6 App Retention and User Engagement Strategies for 2021
User retention on a mobile app is one of the most overwhelming tasks that need some undivided attention. There is no point to develop an app if people are not going to use it. The method of holding the users on the app is termed as app retention and with the help of this article we are going to help you understand different ways to do so. According to research, more than 40% app users refrain from using the app after using it for a month and it is only about 10% or so after using it for more than six months. After six months to a year, only less than 5% people would still be using the app.
The numbers speak for themselves as it seems like brands are not thinking about retaining customers attained after spending thousands of dollars on developing and marketing apps. Companies are seen spending a lot of money on developing apps but we don’t see as many app retention strategies that could help them achieve better ROI. Let us see the top app retention and user engagement strategies which can help you keep users engaged and retain them for longer. First, let us try to understand mobile app engagement.
What is Mobile App Engagement?
Mobile app engagement means how users engage with your mobile app. It is extremely crucial to measure this metric as it provides you a benchmark to term it as a success or a failure. It is easy to determine mobile engagement with the help of below metrics:
Total Downloads – It is not a rocket science, the more total downloads you have, the better it is to retain users.
Active App Users – This includes the list of people that use your app on a regular basis. It is a useful metric for user retention.
Session Interval – It is the time between two successive sessions of your app. This metric shows how often the user opens and uses the app.
Session Length – This metric measures the total time spent by a user on your app in one session.
Lifetime Revenue – It is the total revenue earned from a user before they completely stop using the app. Best to measure this metric using a monthly average of their ad revenue or purchase value per user.
You can get a clear picture of your ROI by measuring user engagement. It is also possible to develop a stronger bond with your user. Moreover, it is ideal to measure these metrics so you can be rest assured that your app is working alongside your business goals. Keeping this in mind, let us see how to increase app retention.
The ideal approach for gauging your app retention is to apply cohort analysis. It is typically performed to group multiple users based on their behaviour in a particular time. The main point is to distinguish between various reasons why users get bored of your app. Based on the findings, you can take specific measures to retain these different groups.
Your cohort analysis can consider any data that you want. For example, you can consider heatmaps to see the touch gestures of your users while they are in your app. By doing this, you get a fair idea of the multiple obstructions that users might face in your app. Additionally, you can also create visual recordings to let you know how users are using your app at any point of time.
Onboarding is the process where users will get the first taste of your app. Any app user looks for an effortless experience when they try to launch the app for the first time. It can be categorized into three main segments:
Benefit-oriented onboarding shows the value that can be gained by the user by using a particular app. It is best to write clear and concise reasons as to what the app can do for the user.
Function-oriented onboarding can be used if there are multiple features on your app.
Progressive onboarding means mobile app users get used to the features in a definite sequence.
The main idea about user onboarding is to understand the user psychology. If you are able to give the users that feeling of success by using your mobile app then they will surely come back for more. You must also understand that users are lazy and hence you will have to make it easier for users to get the most out of your app without making much effort.
Customised User Experience
One solid way to improve app retention is to customise the mobile app experience for the users. By customizing the user experience, you can stand out amidst tough competition and improve user engagement. This helps in building a loyal customer base. It is important to know about your users to offer better customisation within your app. It is possible to create customised experiences by both static and dynamic factors.
Static customisation is based on factors that don’t change. For instance, using the name of your user in a push notification.
Dynamic customisation is dependent on user behaviour like the user’s purchase history.
It is best to determine the data you will use to track customisation as you don’t want to use data that is too sensitive for the user. One more example is to work on cart abandonment emails and bespoke recommendations.
Use of Gamification
A recent study suggests that the average mobile game retains more than 35% of its users after the first week. We did a detailed analysis of this in our previous blog post titled “ Ways in which gamification can help you increase user engagement” This is much better than any other type of mobile app. You don’t need to have a successful game like “Asphalt”, even common mobile apps can include game-like features to induce the fun element in the app. This is also known as mobile gamification. Mobile gamification offers a rewarding experience to the users which was absent in earlier mobile apps.
Push notifications are short messages that pop up on a user’s device. It helps in providing relevant information to the users if you feel they are not active on the app. Generally, users are asked during the “sign-up” process whether they would like to receive these notifications. Sometimes, it can also be used to promote new products or services or simply offering a discount. This leads to relevant user retention on the app, and you don’t really need inactive users who never use your app.
To send push notifications, you must choose the right time to send notifications, send bespoke notifications and try not to overdo it by sending too many notifications in a day. These notifications can also build trust and help you build a loyal customer base, which is the need of the hour.
Reward Engaged Users
Providing rewards to engaged customers is a good way to establish trust and increase loyal followers. It will always work in your favour because loyal customers end up recommending your app to their friends and family. Most users have trust in recommendations rather than following conventional advertisement. Obviously, your rewards structure will depend on the nature of your app. The most commonly used reward is a referral system where both the user and their referral receive some kind of discount or a free coupon code. This will force non-users to be a part of this elite group and end up subscribing to your app or use it on a regular basis.
In this blog post, we have seen the significance of user engagement and app retention for the progress of your app. In that process, we have looked at six methods to improve user retention. We hope this was a learning experience for you and you will benefit from using this knowledge to increase your user engagement and retention. Developing a successful mobile app is not the end, in fact, it is just the beginning and you need to constantly work on improving these metrics. Let us know in the comments below if we have missed any strategy which you feel should be included in this article. Have a successful app journey.
Dhruvil is a Writer & Marketeer for Nimblechapps, joining December 2014, based out of Sydney, Australia. He has worked briefly as a Branding and Digital Marketing Manager before moving to Australia. At Nimblechapps, he worked on Social Media Marketing, Branding, Email Marketing and Blogging. Dhruvil studies Business at University of Western Sydney, and also handles Operations for the company in Australia.