How a crazy idea increased activation rate by 30%

And took us 10 minutes to develop

Increasing activation rate is hard. You spend hours figuring out how to get users onboard, only to watch how a bunch of them never make it through your welcome screen!

Frustrating, right?

With the following tactic we increased activation rate by 30%. And it worked again for 3 other mobile companies.

We were losing 30% of our users in the registration process for Blink Me, an early Snapchat competitor for Latin America, before we made a simple change.

This was the final result.

There is one simple thing about this image that increased our conversion rate by 30%, and it’s not the email or the Facebook login.

Our Process

1. We already tried what people had told us

Dividing the form in different screens, changing button colours, etc. None of them seemed to have the effect we were expecting. We had to try something else, something original that would get the users attention.

2. The problems we identified

When our numbers did not go up, we talked to our users. After usability testing we learned that the first screen was awful. Not because it was ugly (it kind of was though), but because users didn’t know what they were giving their email for. They did not know our core value proposition.

3. The solution

We added a BIG Button to the first screen that said “Click Me”. If you tapped the button, an image covered your screen and after 3 seconds, it disappeared (special thanks to Jared Kopf for the original idea). In our first interaction with the user, we showed our value proposition: images that disappear. Not only did these users engage enough to go through the signup process, they were actually 43% more likely to stick around! This simple “trick” increased our (user registered)/(user download) ratio from 70% to 91%.

Not bad for a feature it took us 10 minutes to develop!

You can do this too

  1. Get your value proposition in front of users as fast as possible

A user needs a good reason to give you their email. Make your value proposition simple and clear, and make sure they get it quickly. To test this, show your app to someone for around five seconds and then take it away. If they can’t tell you what your value proposition is, your funnel may act like this:

This may be your only chance you have to convert that user, don’t waste it.

2. Show just enough to get them excited and curious.

The first user experience is most probably the most important part of your product. Creating the “aha moment” in the first few seconds of the user interaction will have a huge impact on the success of your app.

Retention depends heavily on how amazing your first experience is. Get this first experience right, and you’re on your way to product/market fit. If you do it wrong, then test, build, iterate, repeat.

That being said, don’t try to cram all your cool amazing stuff into the welcome screen. Just enough to get them to engage. Leave some for later to make them come back. They will discover more great features and invite their friends to join.

Conclusion

Small and simple adjustments in the user experience can cause major changes in your funnel. Communicating your value proposition as fast as possible will have powerful effects on your activation and retention metrics. If you don’t know where to start, talk to your power users. They are the ones with the most valuable information.

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