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Blog / How to increase your drawing app retention rate

How to increase your drawing app retention rate

Drawing apps are becoming more popular among users of all ages worldwide. In this article, our team at Touchlane advises on how to increase the retention rate of your current or future apps.
7 min

Digital art has seen exponential growth in popularity over the recent years. According to a recent report, the global digital content creation market size reached $28.73 billion in 2023 and is projected to soar to $69.8 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5%​​. 

The rising demand for creative software, particularly graphics and illustration tools, underscores the increasing importance of user retention for drawing app developers​. 

What is the retention rate?

Retention rate is one of the most important metrics for assessing the relevance of your app. It is calculated as the proportion of active users who return over a specified duration.

Across industries, a good app retention rate is approximately 5.7%. Statista provides expanded numbers for industries: in entertainment, the average 30-day retention rate is 2.76%. However, for a drawing app, it might be a bit higher given the creative nature of such applications. 

We suggest reading our earlier blog article on mobile app metrics for a deeper understanding of what app retention rate is, as well as other analytics metrics that show the effectiveness of your application.

Factors that influence the retention rate of drawing apps

Currently, there are hundreds of drawing mobile applications available in app stores to suit every taste. Professional tools like Photoshop Sketch or Procreate allow artists and creators to express their ideas. Meanwhile, amateur enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy their moments of relaxation with free drawing apps like Color Therapy and AntiStress Adult Coloring Book.

Despite the variety of drawing apps and their nuances, our team has put up some general advice that could greatly increase your retention rate.


Make an impression right away

It is hard to overestimate the importance of making a good first impression. An illustrative onboarding is an ideal method to get things off to a great start. Guide your users through the first steps in the app and showcase its special features. Attract them by providing competitive advantages and eye-catching graphics. 

In addition, here at Touchlane, we believe that many app developers miss one simple yet important step: they do not implement welcoming screens. Even though drawing applications are all about creativity, it’s important to avoid overwhelming users right away. Providing the needed information on 3-5 (maximum) onboarding screens will be more than sufficient to keep users informed and interested.

Copyright Color Therapy


Make your content personalized

App users adore a personalized touch. In this way, customization can encourage users to return to your app out of curiosity about what else you have in store for them.

Today, a lot of information can be obtained about consumers via their mobile devices, including their location – and that’s precisely what might work in your favor. 

For example, if you want to advertise a color-by-number app, you may use intelligent suggestions and tailored content appropriate for users in various nations and areas. Thus, while lovely sakura coloring pages will be enjoyed in Japan during Hanami in the spring, a gorgeous Thanksgiving postcard pattern will be popular in the US in the fall.

Additionally, by emphasizing the data-driven approach, you may categorize coloring patterns and configure the algorithm to provide users with templates based on the content they find most appealing.

! Touchlane’s pro tip
Consider the offline-first approach. This means making the core functions of your app available offline. According to mobile app retention statistics, just 32% of users return to an app after 11-20 times. Make sure your app works where similar apps do not.


Avoid overloading the UI

Design is an excellent area for experimentation. Therefore, when you optimize your app’s design and navigation, keep your target audience in mind and steer clear of superfluous elements.

Because of the intense competition, developers frequently attempt to attract users by over-filling their sketching apps. Unfortunately, the result of this tactic is often the opposite. Perplexed by the features they do not immediately understand, a user decides to permanently remove the application in favor of a more appealing and user-friendly substitute.

Remember that sketching apps are meant to be used for creative expression or relaxation. Users won’t waste time learning every nuance of the features. Ensuring a seamless user experience throughout the full in-app journey is therefore crucial.

mobile app retention rate


Educate, encourage, and reward

Keeping users interested is a long-term game, and developing growth cycles and loyalty programs is one of the best ways to get them to come back.

When it comes to drawing apps, you may set up a sequence of painting tasks with incentives to encourage users to return and prevent the scenario where someone completes a task and moves on. 

While drawing apps are essentially created for entertainment, you can stand out among the competition by introducing an educational aspect in it. Add some tips on drawing techniques or the best combination of colors, and create science-based blog posts on the effect of coloring for stress reduction. 

Additionally, you may encourage user involvement by allowing users to vote for, comment on, and share each other’s artwork on social media. If you have capacity, you can dedicate a team member to building a community around the app. Try creating a place – a Facebook group or a Discord server – where users can chat and share their art. Engage with the audience, collect ideas from users, and reward the most active ones with Premium features or in-app currency.

Copyright Color Therapy


Keep users informed – and let them talk, too

Push notifications are among the simplest ways to interact with users on the app. They can assist in coordinating user behavior by informing them of recent updates, challenges, and promotions that might be of interest.

Regular updates on new features and tools, such as brushes, are crucial. But here the communication should not be one-sided. It is equally important not only to announce something new but to collect feedback from users. Just like in the case of personalization, your users will enjoy being seen and heard. 

However, just like with the onboarding screens, it’s crucial to avoid overwhelming users. Retention rates can be increased by offering brief reminders and helpful suggestions, but flooding users with spam will get old very quickly. Adhere to the principle of the right place and the right time.


Despite the apparent nature of these five techniques, few developers, in our experience, actually employ them to maximize retention rates. We strongly advise taking advantage of the tried-and-true solutions listed above to increase your app rates and follow your app retention benchmarks to see how your app performs. In the end, it makes more sense to keep your current customers than to attract new ones.

And if you are looking for an experienced team to help you create a future-proof drawing app or enhance your existing one, the Touchlane experts will be happy to give you in-depth consultation.

Written by


Having solid business relations with the leading IT companies in the US, EU and UK, our company efficiently implements secure mobile & backend solutions meeting the highest industry standards. To achieve the goal, me and my partners assembled a trusted team of highly-skilled development experts, capable to take up projects of any type and complexity.



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If you have an idea for a product along with put-together business requirements, and you want your time-to-market to be as short as possible without cutting any corners on quality, Touchlane can become your all-in-one technology partner, putting together a cross-functional team and carrying a project all the way to its successful launch into the digital reality.

If you have an idea for a product along with put-together business requirements, and you want your time-to-market to be as short as possible without cutting any corners on quality, Touchlane can become your all-in-one technology partner, putting together a cross-functional team and carrying a project all the way to its successful launch into the digital reality.

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