To ensure you can hold onto those hard-earned app users once you’ve acquired them, you need to make sure you’ve got a mobile app retention strategy locked down.
Your engagement level shows you how active users are on your mobile app whereas your retention rate is the percentage of users who return to use the app within three months of their initial session.
Retention is defined differently by different groups of people and in different sectors. That’s why it’s important to define what good retention looks like to your individual business and mobile app, depending on the nature of the app and the user-base.
Utilising your app data can offer valuable insights into your user demographics. This can help you refine your personas and make adjustments to your app functionality or marketing materials allowing you to build and maintain a high retention rate of users.
Ensuring the content is highly relevant to the target audience is one of the core considerations when building a retention strategy, alongside overarching usability.
You only get one shot at making a good first impression. The average app loses around 77% of users within the first 3 days, so designing a great user experience to capture and maintain attention is essential.
It’s important to provide your users with all of the information they need to be able to make the most out of the app. Guided tutorials and instructional overlays are crucial to making sure first-time users are equipped with the knowledge to understand how to use your app.
It’s also important to not make functionality so difficult that it can’t be figured out without instructions. Some users will always skip the tutorials, so make sure that there are enough opportunities for hints, tips and self-explanatory navigation where it’s going to count.
Optimising the signup process can also help maintain first-time users. Alleviating the need to manually input new login details can reduce churn rates, optimising the sign-up process with the ability to login via social media or Google accounts.
This reduces the amount of effort that your users have to put into using your app. You can even just delay the signup process, in order to get them straight into using the features, an approach we see on e-commerce apps fairly often, which allows people to build their cart then create a login when they come to check out.
Make your messaging count
There are a number of ways you can ensure that you remind your users to interact with your app.
Push notifications allow you to send users timely offers, deals or even some form of requirement for them to interact with the app for another benefit, such as points of progress.
This could be practising a language regularly, making a purchase before something they have added to their basket goes out of stock or collecting a regular usage award, in a game, for example.
Targeted messaging is known to boost retention rates of users, compared to vague or non-tailored content. Notifications should be displayed to users at the optimum time, rather than a point when they might be dismissed. Additionally, any call-to-action messaging should be customised, whether it’s through using their name or an offer that is specifically suited to their needs.
Finally, it’s important to find a balance when it comes to messaging. Make sure that the timing is appropriate, interruptions are kept to a minimum and the aim to preserve their use of the app is paramount above making a sale or a similar conversion. Ensuring that your users can also deactivate notifications is important to creating an experience that meets their preference.
Many app publishers use rewards to entice their users to come back. Through repeat engagement or sharing an invitation with friends, users can be rewarded whether through in-app currency, discount codes or freebies.
The ability to collect points that can be cashed in later on is a common technique, used by e-commerce apps. Customers can usually convert points into coupons or use them to obtain money off a purchase after collecting so many, resulting in almost guaranteeing a further purchase.
This type of reward system can also build a habit, whereby buyers are more likely to use your app over competitors even if the prices are similar because they want to collect their points.
An example of this is the Boots card points or Starbucks rewards points, both can be captured and redeemed through the app. Customers favour these places over competitors even if the prices are the same or higher.
Keep it fresh
Regularly serving your users new and useful content which supports their experience is crucial to building their opinion of your app. This can be achieved through articles, imagery, and video, which explain features or provide other useful information relevant to the app or brand.
Regularly updated content can keep your users happy, which in turn leaves you in a position to encourage users to review and share your app. This then helps to fuel the growth of a community and builds a positive impression of your app. Sometimes this can result in press attention, influencer interest and other forms of earned media, which can add further value to your brand.
It’s important to create content which is high quality and unique to your app. It should be designed to fit your specific target personas and created in a way that is most appropriate to their preferences, whether this is a video or copy, this will depend on your user research and analytics.
Social media is a key route to obtain, engage and retain users. Whether you use paid social, organic or a combination of both, you can use these channels to speak to your users, gather feedback, monitor discussions and connect people who share similar interests based around your app.
Building a social media presence should support the user journey, re-engage with people who may have dropped off or be inactive and aim to reignite interest in the app. Utilise your channels to make announcements, grow hype and develop a bespoke tone of voice that is instantly recognisable to users.
You should utilise your user persona research to determine which social channels to use. This information about your users will define where you should be speaking to them, based on the channels they use themselves, the types of media they prefer to consume and how they interact with content.
Functionality is everything
Finally, make sure your app isn’t buggy. Make sure you test and test again and make it easy for users to report glitches or errors when they receive them. This will allow you to constantly improve performance and ensure that users don’t drop off due to poor functionality.
Testing before and after updates is also important, ensuring security checks are implemented to prevent risk to the device or the user’s information.
You can better manage your testing by implementing FAQs to provide users with information on how to deal with common errors which might occur during an update or a change.
This approach alongside easy access to customer support can streamline the user experience when things go wrong. This can enhance their opinion of your app and reduce the risk of them leaving a negative review on their app store.
For more information on how to boost your mobile app retention rates, get in touch for a chat with Favoured today.