Why my users forget about my app? User retention, increasing engagement and gamification

With a proper mobile analytics implementation in your app, you might experience periods of user base growth interleaved with a decline. In our latest article, we are presenting a few ideas that might help you with achieving the growth path. While it might not help you to avoid all periods of weak growth, it might definitely help in the long run! 

User retention

By many benchmarks, retention of the users is described as the percentage of an app’s users who return to the app within three months of their first session. However, it is important to note that various brands could have an individual definition of engagement as retention, depending on the nature of the app. In other words – it is all about your users getting back to your app. 

There are various things you can do to remind your users that they have a great app of yours installed on their phones. That could include: 

  • Ensuring the high quality of the app itself and the content it is showing. You can not expect users to return to an app that is buggy, loads slow and shows a piece of weather information from two days ago!
  • Sending push notifications. That is a tricky topic – for sure you want to do that in a way that will not be considered spammy. Spamming your users could result in a counter-retention strike of users who uninstall your app! 
  • Optimizing flows, so they would lead quickly to the result. See how biggest on the market had made it – like Amazon, with their one-click ordering. 

Increasing engagement 

Engagement is somehow vague term. It describes how active users are on the application. While hard to be defined without some subjectivity, the goal of that metric is simple: to measure how people are active in your app. 

One of the key things that could help increasing user engagement in your app is adding user-generated content: voting mechanism, comments, direct messages between users, the possibility to upload pictures and so on. Consumers want to build relationships with brands, more specifically, they want to feel valued and appreciated. This is why opening a line for two-way communication is extremely important. How do you know what your users want if you don’t receive their feedback? These messages help apps gather feedback, solve customer problems, and improve product functionality over time. 


Gamification is a marketing tool that can drive great value for the mobile app. It is not about playing games or collecting badges but is an aspect of ‘game science’ that can be used for benefit of any mobile app looking to increase levels of engagement.

Gamification is about making normal activities compelling. It leverages some common mechanisms of gaming such as – point levels, checkpoints, rewards, choices, characters, etc. At the basic level, gamification exploits most basic instincts, where people can interact with other people and challenge themselves. Gamification can create a great shift from more commonly accepted motivational factors that people typically respond to at work.

By including the gamification mechanics in your app, you are employing a powerful tool for increasing both user retention and engagement. If implemented properly, it could lead to creating world-class social apps. After all, gamification was an important part of the marketing efforts behind Facebook – the world’s biggest social network so far!

You can read more about mobile analytics in our blog post: Mobile Analytics introduction – why, what and how. And if you are interested in building great apps with a focus on user retention and engagement – feel free to contact us at contact@handcraftedmobile.com