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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. Tapstream found that only 25.5% of app users stick around more than a day, and the number drops to a microscopic 2.3% after a month. Many apps see those horrible user retention stats for two simple reasons:


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1. Your App Isn’t A Habit

There is a very low “entry barrier” to get your app, which means the user isn’temotionally 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.

2. Customers’ Problems Aren’t Being Solved

wordpressfaq, 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.

Want an army of user retention tools all in one simple SDK? Try out Helpshift, the best mobile-first solution.

Published October 21, 2014
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