What’s user engagement?

Let’s start with the basics by defining what user engagement is.

User engagement refers to how frequently and how long a user interacts with digital products such as websites, apps, or e-commerces. Measuring user engagement is fundamental to understand what is valuable for your users.

This metric matters because engagement and behavior are directly connected to a person’s level of interest: the more time users spend engaged with a product, the more invested they are in that specific product. Plus, it produces more monetization opportunities, it increases brand awareness and users’ connection with brands.

User engagement is highly correlated with overall profitability. Indeed, user attention is a valuable resource and if users choose to spend their time on a particular app or site, they’re telling you that they find value in it. This allows businesses to make money from the product or service with ads, subscriptions, or sales.

Highly engaged users are more likely to buy, return, and share the product or service with friends.

The engagement rate

The engagement rate represents the percentage of users who remain active within your product over a defined period. Tracking how many users remain truly engaged with your product is a great indicator of overall product health, and any changes in this metric can be a leading indicator of potential problems down the road. (Source: Appcues)

Engagement rate = active users in a cohort over a specific limited period / total users in the cohort

Keep in mind that the definition of active users can be quite different between products. For example, in social media active users are all the users who log in every day, but it’s not the same if we’re referring to e-commerce or a blog.

Don’t forget negative actions. You need to track them too. Yes, I’m talking about who unsubscribe from your newsletter, who delete your app or silence notifications. If you’re able to understand what events caused the action, you can improve your engagement by working on it.

Why is user engagement so crucial?

Here, the main pros of working on user engagement:

  • increased brand loyalty: by generating possibilities to increase user engagement, you are encouraging your users to interact more frequently with your digital products. Thanks to these frequent interactions, users tend to create a more personal connection with your products. Such increased user engagement will turn your users into advocates of your brand.
  • increased revenue: loyal users tend to spend more time on your digital products. That means more opportunities to sell and engage them.
  • increased referrals: by improving your users’ experience you’ll get your users’ attention. Plus, you should personalize your interactions with them so that they’ll be more inclined to invite a friend and create word of mouth about your product.
  • increased cross-sell.

How to increase user engagement?

Your primary goal is to be focused on adding value to your users: the more value, and meaning they obtain from your digital product, the more they’ll stay engaged. To increase engagement, you should focus on the following strategies.

1. Support your users during onboarding

Onboarding is one point in a long journey that begins in the app store and ends with the user taking the first key retention-correlated action in your app. That’s why your onboarding sequence is so important to make a good impression. Think of user onboarding as the hook to long-term engagement.

Usually, user motivation is at its highest level during onboarding, so it’s a good idea to get users to accomplish meaningful actions and obtain immediate value. How? Providing the best possible onboarding experience by continuously check on your customers to ensure they enjoy the experience.

Would you like to know more about the onboarding process? Read our article, and find out all the best practices to create a great onboarding process.

2. Implement an epic UX

I know it’s tough. Try these easy tips and enjoy the results:

  • Write like a human, because no one wants to read technical jargon;
  • UI can support you to create urgency and make your CTAs stand out;
  • Create content that fit the device and the platform;
  • Create ads that are significant and customized;
  • Develop content that is rich and interactive.

3. Study an omnichannel strategy

Did you know that you can engage your users even outside your digital product? So, think about an omnichannel strategy to engage them everywhere! Of course, you should use in-app messages while your users are in your app, but don’t forget about push notifications and emails! Have a look at this article to deepen how to implement a good omnichannel strategy.

4. Collect feedback to improve your mobile app

Your users’ feedback can reveal a lot about what is not working in your app and why! My suggestion is to monitor all the feedback you receive regularly. It’s easy to get lost in your product and to set aside time to listen to your customers can help you build empathy.

In a nutshell, listening to what your customers have to say, be it good or bad, can give you some useful insights.

How to measure user engagement?

Engagement can be measured by a variety or combination of activities: click-throughs, downloads, screen time, comments, likes, and so on. Wondering why you need to measure it? Easy: highly engaged users are generally more profitable, and they’re more likely to become an advocate of your app. Let’s see how to measure user engagement for different digital products!

1. App

Apps should measure engagement by:

  • the number of app launches;
  • the time spent in your app (i.e. monthly usage);
  • the number and type of interactions completed within an app.

The app engagement rates should focus on the core function of your app.

2. E-commerce

An e-commerce website should focus on its core usage pattern: the shopping experience.

  • Track users who browse more frequently;
  • Find what they’re looking for;
  • Check the shopping cart abandonment rates and what items were added to a cart/wish list.

For an e-commerce store, positive activities  are correlated with a positive outcome such as purchases.

3. Site

The more time users spend reading articles, the more opportunity there is for monetization. Content-based sites should focus more heavily on time.

A website may track its user engagement by analyzing:

  • the number of page views;
  • the average time spent on those pages;
  • the daily usage,
  • the clicks, searches, comments, and shares.

In the case of a brand website, you should optimize the time to:

  • start render which is the time between the browser request for a web page and the actual display of the contents;
  • display, which instead indicates the time interval in which a user can start the interaction with a web page even if not all the elements are loaded and viewable;
  • interact which is the time necessary to acquire complete control over the web page starting from the request to the browser up to the interaction with all the elements of a page, including particularly heavy videos or photos.


To succeed you need to improve user engagement and stay competitive in this digital market. To do that:

1. Support your users during onboarding

2. Implement an epic UX

3. Study an omnichannel strategy

4. Collect feedback to improve your mobile app

A product’s success or failure is highly correlated with user engagement.

So, now that you have all the tools, make it happen!

… and NOW? 🤔

Put into practice everything we said and start engaging your users day by day! Have a look at our Engagement Platform, a specific tool to send push notifications and in-app messages to users to boost your business. Find out the key moments to get in touch with your users and create a strong human connection.