App Store Optimization is one of the most critical marketing strategies to sustainably grow an app’s monthly active user count. ASO ensures that your app ranks at the top of the App Store and helps boost conversion rates for your app.
Companies like Gummicube and Helpshift are at the forefront of this industry, helping apps have the results they want in terms of increased visibility, user acquisition, and retention. It is important to note that improving App Store Optimization cannot just end with user acquisition, it is also important to think about user experience and retention.
Strategies for Improving UX & Retention to Grow Monthly Active Users
To make up for the users you might be losing per the leaky bucket theory, companies should look to ways to slow the leak. The first step is to focus on a user retention strategy. Getting users to download your app is just the first step.
According to Statista, mobile app retention averages 32.3% one day after installation but drops down to 4.5% after day 30. This is a large gap in user retention and one that many companies forget to devote resources to. The good news? Once addressed, this gap can reveal a gold mine of loyal MAUs. Below are some ways that you can improve your app user experience to increase your monthly active user count.
Optimize First Impressions
You know what they say…first impressions matter. The same principle applies to mobile apps. Users are the drivers of an app’s success and if they are not impressed from the beginning, they might be more resistant to it from the start and might not continue to use the app. This is why it’s vital mobile apps have prior testing for being user-friendly and engaging.
Start with Onboarding
Onboarding encompasses the actions a user must take before using the app. These steps might include account registration or an instructional walkthrough of how to use the app.
Onboarding should be seamless and as frictionless as possible. If the process is too complicated, users might grow impatient and delete the app. To encourage users to complete the onboarding process, app creators should minimize the number of steps required and make the instructions straightforward and succinct. It is also critical to offer an easy route to a help center/FAQs in case they encounter any issues in the onboarding phase. Be preemptive and make the process as intuitive and easy for new users as possible.
User sentiment is strongly impacted by the overall feeling and flow of an app’s design. Details like loading time, the quality of graphics and animations, or whether the font colors provide enough contrast against the backgrounds can make the app a hit or a miss and influence whether a user will continue using the app. If any of these elements are amiss, the app can sustain a major leak in retention and see a decline in monthly active users.
User Engagement: Push Notifications
It’s not uncommon that an app user’s activity may wane over time. User engagement strategies help recapture users’ attention and encourage them to continue to interact with the app. One way that companies can keep users engaged is by taking advantage of push notifications.
Push notifications are most successful when they are sent at the right time and are personalized to your users. A way to do this is by tracking users’ in-app behavior. These notifications can send absent users back to the app or remind active users of special deals, events, etc. Successful push notifications establish a sense of urgency and make users feel excited to get back on the app.
Boost mobile app engagement and retention by providing incentives and rewards for customers. Customers want to feel valued, and one way to make that happen is to reward them for their loyalty to the app.
There are two ways incentives can be incorporated into a mobile app, the first being gamification. Gamification uses elements to encourage customers to continue using the app, like scoring points, reaching a certain level, or giving out prizes. By allowing users to be in charge of their in-app success, we create positive reinforcement that encourages users to continue using an app.
Additionally, in-app promotions incentivize users to engage more frequently with an app. For example, a retail app may offer limited-time-only discounts or a gaming app might allow users to buy “coins” or objects of value for a discounted price and for a limited time. The sense of urgency and the reward of getting a good deal is what makes promotions such a useful strategy to retain users.
Provide a Bug-Free Experience
Bugs and crashes are the most under-reported user issues. Users will often leave an app and never come back after experiencing them. Many users will write a negative (public!) review, which can hurt your user acquisition strategy. Provide a stable and quality app by having a strong in-app feedback collection process and fixing the issues immediately. Let your users know that you are working on it, and inform them when the issues have been sorted out.
Iterate, Iterate, Iterate
It is necessary to continually improve upon and develop new features to ensure customers stay interested in your app. After a while, users’ interest in and engagement with an app may wane. Additionally, competitive apps may enter the market and capture the attention of your user base. Updated features and new designs can be the magic needed to recapture their attention.
Do not try to make improvements in a vacuum! Feedback about your app from real users is invaluable and is key to making your app a long-lasting success. The implementation of user-suggested features and fixes demonstrates that a brand is listening to and values its customers. Not only can these improvements lead to a better product, but they can build trust and loyalty amongst app users. This is how great apps steadily grow their monthly active user count.
User Acquisition and Retention: Cornerstones of High MAU
While user acquisition is important to improve App Store Optimization, it does not end there. User experience and retention are cornerstones of successful mobile app engagement and are necessary to ensure mobile apps continue to succeed.
Enhancing customer retention can also have an impact on the visibility of your app. Customers who are devoted to your app will support it and aren’t afraid to let others know what they think. As more devoted users spread the word about the app on app stores, social media, word-of-mouth, or any other referral channels, more individuals look up your brand in app stores. This increases the number of searches for your branded keywords and organic traffic.
In an age where customer experience is king, it is essential to take a step back and ask yourself whether you are providing the best product possible for your customers. Users want to feel like you are pulling out all the stops to give them an exceptional experience.
The best way this can be done is by listening to what your users want, equipping them with the features they need, and providing them with a seamless mobile experience without bugs. Implementing the strategies provided in this article will help you succeed in creating the best app possible for your users and ensure that user retention continues to stay up.