Ignoring Mobile Re-Engagement: Why Many Apps Fail

mobile re engagementApp development is a labor of love. Hundreds of hours go into defining the concept, outlining the features, designing the interface, writing code, beta testing, and releasing the app to end users. After all that work, it would be a shame if your idea becomes a one-use wonder. Unfortunately, that’s not far from what happens to a majority of mobile apps. The harsh reality is that fewer than 38% of users launch an application 11 times or more. Users will readily download an application, (it’s next to no commitment on their part) but they require routine reminders and incentivization to remain active. Unless your final product factors mobile re-engagement into the custom app development strategy, many users will act like balloons cut adrift, never to return again. Here are two key strategies that can help retain your audience after download and keep them engaged.

Sending Push Notifications

Out of sight, out of mind is a serious risk for any mobile app. Smartphone users interact with about 30 apps a month (an average of one-third of the apps on their phone). The rest go unused until inevitable deletion. Though the strength and intuitiveness of your features matter greatly, regular and well-timed reminders prevent your application from being forgotten like last week’s Chinese takeout. One of the most effective ways to encourage mobile re-engagement is through push notifications.

At their most basic, push notifications are strategic pop-up messages. They can be triggered by predetermined events (in-app actions, location-aware messages, lapse in use, etc.), displaying banners both inside and outside of the application. They range from messages encouraging users to deepen their experience to those promoting new features and local offers. With the right frequency and approach, they can keep users regularly engaging with your application.

However, push notifications are constantly walking a fine line between being appreciated and annoying. At least 22% of consumers say they would stop using an application if push notifications from an app exceed two to five per week. That doesn’t offer a whole lot of margin for error. How do you balance mobile app user re-engagement? Here are few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Time them just right – When is mobile app re-engagement most effective? Each app is going to have a different window for reaching its target audience. Time zones and trends in user activity will determine when push notifications are most influential on users. Follow those schedules to avoid creating needless friction in the user experience.
  • Customize notifications – Push notifications should be sensitive to each user’s individual experience. User preferences, actions, frequency of use, and geographic location should all be incorporated into personalized messages. Apps that customize each user’s experience do more to cultivate a user base than those with a one-size-fits-all approach.

Remarketing during the User Journey

You can’t rush users into decision-making, but when they’re ready, you can impact their decisions. Remarketing has long been implemented in the web experience as a way of following users and keeping brands front-of-mind when the time is right. However, the cookies that make remarketing possible from website to website do not apply for mobile applications. The good news is there are other alternatives to use for your mobile app re-engagement strategy.

Most remarketing strategies depend upon the ability to track user interactions. For mobile apps, that is made possible by unique identifiers like the Advertising ID for Android and IDFA for iOS. By pinpointing and tracking these mobile fingerprints, you can target messaging to fit a user’s operating system, activity, and preferences. Like push notifications, this strategy increases your ability to connect with users when they’re more susceptible to seeing the benefits of your application.

How do you incorporate remarketing into your mobile application? Here are few best practices that draw in users without being too overbearing:

  • Personalize ads by segment – The remarketing ads targeted to users should be relevant to individual experiences. Are they regular users? Are they one-off users? What is the user’s gender, age, and geographic location? Have they taken certain actions or made certain in-app purchases? The answers to these questions will help narrow down the exact message presented to user so that it will be applicable and seamless.
  • Create deep links – Since web links and ads don’t work the same way in mobile apps, some companies achieve a workaround through a process called deep linking. This method funnels existing users back to your application (to be seen and used, the app needs to be installed on a user’s device) from other apps, browsers, push notifications, or SMS messages. Each platform that allows deep linking requires its own set of steps to be followed precisely, but the rewards can be great.

Want to upgrade your mobile re-engagement and improve your user experience? Contact us to ensure your application retains the users you attract.

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