9 Evergreen Customer Retention Hacks For App Developers


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customer retention strategies- How many lives your new customer worth

It’s almost a norm for businesses to sideline its existing customers and go for new customers, hook, line and sinker.

But then, if you think badgering a bunch of new customers to start using your app will bring in more bucks, over taking care of your existing ones, think again.

Unarguably, customer retention is hard. 75% of users uninstall the app the day after using it. But then again, don’t forget, customer acquisition is harder. Partly because customer acquisition rates are touching a staggering 117% year-over-year; and partly because app hopping has become an irresistible hobby for users around the world, thanks to millions of apps and their clones looming on the horizon.

So, the point is, running after new users to adopt your app could turn out to be an exercise in futility.

Image source: http://www.superoffice.com

Rather keeping the existing customers happy and hooked. It could turn out to be the best customer retention success tool, which could really attract some lifetime users for your app.

Nevertheless, the current state of app retainment, as per a recent study conducted by Appboy, presents a pretty much gloomy picture. For instance,

by day 2, only 25 percent of the users return to the app.
by day 7, the number further dwindles to 11 percent.
by day 90, the app retention rate reaches a meager 4.1 percent.

Image source: www.appboy.com

So, how to retain your app customers in the face of a constantly growing uninstall rates:

#1. Focus on Value and Utility

Apps are supposed to make the lives of users easier. And if your app is able to achieve that, be assured, your app would find big takers. According to Google’s blog thinkwithgoogle, at least two out of three users will use apps on a regular basis if it helps them simplify their chores.

Say, for instance, the Walgreens app keeps users posted on different sales and discounts announced by the company time and again. The info comes handy to the user if he/she plans to visit Walgreens in the near future.

That being said, there’s no surety your user will use your app once the transaction is over. So, how to make to make sure that users use your apps, over and over again even after its first use? Simple. Scale up your app’s value and utility.


Image source : www.thinkwithgoogle.com

To put it another way, incentives could act a great motivating factor to re-engage with abandoned users. According to Google’s survey, thirty percent of the users said that they would use the app again if discounts were available against a purchase, and nearly a quarter of app users would return if they received exclusive or bonus content. These facts particularly ring true for travel and retail apps.

#2. Implement Deep Linking

Including deep links in your app’s search ads is yet another way to increase app engagement rate. How? It’s because the deep links are connected to the relevant parts of your app, guiding the user to the inside pages of the app, and not to the app’s home screen page.

Image source:https://branch.io/

Say, for instance, Yummly app uses Instacart, a grocery delivery service, to help its customers plan and pay for their dinner, within the app itself. When the user is busy checking out a recipe, Yummly goes ingredient hunting. And as and when the user clicks on different ingredient buttons, they get automatically added to the Instacart order. And, in case, they haven’t got the Instacart app, they’re guided to the instacart installation page. Once they have installed the app, the user gets to see all the saved items added to their order. The unique function has helped Yummly garner significant user retention.

#3. Focus on App’s UI User Interface

You have developed a damn good app and you are almost sure it would find more takers than imagined because it has got a feature that is going to make the lives of users ultra-easy. Good. But then, also make sure, it’s easier to use as well. For that, you need to make sure your app’s UI – the heart of the app – is right in place. In other words, implement visual hierarchy in your app design. The best way to achieve this is to have contrasting elements in place. You could play with different colors, sizes, shapes and relationships to establish a visual hierarchy within an app.

Image source: https://tympanus.net

Contrasting helps you highlight a handful of things that really needs to capture user attention. The others parts could just be blended in and be there for the users to check out whenever he/she feels like.For more information on how to improve an app’s UI, speak to the masters of UI development straight away. OpenXcell, with an expert team of 200+ app developers, would help you design a perfect UI sure to draw a good number of users to your app.

#4. Set Up a Private Feedback Option

Conduct in-app surveys to collect in-depth info about app users’ taste and preferences which might help you offer better user experience, and in turn, make them your lifetime customers. You could even try setting up an in-app messaging system requesting users to rate your app in the app store.

