Four Ways to Increase Mobile Engagement Rates

Whether you are considering launching your first mobile app or you are managing a portfolio of apps, increasing the engagement rate with your users is a top priority.

There are several tactics you can use to increase the frequency that users engage with your app. We’ve leveraged engagement results from over 3,000 mobile apps across several industries to explore the mechanics of what drives the most engaging mobile messages.

Frequency of Push Notifications

Successfully determining your brand’s push notification cadence relies on knowing your app audience and their expectations. A great way to discover more about your user’s wants and expectations is through a preference center within your app, allowing users to select the subject matter they want to get push notifications about and when. Knowing when to hit “send” will help ensure that your users will be more receptive to your push notifications and increase your brand’s engagement rates.


During the 2014 Election Night, the ABC News app allowed users to pick the races they'd like to follow, as well as the frequency of updates to determine how often each user would like to receive push notifications about their chosen races.

Consider the Time of Day

Time of day is another opportunity for your brand to learn about its audience. It’s important to send push notifications when your users are most likely active and already on their phones. While certain apps will cater to specific audiences, such as early risers, if your push notifications are too early (or late) users will not respond.

To find ideal send times, consider when your audience typically opens your app — lunch time and early evening are common times most people are on their phones. Discover your optimal timing using A/B testing and see when your users’ response rates are highest.

Once you review your reporting to discover when the most users are in front of your app, don’t forget to segment the audience based on their attributes to improve the response rates. We see brands that use segmentation increase response rates 4-7 times higher than those who do not.

Deliver Rich In-App Messaging

Using a message center in your app is a great way to communicate with your users, whether they’ve opted in to receive push notifications or not. Because message center content is persistent, it offers brands a way to share content that users can refer back to, such as an update on their “favorited” news story or upcoming sale information. Message center can also house rich content, such as interactive content or videos.

In-app messages are another method to deliver content within your app. An in-app message is content that is seen when the user launches the app. The message appears at the bottom or the top of the app’s screen for a set duration or until the user interacts with the message. These messages can be automated so you can share the message with your user at the perfect time.

Both our message center and in-app messages can deep link to elsewhere in your app, or even a mobile web page.

Develop a Deep Linking Strategy

Deep linking directs your audience to exactly where you want them to go, providing a more seamless experience for your user while reducing barriers to completing your desired action. For example, if you send a push notification about pre-sale tickets to a concert, you can deep-link to a purchase page in your app or on your mobile website. Our UI makes it easy to deep link to other destinations within your app, a mobile web URL or even a link to download a mobile wallet pass. Figure out the path you want your users to take, and help send them in the right direction.

Next Steps to Learn More

Our “Top 10 Questions” whitepaper explores mobile engagement best practices, with tips from our Digital Strategy team to help optimize your mobile marketing strategy.

Learn more about:

  • • What makes a good message center
  • • Enticing customers back to your app
  • • Getting started with beacons
  • • Improving the in-store experience
  • • Using location history for effective messages

Download the whitepaper to learn more.