mobile app strategies

Winning Strategies to Make Your Mobile App Sticky

Stickiness is an important objective to achieve while designing and developing mobile apps. What is stickiness? It is defined as the characteristic that will encourage users to remain engaged and stay longer on the mobile app. With so many competing apps available in the app stores, it is a difficult job to capture users’ attention for longer.

If an app doesn’t capture the attention of mobile app users, they will never return to use it and abandon forever. It is very easy to prompt users to download your app, but it is also very easy for users to delete your app from their phone. The marketing fundamental says that it is cost effective to retain the existing users rather than to attract new ones.

Have you ever given a thought to why users are never tired or bored of using certain mobile apps? Let’s take the example of Facebook app and Instagram app. Users check Facebook and Instagram multiple times in a day on their mobile and on an average spend more than 20 minutes of their time daily on these apps. What makes these apps so successful in capturing users’ attention span for longer? Based on analysis of functionalities of apps like Instagram, Facebook and many more, some strategies are derived to make a mobile app sticky.

Though design and development of mobile app require technical skills, we are hereby presenting simple strategies in layman’s terminologies which would help to design and develop sticky mobile apps.

User Interface

User interface should be self-explanatory and a delight to the eyes. For example – Twitter


The app should meet the objectives for which it is downloaded. It should deliver value to the user quickly and effectively. For example – PayTM

Network effect

The app should be able to create value addition to all the members when new members join the app. For example – Instagram

Push Notification

As and when required, the app should provide a push notification to the user, when the user is offline, for all important updates and information. For example – Make My Trip. But make sure that push notification is used sparingly. Too much push notifications will cause the user drift away from the app.


The app shouldn’t interfere and clash with the users’ daily routine tasks and behavior, but should still meet its primary objective. For example – Google Maps


User should be able to share information on his / her social media profile so that updates are available to the users as well as non-users of the app. The more the sharing through the app by the user; the more network value provided by the app. For example – Facebook App


The app should provide data analytics over usage of the app by users. For example – Google Fit App

Emotional connection

If an app can establish an emotional connection with users then the user will feel joy and happiness while using your app. This increases chances of frequent usage of the app. For example – Flipkart App

New features

Keep adding new features in your app. Users like to explore new things every day. New features and functions will increase app engagement period of users. For example – Gaming apps

Trace Usage

Trace the usage of the most frequent users of the app. Do the analysis. Identify how they are using the app and what features of the app keep them busy. For Example – Facebook Messenger


Let users personalize the appearance of the app the way they want it to look and feel. For example of App Personalization – Yahoo Mail App


An app should provide a mechanism for the user to rate or provide feedback about the features and functions of the app. The feedback will help to improve the app and in turn make it more sticky. For example – Uber App


Make sure to have good mobile app marketing strategies in place for your mobile app so that it reaches the maximum number of people. A good market reach will automatically help you improve your stickiness matrix.

To summarize, we are putting up 10 simple checkpoints that will make your mobile app sticky.

  1. Use self-explanatory features and familiar behaviors associated with app functions.
  2. Limit the learning curve as low as possible if required.
  3. The interactive language should be user-friendly.
  4. There should be instant gratification on the usage of the app.
  5. The app load time should be minimized.
  6. Provide small surprises for users on each interaction with the app.
  7. Provide transparent user interaction with the content of the app.
  8. Remember 3 touch rule. The user should be able to access any content in the app in maximum 3 touches. If it is more than that, then the user will leave.
  9. Give feedback to the users on their actions and responses.
  10. Provide push notification to users about important updates or information and prompt users to return to the app.

To conclude, we can say that at the end of the day, if you follow the user first approach and understand the users’ perspective, then your mobile app will score high on the stickiness matrix.


Jose Lopez is a Software Engineer, currently working as a Product Manager at Mobixed, the leading mobile application development company of California. In his 20+ years of experience, he has built robust apps that are simply loved by mobile users. Jose is well-versed with the art and science of creating mobile apps that successfully market businesses.

Post A Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *