App Engagement and Early Retention Strategy

Date:   Friday , October 07, 2016

Headquartered in Mumbai, the entity integrates app analytics and mobile engagement and proffers unlimited messaging to its users in all pricing tiers.

The mobile world is loaded with apps of all kinds. App stores are packed with all kind of apps and the users have multiple choices when downloading an app for a specific purpose. In this endless world of mobile apps, even if you are an appreneur, developer, publisher or marketer, with a promising product on hand, you must prepare for the engagement and retention battle ahead.

You might want to feel a tad bit relaxed, now that your app has made it through the first phase of launch and has started to fetch fair number of downloads, but not yet. This is the time for you to buckle up because your work has actually just begun. A large part of your job now is to motivate downloaders to use it regularly. Retaining users can prove to be an effective monetization strategy. A location based app with relevant information about deals and product reviews is now inevitable for most businesses. As a general trend branded apps are mostly favorable and well accepted by users who prefer purchasing through their smart devices. Your job is to ensure that first timers do not forget about your app and regularly return to it.

Experts have established the fact that retention is an essential yardstick to measure the success or failure of any app. Analytic tools such as cohorts, funnels and segments allow you to track user actions at different levels within the app, it will allow you to see the number of downloads, uninstalls, active and dormant and returning users. Such insights will enable you to refine your app and its marketing strategy maximizing engagement and conversions.

A user undergoes through several mobile moments in a product lifecycle before conversion, for instance wanting a product, searching for the product, exploring available options, shortlisting the desired product, buying it, repurchase/review/recommend.

Listed below are the four App stages in a user product lifecycle:

? App Download and Installation
? Finding/ Viewing Product
? Add to Cart/ Wish list / Share
? Purchase

Knowing which stage of product lifecycle the user is in, through data driven analytics, helps target marketing efforts where they are needed the most to enhance user engagement. Mobile marketing automation uses software to execute, manage and automate mobile marketing tasks and processes. Appropriate marketing efforts can be targeted according to the userís position in the product lifecycle.

? Advertising App to drive downloads
? Push notification about relevant or searched products
? Notifications about availability of products or services searched
? Discounts/ freebies / loyalty points/ offers available on products in cart or wish list

A killer onboarding experience is the first step towards retaining users after they install your app. Tracking significant user behavior through the app is now indispensable to engage and retain them. If you are not able to successfully engage and retain users, the chances of your app being forgotten and eventually uninstalled are fairly high. Sending some relevant and interesting content or a personalized welcome greeting are some of the ways you can connect with the user during the process of onboarding.

Show users what they really need. Tracking user behavior search pattern and available demographics will enable you to present only relevant data to a group of users. It is essential to efficiently segment users and filter notifications sent to them accordingly. For e.g. a notification about discount on diapers would fail to interest students, similarly a notification sent to men about a newly launched lip-stick or nail-paint, would find no takers at all. A lot of complex data science is involved to recommend a category of products or predict your next purchase.

A user will stay with the app, only if the notifications sent to him are relevant and exciting enough. Sending irrelevant updates or notifications to the users is not going to yield any substantial benefits. Segmenting users by age, gender and other demographics can be helpful in sending them relevant and contextual notifications from time to time to enhance user engagement.

Attractive incentives, discounts, freebies are tried and tested methods of bringing the user to your app after they have installed it. If you have managed to build a super product that is of good value to the user such incentives can be offered to users to give them a feel of the app. If the user likes the app experience, chances of him coming back are far greater than otherwise.

Apps are now using push notifications to engage the users with their apps. Businesses need to remember that sending a push notification is not about spamming users with useless content; it is more like a tÍte-ŗ-tÍte that needs to be taken forward with a strategy to achieve desired result. A defined fixed period of inactivity for a user can qualify for a message or notification. Push notifications are a useful tool to engage new users and re-engage existing ones, but if the push notifications are too frequent or irrelevant it would annoy the user and force him to hit the uninstall button.

Data driven metrics also empowers apps with information about the customers that leave, but also why those customers leave/ uninstall the app. Intelligent insights like these can draw attention and help fix those issues. Analytics data can give your app an advantage over competitors and drive more downloads, better growth, retention, engagement, retention and conversion.