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User Experience

How to Re-Engage Users Who Abandoned Your App After First Use

Berkem Peker
November 28, 2022

Do users uninstall your app within a short period?

Are you worried about lots of users abandoning your app for unknown reasons?

Want to know some tips and tricks on how to engage app users?

If your answer is yes to all or any of the above questions, read the following article for a comprehensive guide on user re-engagement.

What Is Mobile App Re-Engagement?

For marketers, one of the main concerns of all times is how to engage users. In present times, the most common strategy is user re-engagement. Usually, users judge the whole app based on their first experience with the app. Unfortunately, 4 out of 10 users abandon an app if it takes longer than 3 sec to load.

App re-engagement is a mobile app growth strategy that targets users who have previously installed or have interacted with your app. The purpose is to re-engage users with an app by using specific techniques that remind them about your app and drive them to mobile app engagement.

Know that it is not all about increasing the number of downloads but about retaining the users who have your app, bringing back the users who have uninstalled your app, and enhancing the current users’ engagement. However, the main focus of this article is the ones who interact less or do not interact with the app at all.

App Abandonment Trends

Today, the users are no more passive. They are clear and highly picky when it comes to choosing apps for themselves. An app that does not serve its purpose is immediately knocked out. So, in a world of active mobile users, retention and engagement is not every brand’s piece of cake. Hence, to engage your users, you need to know numerous facts, including how many users abandon an app after the first use, how many users interact less and for what reasons, etc., for coming up with a strategy that works like magic.

According to AppsFlyers’ data, around one out of every two apps is uninstalled within thirty days of installation. As of the data presented by BusinessofApps, the rate of uninstalls was 70% more in 2020 compared to the previous users. The top three abandoned apps were shopping, food, and social apps, leading to a considerable loss for the developers. Factually, as of the statistics by Statista Research Department, the mobile app abandonment rate is around 25 percent for the applications that are once downloaded and never used again.  

Precisely, the purpose to you aware of the statistics was to understand facts, know the app abandonment rate and then work on your re-engagement strategy.

Why Do Users Abandon an App?

In a survey by Google and IPSOS, around one thousand users in the US were asked to fill out the survey regarding reasons behind abandoning an app. Some of the reasons that topped the survey results were changing needs, lots of memory consumption, technical issues with the app, not up to expectations, and more in-app ads.

Today, app abandonment is a critical issue; knowing why users withdraw your app is a mystery for all the app owners. To design an effective re-engagement campaign, you need to know possible reasons why you abandon an app. So, the mystery is solved now. All the most common reasons why users leave apps are discussed below:

Performance Issues:

One of the fundamental reasons behind an abandoned app is not having optimal performance. Several technical flaws can turn your potential engaged user into a nonuser. Usually, performance issues like freezes and crashes are what annoy the users. Imagine you are trying to find a taxi due to an emergency, and the app keeps crashing. It is putting off. For a better-performing app, you can read more on native app development.

Like you read in this article above, taking more space on the phone is one of the reasons why people uninstall an app. Hence, another common reason users abandon an app after the redesign is that your app takes a lot of memory as people need apps that are significant in use but take little space on the phone.

If your app is highly draining the users’ battery, they will likely abandon it anytime soon. Users are concerned about how an app is consuming their battery.

Moreover, apps that take too long to load do not have the power to retain users. The purpose of apps is to get immediate solutions. If an app takes longer than expected, it is useless for the users, leading to uninstalls or negative reviews regarding your app.

Although it is impossible to make an error-free app, when it comes to how to get users to use your app, you must fix all the performance issues. Monitor your app’s performance, acknowledge the users to report bugs, and sort them immediately. Make improvements according to the trends and test your app’s performance now and then.

Onboarding Problems:

You must have heard that first impression last. The phrase is accurate for your app too. The onboarding experience is the first interaction that a user has with your app. The choice is yours if you make the experience an overwhelming or a disappointing experience that lasts with them for a lifetime. From all minute details like the sign-up process, tutorials, user guides, app interface navigation, etc., you need to pay closer attention to offer a satisfying onboarding experience.

Usually, the sign-up process takes too long that the user loses the motivation to explore the app’s functions. Additionally, the creating of accounts is troublesome and difficult to understand. As a result, users abandon your app before actually using it.

Another reason for how poor onboarding leads to app abandonment is the inability to introduce the key features of an app to new users. If there are no directions for the users to understand the app, it leads to a wrong impression. Often the tutorials, videos, guides, or tooltips meant to guide the new users confuse them due to lack of clarity. If a user will not understand the working of an app, why would he choose to stick to it? A point to ponder as an app owner.

To sum up, the first few moments of interaction through the onboarding experience decide whether users will stick to your app or not. Hence, you need to execute it flawlessly and pay a little more attention than the rest of the app functions for re-engaging app users.


