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23 App Developers & Marketers Reveal the Best Ways to Re-Engage Users Who Have Abandoned Your App

Angela Stringfellow

Last updated on

Keeping users engaged with your app is a priority for every developer and marketer, but every app experiences some level of user abandonment. The good news is that you don’t have to get stuck in the cycle of churn and new customer acquisition, which is more costly than retaining and re-engaging your existing users. It’s possible to improve customer retention and re-engage users who have abandoned your app, turning them into regular active users once again.

There are many things that can lead to users abandoning your app, such as notification fatigue or persistent bugs that make it difficult to use your application for its intended purpose. Users also abandon apps when they find another option that meets their needs or when they simply no longer have a need for an app. Re-engaging all of these users is possible with some carefully planned strategies. To learn more about the most effective ways to re-engage users who have abandoned an application, we reached out to a panel of app developers and marketers and asked them to answer this question:

“What's the single best way to re-engage users who have abandoned your app?”

Keep reading to learn what our panel had to say about the best strategies you can put to use to re-engage users who have abandoned your app.

Anatolii Ulitovskyi

Anatolii Ulitovskyi

Anatolii Ulitovskyi is a digital marketer and the founder of SEOtools.TV, offering simple marketing tools for increasing CTR.

“The first thing to do is investigate where users drop using the app because each case is different…”

For example, if they stop playing at some level of the game, you can provide tutorials or simplify this level. If users stop using the catalog in your shop, then simplify the experience by using fewer items. Start buy learning users' behaviors and then take steps to make their experience simple or more intuitive. Users sometimes can't recognize simple elements and buttons. It's better to ask your friends who don't know the app as well as you do. They often share some additional insights into what's going on. When you're feeling confident about what the problem is, then reach out to users and provide tutorials on how to use it. We live in a world of personalization and simplifying users' experiences.

Alina Clark

Alina Clark

Alina is the co-founder of CocoDoc, a software development business in LA.

“Personalized emails have worked for us when it comes to re-engaging users who abandon our platform…”

Simply sending an email to a user doesn’t work. Instead of creating random emails, one should highly personalize the communication and determine the correct time to send the email. For us, sending re-engagement emails during the day works quite well, because our software is attached to remote working in so many ways.

Finding a way to stand out from the barrage of emails that app users receive every day is also crucial. Getting low conversions on your email strategy is a real risk if you don’t get things right. That means using the right personalization tactics, creating reminders where the initial email doesn’t work, and more importantly, having a live tracking system in order to manage conversions.

Alex Rector

Alex Rector

Alex Rector is the Marketing Director at TheraPlatform, a telehealth video conferencing and practice management software provider.

“Change your UX/UI…”

Oftentimes, the changes that will best bring disengaged users back into the fold are changes to the app itself. People have a variety of options in any given niche, and your application's UI and UX design help it stand out. The better they are, the more likely users will stick around. In-app stories, for example, are a fantastic way to enhance the overall experience. They offer interactive elements that keep people entertained, informed, and interested, and as a result, you don't have to spend as much time thinking about how to re-engage people.

Natalia Brzezińska

photoAiD Natalia Brzezińska

Natalia Brzezińska is a Marketing & Outreach Manager at PhotoAiD who leads the execution of marketing programs from start to finish, leveraging internal support and driving collaboration. Natalia loves creating, maintaining, and conducting analytics reporting across multiple platforms and extracting key insights for future campaign development and go-to-market strategies.

“There will always be a certain portion of your app users who have left and are not open to returning to your app…”

You can bring them back to the app through well-designed surveys. As a social being, it is natural for people to give their thoughts and like to do so, even more, when they believe their opinions matter. When you run a campaign to get feedback from your users, you reassure them that their point of view is valuable. They will also give you invaluable information that can be of great use in improving the overall application – thus preventing abandonment. For example, you can solicit feedback from users in the form of a pop-up as users attempt to uninstall your app or have been inactive for a considerable time.

Suppose you have deeper pockets and are willing to invest more of your time, energy, and money. In that case, you can also schedule specific in-depth phone or email interviews with users who have been inactive for a long time to develop a greater understanding of the real needs of your target customers. When you conduct these surveys, you send a clear message that you care about your customers and their experience with you. It goes a long way in motivating inactive users to re-engage with your app.

