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5 ways to increase user retention for your app

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5 ways to increase user retention for your app

Posted on

User retention is the biggest post-install challenge.

As you are reading this, there are over 5 million apps available in the App Store & Play Store. Mobile users have more choices than ever and just because they choose to download your app doesn’t mean they’re going to stick around.

Daily Average User | User Decay Rate vs. Retention Rate | The ASO Project Blog

Head of Rider Growth at Uber, Andrew Chen, says that the average app loses 77% of its daily users within 3 days of installation. Yikes!

Retention and app quality are becoming more and more important in both the App Store and the Play Store algorithms, so how are you going to delight your daily users and increase your retention rate? Here are 5 ways to up your chances of keeping your precious users:

1. Daily Offers

There are a lot of simple ways to delight your users by adding value through a daily offer, prize or bonus points. Depending on the category of your app, there are a number of ways to do this. Check out this familiar example of how you can boost daily users with Daily Offers:

How Candy Crush used the Daily Booster Wheel to increase daily app user retention rate | The ASO Project | Blog

Candy Crush – Daily Booster Wheel

We’ve all gotten stuck on that one level. While a challenge is certainly appreciated, some users used to get so frustrated, CC most likely lost some loyal daily users. To incentivize users to return, they implemented the Daily Booster Wheel. Every 24 hours a user is able to spin the wheel and receive one of 8 free prizes. These boosters help users beat those tough levels and keep climbing, increasing your retention rate and delighting your users.

2. Personalization

A great way to keep users interested is through personalization. Apps that can take advantage of personalization are those that involve mobile commerce, are location-based and any app with a consistent time of day usage. Here are a few ways to add personalization to benefit your retention:

– show personalized content that is consistent with individual user behavior

– location notification suggestions (the Starbucks app notifies you when you drive near a physical store location and prompts you to open the app)

– behavior notification suggestions (Spotify notifies you when you plug in headphones/visit the gym)

– timely notifications (if a user opens your app at noon every day, they might be browsing on their lunch break OR if you have a meal tracker, use notifications around breakfast, lunch and dinner to remind users to track in your app)

3. Push Notifications

One of the most effective ways to increase user retention is through push notifications. These are designed specifically to aid developers in bringing users back into their app. Utilizing well-crafted calls to action and sending them at the correct times for your users to see them can make push notifications a great leverage factor in your daily user retention.

Quick tip: push notifications containing emojis were opened 4.51% of the time! 😁 You can read more about emoji use in push notifications in this article.

Extra points if your notifications are personalized! Do you have an m-commerce app? Try a “did you forget something?” abandoned cart notification personalized to their potential purchase!

4. Ask For Feedback

Asking for user reviews does a couple things for your app.

1. It increases your rank if you have a large number of good reviews

2. It provides actionable advice for you, the designer/developer to improve your app.

So how do we ask for feedback? Using the Apple’s Store Kit SDK. It’s important to note that you can only ask users for a rating 3 times a year, so make them count!

Pro Tip: always respond to user reviews on the app store. This shows users you are listening and care about their important feedback.

5. Product Updates

Lastly, it’s important to continuously improve your digital product. By listening to feedback and understanding what users want, you can make purposeful updates. When you have great product design, usability and most of all a great idea, you will enjoy a high user retention rate.

Remember, app optimization is not a one-and-done project; it’s an ongoing strategy that needs time and attention to achieve maximum results!

Don’t have the time to devote to ASO? Let us be your experts. Contact us for a consultation today.


Erin Schnittker | Lead Designer & Marketing Manager |

Erin Schnittker
Lead Designer & Marketing Manager

Erin Schnittker is a graphic design & digital marketing expert with 8 years of experience in content strategy, creation and design. She has worked on a significant number of household brand names, successfully optimizing their inbound marketing schemes to best attract, covert, close and delight consumers on an international basis. Erin’s unique understanding of user behavior and App Store Optimization, has proven to be a winning combination when applied to the creative optimization of our clients’ apps.


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