5 Ways To Increase Mobile App Engagement

by Alexandra Uren . March 28, 2017

So you’ve developed your app and have been given the App Store go ahead? Well, that’s really only half the battle.

According to a study done by TechCrunch, nearly one in four users abandon an app after just one use, so not only do you have to drive downloads, you will also need to work to keep your users interested.

Luckily, we know a thing or two about mobile app engagement, Here’s our top tips and tricks to keep your users engaged, interested and coming back for more…

Have An Engaging App To Begin With!

We’re hoping that before you even start developing your app you will know its purpose, but this is something to keep in mind to ensure you don’t go off track.

As mobile app developers, we are always reiterating to our clients how important it is that the app actually adds some sort of value to their user’s life. Whether that’s by eliminating boredom on the bus, helping them find the best places to eat in London, or managing their finances – each app must serve a purpose.

An app simply cannot succeed if there is no clear use for it. You can have the best UI design, complex features and a million pound marketing budget; but if your users are not immediately hooked, it’s likely that your app will eventually be abandoned.

So our number one tip for making sure users keep returning to your app? Have an app that’s good in the first place.

Seamless On-Boarding

A quick and simple on-boarding experience is essential in reducing abandonment rates. Asking for too many details or making sign-up confusing will result in users throwing in the towel and deleting your app, possibly to never return to it again. It’s essential that your sign-up is as pain-free as possible for the user.

Seamless on-boarding means only asking for essential information and not confusing your user with too many features or too much text. The user should be able to sign-up in very few steps. Remember, this is the part of the app where you really cannot afford to make any mistakes. Users may forgive a small niggle later on, but as during sign up they have not yet discovered what your app can actually do for them, they are far more likely to abandon it.

Engage With Your Users!

App engagement is a two way street – you cannot expect users to engage with your app regularly if you do not respond to them, and we don’t mean a generic ‘you haven’t logged on in a while’ pop-up!

Used in the right way, push notifications and reminders are a great way to keep your users engaged and ensure that your app is always in the back of their minds. Pushing strategies should, of course, be user centred, and not just a blind stab at encouraging them to open up your app – irrelevant or ‘spammy’ push notifications are more than likely to end in a rage quit.

Specific reminders or incentives however, are a good place to start. Take advantage of user data – such as location or interests. These will allow you to tailor your notifications to each specific user, ensuring they are are relevant, personal and, most importantly, actually useful.

Listen To Feedback

User feedback is hugely important when it comes to keeping your app up to date and in tip-top condition. Don’t just rely on the testing provided by your app development company – they are more likely to focus on ironing out the bugs and polishing off certain features. Realistically, there is no substitute for feedback from people who will actually be using your app, so listen to any comments you are given and respond to it. Updating content, adding new features and refining your UI regularly will be sure to keep your users interested.

Tracking which screens or features may cause users to drop off is another essential. We recommend using Firebase Analytics to monitor user behaviour within the app and see which features may or may not be working.

Encourage Social Sharing

We write a lot about the power of social media when it comes to driving downloads, but it can also be used to increase user engagement.

Allow users to easily share their progress or results on Facebook and you guarantee both a higher engagement rates and more visibility for your product. A great example of this is by fitness app Runkeeper. After each run, the user is asked if they wish to share their running stats to Facebook or Twitter. Doing this will have a number of effects. It will inspire a healthy dose of competition in your user’s friends, ensure that the name of your app reaches people who may have similar interests, and also encourages your user to keep returning in order to impress their friends and followers!

Another great option is to offer incentives for sharing. Many games offer points or access to secret levels if the user shares their progress on social media, and this is definitely something to consider. If done correctly, these incentives will increase user engagement and continue to drive downloads, as more people want in on the action.