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Insider tips for better app retention

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November 08, 2016

In today's app-saturated market, retention is the most important measurement for gauging how much value your app is truly generating for its users. Considering that less than 25% of people return to an app the day after installing according to a 2016 mobile marketing report by Appboy, a lack of value creation can turn your latest distribution strategy into a costly mistake.

The question "How can I create an app?" is not one asked lightly. To better equip you to respond to the changing landscape of mobile applications, here are four tips to keep in mind.

Tip #1: Optimize the on-boarding experience.

In the world of app retention, there are two different types of users: newbies and passersby. Newbies are users who have just downloaded your app and are interested to learn more. These are the users you want to attract – studies show that effectively on-boarding them can increase their lifetime value by more than 500%.

Passersby, on the other hand, are users who have opened your app once and never returned. Considering the average cost-per-install is $2 per user according to Clearbridge Mobile, passersby are poison as far as app retention is concerned.

So how do you create more newbies than passersby? Smooth on-boarding. Skilled smartphone app developers stick to presenting users with only the information they need to know, and let them work out the rest through using the app. This can be broken down into two processes: signing up and learning functionality.

Make logins and account creation as easy and fast as possible, and integrate feature education into the user experience. As a leading mobile app development company, BluEnt prides itself on our ability to combine visual appeal and intuitive navigation, a skill that we have honed for the on-boarding process over years of experience in app development. Remember that the more difficult it is to get started, the more likely the user will abandon it.

Tip #2: Utilise push notifications.

Push notifications may not seem very powerful at first glance, but users who opt-in to receive them are retained at twice the rate of those who don't. Furthermore, their levels of engagement have been proven to increase over time.

The theory behind this tool is that it serves as a reminder for why a user downloaded your app, thus encouraging less consistent users to return. Considering that 50% of mobile applications are deleted simply due to lack of storage, it's important utilise such methods of holding people's attention. This could come in the form of a creative prompt to simply open the app or a direct call-to-action such as a discount on a service/product.

An effective mobile application development company will use push notifications to encourage usage through targeted messages crafted using personalized behavioural data and preferences. User segmentation and analytics can show you which users are more responsive to which messages, and therefore which methods are drive the most push engagement rates.

The key is to determine how to create short, enticing content that your consumers care about. For example, Spotify sends push notifications alerting users to news updates related to the artists they follow in-app, such as upcoming tour dates in their area and the latest singles they have recently released. To this end, BluEnt's app developers for hire offer app customization and testing for our clients to create a completely user-centric experience tailored to your customers.

If your opt-out rate for push messaging is high, don't abandon the strategy entirely. Instead, think of ways to integrate the concept into other forms of remarketing. You can do this through relevant email, social media, and search advertisement tactics based on information gathered from the user's initial signup as well as data insights.

Tip #3: Analyze user behaviour.

Speaking of data insights, let's talk about analytics. The best source of competitive advantage you could possible have is knowing your customers inside and out, and the perfect way to apply this advantage is to use it to retain app users.

What will set you apart in custom app development is how critical you are in your analysis – most companies will track how many downloads have been performed and how many have been uninstalled, but far less delve deep into user experience metrics that explain this behaviour. here are some key questions to guide your research:

  • Where do users spend most of their time in-app?
  • What are common screen flows that have emerged?
  • Which UI elements cause the most inefficiencies or frustrations in the customer experience?
  • What is the last screen they are on before their drop out?

A helpful tool for gaining such insights is user recordings. These enable you to see how users engage with your app through actions like tapping, swiping and pinching. Understanding the motives and trends in people's gestures, you can get a sense for where friction points are coming from in the user interface. For example, if you notice that certain features are consistently triggered through taps by a small group of people but never tapped by the majority, you may come to the conclusion that they are not accessible enough.

The next step after your analysis is to use the findings to improve your retention strategies through app updates. Regularly add features and refine current offerings to constantly keep the user experience at its best given shifting consumer priorities and new technologies. Remember to actively listen to user feedback to ensure that these updates are aligned with the content they find valuable.

At BluEnt, we facilitate open communication with our clients to best understand how we can improve our mobile app development services through quality support and maintenance. Our commitment to providing cost-effective solutions enables us to grow our services with our clients, always ensuring that their and their users needs are satisfied every step of the way.

Now, it's your turn. How will you incorporate these tips into your next mobile app venture? Send us a message to find out how BluEnt can be a part of the solution.

Maximum Value. Achieved.

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