If you’re wondering: How to drive user engagement on apps – we got your covered!
User engagement is critical to the long-term success of your app. In short, it’s the way your users interact with your app. One of the main goals of your app should be to encourage a higher level of quality active users and to foster product adoption. The more users are interested in your app, the greater the chance that they will become dedicated and valuable users. Having an ap that is useful and informative is a good place to start. But with so much competition, you often have to go the extra mile to keep users loyal and drive app engagement – bonus points if you can make your users your advocates as well!
In this article/
- Engaging problematic users
- Easy and best app onboarding experience
- Use push notifications
- Customize your app experience
- Offers and incentives
- Bilateral communication
Catch Bugs Fast and Cultivate Loyal Users
Retaining and engaging users is probably the most challenging obstacle any developer will face. Possibly even more challenging than generating in-app revenue. In fact, the dropout rate (apps that are used only once and then canceled) is 23% of users. User abandonment rates have improved slightly in recent years, but almost a quarter of users still exit applications prematurely. If an app is not opened within 7 days, there is a 60% chance that it will never be opened again.
However, as much of a high risk – there is an equally attractive reward. For whilst users spend 85% of their time in apps, most of that time goes to their top 5 apps. So, be in the top five apps, and then you have a lot of time to typically engage with, monetize and build sustained loyalty with that user.
The first and most important step to drive user engagement and customer loyalty is to develop a high-quality mobile app. It is extremely rare for an app to have no minor bugs when launched. It is important to properly test your product before publishing and to make sure there are no significant errors. A careful quality assurance process will help your team launch a better product. If your app lacks the appropriate functionality, users will leave the app without hesitation.
Every time your app crashes, slows down, or loads very little, all other app engagement metrics will be affected. For this reason, it’s important to check both the front-end and back-end sides to get a thorough understanding of how well your app is working. Here in our previous article on best app retention strategies, we discuss how mobile games perfectly execute their beta game versions, with the intention of finding bugs.
Easy and Best App Onboarding Experience
Providing a seamless onboarding experience can help reduce dropout rates significantly and drive app engagement and product adoption. The more difficult it is to start using an app – too many steps to register, too many information fields, complex features/functions, etc. – the more likely that users will give up.
The first impression is essential and usability is no exception. However, onboarding does not just pertain to first impressions (unlike popular opinion). It actually should be carried out for the duration of your app. Every time you introduce a new element, level, or feature, you should consider onboarding. I highlight the word ‘consider’ as obviously onboarding too often can be irritating to the user – thus it should be used at the most critical points. One of those critical points is at the beginning of your first interaction with your user. Some best practices to provide the best app onboarding experience are:
- Simplify registration and account creation (reduce registration steps, offer multiple registration options, etc.).
- Remind users of the benefit they will obtain from your app (part of the benefit’s based onboarding method). This could help to drive later app engagement.
- Don’t overload users with information from the start. Instead, show a help option when the user comes to these functions.
- Try to experiment with different methods of onboarding, such as Kahve Dunyasi that onboarded with in-app stories, powered by Storyly.
Follow these simple steps, if you’d like to offer your users the best app onboarding experience and product adoption chances.
Use Push Notifications
Localytics writes that push notifications result in 88% more app launches and 2-3x more retention rates. Opt-in rates also greatly affect the success of push notifications. Thus one should check out the industry-standard opt-in rates, and open rates for push notifications of their demographic, category, and country. For example, according to Accengage Italy has the highest opt-in rate of 92.3% on Android, whilst Switzerland has the lowest opt-in rate of 39.9% on iOS
Push messages remind users that they have downloaded your app. Implemented effectively, they can also help promote the use of the app by targeting messages based on behavioral data, their preferences, and even their location. For applications that use very specific functions and are probably not intended for daily use, it can be helpful to motivate users by the push notifications providing them with a good reason to return (e.g. a discount or a promotion for a service/product).
Customize Your App Experience
Customizing an app is probably one of the most effective ways to drive user engagement. It helps provide users with a more unique, relevant experience. The better the user experience is tailored to the needs and preferences of a user, the more likely that the user will continue to use the app.
Whenever possible, personalize the user experience by using known data to display relevant content in the app. Tailor-made content and tailor-made information provide the user with real added value.
However, there is a caveat to customization – that there is not an infinite amount of space, for which to have an infinite amount of customized app screens. This is just one of the ways in which Storyly can help out – by adding stories to your app (like Instagram or Snapchat), there is no limit to the amount of content you can add to your app, as that content is downloaded from the internet and shown in story format. Have a look here at how you can import your stories from social media and seamlessly add them to your app with a quick and easy SDK integration. Remember, the aim is to drive app engagement with helpful and attractive content.
Offers, Promotions, and Incentives
Image source: Tapalytics. An example of how to lure users in with offers and rewards through push notifications.
To encourage engagement and customer loyalty, you need to incentivize users to use your app. Specific rewards, special access to content, vouchers, promotions, and other offers will help increase conversions and engagement.
Of course, the way you can reach users also depends on the app. For example, apps that use in-app purchasing as a monetization model benefit from temporary discounts. Freemium apps are more likely to reach users through usage-based rewards.
Promotion of Two-Way Communication
Two-way communication should be at the heart of any app experience and product adoption and user engagement strategy. Given how most apps are monetized by a few sharks, that small community of loyal and engaged uses are vital to your app’s success. Therefore it is important to get to know them and customize their experience.
Asking for feedback is a great first step. Doing so shows that their feedback is important to improve the app. The additional advantage of these communication channels with your users is that there will be fewer negative reviews in the app stores since the users can tell you their concerns first. Responsiveness and answering questions will increase engagement and customer loyalty, promote positive reviews, and build long-term brand loyalty. Obtaining feedback is one of the best methods of how to drive user engagement on apps. Why? Obtaining this crucial feedback can help identify the pain points of your app, and the best features to promote and develop further.
Final Thoughts on How to Drive User Engagement
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to driving in-app engagement. In fact, the above tips will only assist your app in being competitive, but not dominating the competition. Although, these tips are certainly essentials in any user engagement strategy. When considering driving app engagement, it is important to consider what kind of app experience are your top competitors offering your users. Match that, and supersede this.