Engagement Health Check: Blinkist

A deep dive into the relationship between engagement strategy and real-world user behavior

Engagement Snapshot

Blinkist has strong overall performance with 147.4K users downloading their iOS app in September 2019, and 799.2K MAU, positioning them as a category leader.

Apptopia 2019, Blinkist, iOS
Apptopia 2019, Blinkist, iOS

Retention Potential

Looking at the retention numbers shows us that even though Blinkist performs slightly better than other apps in their category, their 30-day retention is only 8.1% on iOS, while the top 10% of apps in their category have an average of 13.6%. Meanwhile, 91.9% of users are being lost in the first 30 days post-install.

What drives users to engage with your app?

We set out to analyze how Blinkist engages users in the critical weeks post-install. To find the correlation between events that drive users to engage with your app and successful or unsuccessful engagements, we downloaded Blinkist on an Android phone and logged all engagements between the user and the app during the subsequent 14 days. Then we used Neura to analyze how real-world behavior affects app engagement in real-time.


The result is a unified timeline that includes both real-world behavior of the user and the app engagement, which you can see in the interactive graph below:

Let's zoom in to the real-world data

Here are three scenarios that highlight the importance of context-based user engagement

Real-world situations can reveal needs & preferences

Users become paying Blinkist subscribers when they get value from Blinkist, so understanding real-world situations that drive users to read a book can inform future engagement attempts. In this case, the user selected a book while they were idle at home in the evening, before bed. A bedtime reminder might be appropriate to help this user create a Blinkist habit.

Users can have multiple preferences

It’s possible that the user can have multiple preferences for when they want to read a book. In this example, the user listened to their free daily pick, unprompted, while they were commuting on the bus home. It is also worth noting that Blinkist still sent a push notification after the user had already read the daily pick. This has nothing to do with real-world engagement, but the user’s reading behavior should be taken into account to reduce the risk of notification fatigue.

Don't rely on user-stated preferences

In this example, the user received a push notification about their free daily pick while they were at a bar and unavailable to engage. Even though the user had asked to receive notifications at that time (and they are usually idle at home and available to engage around that time), schedules are unpredictable. That’s why it is important for Blinkist to leverage every user’s unique real-world data to understand when they are (or aren’t) available, even if they requested a specific time to receive notifications.

Key Takeaways

The key to success lies in developing a smart, sustainable engagement strategy that leads to long-term retention, and Blinkist’s entire engagement strategy should be designed in pursuit of that goal. After tracking Blinkist’s engagement over a 14-day period, here are our top three takeaways eager to take their app engagement to the next level:


Understand each user’s real-world availability, needs, and preferences to create a daily habit

This doesn’t require a major overhaul on day one. Focus on small, simple changes that can be implemented immediately to existing campaigns


Constantly test and iterate to find the right audience personas and moments that lead to campaign success.

Expect that real-world user behavior will always be changing, even day-to-day. What works now might not work tomorrow, so use insights from third-party tools, such as Neura Insights, to measure and test the relationship between engagement events and real-world behavior.


Leverage the user’s context in tandem with messaging to maximize the effectiveness of your engagement campaigns.

It’s not enough to send reminders once or multiple times a day. Now that companies can access a plethora of real-world user behavior and engagement data, there is a huge opportunity to rethink traditional engagement strategies. Check out Neura Actions to get started.

Ready to speak to an expert about your engagement strategy?

Get in Touch

Neura is an independent company, not affiliated with Blinkist


Neura merges with Otonomo bringing mobility intelligence to the mobility, transportation and automotive industries. Read More