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6 Key Ways to Increase Mobile App Engagement


If you’ve ever felt the pain of putting hundreds of hours into building a high-quality mobile app, only to struggle to retain users, then you’ll know how important app engagement is.

Things looked good at first. You launched the app in the Google Play and Apple stores, promoted it, got plenty of downloads, but a few days or weeks later – nothing. People lost interest.

According to Statista, the average retention rate on the day of installation is around 25% across all industries, but drops to around 4% by 12 weeks.

In other words, by the third month, there’s a good chance that 96% of users will forget your app even exists.

But this isn’t the case for all apps. Apps that actively engage their users are much more likely to retain them over the long-term.

Research shows that 90% of people who engage with an app at least once a week will stick around over the long-term.

The question is – what is the secret to increasing app engagement and keeping users coming back for more? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at six key ways to boost app engagement and how to apply app engagement strategies for long-term success.

Engage Users with In-App Chat

Humans are social animals. We love to talk with others, even when we’re on our devices. The benefits of in-app chat are numerous, including offering convenience, building a sense of community and connection, and generating trust.

Let's explore some features that in-app chat can bring to your app:

  • Building a User Community: Transforms your app into a community where users can talk to each other, share tips, andfeel a sense of belonging. For example, gaming apps that offer in-app chat have much stronger communities than thosethat don’t.
  • Real-Time Assistance: Users sometimes need immediate assistance with your app. In-app chat allows for real-time problem-solving. This helps to increase app engagement, as people won’t get frustrated when they need help.
  • Troubleshooting Made Easy: When users encounter issues or have queries, an in-app chat function allows them to contact support directly. Faster problem solving equals improved satisfaction, encouraging users to come back for more.
  • Platform for Feedback: In-app chat is a great way to gather user feedback. Users can easily share their thoughts, suggestions, and experience about your app. This not only makes them feel valued and heard but also provides you with critical insights for further app improvement.
  • Live-Streaming Chat: If you provide live streams through your app, you can increase engagement with chat features so people can share their thoughts and reactions in real-time.

Real-time messaging and in-app chat are a surefire way to increase app engagement. To make sure that you offer a reliable and secure chat experience, implement Sceyt’s easy-to-use and quick-to-implement chat API.

Efficient App Onboarding

First impressions count for a lot. Your app’s onboarding process is how you make a good first impression. The aim is to lower barriers to user interaction as much as possible.

Here are a few strategies to improve the onboarding process:

  • Simplify the Registration Process: Make your onboarding process quick and user-friendly. Complicated signups will deter users.
    • Request essential information only
    • Allow third party login options such as Google or Facebook
  • Gradual Introduction of Features: Avoid bombarding users with details of all the features in one go. This is overwhelming for most people. Instead, gradually introduce the features as users navigate the app.
    • Provide relevant tips for each feature as users discover them
    • Prioritize the introduction of core features
  • Encourage “Learning by Doing”: Most people learn better through interaction rather than passive tutorials.
    • On first use, guide users on how to complete a core action
    • Create interactive walkthroughs

Remember – the goal of the onboarding process isn't just to teach users how to use your app. You also need to reinforce why they should keep using it by making it as user-friendly and engaging as possible.

Strategic Use of Push Notifications

Push notifications are a highly effective way to increase app engagement. They serve as gentle reminders to users, keeping your app at the forefront of their minds. When used strategically, push notifications entice inactive users back to your app.

To make the most of push notifications, personalization is key. Generic and impersonal notifications tend to feel spammy and are often ignored. On the other hand, personalized messages make users feel valued. Tailor your notifications to individual users to reduce the risk of app abandonment.

Timing and relevance are also crucial factors to consider. You want to provide value to users without being a nuisance. Nobody likes being bombarded with irrelevant or untimely notifications, so striking the right balance is important.

Additionally, it's important to make your push notifications action-driven. Rather than just providing generic information, create notifications that prompt users to perform specific actions or inform them about exciting new features or updates within your app.

Encourage Feature Exploration

To get people to engage with your app, you need to make sure that they know exactly what’s in it for them. Users who are aware of and use more features will get more value from your app, leading to increased engagement.

  • Highlight Features during Onboarding: While onboarding, showcase key features to users. For instance, display a "feature of the day" or set up a "discovery zone" for new features.
  • Use In-App Messages: Use in-app messages to highlight features a user hasn't tried out yet. You can tie these into specific actions or key points along the user journey.
  • Create a Tutorial: For more complex features, consider creating a tutorial or walkthrough that users can refer to at any time.

Personalized In-App Messages

You should aim to treat your users like the unique individuals they are. Using personalized in-app messages will satisfy users more, thus increasing app engagement.

One of the key benefits of personalizing your in-app messages lies in the targeted communication it offers. Catering to individual user tastes opens up a channel for direct and meaningful interactions.

But the magic of personalization doesn't stop there. It also plays a vital role in increasing relevance. When you tailor messages based on each user's activities and preferences, they feel understood and valued.

Lastly, personalized in-app messages are also an excellent tool for improving user experience (UX). Your messages can be designed to guide users towards features or content they might like.

Gamify the App Experience

Who doesn’t like to play games? Even adults enjoy play, and gamification (adding game-like elements) has been shown to increase app engagement. Adding game elements will make your app a more enjoyable and share-worthy experience.

Here are a few ways to gamify your user experience and increase app engagement:

  • Leaderboards: Introduce a competitive element by showcasing high-scoring users or the most active users. This can motivate others to increase their engagement to climb the ranks.
  • Achievements: Recognize user accomplishments with badges or rewards. This can increase user motivation and encourage continued interaction with the app.
  • Sharing on Social Media: Encourage users to share their achievements or progress on social media. This can promote the app to a broader audience and increase user satisfaction.
  • Progress Tracking: Enable users to monitor their progress through levels or milestones to enhance user satisfaction. Visibly seeing their progress within the app will encourage them to keep using it, as they strive to reach the next level or milestone.
  • Challenges and Quests: Introduce tasks or quests for users to complete within the app. You can also introduce a social element if users are able to team up to complete challenges together and interact through in-app chat.

Engage Your Unique User Base

If you want to avoid high app abandonment rates, you need to add features and functionality that will keep users engaged.

Remember, every app is unique, and so is its audience. It's crucial to understand your users’ preferences, tailor your strategies accordingly, and keep iterating based on user feedback.

Want to take your app engagement to the next level? See how Sceyt can increase user engagement with in-app chat – check out our demo app today.