4 things missing in your app that are costing you users

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Up to 90 percent of users stop using an app just one week after downloading it. This is a particularly bleak reality for app owners who invest a great deal in user acquisition.

But there’s a remedy for app desertion, and it requires a more user-centric approach to in-app marketing. That means not just building a beautiful app that’s easy to use, but also continually delivering real-time, contextual engagements, so that users keep coming back.

Here are four things you can do in your app today to abandon-proof it:

1. Personalized offers

No digital consumer appreciates mass promotions. We’ve become accustomed, both online and on our phones, to seeing information that’s already tailored to the way we browse and use the internet. This is even more true for app users. Segment your audience in such a way that you can target different groups with different offers based on their past purchases or behavior in the app.

In this example, a cosmetics app sent out a personalized push notification to attract users who have shown interest in fashion makeup looks in the past.

2. Unobtrusive communications

Smartphones may be smart, but their screens still don’t leave a lot of real estate to play around with. Don’t let your goals get in the way of user navigation.

Information can be displayed in a way that doesn’t distract or annoy. Banners or tooltips can be helpful ways to insert important information. A gentle highlight can also go a long way to draw attention to information and create urgency.

In this example, a retail app used a subtle highlight for low-stock items, based on a field-value trigger, which creates a sense of urgency for consumers.

3. Make users feel heard

Like any good relationship, your bond with your users should be built on dialogue. A great way to foster this in your app is to create feedback loops — let your users feel that you hear them and care about their opinion.

The easiest way to do that is to create surveys to gauge how users are doing — have they enjoyed their checkout experience? Is there something they don’t see in the app that they would like to see? Ask them. They will feel better, and you can optimize your app — a real relationship win-win.

In this example, the app not only asks users how their in-store checkout experience went, but it also makes users feel heard based on their answers. Those that are not satisfied are invited to leave further feedback, and those that are pleased get even further incentive. Echoing the users’ response back to them is a crucial part of making surveys effective, so they don’t feel just like cursory data collection.

4. Timely notifications

In apps, more than in other digital mediums, timing is everything. The best time to target users is when they’re in your app, but even then, you can get much more granular.

Asking for a review too early in a customer’s journey, for example, is bad timing. But showing users a coupon when they’re ready to use it (and not before they’ve started browsing) is an example of perfect timing.

When you’ve observed user behavior in the app over time, you’ll be able to better anticipate what makes for great timing — but with new users, there’s a bit of room for trying different approaches and seeing which works.

In this example, users get a free shipping coupon right when they can use it — and can enter the code directly under the message.

With 89 percent of consumer media time now spent in mobile apps, it’s imperative to have an effective engagement strategy. Think of ways that you can integrate the four tactics above into your app, no matter what kind of app it is. You invested in the app and in acquiring users — don’t forget to invest in keeping them!

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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