When it comes to publishing a mobile app, the launch can often feel like the end of the journey but, in truth, it’s where the real work begins. Sure it’s a good idea to track the user acquisition rate after your app’s launch but winning users is only half the battle.
The true determinant of an app’s success is how well you can retain these users after the initial download. It’s challenging for app owners, given that around 25% of mobile users abandon an app after only using it once.
Working to boost engagement within your app can help you to retain your current user base and win more users.
App engagement refers to an interaction a user has with a mobile application. There are a variety of engagement metrics that you can use to measure overall user engagement within your app.
The build and value proposition of your app as well as your business KPIs and growth strategy will help to inform which metrics you should pay the most attention to.
Some of the most common engagement metrics include:
All of these metrics paint a larger picture of how well your app is performing with users and can help you pinpoint opportunities to improve its structure and services.
It might sound obvious, but many apps don’t offer seamless, efficient onboarding to users. As the first real interaction users have with an app, onboarding counts as your app's “first impression” and it will last. Making your app easy to download but complicated or time-consuming to create an account or use will put users off from engaging further with it.
You can easily boost engagement rates by simplifying your onboarding process as much as possible. Reduce the number of steps needed for a user to sign up and if you offer guides and tutorials, give users the option to skip or revisit them later.
Brand interactions that feel unique and personal drive app and website revenue. Likewise, personalising your interactions with users helps to drive in-app engagement. You can do this by interacting with users through tailored push notifications.
Push notifications can be used to communicate with your users and share useful tips and information as well as app updates. Used strategically, push notifications can help to guide users through the customer journey, prompting them to take action or follow suggestions that will move them further down the sales funnel.
The key is to include relevant, personalised content that will appeal to the user and make their engagement experience more enjoyable.
Push notifications aren’t (and shouldn’t be) the only way to communicate with your users. In-app messages are equally important for driving user engagement and encouraging users to interact more within your app.
In-app messages are internal messages that users only receive when using an app. These types of messages can be used to communicate important information, like payment updates or failures, app issues and version updates. In-app messages should help to align your app’s function with user expectations and make user interactions more seamless.
Another way to drive user engagement is to use gamification to make your app more fun to use. Gamification is the application of game elements and mechanics in non-game environments to encourage interaction and participation.
Gamifying your app can make it more enjoyable for users and, through rewards, can encourage them to spend more time on it. Some examples of gamification principles are offering users virtual points, having users compete with friends and family and setting milestones and rewarding users who achieve them.
While improving engagement can improve your in-app experience and drive user retention, it requires ongoing time, resources and commitment for it to be successful. Your engagement strategy needs to be carefully tailored and segmented according to your user base.
Applying a blanket engagement strategy across your entire audience that doesn’t take their goals, needs and interests into account could end up detracting from their experience and reducing their engagement in your app. You also need to carefully monitor your in-app engagement so you can make adjustments and implement testing if needed.
At Appic, we’re engagement veterans, with the skills and experience to build and segment an effective engagement strategy that will drive user growth and loyalty. Contact us and we’ll show you how we can help you improve your user engagement and in-app experiences.