Keep Mobile App Users Engaged for the Long Haul


Many mobile apps launch with a large number of downloads only to lose most of their user base within the first three months. Within 90 days of launching, according to Localytics, the average mobile app retains just 20 percent of its daily active user base.


Before you get depressed and ditch your mobile app creation strategy, remember a couple of things:
You may not need customers to use your app every day. Depending on your conversion goals, weekly or monthly usage could be enough to deliver a great return on investment.
A few returning customers can generate a lot of revenue. Remember the old Pareto principle: 20 percent of your customers generate 80 percent of your revenue.


Earning the download is only the beginning. Retaining users is a vital component of your mobile app strategy. Use these tricks, in cooperation with your developer, to keep customers coming back.


Make It Personal
Think about the process your customer goes through when onboarding with your app. Most apps ask for an email address and a password, but you can do better.


When you onboard new users, App Virality recommends getting personal by asking for their name, preferred gender, birthday and other basic characteristics. You collect some useful data, and you can begin the journey of personalizing their content. Check out this example from the Beats Music app:




As you build a better user profile, start personalizing according to past purchases or browsing history. Making users feel like they’re part of something when they use your app goes a long way toward keeping their attention.


Share How-to Content
Depending on your app’s sophistication, users will appreciate some help discovering what it can do. Using push notifications or email marketing, share content that helps them get the most from your app. This could include link to a YouTube video sent in an email — and displayed in the phone’s YouTube app — or it could be a native video or animation within the app.


Use Push Notifications
According to App Virality, 68 percent of users enable push notifications for their apps, with 4 out of 5 users between the ages of 18 and 34 enabling push. Salesforce says that push notifications, when used effectively, can double four-month retention rates and quintuple app engagement.

  • Try pushing the following content to your app users to keep them coming back:
  • Discounts or free items, redeemable with an in-app purchase or QR code scanned at the cash register
  • Operational notifications, such as, “Your order has shipped”
  • Abandoned cart notices inviting them to complete their online purchases
  • Information about new products related to past purchases and preferences
  • Notification of app updates and exciting new features
  • Announcements about new stores opening in their areas
  • Cross-promotions to go along with recently browsed items or recent purchases


Leverage Your Loyalty Program
For users who are already loyalty program members, offer loyalty incentives for using your mobile app. In a points-based rewards program, for example, customers could get twice the number of rewards points for making a mobile purchase.


Get Seasonal
If the nature of your business is seasonal, use the season to remind customers to get back to your app. Include your mobile app in your seasonal campaign by using push notifications to send online shopping coupons, or offer incentives for users to invite some of their contacts to download your app or take advantage of a promotional offer.


Ask for Feedback
Don’t just ask for feedback about your app or request that users review your app on Google Play or in the App Store. Ask users to review products they’ve ordered, share opinions about their latest shopping experience or leave feedback about what they want in terms of new products and services.


What Does Engagement Look Like?
As you work to acquire and retain users, ask yourself this key question: what behaviors within your app will signal a solid return on investment? Some metrics may include:

  • Engaging with content for a certain length of time
  • Increasing purchase frequency
  • Increasing average transaction amounts
  • Buying more cross-promotional items
  • Using coupons or incentives
  • Engaging with the app daily, weekly or monthly
  • Renewing membership in your loyalty program


Also, make a note of where your most engaged users obtain your app. If a Promoted Tweet is effectively persuading new users to download your app — and those referred by your Promoted Tweet also increase their purchase frequency — invest more in Twitter as a referral source for app downloads than you’re investing in referral sources that don’t lead to increased engagement.


Ultimately, the number of users that you have doesn’t matter as much as the degree to which app engagement impacts your bottom line. A good mobile app developer does more than design a beautiful app to earn the download. Work with mobile app developers who can incorporate proven strategies to keep customers coming back to your app.


Categories: App Development

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