Data-Driven Tactics to Increase Mobile App User Retention

Big data has become incredibly important in many aspects of app management, especially with user retention.

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We have mentioned previously that big data is essential for online marketing of all types. Mobile marketing depends on data technology as much as desktop.

If you are managing a mobile app, then you have to find ways to use big data strategically. One of the most important things that you need to do is use data analytics to monitor engagement, so that you can improve the retention of your users.

Formulating a Data-Driven Strategy to Improve App User Retention

Tracking the app’s success is an important process that is decisive for your business. When you use effective metrics, you get valuable insight into an app’s interaction with users. App retention is an essential component of a user’s lifetime value. Attention to this factor will help you increase revenue and user acquisition.

In this article, we will discuss the ways to improve app retention for different types of mobile apps by using big data effectively. This is going to be important for monetization and other purposes.

What is app user retention?

Many people often confuse app engagement and retention. Let’s give a definition for each term and single out the differences between them. 

User engagement is a wide and complex metric used to describe how users interact with an app. It is a powerful metric that helps marketers optimize an app and adjust it to the user’s needs. 

User retention is the percentage of users who return to using an app within a month after their first interaction with it. Keep in mind that different apps may have different definitions of these terms based on their nature and specifics. 

Note that user retention is not a KPI for software development, they are different metrics. Many businesses often confuse these concepts, making mistakes when building and developing their business.

What is good mobile app retention?

Before we dive into the figures, it is necessary to say that a good retention rate varies based on the type of mobile app, country, and market share you aim to grab. As the stats show, an average user retention rate for financial or music apps is much lower than for online stores. 

You need to use data analytics to monitor your app retention score. This is important, so make sure that you have a reliable data analytics dashboard that can be used to accomplish this.

How to increase retention in apps: 6 Strategies

Keep in mind that increasing retention for an app and a productivity solution is completely different processes that involve different actions. Before starting this complex process, review your marketing and branding strategy and consider your app’s goals. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach that boosts user retention regardless of the app type. Take a look at the most widespread methods. 

Tracking data from the very beginning

To evaluate the metrics efficiently, you need to gather and track data as early as possible. It will give you a deeper insight into the app’s progress and performance. Using this method, you will be able to identify the most impactful features and strategies to employ.

Soft launch

This approach is rather about preparation. If you haven’t launched your mobile app yet, go for soft launches to test and enhance the performance. A soft launch means releasing your app within a small area and a narrower audience. It will help you receive valuable feedback and make important adjustments before a more global launch. 

Optimizing app user onboarding

Onboarding is a critical step in the user journey that plays a decisive role in achieving high user retention. The very first session with an app can be confusing for users because they have no idea how to use it efficiently. Guiding users through your mobile app will help you improve not only retention rates but also user experience. You will need to find ways to incorporate big data into each aspect of this process. Here are our tips:

  • Be straightforward. If your interface is clear and logical, you don’t need to overwhelm it with tips. Draw the users’ attention to the main points and stress the main steps of interaction. For example, you can add icons with question marks. By clicking on them, users get assistance if needed. 
  • Add visual elements. In some cases, graphics and images are the best way to draw attention. Pay attention to visually appealing and engaging elements. 
  • Define the features that are common for all apps in your industry. For E-Commerce apps, they may be adding to cart, displaying product images, etc. You don’t need to clarify them because users are already acquainted with them.
  • Add a Call to action. The onboarding process should finish with a call to action. You can ask your users to subscribe or receive updates. This is one of the best opportunities to engage new users and boost their retention.

You must make sure that your data analytics tools are properly setup to monitor each of these.


Many mobile marketing teams underestimate the power of personalization. Such brands look more appealing, and their offers are more tempting, which ends in increased sales. Use user data to refer to people by their names, make to-the-point proposals and suggestions, and adjust your offers to the current users’ needs. 

These changes will pay off in time, and you will increase mobile app user retention. Getting personal isn’t always a good idea. Make sure that your approach improves user experience, and the users don’t feel confused with it. 

Email marketing

According to recent surveys, 22% of customers expect to receive marketing emails every two weeks. This strategy fits every business, regardless of its size, industry, and resources available. It is a good way to offers users extended values or unique offers, such as discounts or limited deals. To simplify sending emails, you can automate this process using special tools.

Both you and your users benefit from such an approach. The main thing is to make your suggestions are valuable to users. You can combine this method with sending push notifications to engage users even more.

Big Data is Crucial for Optimizing Your App Retention

App retention is a crucial metric that shows the real level of user engagement with your mobile solution. Therefore, you must have a data analytics platform that can monitor it carefully. We listed the most widespread user retention strategies to increase it in our article. However, if you choose to employ a few methods, be careful not to overload users and add as much help and value for them as possible.

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