaining them is an even bigger challenge. Failing to retain your app users is a recipe for disaster, with research showing that over 70% of users abandon an app after just three months. So, what can you do to keep your users coming back? In this article, we explore the 7 best ways to retain mobile app users.

Understanding Mobile App User Retention

Before we dive into the tactics, let's first understand what user retention is. User retention is the process of keeping users engaged with your app and preventing them from churning. Churning refers to when a user stops using an app for an extended period. It is essential to note that user retention is not all about extending the lifetime value of a user. Instead, it is about improving their overall experience with your app and building loyalty.

What is User Retention?

User retention is the metric used to measure the percentage of users who keep using an app over time. It is a calculation of the number of users who continue using your app after its initial download, over a specified period.

For example, if your app had 1000 downloads in the first month, and only 500 users continued to use the app in the second month, your retention rate for that month would be 50%.

It is important to track user retention over time to understand how your app is performing and to identify any areas that need improvement. A high retention rate indicates that users are finding value in your app and are likely to continue using it in the future.

Why is User Retention Important?

User retention is vital for the long-term success of your app. The more users you maintain, the higher your revenue. Improving retention rates can also reduce the cost of acquiring new users.

When users are engaged and loyal, they are more likely to refer your app to others, which can drive growth and reduce your marketing costs. Additionally, retaining users can lead to higher lifetime value, as users who continue to use your app are more likely to make in-app purchases or upgrade to premium versions.

On the other hand, low retention rates can be a sign that users are not finding value in your app or are experiencing issues that need to be addressed. It is important to identify and address these issues to improve retention rates and ensure the long-term success of your app.

Overall, user retention is critical for building a strong user base and driving growth. By focusing on improving the user experience and building loyalty, you can increase retention rates and set your app up for long-term success.

1. Improve User Onboarding Experience

The first step in retaining users is providing an excellent onboarding experience. The onboarding process is the user's first interaction with your app, and it determines whether they will continue using the app or not. To improve user onboarding experience, you need to focus on simplifying the sign-up process and offering a comprehensive app tutorial.

Simplify the Sign-up Process

One of the biggest barriers to onboarding is a complex sign-up process. Users are more likely to abandon the app if the sign-up process is too complicated. To simplify this process, only request essential information and avoid asking for unnecessary details. Users should be able to sign up and start using the app within seconds.

Additionally, it's important to consider offering alternative sign-up options such as using social media accounts or email addresses to make the process even simpler. This can also provide users with a sense of security and convenience as they don't have to create a new account and password from scratch.

Offer a Comprehensive App Tutorial

Another essential element of user onboarding is providing a comprehensive app tutorial. The tutorial should explain how to use the app and its features. Use simple language and provide clear visuals to help users understand how your app works.

However, it's important to note that not all users prefer tutorials. Some may prefer to explore the app on their own. To cater to both types of users, you can offer a brief introduction to the app's features and then give users the option to skip the tutorial and explore the app on their own.

Additionally, you can consider offering in-app tips and reminders to help users navigate the app. This can be especially helpful for new users who may forget how to perform certain actions or use certain features.

By simplifying the sign-up process and offering a comprehensive app tutorial, you can improve the user onboarding experience and increase user retention rates.

2. Personalize User Experience

Personalization is key to retaining users. Users want to feel that the app is personalized for them and that it understands their needs. There are several ways to personalize the user experience for your app.

In-app Customization Options

Allow users to customize their app experience to make it more meaningful to them. For example, users should be able to choose their preferred language, set their notification preferences, and personalize their profile.

When users are able to customize their app experience, they feel more in control. This can lead to increased engagement and satisfaction. Additionally, having the ability to personalize their profile can create a sense of identity and community within the app.

Tailored Content and Recommendations

The app should provide users with personalized content and recommendations based on their preferences. Use data analytics to understand user behavior and preferences and create content that appeals to their interests. Use push notifications to recommend content and remind users about the app.

When users are presented with content that is relevant to their interests, they are more likely to engage with the app and continue using it. This can also lead to increased loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing as users share the app with others who have similar interests.

