Getting people to download your app can be easy but getting them to use it continuously can be a challenge. Consumers have access to millions of apps on the app store and usually tend to switch between apps. User retention can be different for different app categories. For example, comic apps retention rate after 30 days of install was 9.3%, whereas news apps rate was 13.3% (Statista).
You need the right strategies to help retain users who will consistently engage with your app. In this article we will discuss useful strategies that can improve your app retention rate.
What is Retention Rate?
Retention rate is the percentage of users continuing to use your app after a certain period. It is commonly measured after Day 1, Day 7, and Day 30 of the download. The longer a user is retained the more they will increase your revenue. A low retention rate indicates some issue with your app, especially if users are leaving on Day 1.
Let’s discuss some ways to improve app retention rate.
Mobile App Retention Strategies
Track data in the early stages
A good place to start is by analyzing data. You need to start tracking your user data in the early stages when they initially download your app. Look at how your users interact and engage with your app. If they stopped using it after Day 1, then what could be the reasons. Maybe your onboarding process had some issues or there were too many pop-ups that interrupted their experience.
Finding out these reasons can show you where your app needs improvements. Examining user’s sessions is a great way to see how they used your app. Track your user behavior on your app so that you can gain valuable insights that can help you further optimize your app.
Do a soft launch
Doing a soft launch for your app is a great way to test the water. In the soft launch you can use A/B testing that can help you analyze various aspects of your app and how they resonate with your target users. With this testing you gain insights on the preferences of your audience which you can then use to optimize your app.
A soft launch means your app is released in a smaller region which can allow you to gather insights from the target users. Look into what your users feel about your app and then make the required improvements.
Make the onboarding process easy
Onboarding process is important as it is the first impression your users have about your app. It is the process to get your users familiar with your app and its features. Hence, onboarding should be simple, precise, and seamless. This is how the users will experience your app and that experience should be pleasant.
There are three types of onboarding processes:
Benefit-oriented onboarding - this highlights the benefits the users will gain when they use your app. You can show users the value they will gain by using your app.
Function-oriented onboarding – this can be used when your app has many features. You can show your users how to use different features that will make the app more accessible for them.
Progressive onboarding – this onboarding process shows users the features in a sequence if the app functionality is complex.
The important thing to keep in mind is to create an onboarding process that gives a great user experience. For example, if you have too many screens introducing the app or features the users may lose patients and exit the app. Highlight core features with less words. Users are less likely to interact with screens that are too wordy.
Ensure that you use visual elements like images or animations that make the process more fun and appealing. Use CTAs like asking users to enable push notifications or signing up. This is a great way to encourage them to keep using your app.
Personalization is key when it comes to retaining your users. Consumers appreciate a highly personalized experience when they use your app. Personalization can be using the user’s name to address them, making relevant suggestions, giving offers they need, keeping user preferences in mind. As discussed above A/B testing can be a great way to know the preferences of your users and create a great user experience.
Look at your user journey to know what your users need. This can help you personalize their user experience to all the stages they go through.
Send push notifications
Push notifications are messages that you can send which pop on the user’s screen. These types of messages are more likely to be opened by the users than other forms of communication like emails. Push notification is a great strategy to retain your users as this may encourage them to keep using your app.
These messages can include any offers, updates on new features, or other information that can be valuable for them. You can also them updates about any progress they made using your app. This encourages users to keep using your app which improves retention rate. One important thing to remember is to use these notifications moderately and refrain from bombarding your users with messages. This can irritate the users and they may turn these notifications off. Use them strategically and at the right time.
Here is a guide to help you with your push notification strategy.
Like push notifications, in-app messages can also be used to connect with your users. This is another strategy that has proven effective to increase retention rate. Keep in mind that if you are leveraging push notifications as well, you need to use both strategically. Refrain from sending the same messages or offers in push notifications and in-app messages. Receiving the same messages over and over can irritate the users and creates a poor user experience.
Ensure that in-app messages are relevant to your users. You can also segment your audience to share highly-personalized messages that resonate with them.
Many businesses leverage email marketing as their retention strategy. Email is another great way to communicate with your users and direct their attention toward your app. You can build your email list and send users information about various offers, promotions, or updates. Shopping apps can use emails to remind users about the items in their cart which they have not purchased yet. This can encourage users to go back and complete their purchase.
In addition, many users prefer receiving emails from businesses over other forms of communication. When you plan your email strategy, ensure that you offer something that is valuable to your users. This encourages them to open your emails and complete the action that you want them to. Email marketing is a great strategy that helps you improve retention rate.
Gamification is when you add game-like features to an ordinary app. These game-like features make the interaction even more fun and engaging. Many times apps add points that users can accumulate by taking a certain action and then gain some rewards. When users gain something from using your app, they are more likely to stick around. Elements like reward, badges, progress displays, or virtual goods encourage the users to keep using the app. It shows them that they are completing or fulfilling their goals.
This makes the user’s experience more valuable with your app. Adding a social share button is a great way to get these users to share their progress with their peers. Other people would also be curious and download your app.
User retention and engagement are important factors contributing to the success of your app. If you don’t have your retention strategies in place, then definitely start investing in it. Use the strategies discussed above to help optimize your mobile app and improve your retention rate. Ensure that you focus on creating a relevant user experience that will encourage users to keep engaging with your app. Your users should be the focus when you are planning to improve your retention rate.
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