A lot of mobile App Users and Entrepreneurs believe that the most important activity to note about your app, is the app installs. And so once you are able to hit a certain level of downloads, they consider themselves successful.

But from handling numerous Nigerian clients in the mobile app industry, we have to realize that downloads is just the first phase, and beyond app installs, getting consumers to use the app is another game entirely.

App engagement is easy to lose and it’s important to have strong paths to conversion and engagement of your mobile app. 

Here are five strategies to increase mobile app engagement and revenue

1. Build Trust to Onboard Effectively

New mobile users that have been converted must understand the value of your app, why they need to download it and it’s important you make an excellent first time impression.

Pro tip: On iOS, you are only allowed to officially ask for push permissions once. Don’t waste your only shot by asking for push permissions in a splash page. Instead, start with an informal ask, and only prompt them to the official permission page if they answer “YES.”

If your app is one that requires people to open an account, be sure that you prompt people and motivate them to create an account within the mobile app.

Accounts also streamline the check-out process and greatly increases their likelihood to make a purchase. To encourage registration, use push or in-app messaging to remind your users of the benefits.

Pro tip: Send an informative notification that highlights the advantages of registering. For example: “Did you know that members have access to exclusive 20% discount on Habeebat mobile store? Create an account today!” Include a link to a ‘Sign Up / In with Facebook’ page within your app.

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2. Provide Value to Encourage Engagement

Build user engagement and retention by creating and sending appropriate marketing messages that are relevant and valuable to your target audience. Personalized recommendations, based on “others who bought x also bought y” or ‘most recent purchase’, provide value to your users and warm them to your mobile app experience. The key is to target specific segments of users and to incorporate personalization.

Generic push notifications are the junk mail of the mobile world, and do more harm than good. We went through this with email marketing and made all these mistakes, getting your communication to be more personalized leads to retention and engagement.

A client of ours used birthday cards recently to send a happy birthday push notification card to all their customers and ensure they felt loved, remembered and celebrated on their birthdays with a special birthday coupon code. “Happy birthday temitope, we love you and wish you an amazing birthday with loads of love and gifts, Habeebat celebrates this special day with you, enjoy a 15% discount on a one time purchase of your choice using the coupon code, XLSDFG.”

Pro tip: Use demographics combined with behavior to segment your audience. For example, you might send this  push message to females who are between the ages of 18 and 24, live in Nigeria, and have recently viewed the ‘hijabs’ category on your website or on your mobile app: “Hey Cherish! It’s Eidel kabir in Lagos, check out these styles from habeebat!”

3. Inspire Urgency to Drive Mobile Conversion

Once your users are engaged with your brand on mobile app, it is time to start encouraging them to make a purchase. Research shows that 48% of users worldwide list mobile as a key media for impacting purchasing decisions (according to Mobile Marketing Watch). Develop a robust cart abandonment strategy that incorporates real-time customer behavior across channels (i.e. if a customer adds an item to their cart on desktop, mobile web, or through your app), and leverages push and in-app messaging to encourage immediate conversion. Make sure to customize your marketing message for each user by referencing the specific item waiting for them in the cart.

Pro tip: Test out several different versions of push message copy to see which one generates the most purchases. Low inventory alerts like this are especially effective: “Low inventory on trousers!  Get yours today before they’re gone!” Just make sure any incentive message you send is true – mobile customers can sniff out a cheap marketing ploy a mile away.

4. Offer Social Proof to Cultivate Brand Loyalty

Encourage your customers to share on social – this is a great way to transform your customers into brand advocates, and to generate network effect organic user growth. Consider a VIP campaign or special promotion message to encourage your top mobile customers to spread the word to their friends.

Pro tip: Send a push message to your top purchasers: “Super excited about your new habeebat hijab? Let your friends know on Facebook and get 10% off your next purchase!” Not only does this expose your brand to new business, but it encourages repeat purchases from those top customers.

With a strong understanding of your users’ preferences and browsing patterns, it is easy to encourage them to purchase additional items when browsing. In-app messages are a great ways to communicate with your customers when your brand is already on their mind. But use in-app messaging wisely and sparingly — every in-app message you display takes away from your actual application. An in-app message is a pop-up message, and we have all seen these abused on the web.

Pro tip:  Use in-app messaging to incentivize those active within your app to make an additional purchase. For example: “Hey dolapo, thought you might like these new arrivals from habeebat kaftans as well.”

5. Find the Right Rhythm to Retain Users

As you continue to engage with your mobile customers, prevent over-messaging by tailoring your push strategy to accommodate each user’s unique time of day preference and message frequency tolerance.

Pro tip: Track the number of app uninstalls as compared to the mobile revenue resulting from each message you send — so you can be sure your push messages are not annoying your users and you are comfortable with the complete ROI picture.


Making sure your app delights and engages your users is a high-stakes game. Today’s mobile shoppers are solidifying their app preferences, and your mobile communications must be strategic and personalized to win their allegiance. The reward is well worth it: making the cut brings with it a level of word-of-mouth marketing that will cause your organic app installs to skyrocket. Identify and optimize your customer’s path to engagement and purchasing, and ensure your app comes out on top in mobile commerce — the future of online shopping.

To learn more about other mobile app marketing insights, read this article here: Mobile App Marketing Insights for Nigerian Businesses