Shahrukh Zuda

Shahrukh Zuda

Shahrukh Zuda is a Digital Marketing Executive at PureVPN Cybersecurity Company.

“Today, we live in a digital era where decisions are made within seconds…”

Before you can devise or implement a marketing plan, you may have already lost a significant number of customers. To keep up with this pace, digital marketers need to focus more on in-app user behaviors rather than solely focusing on app installs.

Use of Push Notifications

You might have noticed those notifications that pop on your mobile device every now and then from apps that you haven’t used in a while. This is exactly how marketers try to re-engage you by using strategic push notifications. If done the right way, push notifications can have an engagement rate of up to 40%, as compared to the 20% that you get through email campaigns.

Use of Social Media Channels

Another effective way of re-engaging your inactive users is through your social media outlets. There is a possibility that up until now, you might have only used your social media profiles for sharing limited posts regarding your brand or products. There is a lot more than you can and should do with your social media channels.

Katherine Brown

Katherine Brown
Katherine Brown

Katherine Brown is the founder and marketing director at Spyic, a company that specializes in parental control and remote monitoring.

“One of the best ways to re-engage users who have abandoned your app is to offer incentives and rewards…”

Users will often return to an application if they know that they will eventually be rewarded for participating. Even if the reward is as simple as a virtual trophy or certificate, it's enough to keep users coming back for more.

Sam Shepler

Sam Shepler

Sam Shepler is the founder and CEO of Testimonial Hero, a 7-figure location-independent services business. Sam is a career entrepreneur with 1X previous acquisition. 150+ B2B revenue teams at Google, UiPath, Medallia, InsightSquared, and many others use Testimonial Hero to easily create customer videos that engage prospects, reduce friction in the sales cycle, and drive more revenue faster.

“As a marketing expert, my biggest tip when it comes to re-engaging users who have abandoned your app would be to utilize push notifications…”

If used the right way, strategic push notifications can have an engagement rate of up to 40%! This is a huge bump from the expected 20% you would get from email campaigns.

The trick with push notifications is that you have to be sure to send the right number of them because sending too many and bombarding users can lead to them ignoring or even blocking you and deleting your app.

Finding that sweet spot and sending out the right number of push notifications along with useful calls-to-action can lead to very high engagement rates. One of the best examples in recent times is the way that Uber re-engaged their users throughout the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Since many countries had obviously suspended cab services in the wake of global lockdowns during the peak of COVID-19, Uber sent out push notifications hoping to re-engage users by telling them about their services related to food delivery, pick up, and drop off of essential items. When it comes to push notifications, it’s all about marketing the right information at the right time, and Uber did a brilliant job with this!

Perry Zheng

Perry Zheng
Perry Zheng

Perry Zheng is the founder and CEO of Cash Flow Portal, a real estate syndication software. Perry lives in Seattle and owns six single-family properties there. Perry started real estate syndication three years ago and today has more than 1500 units, has raised over $16M, and is a lead syndicator on two deals totaling 580 units. Previously, Perry worked with Lyft, Twitter, & Amazon.

“The single best method to re-engage app users is to…”

Use push notifications. Push notifications are a very effective method to re-engage both current and past users. If strategically done, push notifications have the potential to raise re-engagement by at least 40%. Most of your inactive users still have the app installed on their smartphones and just need a little push to start using it again. Notifications can be that little push. By sending them reminders of the latest updates in your app or new discounts, you can entice them to come back. Additionally, push notifications stay at the top of their screens until swiped away, which makes for a constant reminder.

Brandon Schroth

Brandon Schroth
Brandon Schroth

Brandon Schroth is the Co-Founder of Nomad SEO, a dedicated agency focused on performance, growth, and transparency for their clients.

“There are so many different ways you could re-engage users who have abandoned your app…”

One option might involve sending out personalized content or emails to remind them why they loved using the app in the first place. You can even offer a coupon for an extra discount on future purchases if desired.

Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller is a digital marketing expert, former Google employee, entrepreneur, and angel investor. Kevin was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2021 American Business Awards.

“The single best way to re-engage your app's abandoners is by sending a message that they will remember…”

Keep in mind what has motivated them previously and use this as inspiration for future messages. Be sure that you not only include information on new features or updates but also try playing with formatting strategies like bold typefaces, which are more attention grabbing than regular text.

