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Ep 156 (Pt 2): Engagement & retention strategies from top apps

In the second part of this two-part episode, Tara Kirkpatrick, a Mobile Trends Analyst at Apptopia, breaks down popular engagement and retention strategies used by the most downloaded apps of 2022, according to Apptopia’s report “How App Download Leaders Are Winning” (released Feb. 2023). Learn how apps get ahead of their competitors with loyalty schemes, reward programs, and retention “core loops.”

Apptopia is a performance intelligence platform that generates insights across mobile apps and connected devices. Every year, they put out the app download leader charts for app store categories and sub-categories. This year they took a closer look at the strategies apps are using to increase their downloads and broke them down in a report into three areas: acquisition, engagement, and retention.

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Questions Tara Answered in this episode:

  • What can apps do post-install to ensure that users remain engaged?
  • Can you tell us more about the retention part of Apptopia's report?


  • 28:23 Winning strategies for app loyalty and reward programs
  • 34:00 Clear progress tracking and custom rewards
  • 37:52 Ushering users into a “Core Loop”


(31:26-31:55) “Earning a reward is actually a rewarding experience for humans because we’re innately geared towards progress. If you can incentivize action and make that experience fun, or use a bit of scarcity so that the experience becomes a little bit more exciting, then that’s where you’re motivating the acquisition and activation piece – and then long-term engagement.”

(47:47-47:55) “Gaming sets this high bar for the mechanisms of mobile that if you are an app in any category you can look to gaming for inspiration.”