Leaking Buckets Don’t Need More Water… They Need Their Holes Fixed!
The more we get to know the world of mobile apps the more we begin to value the complexity and sheer perfection that can be awarded to the globes best mobile applications. And the best apps in the world get used everyday.
Some statistics to get you acquainted;
The average app loses 77% of its DAU’s (Daily Average Users) within the first 3 days of installation, 90% within 30 days and 95% within 90 days, and so elaborate (And expensive) marketing strategies, monetisation strategies and other efforts seem futile given no one wants to use your application. Marketing does help, if no one is downloading your app then there are no customers to loose, but if 95% drop off then your application and dreams of multimillion-dollar investments pass faster than a British Summer. Apps that are truly successful have greater depth and a stronger retention rate than the rest of the pack.
So how do we retain users, get them coming back, improve LTV, reduce churn? The first question any app developer or entrepreneur should be asking, and if you’re not, stop now – Or keep reading!
Part 1 outlined some critical mobile monetisation strategies used globally; Part 2 seeks to provide some basic insight into techniques used to retain users in one of the most competitive global markets. Let’s get to it!
1. Build A Quality App
It goes without saying, many developers build below standard applications that are slow, complicated to navigate and include so many features you’re still trying to figure out why you’re using it. All this to test the proof of concept only to realize the concept doesn’t work because no one wants to return to a shoddy experience. Quality is key in retaining users, so focus on simplicity, speed and a naturally beautiful experience for the user that is intuitive to navigate.
2. Display Immediate value
Users have downloaded your app because of a perceived value you promised them and so instantaneous delivery or realization of this value will significantly improve the chances of gaining their loyalty. A large user drop-off is also awarded to complexity and lack of intuitive navigation within application, therefore a basic walk through of functionality upon sign-up can be the solution to many retention issues.
3. Seamless Sign-up
Employ the path of least resistance for users when signing-up. Signing-up with Facebook, Google or email auto-fill can get users in and using your app in 14 seconds, as opposed to a plethora of personal details which are likely to leave a bad taste in any new users mouth. Try to incorporate a sign-up so quick that users remain completely focused on what your app has to offer, you can gather important details later.
4. Strategic Notifications
Use them, but use them wisely. When used correctly, notifications can be one of the most valuable tools in the shed. A study by Urban AirShip found an 80% higher retention rate for users receiving push notifications in the first month after download. Successful applications allow users the option of receiving notifications then use analytics to understand various customer segments, user behaviour and preferences to tailor unique notifications based on tangible results. Applying the appropriate frequency and an element of personalization to your notifications is often a determining factor in retaining users.
5. Use Game Techniques
Game psychology is engrained in the very nature of the human mind. Rewards and benefits embedded within the application, tangible or not, still carry an added weight of addiction for users and can help build brand and consumer loyalty. Rewarding or incentivising users after a period of inactivity can be all that is needed to encourage their return.
6. Build A Loyal Community
People who belong to something stay longer than people that subscribe to something. Twitter included a mandatory follower on-boarding when signing up because they were aware of the user retention psychology behind this strategy. Whether users are interacting within the app, incentivised to share on social platforms or talk about it over a beer, either way a community is being built and users are returning.
7. Relevant Content
Not providing relevant content alienates your user base and reduces both engagement and retention of users. Amazon and Netflix have invested astonishing amounts of resources to ensure the home page is tailored to each specific user and have benefited royally from this approach. Try to avoid content stagnation and ensure your application is relevant, understands (and listens to) its customer’s preferences and tends to their needs.
There are many moving parts to a successful application, but noting more important that a steady growth of regular users. So whether it’s your latest app idea or creating a new mobile wing for your company, be sure to understand the importance of forethought in employing watertight user retention and monetisation strategies, without this you are just another statistic.