In this article, we explore tactics to re-engage and re-activate mobile app users and increase user retention.

Rediscover your once-engaged users


  • Win back inactive or churned users
  • Prevent churn
  • Get users to re-opt in for your communications

How to achieve these goals:

Target: Users who haven’t opened the app or haven’t made purchases for N days + RF(M) segments: “Can’t lose them”, “About to sleep”, and “At risk”

Messages: incentives with “free stuff”, discounts, and limited-time savings; product recommendations and features a user might have missed

Channels: push notifications and emails — check user reachability and use these as interchangeable channels

This example is made with Pushwoosh Customer Journey Builder, a tool that helps you map out communication flows and send relevant segmented messaging to customers at every stage of their lifecycle.

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Can all users who’ve lost their interest be re-engaged?

Alice Muir

Alice Muir

Retention Squad Lead at Phiture, Creator of the Subscription Stack

Your best bet, as a publisher, should be to try to reactivate high-intent users. So, users who showed some level of engagement or intention to use the product should be reactivated.

As a secondary consideration, publishers could look into reasons why other users onboarded and then didn't engage.

For example, perhaps the educational guidance provided during onboarding was not strong enough, or perhaps those users had low intentions of using the product in the first place.

Why did users lapse?

Alice Muir

Alice Muir

Retention Squad Lead at Phiture, Creator of the Subscription Stack

To determine what was wrong with onboarded but unengaged users, have an "onboarding intention" or "use case" survey for new users who onboard.

Ask them their reason for downloading the app and direct them to features they are interested in.

If their use case doesn't match your typical user persona, then you know these are low-quality, low-intent users.

Example: Lifesum targets previously engaged users with a re-engaging push notification first, and then follows up with some useful tips on how to get back on track via email.

Example of re-engaging omnichannel communication

Metrics that prove great re-engagement & re-activation

  • App open/session interval
  • DAU and MAU
  • Time in the app
  • Number of app launches
  • Screen opens
  • User LTV
  • Opt-in rate increase for opt-out recovery campaigns

Success story: AvaTrade, whose opt-in rates exceed the average both on iOS and Android thanks to re-engagement messaging.

  • CTRs of re-engaging push notifications

Success story: Beach Bum tripled its re-engagement messages’ CTR with the use of Custom Sound

Take the wheel of the entire app user lifecycle