Attracting new people to download your mobile app can be tedious but so is keeping the users engaged. User retention is crucial for every mobile app. After all, there is no point in having a mobile app that no one uses. And that is where user retention comes in place. When someone uses your iOS and Android app for a long time it is called user retention.
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User retention can improve your ROI (Return on investment). Do you know, as per Bain & Co, you can increase your profitability by 75% with just a 5% increase in customer retention?
In this article, let’s discuss app retention strategies but before that let’s learn about app engagement.
1. What Is Mobile App Engagement?
2. Mobile App Retention Strategies You Can Use in 2021
a. Track data from the start
b. Optimize your mobile app’s onboarding flow
c. Personalize user experiences
d. Use gamification to increase engagement
e. Implement push notifications
f. Use in-app messages
g. Offer perks to engaged users
h. Continually develop and optimize
3. Increasing App Engagement and User Retention: In a Nutshell
What Is Mobile App Engagement?
The way in which a user interacts with your mobile app is called mobile app engagement. Knowing the interaction of users on your mobile app will help you define the success of your iOS and Android mobile app.
Some of the metrics you must take care of include:
-> The number of downloads: More number of downloads means a better chance of user retention. As it is possible to retain only the people who have our mobile app.
-> Active mobile app users: The number of people that use your mobile app regularly is known as active mobile app users. This is an essential metric to look out for, for user retention.
-> Session interval: Time taken between two consecutive sessions is called session interval. This shows how often people operate your iOS and Android application. Or, you can say the stickiness of your mobile app.
-> Session length: The length of one session can also determine the retention of the users. Longer the session, the better for your mobile app.
-> Lifetime revenue: The total revenue that you earn from a user before they uninstall your mobile application is lifetime revenue. A monthly average purchase value of advertising revenue per user can be used to calculate this metric.
Optimizing your mobile app continuously to meet your business and marketing goals is always recommended. Now that we know what user engagement is, here are some tips to improve app engagement and user retention.
Mobile App Retention Strategies You Can Use in 2021
Here are 8 mobile app retention techniques that you can use to improve the engagement of your mobile app and hence app engagement.
1. Track data from the start
Cohort Analysis is the first step to measure your mobile app retention. A subset of behavioral analytics, cohort analysis takes the data from your mobile app and breaks members into groups. These groups share some common experiences or characteristics.
This will help you in the identification of reasons that are stopping your users from continuing to use your mobile application. With the results from the analysis, you can take up some steps to improve your mobile app for each group.
Cohort analysis also looks at the groups of people and observes the changes in the behavior of people. You can also analyze the demographics of the user like mobile OS platform, language, gender, device user, location, and much more.
Recording of user sessions can also be done to analyze their behavior. You can know what people do with your mobile app after downloading it. To know more about analytics, you can read our blog, Mobile App Analytics – Ultimate Guide.
2. Optimize your mobile app’s onboarding flow
There is a common quote, ‘the first impression is the last impression’. In mobile app development, first impressions are known as onboarding. Every user wishes to enjoy a mobile app they downloaded, from the very start. The mobile app onboarding experience is majorly divided into three sections:
-> Benefit-oriented onboarding: The value that a user is getting out of the mobile app comes under benefit-oriented onboarding. Showcasing what the mobile app can do for the user is the best technique. This must-have few slides and clear language.
-> function-oriented onboarding: If your users need to learn about a lot of features in your mobile app, the function-oriented onboarding process is best-suited.
-> Progressive onboarding: If your mobile app has some features that need to be used in a particular sequence, Progressive onboarding is preferred. Complex functionalities can be made easy with the help of this app.
User onboarding is all about psychology. And it can also work towards app user retention. Go through our list of 10 Best Practices for an Effective Mobile App Onboarding.
3. Personalize user experiences
Delivering a customized mobile app experience to your users is yet another way to drive user retention. You can differentiate the experience you are delivering from all your competitors by serving your customers with a tailored experience.
This keeps users engaged with your mobile app and also increases the loyalty of your Android and iOS app. The use of AI and ML technology can help you deliver a customized experience. To learn more about these technologies you can read our blog, How AI and ML Are Transforming Mobile App Development.
