Given the constantly increasing supply of various mobile apps, it gets extremely hard for app marketers to acquire new users, let alone retain the active ones and prevent them from getting churned. Recent statistics show that as of 2019, 25% of apps downloaded around the world are only ever used once. According to sources over 50% of user churn happens during the first month.
More and more mobile users expect that they will immediately be provided with everything they need, otherwise they will rush to exit or even uninstall the application. That’s why it’s important for an app to grab users’ attention from the very beginning and become a part and parcel of their break time. In other words, the goal is to boost users’ engagement and earn their loyalty.
But how do you achieve it? Well, you can take many actions, but the most important thing is to come up with a consistent app marketing plan which will focus on engagement throughout the entire user journey. Otherwise, you should expect low conversion rates and customer retention.
In this article I will share the most efficient ways that will help you succeed in engaging your app users.
To achieve better user engagement, you can introduce social features like in-app communities, which works perfectly for the apps from different industries. People are social creatures, and being able to communicate with their friends, share some tips or simply let them know about their achievements creates a stronger bonding with the app. Here are some social engagement strategies that can help you make a community out of your app:
- Create a communication opportunity. You can do this by introducing activity feeds or/and in-app chats. Activity feeds make it possible for the users to share their in-app experience and view the progress of the others. Moreover, feeds can serve as a customer support channel where community manager can interact with the users solving their issues or providing them with important updates and news.
PocApps’s mobile game Castle Cats was looking to stand out among competitors and was also struggling to retain its users for a longer period of time. Integrating an activity feed helped them distinguish themselves as well as resulted in increasing their Day1 retention rate at 90%.
A built-in chat is another way to bring your user experience to a higher level. This way your users can share their scores with their friends or meet new people. In-app chats are also convenient for communication without having to switch to another chat app. For example, a mobile game Clash of Clans offers their players an opportunity to communicate via Global chat and Clan chat, which are just one click away from each other.
- Gamify your app. Gamification refers to borrowing the best practices from the gaming industry (game mechanics) to engage and retain users. It can be viewed as an upgrade of your in-app community. Gamification is an attempt of the world to change, adapt to new generations and their new way of life as well as to compete, be interesting and efficient. Let’s see how gamification can be used to improve the user engagement through the example of Duolingo. The app uses the following gamification elements:
– Badges awarded for language learning achievements.
– Competitiveness – users can vote on the best translation provided by other users.
– Lingots – in-app currency that the user earns for completing various activities.– Social interaction – users can collaborate with friends invited via Facebook.
To ensure your users have the best community experience inside your app, you can also use special incentives (motivating a user to perform certain actions by offering them a reward) or create guilds (communities of users created on a basis of having something in common, e.g. playing style, interests, etc.).
Don’t Neglect Your Onboarding Process
If it’s clear how to use your app from the very beginning, you can be sure that you’ll retain the users for quite a long time. All you have to do is integrate a quick and simple onboarding sequence in your app’s user interface.
According to Samuel Hulick, a UX consultant and user onboarding expert, you can use the following onboarding strategies to keep users engaged:
- List the most relevant tasks for users that they can solve with your application. Every user downloads an app in hopes it will satisfy some of their needs. Be it a productivity tool like Todoist or a physical activity tracker like FitBit. So it’s crucial that you explain what user’s goal your app can help with during the onboarding process.
- Create a simple and convenient interface that will turn these tasks into a clear and logical process. No one wants to waste their time getting a gist of how everything works. Make sure your users don’t struggle while using your app.
- Count all the moves ahead. The best thing is to embed tips that will guide the user through each step, starting from the very launch of the application.
- Think about user time. Users tend to open mobile apps often, but for a short time. Consider this during the design to increase the time users spend inside your app.
- Make applications on different platforms the same type so that users do not have to learn from scratch on different systems.
One example of an app with a good onboarding process is LinkedIn. After you log in with LinkedIn’s mobile app, you go through a 4-stage onboarding process that consists of entering your personal details, confirming your email address, following the LinkedIn groups, and suggesting people that you may know and/or can add to your professional network.
Leverage In-App Messaging
Communication plays a critical role in customer relationships. Your users already receive welcome messages, letters of gratitude, and product updates from you. But you can go a step further and make this communication more personal with push notifications.
These notifications are triggered based on the behavior of your users and automatically provide them with a personalized experience. If a new user doesn’t show any sign of activity after downloading your app or performing certain actions, you can set up a push notification that will prompt them to come back to the app. For example, TripAdvisor nailed the personalized push notifications by sending users the messages based on the places they were viewing.
It’s hard to see users go, but this process is reversible thanks to the user engagement techniques that we went through. Building in social engagement features and introducing gamification, simple and clear onboarding and creative in-app messaging will help you better engage the existing users and re-engage the churning ones. Make your app as exciting as your imagination allows you to!
What you should do next?
- Learn how to diagnose and reduce churn for your mobile app using analytics.
- Get to know 4 powerful strategies to reduce customer churn.
- Check user retention for your app using Cohort Analysis for free now.
- Watch videos, or listen to our podcasts, for more such information.