Reaching 20,000+ monthly users means that your idea definitely works, but your business can still fail if you don’t manage your userbase properly. Success is now all about pivoting your acquisition strategy to focus on retention, engagement, and the overall lifetime value (LTV) of users. You need to create systems that sustain a reliable user community for years to come.

The final part of this series will explain how to:

    • Design events to re-engage users that begin churning from your app
    • Find partnerships or content loops that increase the ROI of user acquisition & retention
    • Transform user support into a profit center designed to engage and upsell
    • Research cost effective solutions that prevent the need for expensive in-house projects

Personalize Your Marketing

By now you should have an idea of the types of users your app attracts. So then you also know that your users show up from different places: referrals, organic search, and advertisements to name a few. Create landing pages for each way that users are finding your app; the personalized experience greatly increases engagement. AirBnB saw 25% more bookings just by making a separate landing page for referred users. Don’t forget to offer special deals for referrals or via advertisements. Once you start to segment users to engender personalised experiences, your marketing efforts will see a lot more return.

Pursue Cross-platform Partnerships

Every other product isn’t necessarily a competitor to beat. One of the most profitable things a successful app can do is partner with another successful app. That’s because every user has a natural churning moment. For instance, 65% of people stop using apps 3 months after install. Yet while they approach the average churn time in your app or show signs of disengagement, you can use that moment to advertise a partnering product.

Our 5th webcast explains how to adapt a proven hollywood strategy that transforms natural churn into a cycle that benefits all. “One thing Hollywood has right is that they negotiate releases with one another, so that each product launches with the best possible noise in a quiet room. They make money together,” Sean Kauppinen reveals. Sometimes making an ally is more useful than defeating an enemy. Research your market for that kind of potential.

Surviving in today’s competitive mobile market is only possible by listening to your users and taking action. Community & support costs aren’t a ‘necessary burden’ that companies take on; when linked with the product department, your support center becomes a revenue center that easily bolsters the strength of your app. The VP of Engineering at Acompli (acquired by Microsoft to become Outlook) shared how he had weekly meetings with his support team to determine top complaints they could address. He made the connection between community and product a natural part of his iteration process–and was able to sell for $200M.

Gamify Your App

“Gamification” is when you use core concepts in game design to increase engagement within your product. Users are simply more incentivized to dive in when competition and rewards are involved. An easy way to begin is by placing achievements in your app. Allow your users to earn badges, points, levels, and other indicators of progress that inspire them. The results are even more effective if users are able to compare their progress with one another.

Gartner reports that “the sweet spot for gamification today is customer loyalty and marketing applications with consumer brands,” adding that companies should “evaluate opportunities to leverage gamification to change behaviors.” You may be surprised how gamification can make conversion a lot easier.

Shop for Solutions

You can’t afford to build an in-house solution for every pain point you meet. If you haven’t done so already, really shop for solutions that will scale with your product and make it better. 99% of large companies use at least one 3rd party solution. Many companies adopt a service for their product starting with the beta. Generally, mobile apps need help with:

Streamlining their onboarding process: Integrate a Facebook or Google login with your app. 80% of your mobile users have Facebook accounts, and apps see a 20% increase in conversion when signing up is as simple as pressing that blue button.

Getting digestible analytics from crashes: Crashlytics comes highly recommended in the apps industry for their crash reporting. Be sure to shop around for your individual need, but they are a good start.

Gathering actionable feedback with support: Use an in-app messaging platform for frictionless customer feedback. 90% of users that engage in a conversation come back within the week, often several times a day.

What now?

I hope you enjoyed the How to Hack Your App Retention Strategy series! Enjoy!

Originally posted on the Helpshift blog.

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