If your app serves the purpose and fulfills the users’ needs, then it is good to go. However, if it is not what your users want, your app is just a few seconds away from abandonment.

It is likely to happen that you choose the wrong audience by not setting the right target audience. When your target audience is incorrect, you acquire the wrong users that are likely to install the app and uninstall it as it’s not what they need. Also, prospective users are often not segmented rightly. And poor grouping gets the wrong users to download your app. User segmentation tells you about your potential customers and divides them based on specific characteristics. Therefore, to re-engage users with an app, use the segmentation strategy accurately. Also, ensure that your market research is thorough in grabbing the relevant audience.


Some of the most annoying apps are those that spam their users aimlessly. Although app owners think that frequent messages will help engage mobile app users, it might turn out the opposite. Irrespective of your method of communication with users, send them the right content, in a specific amount, with suitable placements, at the right time and for a particular purpose.

Let’s say your app has too many ads. Although ads help you keep the app free, your users will be driven away if these ads are intrusive and a lot more than required. Undoubtedly, your user will take no more than a minute to exit your app if they see the ads on your app.

Similarly, another common way that may cause app abandonment is push notification. Nonetheless, user retention and push notifications have a link, but only until they are not overdone and get too annoying for the users. Reminders are an excellent way to re-engage, but your app is abandoned when the users feel like you are too noisy.

Moreover, other interruptions like the app review requests, constant links to complete surveys, and reminders sent too often are other reasons users abandon your app.

5 Strategies for Re-Engaging Mobile App Users

Now that you know possible reasons why people abandon your app, you need a few app re-engagement strategies to understand how to re-engage app users. Factually, the methods vary from reason to reason of abandonment. Therefore, before utilizing any of the following techniques, you need to discover the root cause of abandonment. To find the reason for your app’s abandonment, you need to know what pushes your users away from your app. Undoubtedly, the best information on this can only be provided by the users themselves. Hence, before opting for the solutions, conduct surveys from your users to know where you lag. Then, select any of the re-engagement strategies below to see noticeable results in re-engaging existing app users.

1) Presence on Social Media Channels

The present era is a digital era where social media has a lot of influence on users’ decisions. A well-marketed app on a social media platform has far more opportunities to get users’ attention than any other. Therefore when looking for how to retain users on the app, you need to focus on how much activity is well-marketed on social media.

If you wish to interact frequently, you can utilize the deep linking strategy. In this, you include a link taking your user directly to their area of interest in the application without any hassle. With this, your users do not have to hunt for a specific feature in your app. Instead, click the deep link and land on the section. In this manner, your users do not have to struggle to search for something and can even save their time, making your app efficient and helpful.

Another tip for app user re-engagement is to remind your users of your app through social media. Make a strong presence on famous social media platforms, run campaigns, giveaways, and attract via contests. Make your app as efficient that your existing users tell about your app through their social media handles.

2) Push Notifications

You must be wondering how push notifications were a reason behind abandonment and are now part of the strategy. Well, it is an incredible way to reach your users when they are not using your app. When looking for some of the best tricks on how to retain app users, you must consider streamlining your notifications and maximizing the opt-ins from the majority of the users. Do not send similar push notifications to all the users; instead, customize them according to segmentation, analytics, and testing data.

3) Re-Engaging Users via Email Campaigns

To get back the dormant users and re-engage your users, email marketing offers enormous benefits. The overwhelming ROI of email campaigns of 4,200 percent is vivid proof. However, that does not mean you send random emails that are simple and instead of putting off than exciting for the users. It would help to plan the email marketing campaign strategically by sending personalized emails to your users. Do not just be another mail in their mailbox; instead, be an attractive one with a catchy subject. Also, a pro tip is to keep reminding them about your app through frequent emails that are different in context.

4) Loyalty Programs

Who does not love rewards? And what is a better way to motivate than by offering some incentives to the users?

If you are too confused about keeping users on your app, introduce loyalty programs for your existing users. The rewards can be in the form of discounts, login bonuses, exclusive deals, purchase rewards, or some in-app credits. Just keep track of user behavior and then offer them the tips accordingly. When your users observe that what you are offering is far more than what they are receiving from your competitors, they will return.

5) UX/UI Modifications

There are many app options for the users to choose. Your UI design makes your application stand out. The better the UX design, the more chances of retaining users. In-app stories are great for improving the whole journey and experience. In this way, they help you engage with your users. So, you wouldn’t even need to put so much thought into re-engaging the users who abandoned your app.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you are well aware now regarding app-engagement, the dos, and donts. Now without wasting any further time, discover the reasons and use the article to give some of these strategies. Note that the results will be gradual but long-lasting.

Berkem Peker

Berkem is master of none, jack of all trades. Happens to be a Growth Strategist at Storyly. Knows/writes about growth frameworks and user behavior.

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