Valentine’s Day Advice for Mobile Apps: 5 Tips to Boosting Long-Term Engagement, Retention, and Revenue


There are lots of apps—almost as many as there are fish in the sea. Competition is fierce, and users are likely to ghost your app if you don’t give them the experience they were looking for at first open. Continually miss the mark, and you’ll end up with a churn rate scarier than the thought of being alone forever. So what can you do to make sure that the connection between your app and your potential users flourishes into loyal, long-lasting relationships? 

Here’s some solid advice:

1. Make a great first impression 

First dates mostly consist of careful analysis, strategy, and tracking everything your date says and does to make sure you don’t blow your chance with them. This is very similar to onboarding a user in a mobile app (and they say chivalry is dead). The first time user experience (FTUE) is crucial for any app, so make sure that you drive engagement early on by highlighting all the cool features that show the value of your app and offer them the best new user experience. Welcome tours and tip overlays help to overcome first-time friction particularly well.

2. Always ask for permission

This should go without saying, but asking for permission is vital. The key to success here is getting your timing right. Don’t just ask your new users for permission to send them push notifications and grant you location permissions as soon as they open your app. Make sure that you show the value of opting in with a hyper targeted in-app message. Use this as a moment to tell users about the type of messaging they’d see if they opted in (i.e. breaking news, exclusive promotions, time-sensitive offers, or personalized alerts and recommendations). If your new user is ready to trust you, take them to the opt-in screen. If they’re not ready, allow them to get to know your app better before asking again.

3. There’s a time for everything

Rely on common sense to know what is acceptable to send and when. For instance, none of us want push notifications waking us up in the middle of the night, or interrupting us while we’re busy at work. Messages that are personalized, contextual, and sent with perfect timing are going to drive the most engagement, retention, and revenue. And if that seems impossible to pull off at scale, it’s not—Swrve’s optimal send-time feature automatically schedules messaging to be delivered exactly when individual users are most likely to engage. 

4. Know how to share the bill

This is a sensitive subject, and another one you definitely don’t want to get wrong. There are obviously different payment models available, but they all essentially have the same problem: conversion. But there are techniques which can crack the code on what will inspire revenue-driven action from your users: A/B testing different price plans, experimenting with the timing of your ask, getting more precise with your targeting, and more. So, if your app monetizes through people buying credits or tokens, you can test: a) how many free credits they get at the start, b) how much credits cost, or c) how best to package these offers. 

5. Don’t just wonder what went wrong

Sometimes, despite our greatest efforts, things just don’t work out. But there are typically signs that a relationship is struggling, and this is especially true on mobile. In-app surveys are a great way of finding out what the user thinks of your app, and completion rates are impressively high using this method. Also, if you think you’re doing great, make sure to take advantage of this! App ratings matter, and a great way of improving your rating is asking a user to rate the app when they have just had a positive experience or hit some type of milestone in your app. 

So there we have it. It’s not all doom and gloom is it? Forget those churned users–you’ve got an amazing app with a great future ahead of it! You’ll meet new users, I swear. And with these helpful tips, you’ll be better prepared to keep them engaged for longer and more frequently than ever before.

Check us out: join one of our upcoming live demos to see how to put these engagement-boosting strategies into action with Swrve.

Join one of our upcoming live demos to see how to put these engagement-boosting strategies into action with Swrve.

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