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App Engagement Strategy: 20+ Best Practices


In 2024, standing out in the crowded app store will be tough. That’s why app engagement is a high priority.

And it’s not just about downloads. It’s about keeping users active and engaged. 

Check out the practical strategies to increase app engagement. It may help you bring users back to your app more frequently. 

Launching a new app? Improving an existing one? No matter what you do, our tried-and-true best practices are a must.

Why is app engagement important? 

Your mobile app needs people to use it a lot to grow and do well. No doubt about it. 

App engagement means how much users interact with your app, showing how useful and good your app is.

There is an ever-increasing number of apps competing for user attention nowadays. So the strategies to increase app engagement and user retention are more important than ever. 

App gamification, customer support, and other elements contribute to a great user journey. Features like these get users to explore your app and spend more time using it. 

The more time users spend in your app, the more opportunities you have for monetization, be it through in-app purchases, ads, or data collection for targeted app marketing. 

High levels of engagement will get you better reviews and ratings. Which might attract more active app users. And this is how a virtuous cycle of increased retention and conversions is created.

There are more things why app engagement is important. It measures user engagement without a hassle. Then, you can catch issues with your app that may be slowing the users’ involvement down. 

For instance, poor customer support might be a roadblock to high engagement levels. 

Without customer engagement strategies, you may struggle with user engagement itself. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

See how to develop mobile engagement between the user and a mobile app. Some strategies may surprise you!

Increase app engagement and retention with the best mobile app engagement strategies

Here are over twenty ways to increase app engagement.

#1 Push notifications

These are must-haves! Push notifications are used for driving both app engagement and user retention. 

They are a direct line of communication that encourages users to return to your app. Use breaking news alerts, special offers, or simple reminders – these are all appealing reasons to open the app.

For example: A bet app might send a push notification with the discount code. It increases the chances that they will engage with the app.

Xtremepush will drive mobile engagement thanks to its push notification capabilities. 💪🏻

#2 In-app messaging

In-app messaging is a powerful tool for boosting mobile app engagement. Unlike push notifications, these messages appear when the user is already active within the app. It makes them highly contextual and targeted. 

Use them to guide the user journey, offer promotions, or highlight new features, so you’re increasing user engagement.

For example: A fantasy sports app (like Ownersbox) sends a quick message encouraging them to open the app and start a game. 

#3 User onboarding

Want to drive new user engagement? User onboarding is the answer. A well-designed onboarding process can make user retention rates go up. It’s the user’s first experience with what your app has to offer. It also sets the tone for their entire user journey.

For example: A news app can give new users a simple guide, show them how to start using it and what the features are. It will give them an understanding of how to use the app right from the start.

📰 Read how to streamline the customer onboarding process in digital banking with Xtremepush.

#4 Gamification

Engage with an app using gamification. It is more than just a trend, it’s a best practice! Add game-like elements to your app to create a user experience that is enjoyable and rewarding. And the best is that it improves engagement metrics because users interact more frequently with your app.

For example: A language learning app might provide badges, points, or even small rewards for completing different levels or challenges. It’s a fun and competitive element that motivates everyone to engage with an app.

#5 Personalization

When you shape the app experience to fit each user’s likes and actions, there are bigger chances that they will keep engaging with the app. Because it’s an experience that is totally tailored to them. Don’t hesitate and show users that their specific needs and preferences matter to you.

For example: A music streaming app might suggest playlists or new releases based on a user’s previous listening history. This is a targeted recommendation. It makes users spend more time exploring the app.

Did you know that 62% of consumers say they won’t be loyal to a brand if it sends them non-personalized content?

#6 A/B testing

Compare different versions of your app and identify which elements of your mobile application most engage users. A/B tests provide data that helps you tweak your app’s features and strategies to get the best results.

For example: An email app might A/B test two different inbox layouts to find out which one results in users spending more time within the app. The layout that shows a higher engagement rate is then implemented for all users.

#7 User segmentation

When you divide your users into groups based on their actions, where they are, or what they like, you can give them content that suits them better. Since they see relevant content, they might spend more time on your app. You can use a free CRM tool to store customer information including segmented lists of their details.

For example: A travel app might segment users based on their past travel destinations and send them personalized offers for future trips to similar locations. Most likely, the user will engage with the app and make a booking.

💡Use Xtremepush to segment your audience for better personalization.

#8 Social sharing

If users can quickly share content or their successes on social media, your app gets more visibility. It’s great for driving app engagement, and it acts as a form of organic marketing. Also, it gives current users more reasons to interact more with the app.

For example: A fitness app might allow users to share their workout milestones on social media. It’s a kind of social proof, and it also encourages the user’s network to download and engage with the app.

#9 Deep linking

Set up links that take users right to a specific spot inside your app, not just the home screen. You can guide users on what to do next and get them more involved within your app. But to make deep linking work, think twice if the links are accurate and if the users want to click on the sources.

For example: An online bookstore might use deep linking in their email marketing campaigns. Clicking on a link about a new science fiction release could take the user directly to that book’s page within the app. Which may also bring more conversion.

#10 Loyalty programs

Rewarding loyal users for frequent interactions or purchases. It’s a good reason to keep using your app, right? Such programs get people more involved with the app but also make their overall experience as customers better.

