Do you know a vast majority of users never return to an app after the first use that eventually leads to deletion? Well, that is the fate most mobile app developers want to avoid through the engaging user interface and user experience. But it is better said than done. It involves several challenges.
Inspired by mobile app development, that has mastered the art and science of engaging users, here we are going to explain 8 such time-tested steps. Let us explain the steps one by one.
1. Onboarding experience
The single most important yardstick of user engagement. The real value proposition of an app needs to be explained at the very first moment when a user arrives onboard. Referred to onboarding experience, this often determines the lasting impression that the app is poised to create and consequent engagement.
A good onboarding experience needs quick orientation and introduction to the app, fast access to the information user needs and requesting for permission just when users are more likely to respond positively. Apart from these, the onboarding experience can also be a little funny involving some incentives and competitive elements.
Let’s explain in brief some irreplaceable aspects of the quality onboard experience.
- Quick onboarding steps: A vast majority of users just decides to skip using an app if it takes to complete the onboarding steps for more than a minute. The app needs to provide access to the information or function it is meant for within a minute.
- Minimum registration time: The second most important thing is to keep the registration time to a minimum. Most users prefer to leave the app if it takes too long for registration.
- Applying gamification: Give the onboarding experience a little treat by adding fun and if possible, some incentives that make sense. Some elements of gamification such as badges or stickers, levels for game app players, progress bars, introducing a point system for starters, etc. can engage users more quickly.
- Seeking users permission at the right time: You need to seek the permission of app users for accessing certain information. But doing that several times can be annoying unless you ask for it at the right time when users are more likely to reply.
- Assuring about information safety: Lastly, you need to ensure users that their shared information is safe and secure with you. Only when users feel their information and session safe from any theft or intrusion, they will continue using the app.
2. Ensure that the sign-up process remains easy and fast
For new users, it is important to sign up for the app. If the Sign-up process takes too long and requires them going through nearly an ordeal on the screen, it can actually make them leave the app and return no more.
Keep it simple requiring just setting a new username and password. Moreover, refrain from making them answer security questions unless the app deals with security data. For any casual activity or food or reading or sports app, answering security questions are mostly not required.
There are so many apps that make the whole process of signup too much complicated requiring to go through almost an ordeal at times. As the last piece of advice, we must tell you to allow them opting out for the signup process and do it later. Forcing them to sign up for the first use can actually make them leave the app altogether.
3. Notifications at the right time and right numbers
All over the globe, push notifications are considered as a vital part of the retention strategy. Notifications served right can continue driving engagement and keep users onboard. According to a recent report by Leanplum assured that notifications as part of the retention strategy could help to retain as much as 20% of users. According to the same report, personalized push notifications offer us as much as 7 times higher retention. At the same time, we must remember that too many notifications can only cause annoyance and make users disengaged. This is why allowing users flexibility to opt in and opt out for the notifications is very important. You should allow them to choose the particular notifications they want to receive and timing for each notification.
In this respect, personalized notifications can really play a great role in boosting engagement for users. You should allow them choosing notifications they want to get and avoid notifications they find irrelevant.
4. What about pushing engagement with incentives?
It is a kind of method to push user engagement that became popular with a few app niches these days. It is particularly popular with e-commerce apps. Any e-commerce website turning into a mobile app may find it effective at the initial stage. For your regular buyers, you can provide lucrative incentives with the condition of buying the products through the new app.
This incentivizing purchase through mobile app particularly works great if you have already a mobile e-commerce website with too many users onboard. Special discounts offered for app users can successfully import a significant number of your e-commerce website customers to the mobile commerce app.
5. Make your app an irreplaceable part of life
Just look at the most popular mobile apps in the world, and you are bound to recognize one common thing shared by them. Yes, all these successful apps including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Kindle, Dropbox, etc are part of daily user habits for millions of people. They are digital products that successfully formed a new user habit.
Nobody gives a second thought about searching Google when looking for a piece of information. Can your app produce a habit enjoyed by your users? For example, if you are a local directory app, do your users search it whenever they need to find anything in their locality?
6. Make use of custom in-app messaging
When in-app communication is a popular way to communicate with your users, it is not solely dependent on push notifications. You can also use several other types of digital messaging, most notable messages with media contents. It is important to make use of a mix of different types of contents for user communication.
Custom messaging can be a great option if you have created custom audience groups from your users. When the app continues to grow with steady footfall, it is advisable to diversify customer communication with custom messaging.
7. Focus on deep linking
Deep linking is a method to include links to another app or digital product within content to generate more organic traffic. Such deep linking plays a crucial role in engaging users as well. Deep links of inner contents or sections provided within notifications or through SMS can bring fresh users and can also engage new users.
For example, if your app is about travel plans, the push messages and other in-app communication can always carry deep links to some latest travel packages.
8. Allow users to connect you in real life
Finally, it is incredibly important for any business to help users contact with queries. This brings credibility to the business and helps users offering feedback. By allowing users to contact the business directly over the phone or through text messaging is a great boost to user engagement.
Besides providing your contact details in a prominent spot within the app, it is important to provide an FAQ section explaining all types of queries that users are likely to ask.
Finally, it is important to offer users a distinct user experience instead of just an app with a common look and feel. A distinct user experience that satisfies one user want to the ultimate extent is the hallmark of a successful app.