App developers often focus on attracting initial users, but give little thought to keeping them, because they assume that the product alone will inspire users to stay. Spending all of your resources on acquisition and none of it on retention is like buying a pet without food for it. Swerve found that 1/3rd of app engagements last less than a minute. Many apps see those horrible user retention stats for two simple reasons:

Your App Isn’t A Habitready4battle

There is a very low “entry barrier” to get your app, which means the user isn’t emotionally invested in a product that they instantly downloaded for free. Making an app is a holistic experience; keeping users in your app isn’t as simple as “making a great app.” You have to guide users on the road to making your app a habit in their lives. Essentially, you have to market to them proactively.

Push Notifications remind a user why they downloaded your app in the first place, and can be placed at pivotal moments to keep them interested. Clash of Clans inspires their users to battle by letting them know when they are attacked. Circa pings users every morning with the latest news curated for them. Gently remind users of your value. Soon they will come back on their own.

wordpressfaqCustomers’ Problems Aren’t Being Solved

Companies like Comcast can have nonexistent customer care because there is little competition in the telecom industry. Mobile apps don’t get that luxury. It’s important to solve a user’s issue in the quickest way possible, since a user can switch to your competitor in moments. You can also improve your future releases based on the feedback from your earliest customers. Benefiting from customer care is easy and inexpensive with the right tools and tactics.

Having an accessible “Contact Us” in your app is a great start. Customers are more likely to keep your app if they know that there’s someone on the other end willing to listen when an issue happens. An FAQ or tutorial is also a useful tool for user retention that does not require a support employee. Otherwise, users that encounter small problems will become discouraged when there are no self-service options, and will simply leave your app never to return.

Your Monetization Is Disrespectful

There’s a big difference between paying for a better experience and paying for features that should come standard. For mobile games, 35 percent of player revenue is generated in the first three days. That means you need to immediately provide a great app for free customers in order to convert them to pay. If your customers feel like the free version of your app is skimping unfairly, they will leave for a competitor with a better monetization model.

Treat monetization the same way as review prompts–offer the upsell right after a delightful moment for best results. That can only happen if you give users an enjoyable app at every tier.

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