Charting out an effective user acquisition strategy for your mobile application like paid ads or influencer marketing is a no-brainer. While this may be hailed as an achievement at initial stages where the main goal is to fuel your app’s growth, it surely can’t survive the rough competition long in this market if a proper retention plan is not put in place. Such initiatives to keep your users active on your application regularly and uninterrupted pays off well in terms of keeping up with this highly competitive market.
Hence, user engagement and retention rates can be the deciding strategies for the success of a mobile application.
Should User Retention Rate Worry You?
Yes, it should.
Your retention rate capacity is one prime factor that shall determine your market profit i.e. how much you can earn from existing users without adding a single extra dollar to acquire new ones! In the long run, an unhealthy retention rate will keep adding stress on your marketing budget making you lose out in the race.
The report down here shall paint a clearer picture of my proposition.
The research report by BusinessofApps, the average cost per install rate in 2018 was ~$3, however, if we look at the cost per in-app purchase and cost per subscription, it was as high as ~ $70 & ~ $150 respectively. Does this justify my statement above?
Indeed, acquisition strategies cannot suffice to convert into monetary opportunities unless backed up by intense retention methods.
To re-emphasize, I’m not advocating being frugal on your spendings on user acquisition channels. But, on the same lines, I’m convinced that your focus on user retention must be far greater than user acquisition to have the best return of interest (ROI). Let’s move on to the article & see how to prevent your app from being uninstalled.
Reducing App Uninstalls – How Can I Improve My User Retention Rate?
Pay attention to drop off points
There may be a variety of reasons why users are abandoning your app; it is useful to identify exactly where you’re missing out & losing customers. Using app analytics can help you discover these drop off points to deduce what is wrong with your app & how you can improve it to reduce such uninstalls. You can leverage a combination of in-app events tracking & clever analytics to collect insightful data, but make sure you keep in mind that every user is different.
Making Onboarding Easy Boosts Retention Rate
More complex your onboarding process is, the higher the chances of a user abandoning your app. In order to reduce the uninstall rates of your mobile application, you must offer a smooth onboarding experience to new users.
Designing a user-friendly signup procedure removes multiple heckles that a fresh user might encounter, hence impressive the user at first go itself!
According to ProfitWell’s research, users who experience a positive onboarding experience are 12% to 20% more likely to pay for an IAP (In-app purchase) & when onboarding experience is negative, there is a 3%-9% drop in purchasers. So, in addition to improving your retention rate, refining the experience is sure to add you some brownie points!
A positive onboarding experience shall not only reduce uninstalling rates but also convert your new users into loyal customers. Let’s crack some techniques to do this!
Here are a few tips to improve the Onboarding experience
Start with Easytone
Guiding users on how to use your app may be required but you should not put the information/path overloaded at the initial point. Keep the onboarding process very simple, smooth, and to the point.
Eliminate any additional login/sign-up process
Ask me and I will say that I really hate the login/signup process. From my experience, I can say that this audacious process can significantly hamper our retention strategies. Avoid this prompt wherever it’s unnecessary.
To make this process smoother, one can always experiment on integrating different options such as social media, email or phone number login to analyze which one works the best. Many high-end apps are providing a one-touch login process for better user acceptability.
Swift opt-out feature at any step:
At the onboarding stage, make sure to give your customer an option to opt-out anytime, be it any path (viz. sign up, demo, tutorial, etc.)
Indicate progress at each step
A smart move to make the onboarding process compelling is to show the user how far they have reached and what steps are left. Highlighting this progress indicator will make the journey smooth and ensure that the user sticks to the onboarding process and does not bounce back.
The issue of losing users at the onboarding step itself can be hence dealt without a penalty.
Improve Functionality & Performance – App Updates
With the growth of the vast mobile app ecosystem, we have plenty of options to choose from. Generally, a loading time of more than 3-4 seconds may make your app seem junky & the customer may consider an alternative application.
While an impeccable UI, functionality & performance, free from bugs and issues are good to ensure user acceptability; it’s always recommended to keep your app updated every few days (the top 100 free apps on Google Play Store gives an update within a week or two).
This way the apps can be tailored towards changing technology trends and customer needs, enhancing user experience again.
Pushing Notifications: The Smart Way
Though push-based notifications are a great way to keep users engaged, it may also turn out to be the major reason for a user uninstalling your app. Despite being a great way to keep a user engaged, apprising your user incessantly can really piss them off resulting in the drop-off from your app. It is very important to design how and when to use this feature.
Push notifications are certainly meant to provide value to your users, such as keeping them updated with new features, products, sales, offers, incomplete transactions, and a lot more. But not having the know-how to use this option can be regressive for your product. Here are some tips to send push notifications the right way to increase user retention rate–
Send personalized notifications
When you have all the information regarding the user’s in-app behavior, frequency of use, then why not utilize it the best way? Customizing the notification can make the feature seem relevant to the user, who would be more interested in actually opening and using it. Understanding this data will help you fetch a fair idea about your users & how you may provide value to them.
Strategize your Timings
Push notifications at improper timings can put the user to inconvenience. This may extend to the condition that he/she might actually get irritated and in turn, may uninstall the app. Here it is critical to understand when to send these notifications. Taking account of the type of your application, message type and more importantly your target audience will prove to be the game-changer in this trade-off to make your user download any update or purchase a new feature.
Don’t forget to do the A/B test
When it comes to notifying users, any blind assumption of which type of messages may work best may be catastrophic. This can be annoying & make a user drop off your application.
It is important to run A/B tests with different versions of push notifications to filter out the ones getting a very low response. A good practice is to do an A/B test starting with a small number of randomly selected users and analyzing the engagement insights. This will help you in tailoring the right type of push notifications in accordance with your application, which you can start sending to the rest of the clients. You can run A/B test experiments based on the following parameters –
- Personalizing notifications
- Test with wordings (short sentences, long sentences, etc)
- Adding Emojis/Gifs/Images
Offer Loyalty Programs
With the mobile app ecosystem flourishing, there are new applications being launched every day, increasing the number of similar-looking & identical apps in the marketplace. In such a scenario, an alternative to your mobile app is just a click away. Loyalty programs play a huge part to differentiate your mobile application from the competition and give users a reason to retain your app.
Loyalty program is a system of structured rewards & offers being offered to existing customers when they shop with you again & again. It gives them a strong reason to return to your platform & establish a habit of buying from you.
Offering loyalty campaigns increases brand recognition, makes your product exciting among users & gives them a reason to come back. If your business model allows running loyalty based campaigns, then you should not miss this opportunity. You can offer loyalty programs in many ways, some include giving advanced access to new products, additional discounts & free shipping, etc.,
You will not only benefit from this in terms of increased retention rates, but it will also help in your app marketing efforts by acquiring new customers via word of mouth & referrals.
Quite often the app owners campaign fiercely on their success of attaining the highest number of downloads in a given time as a part of their confidence-building measure among the customers. Such numbers continue to rise exponentially for a certain period, but the thing that it does not reflect on your balance sheet dries out the marketing resources, resulting in the app’s failure ultimately.
These tips will not only help you improve the retention rate but also help you increase your user base further. So, get back to your dashboard and chalk out plans to implement these tactics effectively and watch your users grow.