14 Proven Strategies to Increase App Engagement

14 Proven Strategies to Increase App Engagement

If you want to boost user retention and loyalty, you need to increase app engagement. By increasing app engagement, you'll keep your users invested in your app. Keep in mind that 90% of mobile users who regularly engage with an app are more likely to continue using it. If you can keep your users coming back to enjoy the user experience, you'll be able to significantly prolong people's usage.

While app engagement is critical, you may not be entirely sure of how to get more people to engage with your app consistently. To give you some ideas, let's review some of the strategies you can use to boost app engagement.

What is App Engagement

App engagement refers to the level of interaction and involvement that users have with a mobile application. It is a measure of how much users are using an app and how engaged they are with the content and features it offers. This can include actions such as opening the app, creating an account, completing tasks, leaving reviews, and sharing content. High app engagement is an important indicator of user satisfaction and can lead to increased retention and loyalty.

Why You Need an App Engagement Strategy?

A mobile app engagement strategy is essential for businesses in today's digital landscape, where the proliferation of smartphones and mobile applications has significantly altered how consumers interact with brands. An effective mobile app engagement strategy is not just about driving app downloads; it’s about keeping users coming back, ensuring they find value in the app, and encouraging actions that align with your business goals. Here are key reasons why you need a mobile app engagement strategy:

Enhancing User Retention

User retention is a critical challenge for mobile apps, as a significant percentage of users tend to abandon apps after just one use. A well-crafted engagement strategy helps in keeping your app top-of-mind for users, encouraging regular use by delivering relevant content, personalized experiences, and timely notifications. This consistent engagement helps in reducing churn rates and increasing the lifetime value of users.

Driving User Lifetime Value

Engagement strategies such as personalized recommendations, loyalty rewards, and targeted promotions encourage users to make more frequent transactions and engage more deeply with the app. By increasing the frequency and quality of interactions, businesses can significantly enhance the lifetime value of each user, turning occasional users into loyal customers.

Improving User Experience and Satisfaction

A mobile app engagement strategy focuses on understanding and meeting the needs and preferences of your users. By leveraging data analytics and user feedback, you can continually refine and optimize the user experience. This not only satisfies current users but also attracts new ones through positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Gaining Competitive Advantage

In a crowded app marketplace, a strong engagement strategy can set your mobile app apart from competitors. By delivering a unique and compelling user experience, personalized content, and engaging features, you can differentiate your app, attract a larger user base, and retain users more effectively.

Collecting Valuable User Data and Insights

Engagement tools and tactics, such as in-app analytics, surveys, and feedback forms, provide valuable data on user behavior, preferences, and pain points. This data is crucial for informed decision-making, allowing you to tailor your app’s features, content, and marketing strategies to better meet the needs of your target audience.

Supporting Business Objectives

A mobile app engagement strategy aligns user actions within the app with broader business objectives, whether that’s increasing sales, boosting brand awareness, or enhancing customer service. By engaging users effectively, you can encourage behaviors that directly contribute to achieving these goals, such as making purchases, sharing content on social media, or participating in loyalty programs.

Enhancing Marketing Efforts

Mobile apps offer unique opportunities for targeted and personalized marketing directly on users’ devices. An engagement strategy enables you to leverage push notifications, in-app messages, and updates to promote offers, share news, and drive specific actions. This direct line of communication can be more effective and cost-efficient than traditional marketing channels.

Strategies for Increasing App Engagement

There are many app engagement strategies you can use to keep people returning to your app after their initial use.

The following are some of the specific methods you can implement:

  1. Make Your App's Vision, Story, and Mission Statement Clear
  2. Personalize the User Onboarding Process
  3. Make and Keep the Signup Process Shorter
  4. Use CTAs on Landing Pages to Guide Users
  5. Let Users Skip Tutorials
  6. Use Push Notifications to Let Users Know About Updates and More
  7. Gamification
  8. In-App Marketing
  9. Maximize Interactivity
  10. Implement App Stories
  11. Offer Mobile-Exclusive Rewards
  12. Reach New Users About Your App Features
  13. Use Competitions to Get the User's Attention
  14. Offer In-App Customer Support

Make Your App's Vision, Story, and Mission Statement Clear

Whenever you launch an app, it should have a clear purpose behind it. You should know what you want to achieve with your app and how it came to be. While you may be well aware of this, your users may not fully understand the intention behind the app. If you want to boost engagement, clearly establishing your app's vision, history, and mission statement can help with this.

People are far more likely to be loyal to the companies that resonate with them. One poll found that 82% of consumers look to a brand with values that align with theirs, and apps are no exception. Within your app, on your website, and other platforms, indicate your app's unique purpose. Tell the story of what inspired you to develop the app and discuss what you hope to achieve with it. This will show the real value of your app to establish a stronger connection with users.

Personalize the User Onboarding Process

Both personalization and onboarding are equally crucial in increasing user engagement and retention. People want a personalized experience with almost every digital interaction, including those within apps. Onboarding is also important in giving users a sense of progress as they continue to use an app long after installation. As such, a personalized onboarding experience will help users feel truly connected to your app.

