Before we dive into mobile app retention strategies, I would first let statistics do the talking:
- As per Localytics, 21% of the app users abandon it after using it once.
- Studies by Quetta suggest that most of the apps end up losing 95% of their active users in 90 days.
With the countless number of apps available at users disposal, what do you think can give you an edge? It’s an enhanced retention rate if you haven’t guessed already. A high number of downloads of your app do not guarantee success, because that’s where the drill starts. You need to understand your users and keep them engaged to make sure they stay.
You need to ensure that your users stick with your app once they have it on their smartphones. And today we’ll be discussing how to do the same.
- Know your users thoroughly:
Knowing your users thoroughly is the most basic and indeed the first step when you’re working to enhance your mobile app retention rate. And app analytics (metrics and data) can prove to be a boon in this journey. You need to keep a check on the number of users of your app, what their preferences are, what they like the most about your app and what they don’t like, and what is working well on the app. All this information will help you enhance the positives of your app and work on the negatives before you start losing your users because of it. For example, if you find out the reason why some users are uninstalling your app, you can solve that issue before you lose more users.
Also, there’s only so much you can know through data and metrics and there comes the importance of user feedback. Keep the lines of communication open so that users can report the issues they face and give their valuable feedback. This way you can keep on improving your services.
You need your users to trust you for them to convert into a loyal customer base.
- Make a striking first impression:
- Make sure your app looks attractive (no one likes a bland screen) and is easy to use. If your first-time users find it hard to understand how your app works, chances are they’ll simply exit.
- Don’t throw too many features at your users’ face. For this, focus on one primary function of the app and support it with other features.
- Testimonials/reviews and ratings are your holy grail to make a great first impression.
- Creating a profile and logging into your app must be quick and easy.
- Make sure it doesn’t take too much time signing up. One of the ways for that is to make signing up from Facebook/Google possible.
- Lengthy forms are a big no-no and will repel your user. For apps that essentially require more information, split the sign-up process in more than one screen.
- Try to minimize the user’s input as much as you can.
- Consider incorporating the field masking technique. Here, as the user selects and fills the field, the text is automatically formatted.
- Leverage the autocomplete feature. Geolocation can help in automatic filling of the address field with much more accuracy.
- If there’s an error in a particular field, let the users know then and there. Instead of letting them fill the entire form and bringing up the errors when they click the submit button.
- Customise the keyboard smartly (bring up the numeric keyboard when the field requires a phone number).
- Make the best use of push notifications
Users have a plethora of apps on their smartphones and for them to keep visiting your app, you’ll have to attract them smartly.
Leanplum suggests that leveraging push notifications can boost your app retention rate by approximately 50%.
But you don’t have to bombard the user with push notification. Push notifications can be an excellent way of ensuring that the user keeps on coming to your app. For that to happen, deliver the right value at the right time, and in the right form (personalise your message). The notifications can be about updates, offers, incentives, or even user’s unfinished tasks.
Your notification must be short and subtle and should offer the user something for them to return to your app. A smart example can be that of Netflix where the notification says – <Name>, we’ve just added a film you might like. Notifications like these encourage the user to visit the app because it suggests you films (can be products/services in your case) based on your past behaviour.
- Show the users what you’ve got to offer –
Now, in a world of instant gratification, everyone everywhere is looking for rewards and incentives. And you must offer that to your users. This can be a great strategy to shoot up your app retention rate and build a loyal customer base. You need to offer something of value to your users for sticking with you – this can be discounts, loyalty points, and other offers.
You’ll see all the top brands like Amazon, Uber, etc. offering incentives to their users – yes that’s a strategy to engage your customers!
Also, strategies like remarketing come under the same umbrella. Analytics will help you figure out which of your products/service interests the user. You can then offer those at a better price to seal the deal. You can also promote a wide range of your products by indulging in cross-and up-selling.
Now that you are aware of the hacks that will drive your app retention rates up, I’ll leave you with two more suggestions:
- Incorporate above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL) promotions in your marketing strategy. ATL promotions can be on TV, billboards, etc., while BTL promotions are on mail campaigns, catalogues, etc.
- Strive for improvement – You need to find your edge and be ahead of the competition. For this, keep on making changes and improving your strategies, and integrate regular updates to be in sync with the latest trends.
About the author: Sourodip Biswas works at Space-O Canada, a company having expertise in software and mobile app development. He believes learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere. His work has been published on various distinguished blogs across the web.