According to studies, one in four mobile apps is abandoned after a single use. So apart from focusing on first impressions and engaging users during the first launch you should think about how to keep bringing them back over time.
Very often a product’s life cycle looks like this:
People get excited at the beginning and open your app more often but after some time they forget about it or they find a cooler app in the same category and stop using yours.
Different apps have different usage patterns. For example, people may use weather or social networking apps several times a day, but if your app helps to find events in the city or provides yoga video lessons than it is fine if it is opened only a few times per week.
Ask this question before you start building anything: How can I ensure that users will keep coming back?
Then come up with ideas that will reinforce app usage. Basically, you should think about your app as a system that uses different channels to stay connected with users, satisfy their needs and even deliver beyond expectations.
Data shows that the majority of users retained for 7 days will stick around much longer. The key to success is to get the users hooked during that critical first 3-7 day period.
So your app life cycle should become closer to this graph (frequency of use, MAU [monthly active users]):
We’ve visualized tips on “How to Make Your Users Open Your App Again” in the one-page infographics.
1. Start a drip email campaign during onboarding.
This is a set of emails sent out automatically on a schedule in the following circumstances: when a user signs up, or based on different triggers or actions the user has performed (like making a purchase or using some feature). Each drip email comes from a queue of already-written emails and their purpose is to give people the right information at the right time.
Think about triggers that make people curious to install your app. What were the goals of those people? What information might be useful for them in the future?
For example, if you’ve created a drawing application, you might send out a series of lessons that teach how to draw something.
Services like getdrip.com or convertkit.com allow you to quickly launch such drip email campaigns.
2. Update users with their results by email.
Emails can be an effective way of reminding users about your product and giving them useful insights. Think of what users’ data is accumulated in your app and might be interesting for them.
For instance, if your app is helping people to manage their family budget, then an email with a weekly balance and largest expenses may help them improve their spending habits and they will also remember your product.
3. Use personalized notifications: push, SMS, chat bots.
Notifications and SMS work together with your app to enrich user experience. It is important to think about customization of such messages based on different factors, both contextual and personal. For teams and people at work that use Slack (popular chatting platform) you can create a bot that can reach your users on their desktop.
For example, If your app is helping people to stay hydrated, you may send them reminders to drink more water on hot days or after workout. Depending on where your users are and what they are doing you should use different notification channels: if they are on the go you can send notifications to their phones; if they are using their laptops – a chatbot will have a better chance of drawing their attention.
4. Leverage of social mechanics.
Our brain seeks out rewards that make us feel accepted, important and attractive. We strive for social validation and appreciation and if your product has a social component you should use it to spur the competition.
Allow users to compare their results with others locally and globally, support sharing and competition.
For example, if you help people to lose weight, you can show them their progress for the last week in comparison with their neighbors or other users worldwide.
More Infographics on Product Design and Mobile Tech
Mobile Stats Infographic 2016 From Flurry
Apple TV UI Guidelines
Visual Story Design Process
Writing is Thinking
UX Tips. Empty States
Apps Analytics Tips
Mobile App Stickiness
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