updated icon April 13 2016

A great app experience is like trying a new cuisine at a restaurant. You either like it so much that you come back to it over and over again, or you’re so disappointed that you keep it as your ‘last option’ even in hunger struck times.

Now a bad app experience would be one that fails to engage a user right from the start. It would also be the first app to get uninstalled when the user decides to spring clean his phone memory.

But with so many applications entering the app stores, how do you make sure that your user doesn’t feel his experience is compromised? Or he could find another app that would offer him something better?

Here are the top 7 strategies to engage and re-engage your app users:

1. Understand why your users are leaving

The first and foremost strategy to execute is understanding why your app users are leaving. Is it the app experience or the lack of engagement that caused him to uninstall your app? The only way to understand this is to include analytics and tracking in your app development.

GetSocial Analytics enable you to track user engagement carefully and understand how he is interacting with various features. It also tracks the length of active sessions a user has had on the app to help you gauge ways to keep him engaged longer.

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2. Track event based interactions

Continuing on the point above, it is important to closely track the series of actions a user makes after installing your app. This gives you insights into how the user perceives your app flow, which of the screen grab his attention the most, which feature is being most interacted with and which one requires a little promotion.

Knowing what interests the user can help you create targeted campaigns that will enable you to hold him back to the app, even after he has completed the initial set of actions. As stated on VentureBeat, there are only 33% of marketers who use event based in-app messaging. But they are known to get 3.5X higher retention.

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3. Leverage from app notifications

In most app categories, 60% users opt-in for push notifications. But here’s the catch – they only want to receive push notifications that are relevant to them and offer some kind of value. This speaks of what assumptions about the notifications a user has based on the app category.

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Hence, use push and social notifications to re-engage with your active and inactive users. There are two ways you can use GetSocial to notify users of ongoing activities on the app without seeming intrusive:

  1. In-app notifications – notification center that alerts a user of a new activity or update when they are within the app.
  2. Push notifications – alerts a users of the latest update or an activity when the app is not running.

For example, if a user has been inactive on the app for a while, a push notification that reminds him of which level he was on and where his peers have reached, is a smart way to bring him back to the app.

4. Make in-app communication seamless

Another reason that apps aren’t able to engage their users for long, is their inability to cater to their need of communicating with peers. When a user is forced to switch apps to do the same, his overall app experience deteriorates and there could be a hundred other factors that distract him.

Using live chats you can engage with a user on a one-to-one basis or in a group, on a real-time basis. You could create clan based chats or general public chats for relevant announcements and updates. The ability to seamlessly communicate keeps the users on the app longer.

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5. Proactively interact with your users online

Like every other brand out there, your app too has social profiles. But all you use it for is to share a few posts from time to time, either announcing a new feature or sharing an app review. Being active on social media isn’t just about this.

There are 95% of posts made by Facebook users that go totally unnoticed by brands. These are usually made by people who have a certain concern that needs to be addressed. Unlike them, make use of this opportunity to interact with your users. The higher your interaction levels, the more engaged your users remain.

6. Use deep linking and webhooks for personalized experiences

To keep the interaction you make with your users across social channels and via notifications, consistent, make use of deeplinking. It enables you to direct the user to the relevant piece of content on the right page within the app. This saves the user time in searching for the relevant screen and immediately engages him.

Similarly, using webhooks will help you track which users are proactively promoting your app in his circles – the number of invites sent, the number of clicks generated and successful installs. An effective webhook system allows you to reward and keep users motivated to not just engage with your app regularly, but also share it in their circles.

Also read: Deep linking: What it is, why does your app need it and how to use it

And most importantly,

7. Enable easy social sharing

If you thought social sharing was important only for content based apps and websites, you’re wrong. Enabling your app users to easily share their in-app activities and achievements on their social profiles, will not just re-engage existing users in his circle, but also give a boost to word-of-mouth promotion.

For example, when a user completes his track on Nike, the app gives him the option to share it with his friends on social media. Those of his friends that are already using the app, get motivated and re-engage with it and those who haven’t heard of the app, become more willing to share it.

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Over to you

With the mobile app market expanding by the day and businesses from every industry trying to enter the same, it takes 10 times more effort and resources to acquire new users. But retaining the existing ones, only requires strategic engagement processes in place.

Maintaining a high user retention rate will help you grow more sustainably in the app market. But it definitely does require testing and gauging what works the best for your audience.

Got any re-engagement strategy or seen one in an app that you found interesting? Let us know too by dropping a comment in the box below!