3 Re-Engagement Strategies To Drive Mobile App Usage

Mobile application

I saw somewhere that mobile apps account for 90% of mobile users’ online time, so I decided to do more research. It turns out that even though we spend so much time on apps, this 90% is spread across just 26 apps, and guess what, we only REALLY use 5–7. So for me, the 5 apps I use every day are Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Slack, Gmail, and any other 2 apps.

After seeing all of these, the next question that popped into my mind was, “how can I get products I work on to be on someone’s top 7 apps list?” — the answer, a detailed re-engagement strategy.

What are Engagement and Re-Engagement?

Engagements are interactions between a user and a tech product, in this case, a mobile app. Engagement can be measured using different metrics depending on what the product is and the goals the product is set to achieve.

Every day, you see products recording a high number of downloads or signups, but the real question is, are people using your products? Of course, you don’t want to get into that trap as a product marketer. But, unfortunately, most apps lose 77% of their customers in the first three days after installation, so that means it’s not enough to build solid products that work anymore; you have to think constantly about ways to drive your users to keep using.

In the best-case scenario, you can motivate inactive users (people who have access to your app but don’t use it) to use your app before they uninstall it.

Now that you understand the basics let’s get into it. Here are some re-engagement strategies you can use to drive product usage

User Segmentation:

User Segmentation is the process of dividing the target audience into specific groups based on their shared characteristics. A good user segmentation strategy is very influenced by the goal of the product team. Proper segmentation helps you understand who your users are and is necessary for driving them to do specific business or product actions.

  • Do you want to inform your dormant users about the new feature that could save their business?
  • Do you want to prompt users to finish making a payment they started?
  • Are you trying to drive your active users to make in-app purchases?

All customers/users cannot have the same desires, habits, likes, and dislikes. Some early birds wake up early; some night owls use mobile apps at night. Some might have installed your app for a specific feature; others might be using it for a different reason.

Segment users based on their behaviour towards your app to drive action. Like with engagement, segmentation is also a function of the product use case. So feel free to play around with time and features in segmentation.

Every other strategy in this article would work 10x when used with segmentation. Segment your users based on different engagement metrics.

Push Notifications

Push Notification from Kippa Africa

Push Notifications are an amazing way to drive engagement to your product, but they are also an easy way to get users to delete your app if done wrong. Don’t forget that we are competing for the attention of users, so you have to craft push notifications have to give value. Unfortunately, value for the users may not be what you think it is.

Let’s compare an app like Bolt with an app like Bamboo. Bolt’s push notifications are core to its users’ functionality, which means a user who turns them off would very likely have a poor experience. So Bolt users tend to click their PNs quite often. Bamboo, on the other hand, sends Push Notifications to its users, telling them about new stock available. Not as much value and fewer clicks.

For apps that users DO NOT have to use every day, consider using Push Notifications less as a means of passing information and more as an engagement channel. Communicate the value of your product, drive users to specific parts of your product, crack jokes and do all of this in a language your users understand.

I did a breakdown of how you can write push notifications to drive action here.


Gamification involves applying game dynamics from games to the mobile application and encouraging users to return to the app. Gamifying your mobile app can increase traffic and users’ engagement with the product if done properly. In addition, it awakens curiosity, fosters competition, and creates a sense of control for users.

Success at gamification is at the center of understanding your users, breaking down your product, and a lot of creativity.

Here are some ways to gamify your app:

  1. Creating virtual leaderboards to track competitions among users within the app like Nike
  2. Engaging users with fun and relevant quizzes like Zikoko
  3. Giving users virtual Badges for achievements of specific milestones like Duolingo
  4. Crediting users accounts with redeemable points when they take specific actions like PiggyVest
  5. Creating levels within the app that users can unlock only after taking specific actions like Todoist

In conclusion,

Your mobile app can only grow if you can retain users, which requires experimentation and tactics. Throw out vanity metrics like downloads and focus on engagement, ultimately making your product better. The journey to becoming one of your users’ top 7 apps is tedious, but hacking it with one user is the fastest way to figure out how to hack it with all your users.

Hey there, I’m Onyinye, a Digital Content Manager living in Lagos who focuses on producing content that drives actions for tech products in different industries. I currently work at Kippa Africa, a B2B Saas company building products to help SMBs in Africa scale rapidly through financial management. When I’m not crafting ideas that help users understand and use our product, I write fictional stories centered around feminism, family, and mental health within Africa. Connect with me on Linkedin or mail for work and speaking engagements and on Twitter or Instagram if you’d like to see what I do when I’m not working.




I am a Marketing professional passionate about building brands, telling stories and female rights. I also run some small businesses.

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Onyinyechi Nneji

Onyinyechi Nneji

I am a Marketing professional passionate about building brands, telling stories and female rights. I also run some small businesses.

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