Strategys for App User Loyality : The ways to increase Retention and Engagement
Already published an app? Great! Nevertheless: With several million apps it is no longer enough to simply build and publish an app. Rather, you also have to promote the app. And even if you can arouse users’ interest in your app and they start to download the app: Today, pure downloading is no longer sufficient for an successful app. On the contrary: Without a suitable retention strategy, an app already loses 77 percent of users in the first three days – and you probably burned some money for the app promotion. As soon as the user no longer uses the app, you can no longer earn money with him. That’s why I’ve put together some tips on user retention. With a few simple tricks, you can increase the app user commitment and
increase retention. In addition to an appropriate onboarding and sensible push notifications, this requires good data management and clear KPIs.
Conversion is not the end of the curve
A good amount app installations is important, especially if users are already paying for the download, but also for apps that are initially free of charge. Given the current average cost per install (CPI) of $1.72 in the USA , however, you should consider carefully whether you want to invest your entire budget in marketing the app – or rather invest a large part in the retention strategy.
It makes much more sense to accompany the user throughout his customer journey and to optimize the user experience at each touchpoint. This means that the user can quickly find his way around the app after installation and can be bound in the long term. Every lost user is a missed chance to sell products within the app or to earn money with in-app advertising, for example.
According to Ankit Jain from Google many users are willing to download many apps, but most of them decide to stop using those android apps within a time frame of 3 to 7 days.
The good news is, that this differentiates for decent apps. If you are able to make users stick around for more then 7 days, they are likely to retain your app much longer. This way you can see a data based way to interact with your app users for real success: get them hooked in the critical first 3-7 days and they will probably stay much longer.
A successful Onboarding should be simple and clear
A great onboarding process is function-oriented and shows the added value of the app from the first opening. Therefore it is important that the developer understands what a user needs at the first opening. If he has to register first, he may jump off again directly. A simple log-in via social media can help. If the user only wants to order a taxi quickly, he does not need a long tutorial, but a direct push-to-action. Empty lists and menus don’t look very inviting the first time you open them.
Interactive tutorials will be more engaging compared to static long tutorials. The user should have the opportunity to learn more by clicking a button or to skip the whole process. This way, no one is discouraged from using it, but all possibilities are pointed out to those who have time and interest. Individual hints that pop up at the right time and explain exactly the function that the user needs are also useful for a great user experience.
The user should never feel left alone, even after the first introduction. It is a deterrent if a fitness app simply shows an empty list the first time it is opened. It leaves the user questioning on how he can fill the list. A small button with “Start your training” can work great in this case. Sample data can also motivate the user and increase commitment.
Complicated log-in or sign-up windows should generally be avoided. Wherever possible, social media accounts can be used. Otherwise, only the really important information should be requested or the registration should be broken down into different steps. For the car rental only name and e-mail address may be sufficient at the beginning, while driver’s license and ID card can be added later.
Not every app requires extensive onboarding and a good app leaves it up to the user to decide how much he wants to learn. While a flashlight app won’t need a long explanation, a large business app may seem less intuitive at first glance.
In general, onboarding should be fast, understandable, functional and seamless. The user should know at first glance what to expect from the app.
Push notifications: The right timing is more important then you might think
Even after a few days many users still delete apps. The best way to prevent this is to make it clear to users at which moment the app can help them. Push notifications at the right time will increase commitment and retention. According to the Accengages Benchmark 2017, an average of 8.4 percent of German users respond to pushes, which was the highest value in the study worldwide. Good data management helps to create mobile moments.
A good push notification reaches the user exactly when and where the app can help him. When he lands at the airport, the taxi app answers. And if he goes to the supermarket, send him the shopping app information about the latest discount campaign.
To reach the user at the right place thanks to retargeting, the developer should know more than the age and gender of the customer. The more precisely he knows the user behavior, the more specifically he can send the notifications. If he knows that users open their notifications mainly between 12 and 15 o’clock, he has a big advantage. To achieve this, it is important to understand the user at the micro level. The content can be left up to the user to decide for himself what he is interested in.
The notification should always lead directly to the correct page. Notification of a discount promotion with redirection to the home menu will tend to annoy the customer.
App developers should try different campaigns and versions, build hypotheses on them and gradually improve their push notifications.
If you would like to know more about push notifications, check out the article about factors of android app push notifications.
Data and Testing
For the right retention strategy you have to try and test a lot. This will give you an understanding of the right messages and features, the right click path and the right way to in-app purchase. You should also use different ways and test, which way is more successful for your users. In addition to push notifications, you can also use e-mails, in-app messages, social ads and much more at your disposal.
Try to collect data about your users. When does the user open an app, which notifications are successful, at which locations is which content required. The better your data management, the sooner you address the users correctly.
User Journey: You have to accompany the user holistically
I would always recommend you accompany app users holistically on their user journeys. After app development and android app marketing, your mission is far from over.
Generally most convincing for long-term user loyalty is, of course, still a well-done app that delivers what it promises in the Playstore. At the same time, however, without a suitable strategy for user retention, you can lose many users again shortly after installing the app and waste resources and opportunities.