10 App Engagement Strategies That Must Not Be Avoided
Posted on 18.02.2022 / a 14 min. read
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There are millions of apps available for mobile as well as desktop, and it is getting harder and harder for apps to leave a lasting impression on users. Hence, app engagement has become crucial to user retention and converting a curious first-time downloader into a loyal and active user. Having said that, an app user can log in every day and buy products on an eCommerce app, while the same user might only use an invoicing app once a month. This only goes to show that there is no simple quantifiable concept of loyalty across multiple goods. There is no necessary rule defining the best engagement model, yet for any natural app, a user logging in daily is an engaged user. Developing an engaging mobile application involves much more than an intriguing concept. And, when it comes to the world of apps, user retention is a befitting touchpoint.
Here are some time-tested strategies to drive your app and user engagement:
1. In-App Messaging – Channels to Reach the Users
Marketers can use in-app messaging to deliver alerts, notifications, incentives, customized messages, requests for approval, and tips and tricks for users. In-app messages may be shown as banners on top of the screen or displayed on the whole screen. These alerts slide up from the bottom of your app to show something noteworthy. They appear while the user is using the app, more or less similar to push alerts. As they vanish after a few seconds, users find them less disturbing.
Omni-channel marketing approach sees a retention rate of 89%. Here’re various other channels that can also go around to increase the user-engagement:
- Emails – It is not worth underrating the influence of email in the mobile environment. Emails were rendered almost as quickly by smartphones as push alerts. Therefore, email is an easy way to push client re-engagement with applications that capture email addresses. Emails can be used for welcoming a new user or to an existing user to check out an unexplored feature or new deals that they are missing out on. The inactive users can be reached by emails to encourage and entice them to open the app by including a message about the new app version which they might want to check.
- SMS – SMS provides a quick contact and is useful for forwarding a message that the app user may like. SMS can be sent to inactive users by offering them great new deals or updates. With SMS, new segments of users can also be reached who might want to download the app.
- Social Sharing – Social networking has helped a large number of individuals to share their products online and, if necessary, to obtain a wider audience through their app. By sharing their interactions with your users in your application, you can make your app go viral.
2. Onboarding – Proper Orientation for New Users
User onboarding is an essential component of your ASO strategy. To create an ideal first impression for making the app stand out, a seamless onboarding is essential to define the value that the app offers, instead of educating the user about the app and bringing the focus to what solution does it provide.
On average, a mobile app loses its users by 78% within the first three days of installation. Well-designed onboarding experience improves the probability that the new users will become full-time users after the app is installed. Not only that, you always have a space to try new onboarding styles rather than presenting a typical ‘swipe through’ experience which is used by a lot of apps.
The best way is to provide the users with a contextual guide as they go through the product. It can be made interesting and engaging by inserting animations. The focus should be to create an illustration that simply introduces the app’s value.
3. UI Modifications – Regularly Upgrading the User Interface
Every now and then, in-app modifications generate an attractive look of the app, to make it look insightful. When the UI is modified regularly, it keeps the users interested and always on the lookout for more. While upgrading the user interface, the user’s preferences are the priority. To get familiar with the preferences and needs, you can carry out the feedback.
The progressive improvements increase the user’s commitment and retention. Nevertheless, crashes and glitches are common when released. But if the app lags, crashes with longer load times – consumers cannot acknowledge any of these variables and the retention rate and metrics are impacted.
4. Push Notifications – Triggering Notification on the Basis of User App Activity
Wondering how to retain users on the app? The most effective way to engage or re-engage inactive users is by push notifications. Similar to onboarding, the focus for push notifications should be on providing the users with the value that the app delivers. If the push notifications don’t strike the right chord in terms of quantity, it might put the app user off. It’s imperative to deliver the push notifications in an intrusive manner. Sending just one onboarding-related push notification to new users once or twice a week after the app has been installed will increase retention by 71% over two months.
It’s also important to consider personalizing the push notifications to engage the audience. The more the message is tailored, the more likely they are to launch an app session and potentially invest money. Push updates from rich media are more expressive, intellectually stimulating, and engaging. More importantly, they stand out and quickly catch notice.
