How Can I Increase Mobile App Engagement & User Retention?
All that effort designing and building your brand new mobile app will be for nothing if you fail to achieve customer loyalty. Ensuring you retain your users – that your app becomes part of their experience of your company and a genuinely useful tool to which they return again and again – is where the real ROI in app development can be found.
Building a large user base – and thus maximising both revenue generation and data collection – involves two concurrent activities: marketing to new prospects and retaining current users. Of these, the second is arguably the most important – however good your marketing, every single one of those new users will very quickly ‘bounce’ off your app if it doesn’t meet their needs.
Once-only users are of very little benefit to your business. But there is an easy way to ensure your app encourages your customers to stick around: it should also be of benefit to them.
Apps are meant to have utility. Their simplicity and convenience is what makes them so attractive to consumers – and their usability is what keeps customers coming back. Before you begin developing an app, then, ask yourself a simple question: what is this piece of software giving to its users? Once you have a clear answer, you’ll have a potentially successful app.
Once you have that single, over-riding purpose – to buy more quickly or access information more easily, for example – there are also micro-features you can add to the app experience that will enhance user retention. If you already have a great app, you can make it “stickier” still.
Provide an easier onboarding process. This simply means making the user’s initial experience of your app more seamless and intuitive: effectively reducing the amount of steps required to sign up, cutting down on information fields to fill out, removing confusing features, and using intuitive gestures. Remove every barrier to immediate adoption.
Utilise Push Notifications. These are the little messages that appear on phones and tablets as system messages. These “push notifications” are great for improving user retention as they serve as reminders for customers: if they haven’t used an app for a while, send a push notification; if a new feature has been added, send a push notification. This method can also encourage more usage through personalised messages shaped around a given user’s preferences and usage patterns.
Offer Incentives and Promotions. Maybe it’s obvious, but giving users incentive to use your app is important. But don’t forget to offer mobile-specific rewards to your users – think limited discounts, content access, and log-in rewards. All of this encourages regular engagement … and gives the user a reason not just to download but to continue to use your app.
That, after all, is your goal: not just to secure a given number of downloads, but to encourage over time a given number of relationships. Think of your app as another sales associate in a store: it is an ambassador for your business. Making it a better ambassador is how you increase mobile app engagement and retention.
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We provide mobile app design and development for all project requirements, both consumer and business apps. If you’re in need of a mobile app or just have an idea for a project you wish to discuss, please contact us to arrange a consultancy.