Today, there are over 6 billion apps across the app stores, with more and more popping up every day. Developers are constantly working to fight through the clutter to acquire new users via paid and organic channels. And in a world of ever-changing user attention, the challenge for developers once they do acquire a new user is figuring out how to keep the user engaged and avoid churn.
The key is aligning with consumers throughout the entire app marketing lifecycle, from acquisition to activation, and from engagement to retention. Here are the best strategies for engaging users every step of the way.
When it comes to activation, keep it simple
Today, the majority of app marketing efforts are focused on acquisition, with developers leveraging app install ads to educate potential users on the app’s benefits and key features. But what do you do once the user has downloaded the app? Our research shows that nearly one in four people abandon mobile apps after just one use. Rather than focusing all of your efforts on user education in the onboarding process, which might make users lose interest, focus on creating a memorable experience that gets users engaged from the get-go. Avoid overly complicated tutorials, reduce the number of steps and reinforce with post-install push notifications within the first week. This will make for a cleaner and simplified new user experience that keeps the user coming back for more.
Optimize for in-app events to boost engagement and lower CPA
Once the user is activated, the next step is ensuring they remain engaged, and that you’re continuing to drive revenue. One of the most effective ways to maintain engagement is to optimize for in-app events, like completing a purchase, finishing a tutorial, inviting friends to play your game, or sharing content. In fact, our data shows that marketers using app event optimization have seen a 78% lower CPA (cost-per-action).
To optimize effectively, you first need to understand how users are interacting with your app, what activity is driving revenue, and where users are dropping off. Take, for example, a shopping app. Tracking purchases within your app will help you identify what kind of users are making purchases, what’s driving them to make these purchases, and what might be causing them to drop off. This insight can inform and help you optimize your app marketing strategy for presenting similar products and features that will continue to drive purchases.
Understanding in-app events can be applied to a variety of app categories – from gaming and shopping apps, to health, fitness and apps focused on daily habits – and it’s a great way to continue driving engagement while lowering your CPA.
Leverage push notifications to avoid churn
So you’ve got your user engaged, now what? At this stage in the app lifecycle, the biggest challenge for developers is avoiding churn. Most apps are deleted by the three-month mark if they’re not being used, and over 15% are cut in under a week, mainly due to boredom. With mobile messaging at an all-time high, push notifications are one of the most effective ways to retain and re-engage users who are at risk of churning. But it’s important to ensure your push notification campaign maps back to your goals. For example, if you’re looking to drive engagement around new features or promotions, scheduling targeted, as-it-happens push notifications is the way to go. If you’re looking to re-engage users, you can set up push notifications to go out following a specific event, or when there’s been a lapse in activity. No matter what your goals are, ensuring your push notification campaigns are informed by data will help you reach the right users at the right time.
Engagement and retention are the biggest factors in helping app developers monetize and boost revenue. These simple tips will ensure your users are staying active within your app throughout the entire lifecycle.