Best Mobile App User Retention Strategies: The Role of Push Notifications

Customer retention is an investment in the future profits of a business. This is a well-coordinated and purposeful process, where each step is aimed at solving the main task – increasing the degree of loyalty of each individual consumer. It solves 4 main tasks:

  1. Increase in average LTV (lifetime value – customer life cycle). This is how much a business earns from one client for all time. It is achieved by stimulating repeat purchases and turning one-time customers into regular ones;
  2. Increase in conversion by getting user contacts. If a person has provided an email address/phone number and hasn’t completed the purchase, you can contact him and encourage a visit to the app;
  3. Increase in loyalty to the product through a content strategy and regular increase in interest;
  4. Growth in revenue due to additional touch points in the chain of interaction with the user.

In fact, retention is a set of techniques that are used to increase the base of regular customers. The point is one thing: providing a valuable product to gain consumer loyalty is essential. Therefore, the more sales grow, the more attention should be paid to customer retention.

Popular Mobile App User Retention Channels

There are many strategies for retaining mobile app users today. But 5 of them (email marketing, push notifications, retargeting, SMS/messenger, chatbots) received the most distribution. Read more about each one below.

Email Marketing

This is one of the most effective channels of interaction with mobile application users. It allows you to build long-term and lasting relationships, increase repeat sales, and receive customer feedback. Key features of this customer retention channel:

  • Compared to other advertising channels, email marketing is considered one of the most inexpensive ways to increase repeat sales and upsells, as well as the only channel that can return potential buyers who have abandoned ordering on the site;
  • You can invest in the strategy once, then the channel works independently;
  • Perfectly complements other channels, such as SMM.

Push Notifications

Push technology is one of the ways to distribute information (content) on the Internet when data is received from the provider to the user based on the set parameters. The user only needs to reject or accept this data.

This technology allows users to subscribe to various topics in various information systems and services to receive notifications when new information appears. The notification is generated on the server and then delivered to the user’s device. The opposite of Push technology is Pull technology, where the request comes from the client.

Main features of push technology:

  • With the correct setting of the sending time, the quantity and quality of the text, segmentation, and the right creatives, the channel can receive up to 5% of the total profit;
  • The link to subscribe to push notifications can be inserted anywhere;
  • In some cases, notifications can become 2 times more profitable than mailing, especially if the work is carried out through the application;
  • The best channel for collecting the base;
  • In addition to subscriptions, it is possible to effectively talk about discounts, conduct a survey, and use gamification. The best practices of push notifications for app engagement are described in the Reteno blog. Be sure to review them.

Benefits of push notifications:

  • Quickly build a subscriber base. You do not need to enter personal data. Just click on the right button;
  • Report news. It is convenient when you need to convey information to the user quickly;
  • Return the user to the site. The notification catches the user’s eyes at the right time;
  • Remind something important. For example, about the upcoming tour and recommendations for the trip, the time of departure, etc.


Retargeting is another mobile app user retention strategy. This is a win-win way to remind customers of the products they were looking for and convince them to come back to the site and complete their purchase.

Retargeting features:

  • Cross-device support. Interaction with customers at all stages of the purchase process, regardless of the device, application, or browser used;
  • Quality forecasting. Use of detailed information about consumers to offer goods at the best price and on time;
  • Effective technology for making recommendations. Automatic display of other unviewed products and offers with a high probability of selling;
  • Dynamic and effective technology for creating advertising banners. The display of personalized ads in real-time, optimized for each client, regardless of publisher or device.


This mobile app user retention strategy allows to:

  1. Notify. By mailing to messengers, you can inform customers about something important: about a new promotion, discounts, or changes;
  2. Gather subscribers. You can gather all customers in one place (Telegram channel, WhatsApp group chat, etc.);
  3. Sell. Messengers are convenient for direct sales. For example, you can create chatbots in Telegram that will offer users products and accept payments. 

Advantages of messenger marketing for business:

  • Automatic sales are conducted around the clock;
  • You can connect it with CRM and work with clients;
  • The cold customer base is warming up;
  • The cost of attraction is reduced;
  • It is an additional traffic channel.


The success of a chatbot depends on a well-thought-out scenario and goal: sell, get a contact, make an appointment, provide information for a contact, etc. The main features of this strategy are:

  • Even the simplest chatbot that advises users brings tangible benefits;
  • With the help of a chatbot, you can have a full-fledged store even without a website;
  • Helps in sales and customer service, acts as technical support, etc.

Final Notes and Valuable Tips for Retaining Mobile App Users

Therefore, there are some effective strategies that you can apply to retain mobile app users. Each strategy has its own characteristics, so choosing the best one should depend on the goals you want to achieve. But in any case, it is essential to remember the personalization of offers. Track the actions of application users and collect information about customers. This data will help personalize offers.

Don’t refuse discounts and promotions. The opportunity to save or receive gifts is a powerful incentive for buyers. Clearly stipulate the duration of the promotion and limit discounts in time. Otherwise, this tool will not work.

Also, provide high-quality service. Check the support service’s work and managers’ level of competence. Friendly communication, the ability to quickly solve problematic issues, and effective customer care increase the level of loyalty and become a powerful tool for customer retention.