How To Increase Your Mobile App Retention Rate In 2017

The presents have already been opened. The corks have been popped to celebrate the new year. And now it’s time to get back to the grind of work. Except this year, let’s not forget to apply a New Year’s resolution to increasing our mobile app retention rate!


It’s pretty obvious why you would care about increasing your mobile app retention rate. It’s much cheaper to optimize your funnel, boost engagement, or whatever you want to call it versus increasing your marketing or sales spend. A good analogy would be drinking a cup of water that has holes on the bottom. You could keep filling the cup with water in an attempt to drink as much liquid as possible as it leaks, or you could simply patch the holes in the cup and easily quench your thirst!


Ignoring app retention is similar to drinking water in a cup with holes on the bottom, you’re spending more resources trying to get more users to use your app when you could be maximizing your spend by ensuring your app retention plan is optimized.


Mobile Surveys To The Rescue

Mobile surveys to the resuce

A missing piece of the equation is knowing exactly what your mobile users are experiencing when they use your app. And one of the best ways of understanding this is by asking them with a short survey. You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to create a mobile app retention plan after gathering invaluable user insights DIRECTLY from users of your app.


As straightforward as this may be, many people appear to often overlook this step when detailing their plan to increase mobile app retention rates. That being said, utilizing an in-app mobile survey and gathering user insights allows for a much more effective game plan when this is added to your existing set of app retention tools.


Typical Methods

If you are even just slightly curious as to how your mobile app is performing among your users, you have more than likely utilized a handful of tools and platforms to make sense of all the data. While many of these tools are necessary in order to make educated decisions on how to improve your app, they typically fall short of providing concrete information as to what your users are thinking.



We’ll start with analytics. This is usually the first thing most people install in their app which makes total sense. You want to see the actual data behind user behavior so you can make insightful decisions. This is how you find out the raw numbers that represent those magical keywords you talk about everyday like Daily Active Users (DAU), Session Length, and of course Retention Rate. But often times more research is necessary to understand the reasons behind the numbers, which analytics typically cannot provide on its own


Push Notifications

What better way to get someone back to your app than with an alert that actually launches your app when they tap on it? On the surface, this would seem like a no-brainer. But there is an art to push notifications in order to make them effective. You have to ensure that you refrain from spamming a user’s device and losing them forever while also finding the right cadence with the correct amount of personalization to draw their attention. Another drawback to push notifications is that they are inherently designed to be one-to-many, which tends to make true personalization difficult.


A/B Testing

Last but certainly not least is A/B testing. This is the process of testing different elements of your app, typically the UI and messaging, in order to optimize the user experience. But what exactly do you test and how many tests should you conduct? The answer to those questions is usually just trial and error. If we already knew how and what needed to be tweaked in order to get the best results, then we would just design our app that way the first time and avoid A/B testing altogether! Unfortunately, we haven’t mastered mind reading so this is often times a guessing game.


Know Your Users

The typical methods above that were listed are most definitely necessary tools in your mobile app’s arsenal. However, you will soon notice that the true benefit surfaces when you are able to know precisely what your end users are saying and expecting from your mobile app.


Surveys offer a dead simple way way of gathering insights from your users directly from their mouths (or keyboards I suppose)! With this information you can know exactly what users like or don’t like about your app so that you can make the necessary changes needed to increase your mobile app retention rate.


The data and user insights you collect from your mobile surveys creates more value for A/B testing, analytics, and push notifications.
Hopefully this new found magic we call “mobile surveys”, helps make this new year an awesome year for your mobile app retention rates!

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