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9 User retention steps you can’t do without


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As discussed in our let’s get sticky training, getting massive volumes of users is not really the name of the game anymore. It’s all about getting a lot of loyal, engaged users. Users that love your app, use it a lot, generate revenues, and gladly serve as ambassadors to anyone willing to listen (how great is this app!!!). Here are 9 super valuable tips that will serioulsy upgrade your user retention efforts. Let’s dive right in..

9 user retention steps you can’t do without:

  1. Bring popular app-features to the front – Measure performance, identify popular in-app features and then promote them in prime locations within the app.
  2. Localize and Personalize – Adapt your app to local markets (languages, content) and allow users to personalize the app as much as possible (dynamic color themes, fonts sizes, buttons positioning, anything that personalizes view and core functionality)
  3. Update your app often – You should find the right balance (every month could be too much, every year is probably not enough). Make sure your users are aware of the update (using multiple channels: what’s new in app screenpush notifications , email, social networks and so forth)
  4. Occasionally send push notifications – Better if they’re personalized messages (e.g., only to specific segments of users, for example those who are still not using some sort of an advanced feature…), don’t use push notifications too often (don’t spam), include a clear call for action and offer some sort of incentive if possible. 
  5. Build a social community of users – Ask users and convince them (gently) to follow your social pages and groups. Constantly publish posts: Generally interesting and valuable news and info, reminders of your app values when context fits, new features, goodies, you get the idea… Also initiate fun and viral contests related to your app’s usage. Social activity is a crucial tool and it supports many app marketing objectives, one of the major ones being user engagement. 
  6. Include dynamic content or freebies-zone in your app – It could be “free stuff” zone that’s constantly updated, “new levels” library, dynamically promoted content and so forth. As long as you keep your app interesting and surprising you’re good. Provoke their curiosity and they will keep coming back and hopefully become addicted.
  7. Include communication channels in your app – Provide users with easy in-app communication channels – support center, call center, chat center – make them feel someone is listening. You can use some valuable related 3rd party solutions such as Apptentive to empower your app with such capabilities.  It’s recommended that you encourage users to leave feedback, so you could optimize your app based on what real users are looking for.
  8. Initiate retention campaigns – you could “ride” on existing events (such as holidays or your app’s anniversary) to offer some special promotion, complementary virtual goods and so forth (e.g.,” happy holidays!! Enter the app to claim your gift”). BTW Facebook is offering engagement ads for mobile developers
  9. Identify your “dormant users” and WAKE them up – Use your communication channels to approach inactive users (as part of a specific retention plan). Offer extra value for them to get back in. 

Wrap up

Bringing in users is great, but the real, significant ROI will come from returning, loyal and engaged users. You want them to use the app and use it a lot! Use the tips above the constantly stay in touch with users, keep them curious about what it is that you are planning for them next and you will enjoy a group of crazed ambassadors that will promote your app for you – they really want their friends to remember that THEY gave them the recommendation for this great app.. they will be the cool guys in the group, you will enjoy a flourishing, profitable app business. Good luck!

Elli is one of Co-Founders, a mobile expert and a mentor. Having years of experience in the mobile and marketing industry promoting popular mobile apps and B2B related services. Presenting specific expertise on users' acquisition strategies, PR, social media, product marketing, BizDev integrations and more
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