There are far too many apps that can’t hold a customer past the download day. As a developer, you want to focus your efforts on the code behind the app. But it’s essential to remember that it’s a balance.
A perfectly coded app with no customer loyalty, doesn’t get very far (or make much money). Having said that, we wanted to share a few simple tips you can implement today to help increase user retention:
Thank the user A thankful app is a memorable app
Only once have I opened an app and got a “thank you” for downloading and trying it out. A simple “thank you!” forms an instant bond between the developer and the user. As a user, I’m spending my time downloading this app and trying it out, and it’s nice to know that it’s directly appreciated by the developers.
Reward early adopters Word of mouth is your strongest marketing tool
If you can do something to reward those who use your app during the release phase, you will be doing yourself an incredible favor. Just think…if you can give those early users with mobile app influence (bloggers, individuals, etc) access to more costly features, they will tell their networks about it.
Maybe this means giving them temporary access to paid features, or maybe it just means giving them credits to buy stuff for in-app purchases. Either way, rewarding your first users can be nothing but productive, as these are the people that will determine whether or not the start spreading the word.
“More coming soon” Find a way to tell the user that more is coming
I was playing Amazing Breaker, and on the stage select screen, it clearly showed me that I should check back soon because there will be new levels soon. This gives me a reason to play the game in the future.
Not only does this get me excited to play the new levels, it makes me feel awesome as a user because “wow, I got so much more value out of that $0.99 than I thought I would!”
The “world’s smartest damn alarm clock,” Zazu, alerts me that there will be more functionality in the near future. This makes me, as a user, want to check back when an update comes my way.
It’s such a simple way to keep your users hooked & coming back, and I know that the next time I see a Zazu update, I will immediately be opening the app looking for the upgrades.
While this is very effective, developers must be cautious that they can actually deliver on their promises. Nothing would anger me more than months going by & still no update.
Get Feedback Find out what your users like/dislike & deliver on suggestions
Getting feedback is absolutely key, and there are ways to go about doing it the right way. Apptentive.com is an incredible tool that allows you to seamlessly integrate a feedback system into an app. These guys are ahead of the game when providing feedback tools. These tools are easy to implement, and the feedback provided is the best way to understand where to take the app.
Unlockable features Give users incentive to spend excessive time on the app
This is an absolute necessity for the success of a game. With the introduction of unlockables & achievements, users have a strong desire to continue playing to unlock everything.
For example, the only real reason I still play Temple Run is to max out all the features in the game. I have gotten bored of the game itself, but due to some strange primal desire, I feel the need to keep playing in order to see all the bars get filled.
It plays off of the competitive nature of humans. Give users a way to prove their skills in the game, and give them a way to be able to boast to their friends about it.
Consider having a referral system within your app (especially if your app hinges on social networking engagement).