Put your hand up if you’ve downloaded an app, opened it and never looked at it again…
We’ve all been guilty of this. But how many app creators have then reminded you to use the app again? Have you been asked why you stopped using it? Why did you stop using the app?
The figures for app engagement are shocking:
- 60% of apps are never downloaded
- 20% of apps are used once
- 80% of apps are abandoned after one month
Check the analytics
Analytics will help you understand how users are moving around the app. You can use it to:
- Identify the drop-off points – is there a screen where users consistently exit but shouldn’t be?
- If you are asking users to register, do you have a high abandonment rate at the registration screen?
- Are there parts of your app that are not being used but should be?
If there are barriers to using the app, you need to find them.
Overcoming the registration hump
If your app requires registration, this will probably cause a high abandonment rate on the registration screen.
There are a few ways you could resolve this:
- Log-in method-use network log-ins such as Facebook and Twitter to help quick registration and log-in. If users have to create separate details to access your app then this could be off-putting
- Give limited access – give them a taster of what the app is about before you ask for registration details
- Be clear about the benefits of registering – how will you use/not use their details? Reassure them about the security of their information and why you need it. No one wants to be spammed
Registration should be quick and easy. If it’s not, users will move elsewhere.
Reviews are an obvious place to start, but if you don’t have any then you will need to find real users.
If you have contact details for users, ask for feedback. Emphasis that you are asking so the app can be improved and be more enjoyable/useful for them.
Alternatively, you could use third party user testing. This may give you a more honest view. Sites such as usertesting.com allow you to choose anonymous testers, pose them questions and see a video of how they used the app.
It is easy during development to make assumptions about how the app will be used or what will be important to users. It could be the piece of functionality you thought was great, confuses them.
If users and testers consistently face the same issue or have similar criticism, then the problem needs to be addressed. Remember to follow up with them (if appropriate) when you make improvements.
If you have an opportunity to remind users of the app, then do it! Email and social are good channels for doing this for users that are normally engaged with you.
But what if they’re not? How can you reach them?
One solution that is emerging is app remarketing. This is done via display and search advertising, and you can prompt users in a number of ways:
- Remind them about the app and the benefits of using it
- Encourage them to complete an action, e.g. registration
- Recommend features and extras
Adverts can appear on either display or search networks such as AOL (N. B. This is only available for Android). With over 2.5 million apps on the Apple and Play stores, users are spoilt for choice and advertising is often the only way to get recognised.
This type of advertising is still being developed by Google but you can sign up to be a beta tester.
Measuring re-engagement results
Once you are confident that the app is better, promote it and look at:
- Frequency of use
- Frequency of desired actions
- Completion of goals in-app
- Changes to the user journey
- Reviews – are there more positive comments?
Remember that re-engagement is not a one-off activity. You should aim to review it on a regular basis and collect as much feedback from users so there is continual improvement.