Tactics To Increase Your App Conversions and User Retention

about 4 minutes read

The average app loses 77 percent of its Daily Active Users (DAUs) within the first three days of install, and by the first week, retention drops by 11 percent. That’s why it’s so important to impress your users from the moment they land in your app after install. With such a high drop off, you should be doing everything you can to keep the users you have.

Retaining, interacting and converting your app users has become a greater challenge for many mobile apps. So to help capture those users from the start, there are three tactics you should focus on within the first few weeks to a month of a user downloading and opening up your app. These include onboarding, personalization and timing of your messages to bring them back with messages, whether it’s through push or in-app notifications or email.


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Sending a push notification to complete the onboarding process the day after a user opens your app increases retention by 50 percent. After two months, the retention increases by 71 percent. That’s huge! But don’t just send any push notification—be strategic in what you want your users to do once they see the message. (Just remember, the only way the user will receive the message is if you ask permission to send them.)

As you craft out your push notification, it’s best to stick to messages that have less than 25 characters because those have the highest conversion rates, whereas longer messages have the lowest conversion rates. And don’t forget about personalization. On average, each targeted message has a 27 percent increase in the number of conversions, which leads to tactic number two: personalization.


As soon as your user provides you with their information and opts in to receive push notifications and emails, make sure you generate marketing messages that connect with them. If the message isn’t personalized and segmented correctly, you could be missing out on a 200 percent conversion increase.

As such, it’s crucial that you gather the right information about your user from the very beginning (think back to the onboarding process and the questions you ask your customers). Within a short amount of time, you’ll be able to capture other relevant data that can help segment your users into specific demographics, device type and behavior trends. Use this information to send messages at a time that makes sense, which leads to tactic number three: timing.

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When it comes to reaching out to your users, timing is everything. You wouldn’t send a message to someone asking them to come back into the app to complete a signup process while they’re sleeping, would you? At least I hope you wouldn’t! Data shows that customizing delivery time based on user preference results in an average conversion increase of 384 percent.

If you are unsure about the best timing, you can always run a/b tests, but be respectful of your users’ daily routines. 63 percent of marketers send push notifications at the wrong times, which can ultimately trigger unsubscribes. Understanding when your users are most likely to open and engage with your app is vital if you want to retain them.


The cost of acquiring a loyal user is $2.51, which is 2x to 6x more expensive than the average Cost Per Install (CPI). That’s a lot of cash for a single person! Multiple that by millions, and you might drain your pockets if you’re not optimizing your app.

Strategic planning and testing messages can significantly increase your app conversions and user retention. Onboarding, personalization and timing are key factors to get your users to come back a fourth, tenth, and thirtieth time after they installed your app to their device. Remember, just because one company is targeting its user at a specific time with a specific message, doesn’t mean that time and message will work for you as well. Always test so that you can make the most out of the remaining 10 to 12 percent of users that stay after the first few week post install.

by Christina Altman, Head of Content, Ammuse Studio

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