Engagement & Retention
Out today’s talk is about Engagement & Retention. Overall, these two come from a positive, attention-getting product experience which is based on activity notifications, thorough lifespan marketing and community building. Without this, user experience might fade away.
Don’t forget that the knowledge you’ll get today can be applied with Reclever’s tools.
We can’t define “activation” precisely as it varies from product to product. The definition of “activation” evolves over time as marketers seek to understand user’s behavior deeper and search for a way to seize them and hold for as much time as they can. Speaking loosely, activation is the ability to engage users quickly with the product in order to that they can experience the core product value in a short time and start craving for prolonged engagement soon (e.g. new levels in a game, new challenges in training apps, etc.). This is correct for both the product and marketing. If a user doesn’t reach delight in the right moment (beginning it is, usually the first few minutes) then prepare to the “all your installed apps are now forfeit” thing — First Time User Experience does matter. If your app is fated to fail you’ll see it in, at most, the first few days.
To increase retention you should also care for usability of sign-up process and assistance in sign-in, as retention has to prompt users to raise the number of sessions, download the app onto new devices, or log in on borrowed devices while theirs are away. The account itself won’t bring much monetization but the data (numbers, emails, preferences, etc.) collected from it — will do, if used in an appropriate way in marketing. The account can also give a sense of belonging, the place to return to — just provide them with opportunity to modify avatar, status, theme, wall and other. Moreover, if you provide users who signs up with some features this can further increase their delight and decrease the chances to tap “uninstall”. And remember to put everything simple — no one will fill in 50 lines of personal information just to gain a chance to update profile pictures. We have FB, Twitter, Google and others for it.
You must have seen opening links to app store pages after tapping on some pics in the web — this was your encountering with deep linking. Title speaks for itself — the links are hidden inside a piece of content. Deeplinks are a valuable way to drive traffic and re-engage existing users; when clicking on it you can just sip your coffee and wait until the action is done and the wanted content is displayed.
Lifecycle marketing includes communications with target audience with email, in-app messages, push on smartphones, etc. The aim is to normalize and maintain the flow of users over lifespan and gain loyalty, high engagement, monetization. It involves informing, educating, inspiring or motivating users towards deeper engagement; re-engaging slipped users before losing sight of them or encouraging current ones to bring new generations of users and other.
Lifecycle marketing activities aim at users of the same pattern or targeted segments; the activities are triggered by user actions (log in, not logging in for a while, sign up, etc.). But as long as there’s a risk to overdo and piss users off the marketing program should be smart and optimized towards user preferences (measured by clicks, launch frequency, in-app engagement, etc.).
Activity notifications are the notifications that are triggered by worlds’ events (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Obon, Victory Day, Women’s Day, etc.) or events of the network the app belongs to (Playstation App sends notification on new PS+ games in Sony Entertainment Network). Usually real-time generated and personalized for each user bases on their account data and activity analysis, activity notifications inform users of relevant events, things, offers.
Normally activity notifications include:
- social signals: friends signing up, logging in or things they are doing on the platform;
- friends or notable people’s actions or achievements (Ethan posted a new story, Cassandra scored fifth in circuit race);
- social interactions with the user or their content;
- relevant to the user events are happening in the world;
- reminders and warnings (“Leave now to arrive at Le Supreme for your 5pm rendezvous ”, “Heavy traffic in the Downing st.”)
- Relevant to the user’s preferences content:
- e.g. “New track uploaded to the ‘oldschoolers’ group”
- Time-delayed events:
- e.g. “The video you uploaded has been processed and is visible now”
Keep in mind that activity notifications are not the same with push notifications as the latter is a channel for delivering real-time notifications when users are not in the app, and not all of them enable push notifications.
Almost every user wants to be a part of something bigger than just a single floating account in a stack of a million in the web — they want to belong to a union. If you want to build a sustainable in-app community (or the web-based one) where prominent users can meet, discuss your product, come up with ideas, resolve issues (at least propose ideas in order to), report bugs you have to invest a lot. But it’s not uncommon for users to self-organize and create an organic community (web-based in most cases) without publisher’s awareness and control. These volunteers can bring up a huge army of followers especially if the product’s lifespan is long enough and it evolves over time — but none of that will come true without publisher’s efforts on engaging with these gemstones of users, supporting them and praising.
If give a hand to a user who encountered some problem or bug may turn him into a loyal one, and possibly make a promoter out of him — for starters even a reply to a user feedback can raise the mood and show you care for people who tried to believe in your product. Support also requires investment which can be reduced by creation of FAQ’s, user guides and chat bots.
Thus, today we talked about such concepts of the mobile market as engagement and retention. You can use this knowledge effectively in Reclever’s reports.