10 Proven Strategies for Enhancing User Engagement in iOS Apps

Getting people to download your app is quite challenging in iOS app development. Motivating them to stay connected is even more challenging. The average person has over 80 apps installed on their iPhone. This makes it next to impossible for them to use every single application. Your app has to be a notch ahead of the other apps while adding value to the user’s life.

As a top iOS app development company, MAD knows many secret tricks to keep users engaged. We have helped multiple clients increase their user retention and conversion rates.

In this blog, we’ll share some tips on how you can keep users hooked for hours on your mobile app.

10 Ways to Increase iOS App Retention

Seamless Onboarding

Although the first impression is not the last impression, it does matter. If a user gets annoyed due to a lengthy signup process, it’s not a good sign. By crafting a seamless onboarding experience, you can set the tone for the entire iOS user experience. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Keep the signup process small. Don’t overwhelm users with lengthy signup forms or tutorials.
  • Enable support for social login, allowing users to log in with their Google, Apple, or social media accounts. This saves them the trouble of having to fill out lengthy signup forms.
  • Clearly communicate the core benefits your app offers and how it solves a user's problem.
  • Don’t bombard users with all the features. Gradually introduce them to all aspects of the application as they progress.

If you want to take your onboarding experience a notch ahead, personalise it for all users. Based on the user’s demographics, you can tailor the signup process to their needs. For example, apps like Spotify ask users about their preferences as a part of their onboarding process. This ensures that the users receive tailored content from the get-go.

Virtual Assistant

Not getting the right support is a major reason why people quit using an app or service. Integrating a virtual assistant can solve this issue. It could be a chatbot, a voice assistant, an AI model, or a combination of them all. Let’s look at these options in more detail.


A chatbot is always there at the corner of the screen, ready to answer any user query. However, a traditional chatbot that provides predefined responses isn’t going to cut it in today’s day and age. People expect personalised experiences.

With technologies like AI and NLP, you can create a chatbot that provides more unique and precise responses. You can train the AI model by feeding it with information about your business. This will enable it to resolve user queries by providing accurate information about your app.

AI Model

How about an AI-powered assistant that talks with your users like a guide? Generative AI enables the creation of human-like virtual assistants who can provide all-around support to users.

Imagine an EdTech app with a virtual trainer. The trainer would analyse the user’s learning patterns, understanding level, and personality to provide curated courses. It’ll guide learners in real time, offering motivational prompts, correcting mistakes, and even tracking progress. This kind of personalized support not only keeps users engaged but also increases the effectiveness of the app.

The benefits of a virtual assistant are multifold. People can get instant query resolution, increasing user retention. Along with that, you save the trouble of maintaining a large human support team as most queries will be solved by the bot.

Implement Gamification

Everyone likes to play games. How about incorporating some elements into your iOS app development? Here’s how gamification can help you keep users hooked.

Competitive Drive

Humans have the natural urge to compete with others. Gamification taps into this by introducing leaderboards, challenges, and badges. This friendly competition motivates users to push themselves further and keep returning to your iOS app.

Positive Reinforcement

Earning points, unlocking badges, or even achieving virtual levels can provide a sense of accomplishment and keep users hooked. Think of an EdTech app that rewards users with badges for completing a course or giving correct answers. These badges serve as a visual representation of progress and incentivise users to maintain their ratings.

Community Building

Features such as leaderboards and team challenges can encourage users to connect with and compete with each other. This fosters a sense of belonging and motivates users to participate more actively within the app.

It’s Simply Fun

Let's not forget the fun! Gamification injects a dose of enjoyment into what might otherwise be tedious tasks. They can transform daily chores into delightful experiences. This gamified approach makes apps more interactive and leads to better user retention.

Voice Navigation

Hands-free navigation feels like it came directly out of a sci-fi flick. This innovative feature allows users to interact with your app by simply saying it out loud. It’s a game changer for user engagement in iOS apps.

By combining AI and NLP with voice commands, you can make interactions effortless by eliminating the need for complex menus and button presses. Think about a music streaming app where users can say "Play my workout playlist" instead of manually searching through music categories.

Voice navigation is nothing short of a boon for users with visual impairments or those who struggle with traditional touch interfaces. It allows you to promote inclusivity and reach out to a wider user base. You can create a more engaged and diverse user community.

Voice navigation frees up users' hands, allowing them to multitask while interacting with the app. This means your users can access your services even when they’re driving, cooking, or busy with anything else. This multitasking capability enhances the user experience and integrates the app seamlessly into users' daily lives.

Most importantly, it’s downright cool!

Push Notifications

Push notifications act like a hook to encourage users to return to your app. They’re the secret weapon for boosting user engagement in iOS apps.

Let’s face it, iOS users are bombarded with apps. Push notifications can serve as a friendly reminder that your app exists and has something valuable to offer. Here are some more ways it benefits you:

Personalised Prompts

Gone are the days of generic push notifications. AI allows for targeted messaging based on user behaviour and preferences.  For instance, if you’ve got an eCommerce app and a user abandons their cart, you can nudge them by offering a discount to incentivise completion of the purchase.