There are many ways you can personalize the onboarding process. For example, you can use a form to ask users to provide data such as their names, job titles, locations, and more. Using this data, you can tailor the in-app experience based on the specific details provided, such as a welcome page greeting users by name.

You can also enable users to provide unique input to put them on a personalized journey within the app. For instance, you might ask about specific preferences that influence the path they take when engaging with the app. Additionally, you can send personalized notifications, in-app messages, and emails that move people along the user journey.

businesswoman-using-a-smartphone-in-an-office-app-engagement-concept

Make and Keep the Signup Process Shorter

Users shouldn't have to spend a lot of time getting into the app. While you may want users to create accounts that help you track each user's usage within the app, keep the process simple.

Make it easy for users to create usernames and logins. You may also be able to enable users to sign up using other logins, such as their Facebook or Google accounts.

The sooner people can begin using your app, the sooner they can engage with it.

Use CTAs on Landing Pages to Guide Users

On mobile landing pages within your app, use compelling calls to action (CTAs) to guide users along their journeys. 

CTAs should stand out from the rest of the content and include a specific request that encourages users to tap on them. If people know what to expect with each CTA button, they'll be more likely to take action and continue engaging with the app.

When getting people to continue forward with CTAs, you should also give a clear incentive such as a specific reward that users will receive by following along.

Let Users Skip Tutorials

Tutorials can be helpful and indicate all of what your app has to offer, but you shouldn't force your users to undergo a tutorial. Some users may want to freely explore your app and intuitively learn about the various features they can use. 

Give users the option to skip the tutorial and simply jump into your app. You may also want to give people the option to return to the tutorial from your in-app menu whenever they want. 

Also, try to keep your tutorials concise and to the point. You can even set up your tutorials so they provide naturally-incorporated information as users explore your app, such as prompts that indicate what different buttons do when users open a new screen.

Use Push Notifications to Let Users Know About Updates and More

Push notifications remain a great way to increase app engagement among users. They can include all types of information to encourage users to come back to your app more frequently.

For example, you can use push notifications to inform users about new features or general updates to your app. You can also personalize them with product recommendations and other relevant messages based on order history and previous interactions within the app. Push notifications could also bring users back to eCommerce apps by reminding them of special offers or abandoned carts.

At the same time, you should avoid overwhelming users with push notifications. Instead, only send notifications that are potentially important to users. Also, use personalization to drive engagement, as personalized push notifications improve reaction rates by as much as 400%.

Gamification

One of the best ways to engage users is to integrate gamification. People love when something feels like a game to them, even if it isn't actually a game. You can easily use gamification to your advantage by including certain game-like elements in your app, regardless of whether it's a gaming app. 

There are many gamification practices you can use to turn the in-app experience into a compelling game. For instance, you can include various challenges that add a competitive element to your app. A points system could also allow users to earn rewards over time with repeated engagement. Simply including a progress bar that helps users track where they're at in their journey could also encourage users to continue engaging.

In-App Marketing

The use of in-app marketing can further keep users invested in your app with the right messaging. These efforts can supplement push notifications and other app marketing strategies to drive long-term engagement.

There are many ways to approach in-app marketing. You can use in-app notifications that let people know about new features and updates. These notifications could feature full-screen interstitials that grab and hold users' attention.

Other in-app marketing strategies could include user tips that serve as mini-tutorials, splash pages that drive action, in-app inboxes and messages communicating with users, and more. 

Maximize Interactivity

Your apps should offer a fully interactive experience that ensures users are consistently connected. 

There are certain steps you can take to increase the level of interactivity in your app. One method is to keep interactions intuitive and simple—users should be able to easily engage with your app without even needing to give it thought. Clear navigation and an overall fluid experience will keep users moving along their respective journeys in your app.

You can also boost interactivity by appealing to the senses. This will drive more immersion and further increase your app's connectivity. An effective combination of visuals, audio, and touch interactions could effectively pull people into your app. For instance, users could hear a corresponding sound whenever they tap on a button or perform a certain action. Visuals may also vibrate or change in another way when users interact with them, such as buttons that change color when tapped.

woman-holding-a-smartphone-while-touching-the-screen-app-engagement-concept

Implement App Stories

If you're looking for a unique way to engage users, App Stories offers a great opportunity. 

Using App Stories, you can push personalized messaging and visuals that speak to users more directly, increase interactivity, and ultimately optimize the user experience. 

You can use Stories in many ways to connect with your users. For instance, you can push unique product recommendations based on order history and interests, with appealing product images along with a "Buy Now" button that drives instant action. Other Stories could provide users with data-fueled details about their usage in an engaging summary, incorporate countdowns for sales periods, polls and surveys, and much more.

App Stories can complement other efforts to keep users returning and offer unique experiences that differentiate your apps from others.

Offer Mobile-Exclusive Rewards

People will be more inclined to engage with your app regularly if you make offers that are exclusive to mobile users. You can advertise various mobile-exclusive offers on social media and other platforms or through notifications. 

Some examples of mobile-exclusive rewards could include:

  • Discounts and promo codes
  • Free items
  • Capabilities that people won't find on other platforms

You can also personalize offers to speak to individual users. For instance, if a user hasn't connected with your app within a certain period, you could send a notification with a mobile-exclusive deal that brings them back. You could also let users know about new products or services they're likely interested in that are only available on the app.