Johell Aponte

Johell Aponte

Johell Aponte is a home remodeler, real estate expert & owner of

“In my experience, the best way to re-engage users who have abandoned your app is to…”

Introduce loyalty programs. Every customer loves rewards. Even if a person has abandoned your app, that doesn’t mean they’ll never return; all you have to do is offer them an incentive to come back. And what better incentive is there than a loyalty program? The rewards can be in the form of login bonuses, in-app credits, discounts, and exclusive deals. Just make sure that you communicate the benefits of the program to these users. Sending them emails regarding the program is a great way to gain their attention and increase their chances of returning to your app.

Adam Pro

Adam Pro
Adam Pro

Adam is the founder of IGGViral. Adam has helped hundreds of people with customer engagement and is an expert on growing clientele.

“The best way to re-engage users who have abandoned your app is to take advantage of push notifications…”

Push notifications are there to remind users to log into your app and use your services. If a person has not logged in for a while, the push notifications should highlight special offers or incentives for the user to re-enter the app.

This could be a special discount, a top story, or important updates that you can only access through clicking on the app. Updating the user this way reminds them to log in and keeps them active on their account.

Daivat Dholakia

Daivat Dholakia

Daivat Dholakia is the VP of Operations at Essenvia.

“First, you have to figure out why they have abandoned your app…”

Are parts of your app not user-friendly? Does it not offer what your target audience is looking for? Is a competing app stealing your users, and if so, how? Once you figure out why it’s happening, you can make adjustments accordingly and announce a new, updated app.

Matt Weber

Matt Weber
Matt Weber

Matt Weber is the Founder of Weber & Co., an Alaska and Nashville based web design and marketing agency.

“If you're looking for an effective way to re-engage users who have abandoned your app, there are a few strategies that can work…”

You might start by asking them what their favorite part of the product is and why it works so well. Knowing this information can help you find something new or provide insight into how you can repurpose old content with minimal adaptation on behalf of designers/front-end developers. Another option would be sending out survey emails periodically at regular intervals (perhaps every couple of weeks) that ask about any recent activity from each user. This will provide insight into how often certain tasks happen within apps, such as adding items or checking off boxes indicating completion.

Aaron Traub

Aaron Traub
Aaron Traub

Aaron Traub is the Owner of GeauxSEO.

“I've found the best way to re-engage users who have abandoned your app is to…”

First, understand why they are dis-engaged. Pinpointing the reason users have left not only helps us re-engage them, but also helps our overall product, giving us insight into parts of the app we might need to improve. After we've established why they might have left, we then target using deep links. Deep links allow us to have more control over the user experience, directing them to a specific place in the app (or app store) and ensuring we show them the most valuable and relevant content possible. This combination of user research and deep links has proven successful in re-engaging users!

Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke is the Director of Sales and Marketing at

“To re-engage users who have abandoned your app, you must know what went wrong…”

What happened and what caused them to stop using your app. Reach out to your user via email or another contact method and ask them to rate your app, fill out surveys and provide you with details of the reasons why they were not using the app. Identifying the cause will help you address it properly.

Yuval Halevi

Yuval Halevi

Yuval Halevi is the Co founder of Guerrilla Buzz, a blockchain public relations agency. Yuval is a traveler turned entrepreneur & marketing freak.

“Customers won’t always stay with you until the end…”

As a founder, there are still ways to re-engage with past customers. You can regain their trust if you know what made them leave. Once you know the reason for their disengagement, you can find the solution for the problem and prevent other disengagements. Once you know the reasons and have addressed the concerns, you can send marketing emails. With these emails, they could be reminded of all your updates about your brand that might encourage them to go back.

Max Benz

Max Benz
Max Benz

Max Benz is the Founder and CEO at

“Though the majority of people who abandon an app do so because they don't like it or think there is another app like it…”

Most of them do not consider themselves to be abandoned. The most common reason for abandonment is that users prefer not to use the app any longer. This leaves open the question of, ‘What can be done in order to re-engage them with your product?’

There are several approaches that can be taken into account in order to aid users who have abandoned your product. These include:

  • Offering them incentives
  • Providing tutorials
  • Letting them know about new updates
  • Use of push notifications
  • Use of social media channels
  • Use of gamification

Kyle MacDonald

Kyle MacDonald

Kyle MacDonald is the Director of Operations at Force by Mojio.

