boost-app-retentionThere has never been a better time to be a mobile smartphone user. With the smartphone penetration skyrocketing and the app ecosystem growing by the day, mobile app users now have a ton of choices to pick an app that is the right mix of useful, friendly and fun.

There has also never been a more trying and competitive time for app developers. Thanks to the abundance of apps available to the users today, the shelf life of an average app has reduced.

It has become harder for developers to keep the users engaged in the app enough to keep them coming back.

Following are 8 tips for boosting app retention that can help developers create an app for the long run:

  1. Create a quality app with a strong value proposition:
    It seems a given but it can’t be stressed enough that creating a high quality app that adds some form of value to the end users is one of the most important factors in determining the success of that app. An app that is not high quality and does not have a clear proposition will lose a big chunk of its users soon after they download the app. Users need to feel the connect with an app and feel compelled to keep using it because of the value it provides.
  2. Provide a positive user experience:
    It is very important that the app is easy to navigate and provides a positive user experience. It is a good practice to welcome users with a friendly welcome message when they download the app and open it for the first time. App developers can incorporate many such practices to ensure that the users have a very good first impression of the app and continue to enjoy it.
  3. Gamify the app:
    Incorporate game dynamics in your app to make it addictive and compel users to keep coming back to it. Users typically respond well if they know they will get some reward for overcoming a challenge. If app developers can gamify the user experience, users will be continually challenged and rewarded with increased levels of interaction thus boosting the retention rate. And let’s face it, gamification will make the app experience more fun!
  4. Update app regularly with fresh content:
    Users get bored of an app and its functionality very quickly. Seeing that they have so many other options to choose from, it is very important to release new updates with fresh new features to hold your users attention. These updates could be in the form of new levels in a game, new content, new features, etc. However, this can become a slippery slope. App developers shouldn’t send out too many updates because this can annoy the users. There has to be a delicate balance between keeping users interested and engaged in your app with new updates, and inundating them with too many updates.
  5. Build a community on social media:
    App developers should leverage the power of social media to the fullest. It is very important to make your app go social by building a strong community on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter. It is very helpful to have a common place for all current and potential app users to interact and share their views. This is also one place where you could make important announcements related to the app. App developers could also use these forums to provide prompt customer service and answer any questions that users may have. It is also important to make the app shareable on social media websites. Users often download apps purely based on word of mouth buzz and recommendations from friends.
  6. Leverage insights from analytics and iterate accordingly:
    In today’s age of data overload, app developers have access to all kinds of analytics data about their app. App developers must leverage the insights that analytics provide and use it to tailor their app. The trick however is to know what metrics matter and what don’t. It is very easy to get drowned in the pool of vanity metrics. Developers must put in effort to fully understand the power of analytics and choose a provider that best suits their needs. Analytics help developers understand how their app is being used by the end users and provides them with insight to personalize their app accordingly.
  7. Send well timed & relevant push notifications:
    Push notifications have the power to reach the users and grab their attention. The trick is to make those push notifications as targeted and contextually relevant as possible. Push notifications are grossly abused today. Users are typically bombarded with multiple push notifications from different apps, which more often than not result in them turning the push notifications off completely. If users are served well-timed and relevant messages when they are the most responsive, they will be more receptive towards engaging with the app.
  8. Allow users to give in-app feedback:
    App developers must incorporate an in-app feedback mechanism so that users can communicate what they think about the app. Developers should acknowledge the feedback with a customized message immediately and let them know if any changes were made to the app based on that feedback. By doing this developers give users the feeling of sitting in the drivers seat and that feeling of inclusion could go a long way towards retaining them effectively.

Creating a successful app is no easy feat but these tips can help propel your app to success.

This article was originally published on the Personagraph Blog.

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