Static personalization: Factors that do not change come under status personalization. Entering the name of the users in notifications can be one of the examples.
Dynamic personalization: Behavioural factors determine the dynamic personalization of your iPhone and Android app. Watch the history of the user can be taken as an example here.
Make sure you track to note the required details of the users to be safe from being accused of using too private data.
4. Use gamification to increase engagement
In a study, it was found out that 36% of its customers after the first week could be retained on average with a mobile game. Simple easy games can do the task. And the process is called gamification.
Games make your mobile app fun and rewarding, increasing the interest of the people and thereby improving user retention. Byju makes use of gamification by allowing students to earn reward points, play games, and quiz and challenge others.
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Gamification increases app engagement and attracts users to stay on your mobile app. It is one of the best techniques to keep people to retain your app users. Read about gamification in-depth with our blog, Gamify your mobile app: Why you need mobile app gamification to up your game.
5. Implement push notifications
Push notifications pop up on the device of the users. Timely and relevant information can be passed on to the users with the help of this feature. Usually, users need to be asked for consent before delivering push notifications to the users.
Effective user engagement can be driven with the mobile push notification feature. This can deliver users with transactional, promotional, survey, informative notifications. User retention can be improved with the help of this feature. And you can retain all the users that will again buy the products from your iOS and Android mobile app.
To improve the retention rate with the help of the push notifications feature, here are some tips:
-> Select the right time: Sending push notifications at the same time to all the users may not work. You might have an audience from different time zones.
-> Customize notifications: Tracking the in-app behavior of your users can help you customize the notifications of your Android and iPhone app.
-> Don’t overdo it: Do not serve your customers with a lot of notifications. Also, do not send very few of them.
You can read our blog, What is a Push Notification? Why Are They Important? for better understanding of push notifications feature.
6. Use in-app messages
Most smartphone users are constantly engaging with their mobile apps. Do you know how some of the iOS and Android apps keep their users engaged? Meaningful apps and seamless user experience together with in-app messaging gain higher engagement.
In-app messages increase user engagement improving the app experience and user retention. This can guide users providing them with step-by-step information about using the mobile app.
Research says you can increase your user retention by 3.5 times by using in-app messaging as compared to the mobile apps that don’t use this feature.
Spotify uses this feature by gently warning users for freemium restrictions as they reach closer to their daily limit. This is one of the best features to increase app engagement and retention.
7. Offer perks to engaged users
You can create loyal followers by engaging users and offering them perks. Loyal customers do recommend your mobile app, therefore creating a loyal customer base becomes crucial. Most people feel recommendations are better than advertising.
Depending on the nature of your mobile app, you can create an incentive program for your users. You can provide discounts that are time-sensitive if your app has something related to purchasing.
Upon app download, you can also provide a free service or a product to your mobile app users. Or you can offer accrued in-app rewards. Starbucks Rewards customers with free food and drinks by redeeming the stars via their phones.
8. Continually develop and optimize
Keeping your mobile app updated with the newest features and personalized content can also increase app engagement and retention. It is not about updating your app for the sake of doing it and leaving behind the needs of users.
As you track the behavior of the users and gather their feedback, you will get to know which update is required next. You can also monitor your competitors, what they are doing and push your update accordingly.
Keep on finding what are the newest ways of keeping your audience engaged and publish relevant updates. It helps people know that you care about them. To learn about all the steps involved in mobile app development, you can read our comprehensive blog, 7 Stages of New Product Development Process.
Increasing App Engagement and User Retention: In a Nutshell
User engagement and retention is very important for your mobile app to keep the user base strong and growing. Here, we have specified eight strategies to increase app engagement and user retention.
Tracking the data from the start, optimizing the app, customizing experience, gamification, push notifications, in-app messages, offering perks, and developing the app continuously are some of the best practices to follow.
Having a successful mobile app requires a lot of research, time, and effort. Planning and implementing these strategies can help you become the next shining mobile app. You can also follow our Step-By-Step Guide to Marketing Your Mobile App to increase your app downloads to gain a larger user base.
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