If these weren’t enough, you could make a ‘private feedback’ option available to the users. This would help them connect with your app development team directly and help them develop a better idea on things, or even get a few things corrected, which the developer might have inadvertently missed.

ember app

For instance, the Ember app has set up a private feedback system so as to know directly from its users whether they are Happy, Confused or Unhappy while using their app.

If users are happy about the app experience, they could write reviews, tweet about it or even share their best moments with the Ember team.

On the other hand, unhappy or confused users could contact the Ember team via email.
What’s more, you could even touch base with your users via emails, to know their likes and dislikes and how could they improve user experience.

#5 Personalize your In-app and Push Notification Messages

App users love personalization. So make it a point to personalize your in-app messages and push notifications as per user’s preferences, location, not to mention in-app behavior. According to a Localytics study, personalization is an indispensable part of future apps. For more information, you could check out this article: 8 ways you can personalize your apps in 30 minutes.

Image source : https://www.appvirality.com/

#6. Remarketing to Connect with Drop-outs

Turns out 50% of users drop out of push messages. Nevertheless, you could get back to these users through some ingenious remarketing strategies via emails, social media and even search advertisements. But, before doing this, make sure you’ve a thorough understanding of your app users’ interest, behaviors, and also their preferences to make sure your remarketing efforts fetches the desired results.

#7. A/B Test your CTAs and Push Messages

A/B testing helps you separate the chalk from the cheese. In short, it gives you a clearer picture on the messages and features that’s attracting the best engagement and conversion rates. For instance, you could A/B test your CTAs, and even your push and in-app messages to figure out which is drawing in more conversions.

#8. Integrate App into Your Overall Marketing Strategy

Simply put, offer omni-channel experience. Marketers often forget to do this: Integrating their apps across marketing channels. What happens is that too often the apps excluded from the overall marketing strategy, resulting in disconnected experience for the users. However, if the brands could include their app across all channels, it would not only create a seamless experience for the users, but also help them come up with a more stickier app.

For instance, omni-channel helps Walgreen app users order online and buy in-store. It also makes sure that a customer’s shopping cart is consistent from the desktop to app to in-store.

#9. Get them Invested

The biggest worry of every developer is losing its long-time users to competition. You could avoid this by getting them to invest in your product. Not literally, though. Say, for instance, people use Facebook to constantly update personal images and all. In a way, Facebook is prompting its users to log in time and again to upload images and all. Now even a Facebook competitor pops up from nowhere, users would think twice before switching over, given that they have to think of an easier way to shift hundreds and thousands of images from one place to other. It would be too much for them to handle.
Likewise, come up with a unique feature that makes your app an indispensable part of your users lives. Then sit back and relax, for you’ve have done your homework.

Wrapping Up

No doubt there are dime a dozen customer retention strategies doing rounds in the market given that customers are so hard to please these days. But then, implementing the evergreen strategies are good enough to ensure that your app thrives, much less survives in the overcrowded market space.

Jini Maxin
Jini Maxin is a Sr. Writer with Openxcell - a top Mobile App Development Company. Besides acting nerdish all the time, she is an opinionated writer with a big appetite for books, buzzwords, and boatloads of bouquets :).


  1. Hi Jini, I like one point of your blog. As you have mention that your feedback or reviews plays an important role for retaining customers into the business for longer duration. They only stay within the business untill they are getting satisfaction. If they are complaining about our services and we are not ready listen to them then they leave us any time. Because their feedback shows us a better opportunity of growth.

  2. All the points are really beneficial for customer retention. I would like to add up one more tip to catch the user attention.
    We all like rewards and gifts. Incentivization is a marketing tactic which attracts loyal customers by giving away free discount coupons and some offers which the user can take leverage of. This creates a special bond between the app and the user. Hence the user comes back to the app, again and again, increasing dwell time.


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