Furthermore, personalized recommendations can also help users discover new content that they may not have found otherwise. This can create a sense of excitement and discovery within the app, leading to increased usage and satisfaction.

3. Implement Push Notifications

Push notifications are a powerful tool for engaging users and keeping them informed about your app's latest features and updates. However, push notifications can also be a double-edged sword. If not used correctly, push notifications can annoy users and drive them away.

Push notifications have become an essential part of mobile app marketing. They allow you to communicate with your users in real-time, even when they are not using your app. Push notifications can be used to inform users about new features, promotions, and updates. They can also be used to re-engage users who have not used your app in a while.

Types of Push Notifications

There are several types of push notifications that you can use to engage your users. One of the most common types of push notifications is news updates. News updates can keep your users informed about what's happening in your app, and they can also be used to promote new features.

Promotions are another type of push notification that can be used to increase user engagement. Promotions can include discounts, special offers, and other incentives that encourage users to use your app.

Reminders are another type of push notification that can be used to keep your users engaged. Reminders can be used to remind users about upcoming events, deadlines, or appointments.

Personalized messages are another type of push notification that can be used to engage your users. Personalized messages can be used to address users by name, and they can also be used to provide users with information that is relevant to their interests.

Use segmentation to create targeted messages that appeal to specific user groups. By segmenting your users, you can create messages that are tailored to their interests and preferences. This can help to increase engagement and drive conversions.

Avoid generic messages and ensure that each notification adds value to the user. Generic messages can be easily ignored, and they can also be perceived as spammy or intrusive. Ensure that each notification provides users with information that is relevant and useful.

Best Practices for Push Notifications

When sending push notifications, ensure that they are timely and relevant. Avoid sending notifications at odd hours or too frequently. Use A/B testing to determine the best time and frequency of notifications that works best for your users. Also, ensure that users can easily opt-out of notifications if they find them annoying.

Another best practice for push notifications is to use rich media. Rich media, such as images and videos, can help to increase engagement and make your notifications more visually appealing. However, be careful not to use too much rich media, as this can slow down your app and make it less responsive.

Finally, ensure that your push notifications are consistent with your brand. Use your brand's colors, fonts, and messaging to create a cohesive experience for your users. This can help to increase brand recognition and build trust with your users.

4. Regularly Update Your App

Regularly updating your app is not only important to keep up with the latest technology trends, but it also ensures that your users have something new and exciting to look forward to. Moreover, updating your app helps you address any performance issues as they arise, making sure that your users have a seamless experience.

But how often should you update your app? It depends on various factors, such as the complexity of your app and the frequency of user feedback. However, a good rule of thumb is to release updates every 4-6 weeks.

Fixing Bugs and Performance Issues

One of the most critical aspects of app updates is addressing any bugs or performance issues as soon as they arise. Users are more likely to abandon an app if it keeps crashing or freezing, so it's crucial to fix these issues promptly. Regularly test your app to ensure that it is running smoothly, and fix any issues as soon as possible.

Additionally, keep in mind that some performance issues may only arise on specific devices or operating systems. Therefore, it's essential to test your app on different devices and operating systems to ensure that it is fully functional for all your users.

Introducing New Features and Improvements

Another crucial aspect of app updates is introducing new features and improvements that keep users engaged. Use data analytics to understand user behavior and preferences and introduce new features that they demand. However, it's essential to ensure that the new features add value to the user and are easy to use.

Moreover, introducing new features and improvements doesn't have to be a massive undertaking. It can be as simple as improving the user interface or adding a new feature that users have been requesting for a long time.

Finally, keep in mind that introducing new features and improvements is an ongoing process. Even after releasing an update, continue to gather user feedback and make improvements to ensure that your app remains relevant and engaging.


Retaining mobile app users is critical for long-term success. By improving user onboarding experience, personalizing user experience, implementing push notifications, and regularly updating your app, you can significantly improve user retention rates. Remember always to focus on creating user value and to provide a seamless user experience. By doing these things, you will create a loyal user base that can help drive the growth of your app.

Moropo Team
May 9, 2023

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