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5 Effective Strategies To Increase Mobile App Retention

What’s the point of developing an app if no one uses it? User acquisition and high download rates are important but not central metrics for the success of your application. User engagement and retention will determine the overall success. 

What is Mobile App retention?

User retention is the ability of a mobile application to retain its users over a period of time. In other words, it is about getting the users to keep coming back to the app. 

The mobile app retention rate is measured by the number of users who returned on day 1 and day 28. The metric on day 1 will denote the number of users who have re-opened the app after installation.   

Mobile marketers are keen on generating leads and acquiring new leads. But customer retention has a more important role to play in measuring the overall customer experience. In fact, a 5% increase in user retention can increase profits up to 95%.      

Strategies to increase mobile app retention

If you have stepped into improving customer retention than acquisition, you are a step ahead to business growth. Here are 5 strategies that will help you craft the perfect customer retention plan. 

Start with beta testing

It is a good practice to beta test your application with an invite-only audience before its release in the app store. This will ensure that there are no bugs or issues that might disappoint the users. The invited audience can give their feedback that you can use to optimize the consumer experience. This also helps in building brand loyalty with early access to enthusiastic users. 

Ensure a frictionless user onboarding 

Through the commendable efforts of your team in product development and marketing, you have acquired users and they have opened the app. The next step is to guide them in using your app. A clear and efficient onboarding process will ensure high consumer retention. Ensure simple registration and sign-ups with additional options like Facebook, Google, etc. Highlight the core features and provide options to receive help whenever required. Also, informing them about how you will be using their data will build trust and confidence.

Leverage Push Notifications

Yet another great method to improve push notifications. But first, let your customers opt-in to receive the notifications. These notifications will pop up on their mobile device and deliver relevant and timely information (even if the users are not active). Personalized notifications are more likely to act as a catalyst to establish effective user engagement. 

Track Data and Monitor User Activity

It all starts with data. To ensure high app retention you need to track the data and user behavior and make amendments accordingly. For instance, a user might face it difficult to seek support within the app and may ultimately abandon the app. In that case, you can modify the app design (making it convenient) and relaunch it with an upgraded user experience. The best approach to measure mobile app retention is cohort analysis wherein you group users based on their behavior in a particular time frame and identify the problems faced by them. You can employ heatmaps to visualize touch gestures and audit visual recordings to analyze user behavior and optimize your app for a seamless user experience. 

What is a Heat Map, How to Generate One, Example and Case Studies
Source: Crazy Egg 

Loyalty Programs and Rewards 

Offering timely rewards and loyalty schemes is another effective strategy to retain users. Loyalty programs not only build audience loyalty but also increase user acquisition and improve the retention rate. Your incentive program will depend on the nature of your mobile app. In case your app uses in-app purchasing as a model for monetization, offering time-sensitive deals and discounts is a convenient approach. In the case of freemium apps, usage-based rewards are convenient. You can also offer referral awards to hook them to your app.

starbucks-user-retention-strategy
Source: Hurree

Following well-defined strategies for a marketing plan is helpful, but leveraging every strategy to communicate the same information might frustrate your audience. Craft your design plan according to your business model and keep optimizing your app for a seamless customer experience.