Mobile applications have become crucial to business growth and customer engagement strategies in today's quickly changing digital landscape. It's more challenging than ever to capture and retain users' attention in the millions of apps available in different app stores. Any mobile application's long-term success depends heavily on mobile app retention—keeping them interested and returning to your app. 

Beyond the first download, it concentrates on creating enduring connections with users. This article will explain the most beneficial mobile app retention strategies for keeping users engaged with your app. It can help your business succeed by increasing customer loyalty, boosting average customer value, and increasing your app's profitability. Let's discuss app retention strategies in detail!

What is mobile app retention?

The term mobile app retention explains the capability of mobile applications to maintain user engagement and utilization over an extended period after downloading. It assesses how well an application keeps its user base and keeps them from uninstalling or giving up on it.

Your mobile app retention rate determines the percentage of users who continue actively using your app over a specified period. Mobile app retention is a crucial user retention metric for app developers and companies since it directly impacts the app's long-term profitability and success. High retention rates suggest that users value the app and keep using it, which may boost in-app purchases and customer lifetime value.

Why is mobile app user retention important?

The benefits of mobile app user retention are extensive from a business perspective. Retaining monthly active users rather than continuously bringing on new ones is more economical. In a highly competitive marketplace, loyal customers can produce recurring revenue, offer insightful recommendations, and serve as brand ambassadors. You can promote long-term growth, sustainability, and competitive advantage by concentrating on user retention.

Moreover, user retention strategies provide:

  • Better customer relationship
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Ability to receive feedback
  • Continuous improvement
  • Competitive advantage

9 mobile app retention strategies: how to increase app retention?

The crucial indicator of your mobile app's success is user engagement. It is in your best interest to create the most engaging digital product. The average user retention rate for apps can be small, but following these best mobile app retention strategies can help how to increase app retention:

1. Streamline the onboarding process

Your mobile app's initial impression is crucial. For this reason, the onboarding procedure must be flawless! Thus, you must develop a simple and unique application that can receive users' attention because the app has only 20 seconds to make an impression on users otherwise they will close it and never return.

By designing an easy-to-use onboarding process, you can encourage people to explore your app and find its hidden features. The Localytics study demonstrated that mobile apps can increase retention rates by over 50% with the proper onboarding flow.

2. Ensure good performance

Good app performance is one of the first things you should focus on to increase customer retention. We are always in a rush, which doesn't encourage patience. Therefore, if your mobile app is sluggish or keeps popping up with different errors, it does not call for high engagement. Consumers will switch to a better product. Nothing is more annoying than an app that does not function as intended.

Reducing app crashes, improving gesture recognition accuracy, and cutting loading times are crucial for optimal app performance. That's not the case. You will see a long list of significant urgent tech problems. Therefore, you must spend some time monitoring the overall functionality of applications. If any issues arise, you should fix them right away.

3. Provide a customized user experience

It feels good to be cared for and appreciated. Not just when using a mobile application but in everyday life as well. Customizing your content will attract more devoted readers who will value your tailored strategy. Many apps still don't provide users with content tailored to them or a customized app experience. That is your opportunity to enter the game and win them over.

But how is that accomplished? You can access a multitude of data. You can collect information about their location, interests, age, gender, application use, behavior, conversion history, etc. The more data you have, the more customized your app becomes.

4. Gather user feedback

Do you want your users to be engaged and intrigued all the time? You must hear what they have to say. And you can accomplish this by getting insightful user input. For instance, you can survey your target market about their experiences using your mobile app or whether they would be willing to refer a friend to this digital product.

Examining app reviews and ratings on the app store page is another excellent source of information. People are happy to express their thoughts or rate products with stars. You undoubtedly look them over as well before choosing to download an app. Look for reviews that people have left on the Apple or Google Play store and take advantage of them.

And what happens if they mention some annoying bugs that need to be fixed in addition to praising your app? This way, you can identify any issues users may encounter when using your application. After all, there's always space for advancements and new releases.

5. Send push notifications 

When used correctly, push notifications are one of the most effective ways to capture users' attention and keep them returning to your app. Why should you emphasize this so much? Because excessively intrusive notifications won't engage users, that much is certain. However, they will uninstall the application immediately if they become uncomfortable with the meaningless messages of the app.

Netflix has a lot to teach you about push notifications. It doesn't spam you with pointless messages of all kinds. Instead, it brings to mind the movies and shows you have been excited to see. And that's precisely how push notifications should be used to boost user retention.

6. Reward dedicated and engaged users

People enjoy receiving rewards. Indeed, when selecting an online retailer, 69% of them inquire about reward programs for devoted patrons. Users feel they received a great deal and have saved money on a good or service they would have purchased when offered various incentives, discounts, or referral programs. Additionally, it's a fantastic method of persuading customers to pick you over your rivals.

Giving free or discounted stuff is comparatively expensive and rarely works. It is preferable to select inexpensive but effective rewards, such as introducing indicators of high user status.

So, what types of rewards can you offer to loyal customers? These can be:

  • Time-limited discount for the next purchase made in your app
  • Joining the VIP program 
  • Access to freebies 
  • Unlocked access to premium content
  • Moderator status to control other users' activities
  • Immediate access to updates and new features

7. Create an attractive user interface

Design influences user first impressions. The harsh reality is that users make quick decisions about your mobile app based solely on its appearance. For this reason, spending time and money to create a stunning UI design is necessary. It can grab users' interest, hold it, and extend its duration.

8. App store optimization (ASO)

Making your app stand out from the millions of others available is crucial. App store optimization makes it easier for potential users to find your app by increasing its visibility in search results. Increasing the visibility of your app makes it more likely that new users will visit and stay engaged.

However, ASO concentrates on attracting genuinely interested users in your app and is more likely to interact with it, in addition to simply increasing the number of users. Enhancing the metadata and descriptions of your app will help you generate a specific user base that will benefit from its value proposition and increase mobile app retention rates.

9. Add new features

User preferences and needs are subject to change over time. Turning on new or idle features shows that you're actively listening to your users and meeting their needs. Adding new features to your app stimulates users to explore it more.

Indeed, you can encourage them to investigate more of your app's features by emphasizing the usefulness and advantages of these features through onboarding processes and tailored notifications. By promoting a sense of engagement and discovery, this exploration increases user retention.


In conclusion, mobile app retention is vital to a successful mobile application strategy. It is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey that requires a deep understanding of your users, their preferences, and their pain points. As the mobile app technology develops, retaining users has become essential. We have mentioned the above strategies, such as user onboarding, personalization, push notifications, and content updates, are all essential tools to foster user loyalty and keep them coming back.