How To Increase App Engagement: 10 App Retention Strategies

What is a go-to app engagement strategy to increase app engagement?

To help you increase engagement on your app, we asked marketing professionals and app owners this question for their best insights. 

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Written by AMA Colorado

From incorporating push notifications to gamifying the app, there are several strategies that may help you increase engagement and retention on your app.

Here are 10 ways to increase app engagement:

  • Incorporate Push Notifications
  • Forego Welcome Pages for Concise Instructions
  • Open a Line for Two-way Communication
  • Create Visually Striking App Advertisements
  • Minimize Screen Amount
  • Word of Mouth
  • Add Social Sharing Buttons
  • Create a Consistent Cross-channel Experience
  • Open a Rapid Feedback Loop
  • Gamification

Incorporate Push Notifications

You have to consistently tweak the content of your push notifications to find out what works best. Always track the open rate after trying out a new notification, and try everything from a special offer, a new update alert, or just a personalized "we missed you" message. Never settle—some apps achieve an 90% open rate or higher with their notifications. You really just have to learn what your audience wants.

James Diel, Textel


Forego Welcome Pages for Concise Instructions

With so many apps on the market for every target audience imaginable, the key is getting users to understand the efficacy and ease of your app right off the bat. To do this, eliminate your welcome pages describing how to use the app. With too many, you run the risk of losing interest in potential users with short attention spans and over complicate your app. Instead limit your welcome pages and present clear, concise, and compelling copy that celebrates your app’s key features and benefits, perhaps using animated images and icons to keep users engaged on each page.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix


Open a Line for Two-way Communication

Encourage two-way communication. Customers want to not only build relationships with the brands they purchase from, they also want to feel valued and appreciated. To achieve this, open a line for two-way communication. This mobile app marketing strategy allows you to obtain feedback, solve customer problems, and improve product functionality. It also helps with your user journey. You'll be able to help them reach their goals more effectively.

Katie lyon, Allegiance Flag Supply


Create Visually Striking App Advertisements 

Cool, pin-worthy App graphics capture the attention of a large audience, driving significant app engagement and downloads. Pinterest is a goldmine of new products and brands for users to discover. And a visually striking and informative app ad will have your app standing out from the crowd. A crisp image with an engaging headline in a clean and clear font keeps your design simple while making it easy for readers to consume your ad quickly. And size your graphic to stand out by using an aspect of 2:3. Doing so ensures your audience will see all of the image’s details on their Pinterest feed.

Chris Gadek, AdQuick


Minimize Screen Amount

For things like signing up or tutorial explanations of your app's functions, be mindful of how many screens the user has to go through in order to complete any given task on your app. If it becomes an ordeal to complete a task, it will make the user less likely to use it again in the future. Try to keep the number of screens in quick succession under five, and aim for two to three. That way they don't drag down the user experience of your app and make the user more willing to return to it in the future.

Kate Lipman, embrace Scar Therapy


Word of Mouth 

Our go-to app engagement strategy is word-of-mouth (WOM). My company partners with crowdfunding campaigns, helping them reach their goals through paid advertising and exposure.

Businesses should apply similar campaign techniques to their app interface by integrating social sharing. Adding social buttons to an app makes it easy for users to share with popular websites, like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Social media is one of the most efficient and budget-friendly ways to increase and encourage continuous app engagement. People love to share what they are doing with family, friends, and followers. If your users share your app with their followers, you get free exposure, spreading the word of your company at no additional cost to your marketing department.

Roy Morejon, Enventys Partners


Add Social Sharing Buttons

Incorporate social sharing in your app to increase and encourage continuous app engagement. You should add social buttons for popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. to your app's functionality.

Social media is a massive part of modern culture, and people love sharing what they are doing with their family, friends, and followers. Make sharing on social media easy and quick, with simple buttons and quick reminders for app users after they commit certain actions.

This not only encourages people to share their progress, creating a sense of achievement that drives them to return to the app but will provide more exposure for your app. When users' followers see them using the app, they will be inclined to download and use it too.

Bryan Philips, In Motion Marketing


Create a Consistent Cross-channel Experience

Ensure that users' in-app experiences are consistent with their experiences on your other brand channels, including your mobile and desktop sites. This helps build brand familiarity across all the channels a customer uses to interact with you. You want your customers to effortlessly move from one channel to the next, and receive the exact personalized experiences across all these platforms. This eliminates any confusion or friction that may hinder the user to interact with you on their platform of choice, including in-app. A seamless cross-channel experience will contribute to higher engagement levels on all your platforms, including in your app.

Doug Pierce, Sigma Computing

Open a Rapid Feedback Loop

Open a rapid feedback loop with your user base through a wizard, basic bot, or social media, then delight their socks off one iteration at a time; early adopters and raving fans love to help build better versions of and share their favorite tools with friends.

Keep the user interface clean and simple so the navigation stays intuitive and the desired in-app destination is achieved with the fewest taps possible. Split test and regularly survey your most engaged users so you can keep what’s working well, drill-down on what’s not, and spur innovation through ongoing in- and off-app conversations with those who know your app best.

Tommy Chang, Homelister



Gamification, in my opinion, has emerged as a novel and successful method of attracting clients and increasing corporate revenue. Gamification is built on viral techniques that encourage users to be socially engaged and to attract their friends and acquaintances while spending money. Gamification, in this sense, turns the use of a service or product (for example, a mobile app) into a game. And the game has always been an effective technique for drawing new players.

Jamie Opalchuk, HostPapa



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