Top Trends for Increasing App User Engagement

4 min read Michael Carroll on Sep 27, 2022

You’ve got your app up and running! Now you can breathe a sigh of relief that the hard part is over…or is it? 

One of the biggest challenges that apps face today is standing out from others in their industry. With fierce competition and trends constantly changing, keeping users engaged and entertained with a reliable, high-quality product experience is the key to growing app retention rates. 

Let’s take a look at the top trends that are the most effective in attracting customers and reducing churn, and how you can incorporate them into your app engagement strategy to remain competitive.

1. In-app messaging and communication for improved app user engagement 

In-app messaging is a great way to provide users with an easy way to connect with one another or with your company in real time. 

But if users don’t find your app as seamless and feature-rich as the messaging apps they’re used to, they may turn to third-party providers who offer the functionality they’re looking for. Here are a few examples of how you can leverage in-app messaging to help boost engagement throughout the customer journey: 

Deliver seamless app onboarding

Customize the onboarding experience with relevant messages that make it easy for your users to understand the key elements of your app. By making the app onboarding process as easy and informative as possible, it can satisfy your users right from the start so they will want to continue using your app. 

Get users to your app’s “aha moment”

Your app's “aha” moment is the point in which the user realizes the value of your product and how they can truly benefit by using it. Guiding users to your app’s “aha moment” as quickly as possible before they move on to the next option (your competitors!) is crucial for turning customers into engaged and loyal users. 

Share product announcements

Deliver product announcements or tease upcoming releases, encouraging users to try out your latest features. This allows you to communicate directly with your customers and nudge them towards using your newest releases, driving product adoption. 

2. Boost app user engagement by re-engaging customers with mobile push notifications and in-app alerts

Push notifications and alerts play a large role in mobile app retention strategies. They give apps a powerful way to continually reach, remind, and draw users back to your app. 

You can send in-app alerts and reminders right alongside your messages with personalized content to boost user engagement without having to spend additional development time setting up and maintaining this functionality. Below are some common ways to utilize mobile push notifications for app engagement:

  • Welcome notifications

  • Real-time updates 

  • New product announcements

  • Promotional offers

  • Personalized recommendations 

3. Excite your customers with interactive social features

Users get the most out of their app experience when they feel connected to their friends and community members. To capture the energy and connection of interacting in person, it’s important to focus not just on a great chat app experience but on building additional social features such as—notifications, message reactions, and presence detection. 

Real-time solutions let you build with the freedom to iterate, improve, and add features as your users demand them to drive ongoing user engagement. For instance, presence detection allows users to see who’s online and available to chat, while message reactions, GIFs, and emojis offer a fun and engaging way to socially interact with others!  

4. Build customer loyalty with gamification 

Gamification is an excellent way to increase your user retention rate and improve the overall user experience. Simply put, gamification involves including a point system in-app where users can compete against their community in a game or activity to earn points and collect rewards. 

Some gamification examples include:

  • Live polls

  • Quizzes

  • Leaderboards

  • Trivia 

You can gamify your app by building features that enable users to send high-fives, reactions, follow leaderboards, and interact in a fun way that feels as if they are playing side-by-side with friends, which keeps them immersed in your app for the long-term.

5. Ensure a reliable app experience to reduce churn

App performance is arguably one of the biggest reasons for user churn. An app that lags or experiences outages will essentially lead to users abandoning the app altogether. Teams need to ensure their apps’ functionality is operating continuously to give all connected users the same responsive experience.

How to engage app users and fuel business growth

Let’s face it, to survive in this competitive market you need to have a top notch app engagement strategy that will help convert your users into long-term, loyal customers—ultimately leading to app profitability. 

But building these features from scratch can be incredibly difficult and time consuming. So, how can you incorporate these trends into your app while still focusing on your core product offering? 

By using PubNub, you don’t have to build these functionalities from the ground up. With our APIs, you have full control over the look, feel, and functionality needed to engage your app users. Plus, apps built on PubNub have no concurrency limits, so features like in-app chat and mobile push notifications work flawlessly and scale to support you.

Want to try out PubNub? Talk to our sales team today to learn more about our solutions.