How to Engage and Retain App Users? Part 1: Engagement

In the leading app stores, there are over 5 billion apps available for download. The irony is that no smartphone in the world can tackle at least a quarter of the mentioned number of apps. For a startup, it means a cut-throat competition for customer attention. Statistics in overall app usage is also quite impressive:

  • 90% of time on mobile devices is spent on apps, which leaves little space for mobile websites;
  • 800 apps are downloaded each second from the Apple App store;
  • An average Android app loses 77% of its daily active users within the first three days after the installation, and 90% within the first 30 days;
  • 22% of installed apps are never used more than once.

So, what are the chances for startups? With the help of mobile app advertising, marketing, and other user acquisition strategies, newcomers on the digital market have all chances for a great business. While acquisition tactics are crucial early on, an engagement strategy is what makes a positive impact on your business in the long run.

Top world marketers are likely to tell you that to earn more you need to invest more in post-download engagement. So, once you have some early followers, use engagement tactics into your app marketing to make them loyal. Engaged users are profitable users. According to Forbes, it is five times cheaper to retain existing users than acquire new ones. The more efforts you invest, the more revenue you will be able to get.

It inevitably comes to mobile app marketing when talking about user engagement. The following tips and tricks should help you to understand how to make the bright future of your app happen.

Mapping customer journey

Studying app engagement starts with understanding your customer lifecycle, that is a cycle of customer’s moving from state A to state B by completing a set of predefined actions that boost sales and growth.

Tip 1. Understanding your customer lifecycle is crucial for building trustful relations with your clients.

On app market, customer lifecycle isn’t a straight line, and it isn’t about a single purchase. Users can be active for some time, make a purchase and then disappear into thin air unless you get them back with an attractive offer. There is no linear dependency between all user actions.

The following four stages of user engagement with an app are the basis for building the user lifecycle:

  • Loyal users — strongly engage with your app and support your monetization campaigns;
  • Active users — engage with your app on a regular basis;
  • Lapsing users — become less active and less interested in your app;
  • Inactive users — show no visits, no actions, and no response.

There are other numerous methods on the Internet, and you can even develop your own to fit your business goals perfectly. The primary purpose is to understand when it is the right time to engage or re-engage users to maximize the results of your marketing efforts.

Tip 2. Don’t treat your customers like they are either moving down the marketing funnel or falling out of it. If you do, you miss countless opportunities to retain and re-engage your users.

Stand out from the crowd

Imagine that you are in the airport standing in the crowd of people who meet air travelers to help them get to the city. The biggest vendors take up the best positions in the forefront and take the first people. Fierce competition makes it hard to get to the first rows. When you enter the market, the situation is pretty the same. It is quite challenging to surprise app users by something as they are usually well experienced and picky.

It is a well-known fact that the first impression about your app makes the greatest impact on the further user loyalty to your brand. Therefore, make sure that that your app is well prepared to make the right first impression on the first date with your users:

  • Provide flawless app performance;
  • Create the best user experience possible;
  • Ensure app safety and secureness;
  • Provide full control of app settings;
  • Keep your app updated and bug-free.

Tip 3. Make speed a top-priority feature and create the fascinating experience for better mobile app user engagement.

Ticked all the boxes? You are moving in the right direction! Now it is time to make your app even more engaging.

Catch hold of your customers

Imagine that you are still standing in the airport. You should attract the attention of your potential customers and show that you are the best within the next 10 seconds. What would your do? Speaking of apps, the first 10 seconds make the strongest impact on the customer decision or a loyal customer.user to stay with you or go away. Depending on your actions, you can acquire a one-time

If your target is a loyal customer, the first thing you need to do is to ensure the error-free initial app experience. Even if you spend a lot of money and efforts on building an app with a mobile app development company, all your work can stay unnoticed if the first thing users see is an error. They can also abandon the app right away if app loads for too long.

Tip 4. Continuously monitor your app performance with the help of analytics tools to ensure that the first seconds of app loading and operation are smooth.

Here are some effective mobile marketing techniques for seizing attention and engaging app users during the first moments of their interaction with an app.

  1. Make registration easier than ever before. Sign-up is probably the first screen a user sees in your app. Do you want to keep them away from the heart of your app with long forms?
  2. Launch an easy and engaging onboarding process for new users. Onboarding must and contain a clear explanation of key app features in a few clicks. Motivate your users to get started with your app right away. Here’s how we did it for LaneSpotter and McDonald`s.
  3. Make sharing to social media easy. People love to be social. It concerns not only content-based apps but pretty all of them. Let people share interesting information from your app to most popular social media.
  4. Make app notifications optional. Push notifications are widely used for retention, but they can sometimes get annoying like in-app advertising. Give your customers full control over this feature. Earn the trust of your audience so that they will not want to miss another notification from your app.
  5. Provide rewards for sharing personal data and completing their profile. Give your users rewards or extra benefits for completing their profiles. It costs you nothing but allows building a detailed portrait of your end customers for further segmentation, creation of target campaigns and planning app engagement ads.
  6. Offer personal recommendations on the app to save the time of your customers. If you properly use the data you possess, you know what your customers have been recently looking for. Use it for your good and let your customers know that you care for their time by offering custom-tailored recommendations.

Tip 5. Be empathic and communicate with your audience. Let them easily reach you and get assistance and respond to their requests immediately. If users find help elsewhere, they might as well stay there.

In the extended version of the article on our blog, we will explain some mobile app engagement strategies that marketers apply today to convert newly acquired users to loyal customers.