Instant Updates

Push notifications are an effective marketing channel. You can instantly inform your users about new product launches, discounts, offers, and more using them. This well-timed nudge can encourage users to stay engaged with your iOS app.

A Two-Way Street

Push notifications don’t have to be one-way. They can be used to spark conversations and encourage users to interact with the app. For instance, a social media app can prompt users to participate in a trending discussion. This two-way approach fosters a sense of community and keeps users actively engaged with the app's ecosystem.

Keep in mind that push notifications in iOS app development are a double-edged sword. Bombarding users with irrelevant or intrusive messages can backfire, leading to frustration and uninstalls. The key is to strike a balance between informative reminders and respecting user preferences.

In-App Community

Fostering a sense of belonging can do wonders for increasing iOS app engagement. People crave a sense of community and belonging. By incorporating social elements into your app, you can tap into this fundamental human desire and create a more engaging user experience.

Build a Community

Features such as a comment section, forums, and in-app chat functionalities can urge users to connect with each other. This fosters a sense of community and camaraderie that keeps users invested in the app’s ecosystem.

Content Sharing

Social features empower users to become content creators. This encourages users to create and share content. It attracts new users who discover the app through shared content.

Influencer Marketing

Social features can leverage the power of social influence and recognition. Imagine a language learning app where users can "like" and comment on each other's progress or achievements. This recognition system motivates users to stay active and strive for improvement, leading to a more engaged user base.

Email Marketing

What if a user has abandoned or uninstalled your app? That’s where you can tread on the old ways. Email marketing may seem like a relic of the past but don’t underestimate its power. When strategically implemented, email marketing can be a powerful tool for rekindling user engagement in iOS apps.

Emails transcend the impersonal nature of push notifications. They allow for targeted communication tailored to individual user preferences and past behaviour. For instance, you can send emails to users who have uninstalled the app or haven't logged in for a while.

Keep in mind that emails aren’t just for blasting promotional messages. You send things like blog posts or tips on how to use the app better. This is quite difficult to achieve with push notifications.

With elements such as surveys and polls, you can encourage your users to interact and share their valuable feedback. This feedback loop helps you understand user needs and allows you to tailor the app experience accordingly.

Timely Updates

While this may seem elementary, many businesses ignore their iOS app post-launch. But stagnation is the enemy of engagement. Just bug fixes and maintenance aren’t going to cut it. Users crave fresh experiences, new features, and a sense that the app they've invested time in is constantly improving. Here’s what you need to provide with your app updates.

New Features

Regular updates introduce new features, functionalities, and content, injecting a dose of novelty that keeps users coming back for more. You need to give users a reason to keep using your app.

Consider Feedback

Sometimes, the users tell you what you need to do. By incorporating user suggestions and addressing pain points in new updates, you show users their voices are heard. It motivates users to stay engaged.

Build Anticipation

Don't just drop updates out of the blue. Create a buzz by strategically teasing upcoming features or functionalities through social media or in-app notifications. “Your favourite app now has AI.” That’s a statement sure to get users intrigued.

App Analytics

App analytics are powerful tools that shed light on the user journey and identify areas for improvement. Here’s how they can help you:

Dissect User Behaviour

App analytics empowers you to see beyond just download numbers. It delves into user behaviour, revealing how users interact with your app, which features they utilise most, and where they drop off. You can identify friction points and refine your onboarding process.

More Personalisation

Once you understand your user preferences and behaviour patterns, you can tailor app features and content recommendations to individual needs.

A/B Testing

iOS app analytics empowers you to conduct A/B testing, a technique where you compare different versions of app features or functionalities to see which resonates best with users. You can use the data to optimise your app for maximum user engagement.

Identify Feature Fatigue

Over time, even great features can lose their lustre. iOS app analytics can help you identify features that are underutilised or no longer contribute to user engagement.

AI Integration

AI provides multifold benefits for increasing user engagement in iOS apps. Here's how AI can act as your secret weapon for a thriving app:


With AI, your iOS app can understand user needs before they know them. AI can analyse user data, including past behaviour, preferences, and even context, to deliver a truly personalised experience. For instance, a music streaming app powered by AI can recommend new songs based on your listening history, current mood, or even the time of day.

Predictive Recommendations

AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data to predict user behaviour and preferences. This allows you to recommend features, content, or products that users are most likely to find interesting. 

Smart Content Curation

AI can personalise the content users see within your app, ensuring they encounter information that aligns with their interests. This saves them time in searching for relevant content and also keeps them engaged in topics they are truly interested in.

Connect With the Top iOS App Development Company

MAD is a top iOS app development company in the UK. We can enhance your iOS app by developing new features, integrating advanced technologies, and optimising for maximum performance. From AI to IoT, we have access to cutting-edge technologies and the top 0.1% of talent in the world.

With 25 years of industry experience, we know how to keep users hooked. Tap into our pool of knowledge and shoot your app to success.

Connect with MAD today!

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