Track, Improve & Repeat — Learning’s from closely listening to the app metrics

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2 out of 10. That might be the number of startups which come out in public to reflect & share the learnings from their endings. I recently stumbled upon one such article — The Rise and Fall of Everest (The App). It was a great learning to understand why an app which has been able to impress a lot of people went down eventually.

To the uninitiated, Everest is a goal setting app. It has been widely acclaimed for the design and for the founder’s capabilities for raising funds from the likes of Peter Thiel just with a pitch deck despite having no technical co-founder and no working prototype of the product.

In the article, the founder of the Everest app retrospects and considers tracking the metrics after 8 months of launch as one of the primary reasons for the failure of the app.

At Styl, we thankfully haven’t made this particular mistake. We focussed on the relevant metrics from early on and also have had few great learnings along the process. We thought we’d let the community know what worked for us by listening to the signals from the data.

First, a little context. Styl is a mobile app (currently live in Bangalore) to let you book salon appointments and pay under 3 minutes. The Styl Feed lets users explore the current style trends.

Styl — Book Salon Appointments

As it is becoming more clearer, getting users to install the app is not anymore the biggest of challenges. Engaging them is. Being their go to app for the need is the primary motive. App engagement goes beyond a great design & great features.

At Styl, we made use of multiple channels to get in touch with the users, engage them, explain the benefits and get them hooked.

A couple of tools which we use at Styl: Clevertap, Mixpanel and in-house developed solutions for push notifications. A big cheer for Clevertap for the features & support.

Here are few things which worked for us

As nearly 22% of the apps which are downloaded aren’t used more than once, we realised it’s highly important on the first day to register the purpose and the ease of using Styl to the users. For everyone who has installed the app, we sent a nice, plain on-boarding mail. After a lot of iterations we realised that sending the mail after 8 hours upon installation gave us better results.

A coupon is provided to the user in the mail along with explaining the benefits of the Styl app. The email works well to remind the user of the app they installed earlier in the day.

Initially, when we started sending out these mails, the call to action was implying the user to book a salon appointment right away. After observing the metrics on the click rate and the conversion rate, we made changes to the call to action & the messaging in the welcome email. The new prompt made users add coupon to their account immediately so that they’d not miss out on the discount when they book.

Here’s our first version of the welcome mail

And here’s the most recent one

The change in the call to action from Book now on Styl to Add Coupon on Styl has resulted in an increase in the click-through rate from 2% to 5.51 % and also doubled our conversion rates.

The idea was to make the user add the coupon into their account so that they could avail it whenever they are booking a salon service. Our stats have shown that the users who add coupon to their account had lesser tendency to uninstall the app.

Pushing at the right time.

Based on our research, we figured that the time between which men & women visits salons is 23 days. For every user who has booked a service through Styl, we send a nice reminder as a push notification to book their next service. The CTR for this particular push notification is over 34% and we actually see 46% of people who come back and book a service again.

Nudging the user to rate the app at the right time (i.e after the booking) has also given us good results. An in-app notification asking to rate or review the app was pushed to every user who has booked a service through us.

It looks like this.

In-app notification for app ratings & reviews

In this notification, we don’t ask the user to rate us 5 stars but subtly put the idea to rate 5 stars with the text and the 5 star image. Though, we are still experimenting with this in-app notification to improve the numbers, the initial conversion rate is at 5%.

Life after uninstall

As said earlier, getting an user to install is only a part of the job done. The uninstall rates are turning out to be a major worry for the app companies. At Styl we have kept these uninstall rates below 38%. Apart from that, we wanted to keep the user who has uninstalled also engaged via other medium.

We send the below email to the user after they uninstalled the app.

Styl App Uninstall Mail

The stats for the uninstall mail were highly encouraging. The open rate is at a staggering 81% (A good amount of credit to our subject line “Srikanth, 2 things I’d like to tell you) and the best part is that the users respond to our mail with specific reasons. And even give us an assurance that they’d use Styl whenever they want to book their next salon appointment. All the feedback from these mails in turn had been channelled to our tech team and the sales team who act on priority. There were also a good amount of praises for the content in the mail from the users.

Styl App User Feedback

In addition to the above practices, we are pleasantly surprised to see how a small change in the product and the funnels are highly impacting our conversion rates.

We are continually focussing on the metrics and what they imply to better our product. A recent experiment based on Nir Eyal’s Hooked is already looking good in terms of stickiness & referral and engagement. More on that in a separate blogpost.

Till then, let’s move forward by learning from each other!