Top 17 tips to improve mobile app user engagement

As smartphones and tablets continue to grow in popularity, more and more apps are being developed each day to take advantage of these devices. Because mobile apps typically cost nothing to download, they are often downloaded to have around, never to be used again. To maximize the return on your app investment, you’ll want to focus on engaging your users as much as possible from the moment they download your app until long after they stop using it.

To help with this process, Here are 17 tips for increasing mobile app user engagement and keeping them coming back for more!

17 tips for increasing mobile app user engagement

1. Increase app installs

To increase app installs, try offering incentives. Apps like Groupon, Hotel Tonight, and LivingSocial have successfully done this by giving users a discount if they install an app.

The more targeted your offer is, the better it will be received. Have you considered offering your new users $5 off their first order from you? What about offering a free product or service for downloading your app? Even better, why not integrate geo-targeting technology into your mobile campaigns so you can offer discounts only in certain areas?

2. Higher ratings increase downloads

If you want people to download your app, encourage them to rate it. This simple action can have a large impact on your overall downloads, according to research by Whirlscape.

In fact, they found that a five-star rating boosts an app’s odds of being downloaded by 50%. Make it easy for users: People will be more likely to rate your app positively if you create and maintain a great user experience (UX).

Keeping it simple is important when designing an interface, so don’t clutter things up with extraneous information or gimmicky features that do nothing but distract users from their core purpose.

3. Answering questions increases the rating

App engagement from users

People will be more likely to rate your app well if they’re confident they can get quick answers to their questions. For users to answer questions, you need a robust support infrastructure in place.

Support can range from FAQs and phone hotlines up to live chat. How high the quality of a user’s experience with your customer support team will impact how many people leave reviews on Google Play or Apple’s App Store, so spend time considering what kind of support processes are needed for your mobile apps before you launch them.

4. A little personalization goes a long way

Research has shown that humans remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they see, 30% of what they read, and over 50%. Nowhere is personalization more important than in mobile apps.

For example, if a mobile app sends push notifications about sales based on where you are, it’s significantly more likely to engage with them (and make a purchase).

The key is to find opportunities to add user-specific elements without making your app feel spammy or overly intrusive. For example, when introducing new products or service offerings, experiment with using geolocation or ask users questions based on their recent behavior (e.g., You just purchased item X—what would you like next?).

5. Be careful with gamification or even rewards programs

There is a delicate balance between giving users what they want and reinforcing their behavior. If rewards are given without regard for improvement, users will learn that providing data is payment for their earned reward rather than an improvement in product or experience.

Also, using incentives as a means of user engagement can cause a psychological dependency on them; if you have an especially hard-to-please audience, be careful about using too many rewards programs! Use analytics and make decisions based on specific behavior instead of general activity.

Take into account how your users are engaging with your app across all available devices – after all, desktops are no longer king; we live in a mobile world now. Optimize accordingly: Don’t try to force one format or system onto everyone’s workflow.

6. Leverage referral programs well

Recruiting new customers through existing users is a great way to increase exposure for your app. If you have an existing user base, provide them with information about what’s in it for them when they refer friends and family.

Make sure your program follows these principles:

Make referrals easy: Let users refer to their contacts using tools they already use, like email or social media accounts. It doesn’t help if they can’t do it or don’t know how! Give them a reason – Tell current users why they should encourage others to download your app and include incentives that work well on mobile, like credit towards future in-app purchases.

7. Use push notifications correctly

By now, you’ve probably heard of push notifications. Push notifications are messages that pop up on your phone’s screen without you asking for them. They can be incredibly useful tools, but only if used correctly.

What works with one app might not work for another, and some people simply don’t want push notifications at all. Remember that functionality should always come before marketing when using push notification best practices.

8. Come up with a trendy name

A name is an important factor for a startup, as it helps its users remember it. Naming is hard, so pick from what’s trending and put a clever spin on it. Your startup should be unique and exciting – but not confusing.

If you make your audience think too much, they won’t stick around long enough to see what you can offer. That being said, if you make your business sound like something dull, no one will want to give it a try either! Come up with a catchy name that intrigues customers and stays true to your brand personality.

9. Launch the app at peak hours

Tips for app engagement

One of many factors that affect a user’s decision on whether or not to engage with your app is available time. Thus, if you want to increase user engagement with your app, it’s best to develop a plan for when exactly and how you will launch your mobile application (MobiLaunch). The most ideal scenario would be when there are most people online.

For example, 8 AM EST has been found to be an ideal hour for posting videos on YouTube based on past data. Of course, some apps might work better at different times of day than others—such as productivity apps which tend to do well later in the evening. Think about what your target users need and where they need it most, then adjust accordingly.

