Monday, August 3, 2015

5 Things You Should Stop Doing Right Away To Retain Your Mobile App Users

Okay, let’s get to the point:
  • Your app is getting million downloads per month, but only few users stick with it thereafter
  • Your DAUs (Daily Active Users) are not happy with the overall app experience and are giving you bad ratings on app stores
  • Your mobile app users are not satisfied with your customer support & service

Sounds familiar? Yeah, we too have heard thousands of these stories.

There’s no denying that every company and app developer try and do their best to make their app a success when it’s launched in stores. Those with big budgets would do marketing magic shows, advertise on all possible and appropriate channels to increase visibility and create a buzz. Whereas, indie and small developers mostly rely on organic discovery and downloads to start with. Nonetheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t lose on their user base.

A recent study shows that apps on an average lose around 80% of their users over the course of 90 days since App Install and there are million apps launched every month – around 1.6 MN android and 1.5 MN iOS apps were launched in July only this year. It’s quite evident that at the end of the day, there are very few apps which finally make the cut and are able to engage and retain their users in addition to acquiring new ones and having millions of downloads every month.

Whether you’re a small developer or an established startup, if you’re losing a major chunk of your user base, it’s because you probably are not paying attention to small & simple, yet the most important things. You know what you should do but perhaps ignore what you shouldn’t.

Acquiring new users is easy – retaining existing ones is hard, but not impossible. Here are 5 things you should stop doing right away that’s costing you your valuable user base: 
  1. Make an app with bad user experience: This has to be on the top of the list. An application with bad user experience is a nightmare. We humans crave for something that’s beautiful to look at, intuitive in nature, quick to grasp and easy to use. Your users go through a horrible experience with your app, they are never going to forget it and probably never use your app again. In contrast, give your users a 10/10 holistic experience and they will be your marketing megaphone. Research indicates that mobile app users are going to reach 4.4 billion mark by the end of 2017, which holds a lot of potential if you get your app’s user experience right.
  2. Create an app that takes light years to load and have loads of issues: Performance matters. People don’t install and check apps to learn to be patient. Users need fast responses and they need it now – that too without any technical glitches. If your app has sluggish performance, make tweaks right away or say Sayonara to your new hard-earned users. A study by MarketWatch last year found the same - users don't have much patience for poor-performing apps. 86 percent deleted or uninstalled at least one mobile app because of problems with its performance.

    Same research shows that from the US adults surveyed, 38 percent try another app when faced with a problem, 34 percent stop using the app, and 19 percent complain to friends and family. Now, don’t complain, you’ve been warned.
  3. Send push notifications, in-app messages and pop-ups every few hours: One of the most common mistakes that can force users to abandon your app even if you give them a superior user experience is sending endless push notifications, in-app messages and pop-ups. Though opt-in rates vary from industry to industry, games, especially strategy and role-playing ones have more success in engaging users because of their addictive nature. But even so, multiple pop-ups or too much notifications eventually irritate users who then start losing interest in your app and ignore any notifications you send in future – however relevant or beneficial those notifications might be to them.

    Worst case would be getting popups when they least want or expect it. Quick example: user has two applications to do online recharge, Application A and B. User opens Application A and fills required information but realizes that he has entered wrong details while checking out. To correct it, hits the back button in a hurry. A pop-up comes up, “Do you like our app? How about giving it a 5 Star Rating?” NO!

    Action taken – UNINSTALL Application A. Switch to Application B. Period.
  4. Send push notifications and in-app messages all at the same time without user permission: Know the difference between them and their purpose and use accordingly. Push notifications are for luring users to engage with the application and drive some action. Whereas, in-app messages are best when user is inside the app and actively interacting with it. Plus, users want to be in control. They would like to choose how and when they get notified. You should not just send notifications without hinting or setting context. Instead, it’s a good practice to educate or show your users. Otherwise, users are bound to opt-out of push notifications.
  5. Ignore what your users are saying: Don’t give a shit about what your users say? Stop doing it. NOW! Listening to your users’ feedback is as vital as creating an awesome user experience. In fact, working on feedback is the only way you can enhance user experience. Without your users’ voice, you wouldn’t exactly know what they want from your app, what’s bothering them or if they need any support.

    Denys Zhadanov, Director of Marketing at Readdle, knows how important it is to listen to customer feedback. “We respond to every support email, talk to them on social media in a very friendly way, release updates often and listen to their feedback,” says Zhadanov. Readdle is a Ukraine based startup which makes productivity apps and has 40 million downloads and five million monthly active users (MAUs).

    At the same time, you also don’t have to be very nosy and bombard user’s attention with feedback questions and surveys. Use intelligent engagement platforms to communicate with your users without being intrusive.

That’s it folks. To wrap up things up, just try not to:
  • Get labeled as someone developing apps with bad user experience and terrible performance. People have good memory when it comes to remembering their experiences with others – be it good or bad.
  •  Fire notifications like an Uzi. Rather use it like a Sniper Rifle, one bullet at the right time with max impact.
  • Ignore what your users say. Instead, take their feedback seriously, for it could be Holy Grail for your app’s overnight success.

Hope you don’t miss out on these 5 powerful app-saver checkpoints and your users are to stay with you. :)

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