4 Proven ways to re-engage inactive users to fuel app growth

The average person has 40 apps installed, but over 20 are inactive. And 25% of users open an app once only to abandon it forever. One of your growth team’s primary focuses should be to prevent that from happening – so why not make a sport of it?

Acquiring new users is about 3 to 10 times more expensive than re-engaging inactive users. So you have two options. The first is to keep throwing your marketing budget down the drain on users that will use your app once and then delete it. The second one is to invest in re-engaging and keeping your inactive users active.

Getting users to download your app won’t do much without an ironclad retention strategy to keep users on your app and re-engage inactive and dormant users. 

In this post, we'll cover:

  • Why people stop using your app
  • Why re-engaging inactive users is critical
  • Five proven ways to re-engage users
  • Some handy tools to help you out

Let’s dive in!

Unpacking user churn: why people stop using your app

The app industry is a hyper-competitive, cut-throat arena. Maintaining a competitive advantage requires a constantly evolving approach toward app re-engagement. Users have a broad range of options, making retaining and re-engaging users with your app challenging for any brand.

Let's face it; customers download your brand's app after a long and expensive customer nurturing funnel. Leverage the customer pain points you’ve researched as part of that funnel to create content that turns dormant customers into brand advocates. 

Here are the top reasons why users stop engaging with apps.

Poor customer experience

Your five biggest competitors have a 94% customer retention rate. That’s because they understand the value of creating great customer experiences. Your app should do the same. A cluttered interface, limited features, and options do the opposite – it makes them run away screaming. 

Your app’s design will play a significant role in app re-engagement. App design can quickly underwhelm (i.e., bore) or overwhelm (i.e., confuse or annoy) users. 

Here are the top things that contribute to the number of dormant customers:

  • Lack of a loyalty program
  • Too many or poorly targeted notifications
  • Lengthy checkout process 
  • Lack of a sense of community among users
  • Using up too much phone memory

Technical issues

This one's obvious. App crashes, sluggish load times, and malfunctions damage brand confidence. In addition, unpopular app changes or updates and using less phone memory also keep your app re-engagement numbers low.

Lack of diversification

Homogeneity, stale content, and absence of variety are leading causes of app abandonment. That could be due to a lack of perceived benefits or simply feeling bored by the app's offerings.

The value of app re-engagement: why winning back existing inactive app users is mission-critical

Here are some statistics to keep you up at night: A mere 24.9% of users revisit an app the day after its download, which drops to 9.4% after two weeks. By the 90-day mark, a whopping 71% of app users will have churned completely. That's a huge chunk of your marketing budget down the drain because of single-time app users.

For the success of any app, it's crucial to revive dormant customers and minimize churn rate, and this is where the win-back strategies come into play. Here’s why app re-engagement matters for your brand’s bottom line:

The most cost-effective way to scale

Acquiring new users is costlier than re-activating inactive users. Retaining an existing user is 5 to 25 times cheaper than acquiring a new one. And 65% of your brand's revenue is generated from returning customers. 

That makes your in-active users one of the best target pools you can't afford to miss out on. Improving customer retention by a mere 5% can help boost profits by 25-95%

Working on app re-engagement means:

  • Less money spent on acquiring new customers,
  • More chances to up-sell
  • More willingness to spend
  • Better ROI
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Improved customer lifetime value

Gain valuable user data & insights

Existing customers spend 31% more than new ones on average. Working to re-engage inactive users can do more than boast sales in the short run. Your customers are the best information source for how they think and buy – treat it like the goldmine it is.

The longer a customer shops with a brand, the better the brand gets at the predictive analysis of what they might buy in the future. It also becomes easier to upsell, cross-sell and tailor your offerings to returning customers. 

How to reignite user engagement: 4 proven methods to re-engage inactive users on your app

It's super hard to retain users, but it's not impossible, and it must be done! You need a solid win-back strategy to re-engage inactive users and retain them.

There are four ways to do it:

  • Forge and maintain sustainable connections
  • Create meaningful content that connects
  • Build a community to drive results and growth
  • Personalize your messaging to make it memorable

Let’s look at each of them in detail.