“I’ve found the best way to re-engage users who have stopped using your app is via an in-app promotion…”

You can advertise the promotion on your social media and email list. Ideally, you can scheduled the promotion to happen shortly after the release of new features. This way, once you get users through the gate of opening your app, they’ll be reminded of the benefits that it provides them. In terms of what the promotion should be, I have found that an entry into a raffle, a free gift, or a month of a free subscription upgrade are all great options. It doesn’t need to be extravagant; it just needs to convince people to log on.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor

Andrew is the director and founder of Net Lawman, an online based legal document template platform established in 1991. They work with businesses and individuals to provide legal and financial advice to ensure that they are making the most of what is available to them.

“The best way to re-engage users who have abandoned your app is…”

Considering what disengaged your customers in the first place and working on rectifying that directly.

Of course, you cannot tell for sure and attempts to ask may go unanswered, so it is a matter of really putting yourself in their shoes and determining where you went wrong marketing your product.

Through discounts and vouchers on previously bought items, you can attempt to entice customers back. Should initial engagement proceed, you can always work through content production and questionnaires to determine any changes or considerations that may help you in the future with retention.

Taylor Ryan

Taylor Ryan

Taylor Ryan is a growth hacker and 6x startup founder from Washington, D.C, who currently serves as the CEO of Copenhagen-based marketing and growth hacking agency Klint.

“Before even looking to re-engage users back to your app, you need to understand why they left in the first place…”

Your first thought should always be to keep the customers/app users you currently have satisfied. That being said, app abandonment is a natural thing. An effective technique I suggest using is push notifications. When it comes to push notifications, there is a fine line between being too 'pushy' and providing useful information. Inform active and dormant users about new app functions, features, and designs – anything you believe will pique their interest enough to bring them back into the app to check it out. Be careful to avoid sending similar push notifications to all users; instead, customize them according to user segmentation, analytics, and testing data.

Megan Jones

Megan Jones

Megan Jones is the Client Success Manager at Speak Creative and has been on staff since 2015. In addition to their time spent in digital project management and customer service, Megan taps into their experience with nonprofit organizations for a comprehensive perspective to guide digital strategy for clients of all types and sizes.

“Provide a worthwhile purpose that compels users to engage with your app…”

Too many apps are duplicates of website content. Users have no reason to use up precious phone storage space for content they can also access with a browser.

Alternatively, if you help users perceive value, they will engage through your app. A few examples include:

  • Create convenience such as geo accurate maps with way-finding, which is also a great “go green” opportunity.
  • Enhance their onsite experience with content that is not available on the website such as scavenger hunts for attractions, sermon notes for churches, or audio tours at museums.
  • Utilize push notifications and beacons to communicate timely, relevant information such as discount codes for the onsite gift shop when the user passes the entry gates.

Another key to successful app adoption and engagement is promoting it in advance. Through website content, email marketing, and social media, you can condition users to look for features/content in the app when they interact with your organization and/or visit your location.

Michael Hamelburger

Michael Hamelburger
Michael Hamelburger

Michael Hammelburger is the CEO at Sales Therapy. Michael has been the top-rated sales rep 7 years in a row in multiple firms. Michael founded Sales Therapy to help business owners stop fearing sales calls and see them as the opportunity they really are.

“Here are my top tips for re-engaging users who have abandoned your app…”

Focus on the consumer's experience

The integral part of any business is to follow the consumer's experience. When selling a product, salespeople need to know precisely what their consumers need and how they can provide them with a better solution. Sales representatives must be willing to work on developing long-term relationships instead of short-term transactions.

Understand consumer psychology

Once you understand consumers’ psychology, you can create marketing strategies that trigger the right emotions. For example, if consumers feel good about your product or service, they will be more likely to repurchase it and recommend it to their friends.

Always provide value

While it can be a challenge to keep clients coming back, it's feasible. Providing value is an integral part of relationship-building because it's where you show that your product or service can help them. It doesn't have to be a significant value proposition, but just something they're interested in.

Even when company sales are down, providing value will always result in some form of return for the client and your business. If there isn't any immediate return on investment (ROI), then at least you've made another impression that could lead to future revenue opportunities down the road.

It’s possible to re-engage users who have abandoned your app, and while there are a variety of ways to do so, push notifications are a highly effective strategy. MagicBell’s complete notification system is easy to implement and keeps user preferences at the forefront, enabling developers to notify users wherever they are – with push notifications, emails, and in-app notifications – and in the way they prefer to maximize engagement.