The Meed Blog

Science, Sports and Psych: How the most successful apps drive massive engagement

Posted on February 27, 2017 by Crystal Typermass



Mobile marketers continuously struggle with acquiring and engaging app users. In fact, nearly 80% of app users won’t return to your app after downloading it. In our most recent webinar, we broke down the science of how the most successful apps drive massive engagement and acquire loyal, high-quality users. Here are 5 key tips that can be applied across both Android and iOS to increase user acquisition and engagement.



From major events such as the Super Bowl, the holidays, or industry specific events like the launch of a new product or game, knowing what is going on in the broader industry will prove key in driving engagement. For example, US in-app-purchases in the sports category spike during the Super Bowl. Many healthcare companies run successful re-engagement campaigns targeting users in areas hard hit by the cold and flu season. Mobile marketers need to know which events are relevant and resonate the most to your audience.


Super Bowl 50: US in-app purchases spiked in sports appsuper bowl 50 in-app purchases


Starbucks is a leading example of a company and app that has found success by gamifying our morning cup of coffee. In fact, Starbucks now has 13 million app users, and 6% of the company’s transactions happen through the mobile app.  The key to rewarding users is understanding what your app’s hook is and then rewarding these actions. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for rewards. The most important aspect is to track the actions; analytics are crucial in determining who to reward, how often, and how these rewards impact engagement. We found that on our app, Plunder League, users who were rewarded 2-3 times were more likely to continue to use the app than those who weren’t rewarded. Sophisticated app marketers may question why they should reward users who are already taking the desired actions, and the answer is simple: they become even better and more engaged users.



Always take a multi-channel approach and budget in new UA strategies. The mobile landscape is constantly changing, so it’s important to spend both time and budget, whether monthly, quarterly, or yearly, to explore innovative and creative ways available to acquire and retain users. Third-party tracking can help you prioritize the best strategies and provide overall support for testing new strategies and tracking their success. Leveraging this data and exploring a variety of approaches will provide a wealth of additional information and strategies to acquire new users.



App marketers have found success acquiring engaged users by making the latest technology work for them. With iOS 10 for example, many marketers were able to work in conjunction with their development teams to release new features to incorporate into their apps. Airbnb, for example, leveraged social sharing and incorporated iOS 10’s new iMessage feature, as a way to share listings with friends. This provided a heightened level of engagement and encouraged those referrals to become involved with the app. There are many ways to monitor new technologies, so make sure your development and marketing teams are staying on top of release cycles and incorporating these features into your app. Including new technology also provides an opportunity for your app to get featured in The Apple App Store.



Finding campaigns that work best for what you’re trying to showcase will drive more engagement than some traditional strategies. Influencers and video content are great examples of campaigns that quickly and efficiently showcase how an app can benefit its user and, most importantly, generate more engagement than a traditional banner ad. Designing campaigns that show the value of your app to users will increase engagement and provide ways for marketers to better leverage messaging that resonates with users.



This year, we’ll likely see mobile marketers adopt free analytic and tracking tools and more strategically spend their budgets on creative campaigns. Additionally, marketers will become more innovative with different ad formats, such as interactive and playable ads. Ads like these make it easier for users to experience the value of an app before committing to an install. In 2017, we predict that mobile will take a giant leap forward with AR and VR technologies, something we started to see last year with the Pokémon Go craze. Many marketers and developers will dive deeper into providing engaging AR and VR experiences to consumers through mobile. It’s clear that with so much happening across the app ecosystem, 2017 will be an exciting time to be involved in mobile marketing.

Want to learn more about best ways to engage mobile app users? Listen to the full webinar here  or contact us for ways to grow your mobile app audience.


Crystal graduated from Cornell University and brings with her over 7 years of experience in B2B and B2C digital marketing. She has helped a cross section of America’s oldest heritage brands, Fortune 500 companies and tech startups significantly increase their lead generation and retention. Her work has been featured on the David Letterman website and the Huffington Post.

She’s now director of marketing for Meed Mobile, a global leader in mobile rewards. In her free time, she consults on email best practices for Boston and Manhattan based non-profits and startups. Crystal jams to 90s alternative rock, loves yoga and struggles with an addiction to spicy Cheetos. You can follow her on LinkedIn.