For example: A coffee shop app might offer a loyalty card feature where every tenth purchase is free. Users will return to the coffee shop and use the app to track their purchases.

#11 Content updates

Keep your app’s content fresh and up-to-date. It interests users in the long run. Bring in new and relevant content, it gives users a reason to check out what your app has to offer and come back more often.

For example: Adding new levels, challenges, or characters every month can make the game more exciting. It gives users a reason to keep visiting and interacting with the app.

#12 Email campaigns

Don’t overlook email campaigns, they are powerful! And here’s the proof: email marketing revenue is estimated to reach over 10 billion dollars in 2023. Send out well-thought-out reminders or updates via email, or create amazing, personalized email campaigns. All of which can motivate users to return to your app.

For example: A personal finance app might send monthly summaries of spending habits or investment growth, motivating users to open it.

#13 Analytics monitoring

Let’s understand how users interact with your app. Track key engagement metrics to spot areas that need work and make choices based on data to make the user experience better.

For example: A streaming service might monitor which genres or shows are most popular. They use this data to inform future content acquisitions or in-app promotions.

#14 Retargeting ads

Did some users stop using your app? Retargeting ads are shown to people who have downloaded your app before but haven’t used it in a while. Use these ads to bring inactive users back to your app. 

💡 Retargeting ads work best with 18-24-year-olds.

For example: An e-commerce app might show retargeting ads displaying items that a user has already viewed but not purchased. It might help them complete the transaction.

#15 Incentivized referrals

Make it possible for your current users to bring in new users, and reward them for it. It can really help grow your user base and boost activity among your existing users. When you give out perks for successful referrals, everyone benefits.

For example: A ride-sharing app offers free ride credits to users who successfully refer new customers. Let’s encourage both new and existing users to engage with the app.

#16 Time-sensitive offers

Offers that are only good for a limited time can push users to act fast. It’s super effective marketing if you want to get more people using your app.

For example: A food delivery app might offer a 20% discount on orders placed within the next two hours, encouraging users to make a quick decision and place an order.

#17 Cross-promotion

Looking for a smart strategy to get your app in front of new people without spending a lot on ads? This is where cross-promotion comes in. You can team up with other apps that attract a similar crowd but aren’t your rivals, both of you can gain from it, and also drive user engagement.

For example: A meditation app might cross-promote with a fitness app, offering special bundles or features that are relevant to both user bases.

#18 Feedback loops

There’s no such moment to say, “OK, my app is perfect, I don’t want to change anything.” Well… just don’t. Make your app better, always. When you actively ask users what they think, you can spot any problems or areas that need work.

For example: A travel booking app asks for user feedback after each completed trip. This data allows them to refine their services and features.

#19 Multi-channel marketing

Reach out to your users in a bunch of different ways: social media, cold emails, notifications – all right in the app. If you contact them, they might be interested in you back.

For example: A retail app could let users know about a big sale using social media, send a reminder email, and then pop up a notification in the app when the sale is about to end. 

#20 Localization

Localization is tweaking your app so it fits in with the local culture and what users in different places need, not just translating the words. Open up your app to more users worldwide and get more people engaged.

For example: A weather app displays information on local holidays or events in addition to weather forecasts. They make it more useful to users in different countries.

#21 Accessibility features

Make your app more inclusive. Add features that make your app easier for everyone to use. On top of it, you can reach a wider audience and boost how much people interact with it. 

For example: A news app includes a text-to-speech feature. So more people are able to use it because it is also accessible for users with visual impairments.

#22 Live support

There are many ways of supporting users in real life – live chat, chatbots, phone support, and more. Find the one that will serve your business and your users best. When you solve the issues right away, they are more satisfied with using your app.

For example: A live chat feature is a great tool for an online banking app. Users can instantly get help with any issues or questions, increasing user trust and engagement.

#23 App updates and maintenance

Fixing what’s broken, it’s not enough. You need to put continuous effort into making the app better for your users. Monitor your app, test it, and read reviews. 

For example: A social media app regularly updates its user interface based on user feedback and emerging design trends. It keeps the user experience fresh and engaging.

#24 Seasonal promotions

Who doesn’t love seasonal deals? Offer them at certain times of the year and give users some great offerings like buy one, get one for free, bundle deals, and more, the sky’s the limit here. It could be a holiday sale, a summer event, or a back-to-school special – it all depends on who is your target audience.

For example: A shopping app has special holiday promotions to encourage users to shop from the app during the holiday season.

#25 User reviews and ratings

It’s one of the engagement tactics that it’s better to make a habit of. Seeing what other people think about your app can really convince new users to give it a try and start interacting with it. Always say thank you to all who left the review, no matter whether positive or negative.

For example: A productivity app that has received high ratings and positive reviews will likely attract more new users, who are also more likely to engage with the app based on its proven track record.

Now you know how to increase mobile app engagement 

We’ve provided over twenty strategies you can use to improve user engagement. They are all suitable for people who are launching a brand-new app or just want to upgrade an existing one.

But there’s one more tip.

Boost app engagement with Xtremepush. It is designed to drive app engagement and make the customer experience better. It’s a tool that can help with a lot of the strategies we’ve talked about here: push notifications, email marketing, segmentation, personalized content – it’s just the beginning of the list.

Want to connect with your users much more easily and increase engagement in your mobile app? Book a demo with Xtremepush.


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