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In mobile app design, user acquisition is often foremost in developers’ minds. The downside of this mindset is that prioritising selling the app above all else could set it up for failure.

Keeping Existing Customers Is Key To Success

The truth is that getting new customers to download and use your app is just one part of the app developer’s journey. Retention is where you will get your bread and butter, especially on a subscription model. To improve your app retention, you need methods backed by reliable data-based insights. Here are 5 key data sources that can help you to understand where, when and why app users churn:

First Day User Retention

The most effective apps may lose as few as 25% of their users during the first day after an acquisition. The average app, however, loses as many as 70% of first-time users in the same time-frame. Most apps equalise after that first crucial day when users are still deciding whether or not to commit. Knowing this focus your efforts on improving the first-day retention as this will feed more users through to a more stable retention curve. Track your first-day retention to see what the data is telling you. If you can pinpoint where and why the largest portion of users churn, prioritise this for updates.

Your App Users’ ‘Got It!’ Moment

The moment your app users understand exactly why your app will be indispensable, you are on track to retaining them. Early customer actions need to thus steer towards that ‘Got it!’ moment with minimum friction. Determine the exact actions users need to take to realise the value of your app and build your onboarding process around that user flow. Understand how many times users need to complete actions to really get your app’s value. This will help you highlight the right actions.

30 to 90-Day Retention

After 30 days of use, regular users will have absorbed your app’s features into their everyday lives. What you don’t want is all your users dropping off after 30 days, as they no longer experience value. At the 30, 60 and 90 day marks, you need to work to engage or re-engage users. One way to do so is with long-term triggers:

Triggers That Target Long-Term Retention

If your app becomes part of their daily habits it will retain users over long periods. Use triggers that remind users of the benefits of using your app and their own internal desire to use it. Users’ internal triggers (their own desire to use your app) should be matched by relevant external triggers (such as push notifications) that remind users to log back in and stay active.

User Commitment

Getting users to commit to your app long-term requires making your app indispensable. For example, by storing calendars of friends’ birthdays and reminding users when they are, Facebook gives users an additional feature they find useful socially.

To avoid users tiring and seeking out competitors, make sure you have a mechanism for getting users to invest in your app. This will result in their own use patterns increasing its value to them. Something as elementary as creating a profile with a personalised avatar can do this.

Want to ensure that your users don’t fall away after the first day? Contact Interact today to set up a consultation.

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