Staff Writer

Driving new downloads is no longer enough, especially as installs skyrocket during COVID-19. Implementing an engagement and retention strategy to keep users around for the long haul is key to success, and helps make your user acquisition budget go farther — but is an on-going challenge.

In 2018, the average cost per install on Google Play was $0.44 and $0.86 in the Apple App Store. That may not sound like much, but with those numbers rising and multiplied over thousands (or even millions) of users, you can’t afford to lose the users you pay to acquire. But the reality is, many users forget about your app almost as soon as they download it.

According to CleverTap, the average mobile app loses 77% of its DAUs within three days of install. With that in mind, marketers need to engage users from day one to make sure they stick around for the long haul, to become loyal users and brand advocates who spend more than new customers. This article will discuss the best engagement and retention tactics to keep users coming back for more.

Make your onboarding process simple

If a user can’t even make it through the sign-up process or figure out how to use your app, you can bet they won’t be coming back. Focus on creating a seamless onboarding process with quick easy tutorials and a simple sign-in process that lets users get down to business and start using your app quickly.

Focus on finding relevant users from the beginning

Consider what your users like and what they want from your app, and create an experience that caters to those needs — and showcase those features when you market the app to them. We’ve all seen those ads for games that have almost no relevance to the actual gaming experience. There’s no sense in creating misleading ads that don’t let people know what to expect from your app. They will bounce right back out as soon as they discover the deception.

Use the power of messaging

When it comes to engagement, messaging works! Whether you use in-app messages or push notifications, well-timed, personalized messages can help push your users toward the desired outcome. In-app messages are well-suited to suggest new products, while push notifications can let customers know when you have a special promotion happening or remind them to check-in. But communication is a two-way street. Make sure users can give you feedback — and know that you’re taking it in — to create loyal users.

Focus on continuous improvement

In the app world, if you stagnate you die. There are always new competitors hitting the market. Adding new features that are driven by data and user feedback will let your customers know you’re listening, and you intend to keep improving your product to win their loyalty.

Ultimately, mastering the art of retention and engagement is about delivering a great product that meets users’ needs, and reminds them how helpful — or fun — your app is when they forget. Digging into your data will tell you how to best apply each of these tips. Where are users getting hung up during your onboarding process? What kinds of deals are most likely to bring them back to your app? If you can answer these types of questions and address them with your strategy, you’ll be on the road to success.