1. Forge and maintain sustainable connections

Brands have a 60-70% chance of selling to existing customers compared to a 5-20% chance of selling to new ones. The first step in re-engaging inactive users is to contact them and check in. That can be done via email, push notifications, or chat. Connecting with users and sending more than just a generic message is crucial here. That connection starts during onboarding and should continue to be nurtured daily.

Remember that trust can spell the difference between an engaged or an inactive user for your app. Find ways to incentivize users to use your app again. That's where strengthening the sense of community within your app users comes in. Instead of using discount codes to buy loyalty, invite them to participate in a competition, send them personalized content, and send them authentic chats to check in on them. Whatever the approach, the key is to make the user feel valued, make connections re-enforce that sense of belonging.

2. Beyond words: create meaningful content that connects

Delivering more than just functionality is key to getting users to stay on your app longer. Offering meaningful content that aligns with your app's purpose is pivotal here. 

Adding valuable content to your app sets you apart from competitors. Instead of hopping between many applications, media, and social media platforms, everyone likes to go to one spot. So regardless of your industry, send users relevant content. For example, if you have a fitness app, send daily workout tips or healthy seasonal recipes. 

User-generated content (UGC) is the most effective way to scale content creation. Users don‘t just want to hear from your brand – they also want to know what their peers are up to. 

You can invite experts, such as coaches, trainers, professionals, and creators, to contribute quality content.

The bottom line: Ask yourself how to add value to your users’ lives. Try sending them personalized investment recommendations or budgeting tips for a finance app.

3. Drive results and growth through community building 

Creating a community or group around your app is an excellent way to re-engage inactive users and retain your existing customer base. Supercharge your app by adding social networking features. 

The idea is to create a space where users can connect and share their experiences. Incentivize users to participate by providing exclusive content, deals, or early access to new features. Creating a sense of exclusivity can re-engage inactive users and promote engagement.

One way to do so can be encouraging users to interact amongst themselves and the company through personalized in-app communications. By rewarding engagement, It becomes simpler to sustainably scale up your consumer base of like-minded people that view your brand more as a community.

Here are a few features you can add to create a sense of community:

  • Create rooms for video chats and hangouts
  • Make sharing photos, short videos, and emoticons easier
  • Being able to tag friends in posts and updates is an exciting social feature 

Social features help add a new dimension to your app and get users excited to use the app again. Features such as chatrooms and photo sharing help increase in-app engagement by connecting users with like-minded people and having meaningful conversations within the community.


4. Personalize your messaging to resonate & be remembered

Personalization is a surefire way to re-engage users and make them feel heard and valued by your brand. We all love things and messages custom tailored for us, and so will your inactive users. Include customized solutions and personalized messaging in your win-back strategy.

To successfully do so, proactively comprehend consumer preferences and behavior. Consider personalization based on the user's past behavior and tailoring your marketing efforts. 

The key to effortless user management: re-engaging your users with social features

Adding social features to your app is a great way to nudge existing customers to re-engage with your application. Engage users, deliver meaningful content, and build digital communities. That’s how you establish brand loyalty, decrease churn rates, and increase app retention.

It's great for building strong relationships with your users. Adding on social features can increase customer retention by 40% and accelerate growth by up to 30%. Including popular social features gives customers a way to connect with the brand directly and share their experiences to give or receive support. 

With technological solutions such as Amity Social Cloud's integrated software, it's now easier to leverage all the benefits of community building for your existing app. 

Social features help foster a sense of community within your customers and keep them from moving to a competitor's app. Personalized messaging, rewards, and community building help your app stand out from the crowd and win over more devoted users.

You can add custom-tailored social features to your existing application through just a few lines of code. Building digital communities can help you increase user engagement, deliver valuable content, build brand loyalty, and reduce churn rates.

Share article
Join the
Amity Social Club
Get quality insights on building digital communities and driving app growth with social features

Join the Amity Social Club monthly newsletter:

Thank You For Subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We promise we don't spam. By clicking Subscribe, I acknowledge receipt of the Amity Privacy Policy.