1. Show me the value
No matter what industry, delivering value to app users is paramount. But that’s not enough. Apps need to deliver that value early. What does the user get between downloading and taking the first couple of actions? This is where speaking directly with your users, getting into their mindset is critical. What’s most important or impactful?
“Your experience in your first 30 days is more important than any other action when it comes to understanding retention.”
Ahmed Darwish, Product and Marketing, STARZ
The other side of delivering value early is clearly communicating what benefit(s) the user can expect – especially when you’re asking for something in return. For example, when requesting permission for push notifications, you might say, “Allow push notifications for flight updates, baggage tracking, and more.” The clearer the value, the more likely users will opt in and engage.
2. Iterate, improve, repeat
When it comes to mobile, every industry works a little differently. There isn’t a universal formula for user acquisition or engagement. What might work well for a coupon/discount app may not work for a retail app. What works for one gaming app, may fail miserably for another.
This means you need to constantly test features, messaging, and flows with your users. Look at the data. Strategically request feedback or conduct surveys. Take inspiration from other apps and brands, but make sure you continue to deliver the value your customers want. No one knows your customers like you.
“Never stop optimizing.”
Holly Chen, Growth Marketing and Head of Digital Marketing, Slack
3. Better segmentation, better retention
One effective way of retaining users is to treat different customers differently. Recognize and cater to the unique preferences of your users. This is easy to talk about, but often difficult to execute.
The first challenge is efficiently segmenting and automating the personalization you deliver. Not every platform/tool has this kind of functionality. Start with the tools that will help you succeed.
“To understand the full potential of what attribution data is powering, you have to start from the beginning. It’s connecting the dots — people and experiences— it’s people-based. And we do it with privacy by design.”
Brian Quinn, President and General Manager, Appsflyer
The second challenge is respecting and protecting the privacy of your users while offering a custom experience. Transparency is crucial here. Build trust with your users with honest and plain-English explanations of how you’re handling their data. Let them know what you will and won’t do. And always give the option to opt out. Little burns trust faster than forcing users to do something they don’t want to do.
Remember the (unique) human behind the data.
“Make promises you can keep, keep promises you can make.”
Michael Korcuska, Chief Product Officer, WW (formerly Weight Watchers)
The Bluedot team chatting with attendees at MAU 2019