So How Do You Increase Mobile App Retention?

Even if you have broken the ice and finally got your mobile app approved by the App Store, your first thousand downloads are just the beginning. The competition in the world of mobile apps is crazy — just think about the number of apps you open daily. I bet just a few of them have won your heart, and the rest remain there just because you have no time to delete them.

What your app users actually want is the inspiration to open your branded app every day, regardless of whether this is the first, second or twenty-third time they’ve used it. Retaining your customers via mobile is your way finally to monetize a loyal audience and to foster a long-term relationship with your brand. Finding out what actually pushes your customers to use your app will quite often show you the ineffective elements or chapters, and allow you to add more value to the really efficient ones. So how do you measure this thing — mobile app retention?

1) Analytics. By creating specific events in Flurry, Google Analytics or other tools, you can track the behavior patterns of your users inside your app, just like on your website. The data that consumers leave after each interaction will also give deep insights into what happens in your app when they launch it — for instance, the entry and exit pages.

You can use the well-known RFM analysis (recency, frequency and monetization) to classify your customers into groups. Your app analytics should answer the following questions: When did the customer last use the app? How often does the customer use the app? How much money was spent or how many products were bought?

Image courtesy of AppTweak

Various services offer amazing possibilities for tracking the app experience. By analyzing this data, you could become the leader in your industry in a matter of months. For example, visual app analytics such asAppsee give you a video of real user sessions for successive modifications of your app content, UX or UI at any point. For instance, if users keep clicking on an attractive image, you might want to add a real button action there. Touch heat maps work in a similar way.

2) Feedback. Consumer engagement is a viral phrase but there is certain specificity in this concept for mobile app marketing. Every app should have some kind of feedback form that is accessible and easy to use. Customers who are empowered to share their vision and experience of a product feel more attached to it because of this small but important investment.

3) Customer research. Once you’ve built a more or less stable and loyal audience, you can dig deeper into their reaction to any new features or functions that you add to your mobile app. Customers who feel directly involved in product generation will definitely stick around longer. It can be very helpful to calculate the life-time value of each customer depending on the specificities of your products or services (whether you sell them through the app or just use the app to inform customers about them). You can add free features for premium app users, offer unique content, or try many other creative ways, including those connected with social media CTAs. You are limited only by your imagination.

4) Customization. The most important feature of the mobile experience is that it is extremely personal. And marketers need to make a few changes to their traditional old-school Internet tactics. Spamming a huge mailing list of clients with text messages and emails and intrusive advertising are not useful on mobile phones. Instead, based on the in-app actions of your users, you can build smart communication forms to gather feedback and send personalized follow-ups. Remember that people download mobile apps because it’s not desktop — the amount of information should be significantly different to what is shown on your web pages. Make the experience as personal as possible by showing only those things that a customer needs or wants to see.

5) Inbound marketing techniques. You can drive inspiration for mobile engagement from your own marketing experience. Being social, telling your own story and giving your clients tools to share stories about your brand more actively are great to include in your strategy. You need to be engaging but not to overwhelm your customers with excessive information they don’t really care about. The app’s onboarding experience should be exquisite. It’s extremely important to show value before you actually get customers to sign up.

Coupons are another great way to engage customers, along with promotion push notifications — the schedule will mostly depend on your RFM analysis that I mentioned earlier.

What are your thoughts on increasing mobile app retention? How would you solve this problem? Let me know