Reach New Users About Your App Features

As you acquire new users in your app, you must educate them about all of your app's capabilities. If your app includes a variety of features and functionalities, new users may not be aware of them. Users may be interested in many of these features even if they can't locate them, so it's best to indicate what your users can do.

When onboarding new users, use push notifications, in-app messages, emails, and other tools to introduce your features. As you add new features, you can also update users about them. In addition, you can ask what users think of new features or find out what they want to see from you. Using this input, you can continue modifying or adding features that increase engagement.

Use Competitions to Get the User's Attention

Another app engagement strategy you can use is to create competitions that get more people to interact with your app. 

There are many types of competitions you can launch to increase engagement among your users, such as:

  • Quizzes and puzzles within the app with rewards for winners
  • Social media competitions involving content created within the app
  • Thematic challenges around the holidays or other events

Competitions ultimately gamify your app in a fun and interesting way that can bring existing users back to your app and help acquire new ones. Be sure to publicize competitions on social media and other platforms to encourage more people to join them.

Offer In-App Customer Support

If users experience any issues with your app or have a question they would like to ask, make it easy for them to get in touch with you through in-app support. You can use in-app messaging to enable users to send a message to support teams or developers. Users can then disconnect while waiting for a response and receive notifications when they receive one. 

This will help you stand apart from apps that don't offer this level of direct communication. You'll be able to identify and address any issues more efficiently and learn about what users want from you, giving you the ability to quickly optimize your app as needed.

How To Develop A Mobile App Engagement Strategy?

Developing a mobile app engagement strategy is crucial for ensuring that your app not only attracts users but also keeps them engaged over time. Here's a comprehensive guide to crafting an effective mobile app engagement strategy:

Understand Your Target Audience

Begin by gaining a deep understanding of your target audience. Identify their preferences, behaviors, and pain points. Conduct surveys, focus groups, and analyze in-app behavior to gather insights. This understanding will inform your engagement tactics, ensuring they resonate with your users.

Set Clear Objectives

Define what you want to achieve with your mobile app engagement strategy. Objectives could range from increasing daily active users, boosting in-app purchases, to enhancing user satisfaction. Having clear goals will help you measure the success of your strategy and make necessary adjustments.

Personalize the User Experience

Personalization is key to a successful engagement strategy. Use the data collected from your users to offer personalized content, recommendations, and offers. Tailoring the app experience to individual preferences and behaviors can significantly increase engagement and loyalty.

Leverage Push Notifications Wisely

Push notifications are a powerful tool for engagement when used appropriately. They can remind users to use your app, inform them of new features or promotions, and provide personalized suggestions. However, it’s crucial to balance frequency and relevance to avoid overwhelming or annoying users.

Implement In-App Messaging

In-app messages can guide users through your app, highlight new features, and promote offers or content. Unlike push notifications, in-app messages are only seen while the user is actively using your app, allowing for more detailed communication that can enhance the user experience.

Create a Reward System

Incentivize engagement by rewarding users for their actions within the app. This could be through loyalty programs, badges, points, or exclusive content. Rewards not only encourage repeat usage but also deepen the user's investment in the app.

Focus on a Seamless User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)

An intuitive and user-friendly interface is crucial for keeping users engaged. Ensure your app is easy to navigate, fast, and aesthetically pleasing. Regularly update the app based on user feedback to improve the UI/UX and keep the app fresh and engaging.

Encourage Social Sharing

Make it easy for users to share content, achievements, or products from your app on social media. Social sharing not only acts as a form of engagement but also helps in acquiring new users through word-of-mouth.

Utilize Analytics and Feedback

Use analytics tools to track user engagement, identify popular features, and understand where users may be dropping off. Additionally, actively seek user feedback through surveys, reviews, and social media. This data will be invaluable in continuously refining and improving your engagement strategy.

Continuously Update and Innovate

The mobile app landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s important to keep your app and engagement strategies up to date. Regularly introduce new features, content, and improvements based on user feedback and emerging trends.

Integrate with the Overall Marketing Strategy

Ensure your mobile app engagement strategy is integrated with your overall marketing strategy. This includes aligning messaging across channels and leveraging your app to support broader marketing goals.

Developing and implementing a mobile app engagement strategy requires ongoing effort and adaptation. By focusing on personalization, user satisfaction, and continuous improvement, you can create an engaging app experience that drives loyalty and supports your business objectives.

Use the Right Strategies to Maximize Engagement

If you can use the most effective app engagement strategies, you'll ensure your app doesn't go stagnant. You'll increase the retention and loyalty of existing users and encourage new users to keep connecting. 

To learn more about how Storyly's App Stories and Web Stories can help you get the kind of engagement you want, register for free today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Oskay Günacar

Oskay is the SEO Executive of Storyly. He is responsible for anything related to organic growth of Storyly and site's technical health. Apart from technical SEO, Google algorithms and search patents, he also loves cats, gaming, cars and writes articles on topics such as user engagement and organic conversion.

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