For many years user acquisition was seen as the main indicator of success and growth in the eyes of many mobile app developers, while app retention was majorly overlooked. Only recently this perspective started to shift. More studies are beginning to stress the importance of maintaining a good retention rate for measuring the overall success of a mobile application. At Nisman Solutions we understand the importance and value of gathering the understanding of what is happening to the app after the initial installation.
We see user retention as a trust signal that indicates how well users are receiving the application’s user experience. Typically, by day one apps have 21% retention rate, and by day 90 the percentage usually drops to 1.8.
Below we are going to cover three retention tips that we use, that help us improve the health and stickiness of the mobile apps, which we create.
Designing a smooth first-time user experience is crucial and providing a seamless onboarding experience can reduce user abandonment rates significantly. Studies show that more than 20% of users who download an app will abandon it after a single session. The more complicated it is to start using an app, the more likely users to develop a decision fatigue and abandon the application altogether.
The factors that lead to decision fatigue are:
- Too many steps to sign in;
- Overload of information fields;
- Confusing features and functions;
- Providing only 1 sign-up option;
- Mandatory, extensive tutorial;
It is vital not to overload your users with information from the very start, for example make an account-creation as simple as it can get by reducing the amount of steps needed for signing up. When users are onboarded in an effective way, the lifetime value of such users increases.
Your user retention will directly correlate to how your users navigate your app. Users come to an app to perform specific tasks. If the application is not intuitive enough and users cannot find what they are looking for, they will stop trying and go look for the competitors’ apps. Every action associated with moving the user journey forward should be intuitive and obviously simple. Remembering small but important things like having clearly marked and visible icons and having a minimum amount of interactions that are required to complete a specific task will do the job. Always keep the user journey in mind — make it simple, friendly, and smooth.
Push notifications, which nearly half of all smartphone users allow, have been proven to increase user retention anywhere from 56% to 180%. Studies show that users who have opted into receiving push notifications exhibit 88% higher app engagement than those who haven’t. Push notifications are useful in grabbing user’s attention at the moment to send them straight to your app to perform a specific action.
Push notifications serve even more functions, than just being an attention grabber. If implemented effectively, push notifications can also help encourage the app usage through targeted messages based on user preferences or behavioral data. For applications that serve a specific niche and that don’t have a natural daily usage drive, it is helpful to engage users by providing them a compelling reason to return like a targeted discount.
However, it can be easy to abuse these useful app features.
Users don’t want to be continually bothered by the apps that they download. If they consent to notifications, they only want to be notified for important or enticing information.
When you set up your push notification system, ask these questions:
- What types of app activity warrant a notification?
- What kinds of discounts or enticing deals can you offer?
- How often will you be sending advertisements, if any?
Throughout the process, just keep in mind that there is a perfect balance you must strike between reminding users about your app and annoying them.