May 5, 2024

User Stickiness: The Ultimate Guide in 2024

In this article, we'll discuss the significance of user stickiness, reveal the keys to achieving it, and provide strategies for boosting stickiness.

With over 3.8 million apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store combined, competition for user attention is fierce. One of the key metrics for measuring app success is user stickiness—the ability of an app to engage and retain its users over time.

In this article, we will explore the importance of user stickiness and highlight strategies for enhancing stickiness metrics for mobile apps.

What is user stickiness?

User stickiness refers to the extent to which an app can attract and retain users, encouraging them to return frequently and engage deeply with the app's features.

It goes beyond mere app downloads and focuses on long-term user engagement, which is crucial for an app's success. High user stickiness leads to increased app usage, higher user satisfaction, and better monetization opportunities.

Difference between user stickiness and user retention

User stickiness and user retention are two concepts that relate to the engagement and loyalty of users toward a product, service, or platform. While there is some overlap in their definitions, they represent different aspects of user behavior.

Given below is a comparison between user stickiness and user retention

Difference between user stickiness and user retention
Difference between user stickiness and user retention

Importance of user stickiness

User stickiness is vital for the long-term success and profitability of a mobile app. It ensures user retention, increases lifetime value, drives organic growth, and provides monetization opportunities. By focusing on user stickiness, app developers can cultivate a loyal and engaged user base, leading to sustained growth and a thriving app ecosystem.

Below are some reasons why user stickiness is crucial:

User Retention

User stickiness directly correlates with user retention. High user stickiness means users continue to engage with the app, come back frequently, and stay active over an extended period.

Increased Lifetime Value (LTV)

Sticky users have a higher lifetime value for an app. When users engage with an app for an extended period, they are more likely to make in-app purchases, upgrade to premium versions, or subscribe to paid services. They contribute more revenue over time, which boosts the overall profitability of the app.

Word-of-mouth and viral growth

Sticky users are more likely to become advocates for an app and recommend it to others. They share positive experiences, leave positive reviews, and refer friends and family to the app. This word-of-mouth marketing can lead to organic growth and an expanding user base without significant marketing efforts.

Better user feedback and iterative improvements

Sticky users tend to be more invested in an app, making them more likely to provide feedback and suggestions for improvements. Their feedback can provide valuable insights into enhancing the app's features, functionalities, and overall user experience. By listening to and acting upon user feedback, developers can continuously improve the app and meet user expectations, further strengthening user stickiness.

Monetization opportunities

Sticky users present more opportunities for monetization. They are more receptive to targeted advertisements, in-app purchases, and subscription-based models. Developers can leverage the stickiness of users to generate revenue through various monetization strategies. Sticky users are also more likely to engage with sponsored content or participate in loyalty programs, opening up additional avenues for monetization.

How to measure user stickiness?

Measuring the user stickiness of an app involves analyzing specific metrics that indicate user engagement, retention, and overall activity within the app.

Here are some key metrics commonly used to measure user stickiness:

Stickiness ratio

The stickiness ratio is calculated by dividing the DAU by the MAU and multiplying the result by 100. This ratio indicates the percentage of monthly users who become daily users. A higher stickiness ratio suggests a more engaged and sticky user base.

Stickiness ratio formula

Daily Active Users (DAU)

DAU represents the number of unique users who actively use the app on a daily basis. Monitoring DAU helps track the app's user engagement on a day-to-day basis and provides insights into the app's stickiness.

Monthly Active Users (MAU)

MAU represents the number of unique users who engage with the app at least once within a month. Comparing MAU to DAU can indicate the app's ability to retain users over a longer period of time.

Session duration

Session duration measures the average time users spend within each session of the app. Longer session durations indicate higher user engagement and stickiness.

Retention rate

The retention rate tracks the percentage of users who continue to use the app over a specific period. It helps assess the app's ability to retain users and indicates its stickiness. Common retention rate metrics include 1-day retention, 7-day retention, and 30-day retention.

What is considered a good user stickiness ratio, industry-wise?