10. Create customized invitations

One of your top priorities when you hire a mobile app developer should be to create a seamless, inviting experience for users. Whether you’re providing services or goods, apps are essentially products that need to be marketed and sold—and no business can survive without repeat customers.

If your app offers services or goods, you can incentivize users to make a repeat purchase by creating customized invitations that include links to relevant deals or store items. Creating these invitations is simple; just include them in any communication you have with existing customers and repeat buyers.

For example, if you want users to download an app update with new features, include an invitation encouraging them to come back and try out other cool features they might have missed on their last visit!

11. Give exclusive offers

Users are more likely to return to your app if they get something out of it. A great way to get them back is through exclusive offers that aren’t available anywhere else. These can be anything from an extra life in a game to a chance at winning an Apple Watch or even a free drink at Starbucks.

On average, people spend over 100 minutes per day using apps, and giving exclusive offers helps create ongoing engagement with users. If you want their loyalty, offer them incentives for their loyalty!

12. Optimize landing page design

He found that a website’s landing page—what people first see when they click Facebook or Google—can make a huge difference in whether visitors stay or go.

Landing pages often account for 25% of a website’s page views and can increase conversion rates by 80%. What kind of landing page design works best? Research shows that you want minimal ones, have large buttons and focus on one major goal.

Landing page optimization is key in driving conversions, but A/B testing your landing pages can be tricky. Depending on how you’re tracking traffic and your site analytics, it can seem like you’re getting tons of visitors—but they aren’t landing on the pages you think they are.

It’s hard to tell exactly which parts of your site perform well, let alone why they’re not converting. More important than tracking is having a good gut instinct about what’s working with your audience and what isn’t.

You’ll always be able to pick out elements that don’t work for your brand or industry if you watch them as you visit other sites.

13. Provide online support

Having a strong online presence will make it easier for your target market to find your company. Like a brick-and-mortar business, you’ll want to add contact information, location, and hours of operation in easily accessible areas of your website.

Also, include a feedback or contact form for visitors who need assistance or have questions about a particular service. If you provide chat services, make sure they are monitored by someone who can answer visitor questions quickly and accurately.

You’ll want these features prominently featured on each page of your website so that potential customers can easily access them.

14. Be creative on social media

Improve mobile app

The number of social media platforms is constantly growing. For example, a business can’t just have a Facebook page; now it needs a Pinterest account.

The same goes for Instagram and Twitter. If your business wants to be successful in today’s mobile-driven world, you need to create content on each platform and make sure your audience knows where else they can find you online.

15. Promote app offline too

Promoting your app offline is key to increased user engagement. The more avenues you can use for promoting your app, like news outlets, social media, and blogs, at events or trade shows, and with word of mouth, you will bring your app more attention and gain more active users for it.

Make sure that people know about your mobile application. This can be done by talking about it on social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. You can also talk about it when you meet people or on other social platforms such as Google+.

You should also try using email newsletters or sending out mass emails. There are many ways to get the word out about an app, but only a few work well, so choose wisely which ones work best for you.

16. Give users a preview

When users first land on your app, you have about 5 seconds to get their attention. After that, they’ll decide if they want to stay or move on. To make sure they stick around and become engaged with your mobile app, use a teaser screen in your app designs.

A teaser screen is a screen with text and graphics designed to pique a user’s interest and encourage them to engage further with your app by tapping in or signing up for an account.

17. Send new users a welcome email

If you don’t ask for feedback on your app, your users won’t offer it. The number one reason for app abandonment is that users weren’t sure what they were supposed to do with it.

Send them a simple email asking for feedback on how you can make their experience better. Hello [first name], we noticed that you launched our [app] today! We’d love any suggestions or feedback from our users so that we can continue improving and making it easier to use. What are some ways that you think we could improve? If there’s anything we can do to improve your life, please let us know!

Wrapping up

Ultimately, you want your app to engage users and convert them into paying customers. To accomplish that goal, you need users willing to complete transactions inside your app. That requires a seamless experience that caters specifically to user behavior.

By using these strategies, you’ll be able to increase conversion rates and build a solid reputation as an industry leader. And, of course, engagement is only important if it leads directly to business objectives such as boosting sales or signing up for your service.

If it doesn’t do either of those things well (it does), then don’t worry about improving mobile app user engagement quite yet! Consider other tactics like SEO, paid advertising, or social media marketing.

Amy Parker
Amy Parker
Hey, I am a technology consultant at AppsDevPro, a leading Mobile & Web development company that offers offshore mobile, web, frontend, full-stack developers. I have 18+ years of experience in writing and always looking for new ways to improve skills and learn from others.
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