How To Keep Users Engaged With Your Game or App

January 3, 2024
January 3, 2024

Mobile games and apps must have a large user base to generate a profit. However, more than 97% of users who install a mobile game will churn within 30 days. One of the most common reasons users quit playing a game or using an app is that they lose interest. Learn how to keep users engaged to improve your retention rate and increase your return on investment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobile games and apps are only profitable when they can keep users engaged over the long term. However, because retention rates for mobile games average less than 3% by the 30-day mark, an effective user engagement campaign is critical for sustained success.
  • Hosting time-limited events, rewarding engagement, encouraging competition, and creating a sense of progression can improve user engagement. You can also boost engagement by adding new content, engaging with users, sending personalized push notifications, and using non-disruptive ads.
  • Running effective engagement campaigns can be resource-intensive. Sonamine provides engagement and retention services that can help you achieve your goals without over-extending your internal team.

How To Keep Users Engaged

No matter how good your game or app is, if you don’t continuously work to keep users engaged, they will eventually churn. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve user engagement and retention.

Host Time-Limited Events

Time-limited events are good for engagement for several reasons. First, they give players something new to experience. Second, because they are time-limited, events create a sense of urgency by capitalizing on users’ fear of missing out.

Finally, because events encourage more simultaneous players, create buzz, and give players something to talk about on forums and social media, they encourage community building. Community building boosts engagement and retention because players tend to play longer and more often when they have friends who also play.

Encourage players to participate in your events by offering unique experiences, valuable rewards, giveaways, and event-specific items for purchase. Events should make players feel special and provide something they can’t get anywhere else.

Reward Players for Engagement

The longer users go without engaging with your game or app, the less likely they are to ever engage with it again. Keep users engaged by offering rewards for activities such as daily logins, login streaks, and game progress.

Rewards can be in-game items, such as currency, titles, or badges, or external items, such as loyalty points. Rewards should become more valuable the longer users engage with your game or app. However, it is important to ensure rewards do not provide unfair gameplay advantages, upset game balance, or discourage players from making in-game purchases.

Screenshot of daily rewards for the game “Fortnite”

Encourage Competition

Advances in artificial intelligence allow game developers to create more engaging non-player characters, but NPCs are still limited to a specific set of actions and behaviors that players may grow tired of. Encouraging competition with other players can motivate users to keep playing even after they have beaten all the bosses or levels.

Host regular tournaments that use a ranking system that groups players by skill level so that everyone can participate. Reward players for their participation with cosmetic items, in-game titles, and recognition on leaderboards.

Provide players with a way to track their progress, such as achievements or trophies. Reset the leaderboards regularly, so that players who are new to the game have an opportunity to capture the top spots.

Create a Sense of Progression

If users can’t see how they are progressing in a game, the gameplay may seem pointless, leading to churn. Keep users engaged by providing a learning curve that feels challenging but not overwhelming. Provide users with short and long-term goals and rewards for reaching them.

Recognize player accomplishments by offering titles, badges, or achievements for reaching specific milestones or completing challenges. Offer a variety of gameplay modes, options, and scenarios to encourage players to keep exploring new aspects of your game.

Regularly Add New Content

Stave off boredom by making sure there is always something new for players to do or explore in your game. Regularly add new features, stories, characters, levels, items, and events. Solicit user feedback and incorporate it into your game updates. Pay attention to trends in the industry and adjust your game accordingly.

Engage With Users on Social Media

Users like to see that game developers are actively engaged with their games and player bases. Interact with users on social media and forums. Share news about upcoming events and new content.

Provide game trailers and tutorials and share user-created content. Ask users for their opinions and respond to their feedback quickly and personally. Create content about relevant trending topics that are of interest to your user base.

Send Personalized Push Notifications

Push notifications can be an effective way to keep users engaged with your app or game. However, users may ignore notifications or turn them off if you do not personalize them to be relevant to each user’s interests and preferences.

Use notifications to alert users when there is new content, events, sales, and tournaments. Remind players when it is their turn to play. Alert them when they are in danger of losing a streak or missing out on a reward. Notify players about in-game events, such as when another player passes them on a leaderboard.

Screenshot of a push notification for the game “Pokémon Go”

Keep Ads Relevant and Non-Disruptive

Most players understand that viewing ads allows them to play games for free. However, disruptive ads will cause players to quit. Place ads in locations where they do not interrupt play, such as at the end of a completed level.

Boost engagement by offering rewarded or playable ads. Make sure ads are relevant to users and compatible with your brand image.

How To Keep Users Engaged Without Straining Your Resources

Even if you know how to keep users engaged, you may not have the resources to run an effective engagement campaign yourself. Sonamine offers engagement and retention services that will help you keep users interested without stretching your internal team too thin. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you get results in as little as four to six weeks.

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