Did you know that over 80% of mobile consumption occurs in apps? Unfortunately, a majority of this is concentrated in a select number of apps. According to one study, 24% of users will abandon an app after one use.  

Whether you’re creating an an app for an enterprise company or for common household use, finding ways to get users to continually engage with your app is important to its success. Not only does user engagement affect advertising revenue if you advertise in your app, but it also affects word-of-mouth marketing and early adoption of your app.

Fortunately, the team at Appek has created a list of seven absolutely critical steps you need to take to increase your app engagement and user retention rate. 

Make Strong First Impressions at Trial 

There are generally two types of users who will engage with your product during free trial. These are the people who you target and those who discover your app through fanfare over the internet. The key here is to truly engage those users who share your mutual need and offer a solution that adds value to their lives.

It’s easy to create an app that tries to impress everyone, but that’s not the objective of business. You want to appease the early adopters of your app and the influencers of your industry. 

First impressions are everything and your immediate job is to clearly explain how your app works and motivate users to start using your app with incentives. Providing tactile responses and rewarding microinteractions will get people excited to log back into your app. 

Provide a tutorial that allows people to easily access all of the necessary features of your app and use them comfortably. 

Refine the Onboarding Process

One mistake that many app developers make is trying to over-educate users through the onboarding process. Unfortunately, they focus more on the technical specifics rather than the benefits of the product. The whole key here is to showcase value; don’t waste too much time trying to overload them with tutorial information. Try to advertise your value propositions through screenshots and graphics to get people on the app. 

Make Speed and Navigation Priorities

While optimizing speed may seem like an obvious assumption, it actually relates to the broader network and coding behind your app. Faster speeds means your coding, UI, and navigation is working properly and without error. One advantage apps have over mobile websites is their ability to leverage native hardware and create faster speeds, so take advantage of this. 

Along the same lines, navigation should be a priority of your design. Whether it’s leveraging swipes, the long scroll, or physical hyperlinks, how users engage with your app and what features they use will all depend on your UX layout and navigation. Finally, navigation will be critical in in your conversion optimization strategy as your CTA should always be in clear view of any user or scroller. 

Leverage Push Notifications 

Honestly, when was the last time you’ve went through your phone and looked at the storage memory? Next time you do you’ll be surprised to learn that there’s a bunch of apps slowing down your phone that you haven’t used in months or years. Did we just forget about these apps or forget to delete them?

Don’t forget to leverage push notifications to keep users up to date on new features in your app and remind them that your app exists. Offer incentives, such as discounts for a subscription service or new updates that promise faster speeds to get people re-engaged with your app. Depending on your app’s purpose, this can be used for timely notifications, such as alerting residents that a delivery driver is near or that a concert is only a day away. 

Offer In-App Incentives

If you host a website and operate on other platforms, then how should you go about prioritizing mobile app usage? Offer in-app incentives, such as specialized content access, promotions, and native features to boost engagement on the app and also increase your conversion count. 

Connect all platforms and ask users to download your app the next they visit your website for a better experience. This is a great way to collect new users, offer a personalized experience, and increase retention. 

Personalize Experiences

It’s no longer enough to add uniform experiences to users. The most successful apps, Facebook and Spotify, personalize experiences that cater to users behaviour and interests. 

Now, you don’t have to get too granular in this aspect, but leveraging a user’s name in push notifications and app welcome screens adds a layer of connectivity to your app. You can even allow users to personalize different elements, such as background colors and settings. The more relevant the content you display, the more likely users are to log back onto your app. 

Iterate and Refine 

Finally, it’s absolutely critical that you continue to improve on your products through frequent iteration. Always seek to improve your app through greater content personalization, increased speed, and new features that improve the user experience. Monitor analytics and comments on forums and review sites to discover any discrepancies in user experiences that are affecting retention. 

It’s not enough to simply build an app and launch it. Up to a quarter of apps are abandoned after one use and a significant amount more after one month. In order to deliver a high return on your costly investment, you need to find ways to increase engagement with your app and greater retention.