Moreover, you are far better positioned to tell which factors are more likely to improve your app interaction KPIs by knowing your ‘user’s behaviour’. When you study the stats and notice that the majority of the notifications that are opened are between a given time frame of a day, that would be the right time to send the notifications. For example, you can see when your users are watching a game or sports or checking the scores in the app, you can then start to hypothesize the value proposition and fine-tune the push notification strategy.
5. Using Deep Linking for personalized notifications
Using deep links in your app, alerts, whether via SMS or push is much more effective. Once you get the right strategy for push notifications, the next step is to focus on the location where the notification lands for your user. Deep links will direct users to particular views within your app. This is an important characteristic of long-term brand-customer partnerships.
If you want to boost app re-engagement, you need to make sure the customized notification leads the user to the right location. It is always a best practice to give the user an option to opt-in or opt-out for notifications.
6. Feedback – Facilitating Two-Way Communication
Two-way contact is crucial if you want to maximize your app base and improve engagement. The added benefit is that if you find an unhappy user and get timely feedback, it’s far less likely they’re going to leave you with a bad rating.
It’s true nothing can beat direct input from your users. User feedback is a critical part of your app and an effective way to improve your participation. In addition, demonstrating that you care for your customers and want to enhance your customer experience is a certain way of boosting commitment and long-term loyalty.
7. Regular Updates – Keep the App Updated
If the app is not streamlined, users will leave the app for other options over time. Updates will surface in app stores to inform the users that you commit to your application. It is a great way to show your dedication and share new features with the users. The amount of changes depends on the types of releases you produce and the number of users you own. It is always a best practice to create a plan for regular updates.
8. Incentivise Users
For effective user engagement, make them an offer they can’t refuse! Incentives, reward programs, and loyalty points make users feel valued and pampered. This in turn strengthens their loyalty to your brand and your app. Time-sensitive offers referral codes, special deals, loyalty points that can be converted into payment balances, coupons, and exclusive services tremendously increase app engagement and user retention.
9. Gamify The Entire User Experience
Gamification is the application of game elements to other activities and experiences. It is used as a marketing strategy to attract new users and retain existing ones by keeping them actively engaged.
According to a report published by Statista, the number of gamers is expected to amount to 2,309.4 million users by 2026. It comes as no surprise then that several apps are now trying to mimic and incorporate game design elements into their user interface. From scoreboards, badges, and milestones to achievement levels, performance charts, and rewards, there are many ways in which you can gamify the entire user experience.
An excellent example of an app using gamification is the language learning app Duolingo. Apart from having its own in-app currency called lingots, Duolingo also hands out badges for achievements.
10. Employ Analytics
None of the above strategies will matter if, ultimately, you don’t learn what works best for your app.
App engagement analytics will help you understand and study your engagement data which will, in turn, help you in building an effective app engagement strategy.
Some excellent mobile app analytics tools are Google Analytics for Mobile App, Apple App Analytics, Firebase, UXCam App Analytics, Flurry, Mixpanel, Localytics, and Amplitude.
- Identify specifically which aspects of your apps engage your users.
- Instead of engaging with them for the sake of it, think of delivering value to the users.
- Personalization is the key when it comes to communicating with the users.
- Understand the user behavior before implementing a strategy.
- If you have a gaming app, make sure to give incentives via push notifications.
Frequently Asked Questions
For the development of a healthy mobile app business, app engagement is extremely important. Without an engaged audience base, app businesses will not be able to survive. For example, dating apps or matrimonial apps are particularly dependent on user engagements (such as chats, likes and matches) because it not only correlates with the app functionality but also contributes to the revenue of the business.
To find out the app engagement you need to track these 3 main KPIs:
- Session length (Time spent on the app)
- Frequency of use (Repeat Usage)
- Exit rate
The retention rate shows marketers how many users continue to use their app after its installation. Retention rate tracks the users who have stopped using your app or who have left your app entirely. It enables marketers to create better strategies and plug in the loopholes in the app UI or functionality.
There are several metrics to measure the success of your mobile app. Some of them are:
- Retention Rate
- Engagement Rate
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
- Daily Active Users (DAU)
- Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)