User stickiness ratios can vary across industries and depend on various factors such as the nature of the product or service, user behavior, and market dynamics. There isn't a universally defined benchmark for a "good" stickiness ratio, as it can differ significantly based on industry and specific business goals.

However, higher user stickiness ratios are generally considered favorable, as they indicate stronger user engagement and loyalty. Businesses typically strive to improve user retention to maximize customer lifetime value and reduce churn. A high stickiness ratio suggests that users are finding value in the product or service, which can lead to increased usage, repeat purchases, and positive word-of-mouth.

Industry-wise user stickiness ratio

Factors influencing user stickiness

User stickiness, or the ability to retain users and keep them engaged with a product or service over time, can be influenced by a variety of factors.

Here are some key factors that can impact user stickiness:

User experience

A seamless and intuitive user experience is paramount for user stickiness. Apps that are visually appealing, easy to navigate, and offer a smooth performance tend to attract and retain users.


Users appreciate personalized experiences. By offering tailored content, recommendations, and features based on user preferences, apps can increase stickiness by making users feel valued and understood.


Incorporating gamification elements, such as achievements, leaderboards, and rewards, can foster user engagement and motivate users to come back to the app to unlock new levels or earn virtual rewards. Duolingo is a widely recognized case of successful gamification.

Social integration

Integrating social features like social sharing, user profiles, and social logins can enhance user stickiness by allowing users to connect with their friends, share their achievements, and engage in a community within the app.

Strategies to enhance user stickiness

Improving user stickiness in your app involves various strategies and techniques to keep users engaged and coming back for more.

Here are some tips to help you enhance user stickiness:

Seamless onboarding

A well-designed onboarding process that introduces users to the app's core features and benefits can significantly impact user stickiness. Clear instructions, tutorials, and a guided tour help users understand the app's value proposition and encourage them to explore further.

Seamless onboarding in WeCloud app
Seamless onboarding in WeCloud app

Take inspiration from some of the best onboarding examples from top mobile app companies.

Regular updates

Continuously updating the app with new features, bug fixes, and performance enhancements not only keeps the app fresh but also demonstrates that the development team is invested in providing a great user experience. Regular updates can re-engage users and provide reasons to revisit the app.

Regular updates
Regular updates in Hotstar app

Data-driven personalization

Leveraging user data to deliver personalized recommendations, content, and notifications can significantly enhance user stickiness. Analyzing user behavior, preferences, and past interactions allows apps to offer relevant and targeted experiences that keep users engaged.

Personalized recommendations asked in Blinkist app
Personalized recommendations asked in Blinkist app

Feedback and support

Providing channels for users to provide feedback, report issues, and seek support fosters a sense of trust and engagement. Actively responding to user feedback and promptly addressing concerns shows that the app cares about its users, leading to increased loyalty and stickiness.

Feedback and support

Loyalty programs

Implementing loyalty programs and offering exclusive benefits or discounts to loyal users can be a powerful incentive for users to stay engaged and continue using the app. Loyalty programs can create a sense of exclusivity and reward users for their continued support.

Loyalty program of Dominos
Loyalty program of Dominos

Try Plotline to improve user stickiness using in-app messages

Plotline is an exclusive in-app engagement platform that lets you create and deploy customizable in-app messages that match your design theme to a targeted user cohort. It helps improve user stickiness by discovering features and functionality that enhance the user experience and increase engagement.

Plotline empowers mobile-first businesses to deliver a personalized, engaging, and seamless user experience. By leveraging its features, such as onboarding assistance, targeted in-app messages, and in-app surveys, businesses can improve user stickiness and foster long-term user loyalty.

Join us on our journey towards providing users with native app experiences and improving user stickiness.

Sign up for our newsletter
Sign up for our newsletter

Improve funnel metrics with Plotline

Join companies like ShareChat, Meesho, Jupiter, Jar, Khatabook and others that use Plotline to run in-app engagement and boost activation, retention and monetization.

Thanks for your faith in us! We will reach out to you shortly :D
Oops! Something went wrong. Would you mind trying again?