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10 Hacks to Increase User Retention For Your Mobile App by 10 Times

If you are a mobile app developer or owner embarking on the digital journey for your brand through the mobile app ecosystem then you know that the time period from day 0 to day 30 is the most important for high user retention rate. What follows below are several hacks we have advised our client for increasing user attention while being focused on two general and most important aspects of a mobile app experience: on-boarding and user lifecycle.

Why should you care?

Because latest insights demonstrate that mobile app users are more loyal to a brand than those who visit a website from a mobile device. According to Kissmetrics, this can be attributed to two factors:

  1. Unlike web visitors who might land on your website by pure accident, the people who actually download your app are customers who already know your brand and feel they have a relationship with you.
  2. When using an app, visitors tend to spend 3-4 times longer online than they would using a mobile site. In general, mobile sites are used to obtain quick information such as checking locations and looking up business phone numbers. Mobile apps often are preferred for prolonged activities or to access exclusive content and deals.

adobe infographic

Welcome Message/tours

Automate user on-boarding with welcome messages, tours, tutorials etc. It’s best to break out each key feature into a separate page for easy consumption. Add Explainer videos as well. Try to avoid static splash screen which is a major design error most mobile app developers and designers do (read about the spectacular failure of Yahoo, Paypal and Sochi 2014 app)

Automate a message schedule

Design a message schedule – day 1, day 2, etc. to educate users on your app. Don’t assume that your users are extremely intelligent and capable of finding their own way. They can, but they will not. When combined with behavioral signals  consistent messaging schedule is great for surfacing features and user retention.

User lifecycle

Take more comprehensive approach at the user lifecycle.  Tools and services to improve user retention should be employed as a part of a more comprehensive strategy.  To use a brick & mortar analogy, just getting potential customers to come through your doors doesn’t necessarily pay the rent.  You need to think about a customer (or user’s) entire experience with your store (or app).  At the end of the day, a fully engaged user will be more likely to monetize.

Achievement system

Introduction of achievement system such as coins could bring tremendous results in terms of user retention. We know cases where User retention (getting the user into the app more than once) increased 60% between the last release.

In-app feedback

Make it easy for your users to give in-app feedback.  Negative reviews can be detected and dealt with directly, rather than a permanent public record on the app store. Positive reviewers can be prompted to rate on the apps store. Feedback gives real-time insight into app issues, customer needs and opinions. Keep the experience in-app not out of it.

Respond to users

Users really appreciate a response and that any issues they reported are being addressed (more than 49% percent of users declared that they have uninstalled a mobile app because of no response from developers). One of the best places to do that is in-app. Let users know when their problems are resolved. Reply constructively to both negative and positive reviews. Refer users to documentation or other support channels.

Update your app faster

Keep iterating. Rapid app updates are a necessity especially for newly published apps. That poses a problem. First is Apple review

10 ways

cycles. Second, the user may be unaware of your critical update – you are just a badge count on the app store icon. To improve speed and engagement, in-app messaging works great.

Behavior-based messaging

Think of behavioral messaging as If This Then That for mobile app. Message customers automatically based on what they do (or don’t) in your app. Some example can be this – Message only users to haven’t registered their credit card in your app.

Increase quality and frequency of Interaction to drive engagement

The default for user engagement is a push notification which is limited in content. It’s just the knock on the door. What do you have to say? Richer communications and a communication schedule are great ways to retain and engage. This will also bring your inactive users back

Personalized Targeting – Demographics, Likes, Location

An example. A retailer using Converser can send a message just to ‘women, living in London, who like their freedom clothing range’, inviting them to their spring launch. That is, they reach interested users. To do this, you need to be automating and learning user preferences.

Measure Measure, Measure 

It’s important to always keep an eye on how things are going. Just because you fixed some problems and have focused campaigns to bring people back doesn’t mean more issues (or new competitors) won’t change things in the future. Proper churn management requires constant diligence and improvements.

In general, keep track of how your app is being used. Find out which screen attracts users the most, understand why and continuously improve your app by studying the data.

What is probably important of all is actually building a great product, an app people will love, an app that solves actual consumer problem. We can help you with that, from understanding whether your idea can be turned into a viable mobile app to actual development, design and delivery. We crave to introduce some of our success stories. Time to get in touch with us.