The amount of time that the average person spends on a mobile application is absolutely astounding, but did you know that 25% of all apps are used just once before being discarded? Furthermore, did you also know that the average retention rate after 90 days is a dismal 20 percent? Yikes.
Although those numbers are a bit jarring, they are, for the most part, to be expected if you’re not paying enough attention. Here are some important tips to engage your users in a way that will keep them coming back well after that first download!
First things first….
If your mobile application isn’t engaging to begin with, there’s not a lot that can be done to retain users over an extended period of time. When designing an application, take a step back to make sure that your design meets or exceeds the features provided on your website. If your app lacks a clear vision and doesn’t commit to its purpose, the user may be confused and give up. This often happens when a developer becomes too ambitious and provides the user with so many functions that the whole purpose of the app just becomes a bit muddied. The most common trend in the mobile app market today is to complete one task better than the competition.
Another thing to remain mindful of is the ability to use push notifications. Even though you can utilize this feature to bombard users with near-constant app updates, doesn’t mean you should. Smart use of push notifications gently provide reminders relevant to the application. Reckless push notifications almost never work, save for a news feed application. Oftentimes, an over abundance of push notifications can come across as needy, almost as if you need to beg the user to remember your app. There is some impressive software on the market that allows developers to combine application analytics with push notifications, so that you only send out the most relevant and well thought out applications.
If you need to remind your users of why they should be opening the application in the first place, its probably not a very engaging application to begin with…
Keep it Simple
If you want to keep your users beyond the initial download, you should consider making sure that the user is able to begin using the application in the first place. When applications present users with tricky sign-up steps, most users won’t stick around to fiddle with pages of account information. Consider using an easy social media log-in instead. With so many users already on at least one social media platform with their information already entered, a Facebook or Twitter log-in system may be able to stand between your app and the trash bin!
Test, Test, Test
Similar to advertising, your testing process is something that should continue throughout the lifespan of your application. If you stop examining how your audience is using your application and how it relates to the vision of your app, then you’ll probably run into some trouble. Look at any unique ways that you’ll be able to measure the performance of your application. What do you view as the end goal with your mobile app. With a social media app, a user spending 5-10 minutes on the app might be viewed as a success. However, with more service focused applications, the entire point of the application is to be off of it in as little time as possible. Meet with users long after the initial launch to discuss what could be improved in the next update to meet any user needs and concerns.
Users are almost always more engaged with a product that recognizes them. If you want to keep retain a solid user audience over the coming months, you should provide the most relevant experience to these users. With all of the data that you collect about the user’s application habits, you should take the time to populate the application with relevant content and materials. This extends beyond some of the bigger actions. Take the time to focus on small things too, such as including a user’s name at the top of the page.