updated icon July 7 2016

So you created an exciting application and it got approved in the app stores as well. You’re all set to see the ball rolling, while you sit back and watch the app grow. Now the chances are, either your app is so optimized that it is an instant hit or it would require at least a few updates to get there. But what is it that you need to further work on? Which aspect of your app needs improvement? Your users are the best way to find that out and this is the importance of dev-to-user communication.

The importance of early-on engagement

In a previous post on growth hacking the soft launch of an app, we mentioned how engaging with your users right from the start was an important aspect that marketers and devs should look into. It is important to create a ‘loyal users’ community before you grow your app further to be able to leverage word-of-mouth marketing and grow more sustainably. Here are some business stats:

  • Retaining your existing users is 10 times cheaper than acquiring new ones;
  • In-app engagement reduces the cost of user acquisition by 90%;
  • Referred app users have double the retention rate than those acquired via paid campaigns.

The #1 strategy that an app developer must adopt right from the time his product enters the market, is interacting with the users himself.

We’re not saying that once your app has acquired thousands of users, you need to individually go and speak to each one of them. But we do think that the communication with the initial set of users is important and eventually an occasional conversation should definitely be a part of your mobile growth strategy.

The new must-have: dev-to-user communication!

A lot many app developers assume that it is the responsibility of the marketer or the community manager to consistently interact with the users. But the truth is, developers do need to step-in every once in a while to interact with their users. You created the app and there is absolutely no one out there who understands it at your level. While the community manager might have a solution to a user’s concern, you might actually have a hack that he could use every time he got stuck somewhere in the app! And when you provide this level of instant gratification to a user, you build yourself a loyal community that will aid to your app’s growth. Here’s taking a look at a few reasons why we think the dev-to-user communication is extremely important in the competitive app market today.

You can provide tips and tricks to your users

Users often don’t use the app as you desire. Sometimes they take a while to find an in-app conversion and at times, they drop-off before the same. This drop-off usually happens if the user is not able to achieve a goal in the app.

Instead of him having to reach out to others or your community manager for help, you could engage with him in a timely conversation. You could let the users know that they can simply share screenshots of where they are stuck on their Activity Feeds. Then share tips and tricks that he could use to get ‘unstuck’ from where he is and he is sure to stay on the app longer.

For example: Assuming you have a puzzle game. Now you can see Barbara stuck on level 3 for a while and none of the tips given to her seem to be working. You could use this opportunity to engage with her in a one-on-one conversation to help her with a hack up your sleeve!

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Ruzzle Adventure activity feed

You get to learn from your users directly

Getting reviews and feedbacks from a third person is one thing. Sometimes a few aspects of the feedback from a user, get unintentionally missed. But considering how important it is to keep the user’s experience seamless and satisfying, you wouldn’t want to miss out even a little bit of data. Developers could have one-on-one conversations or global conversations with his user community using GetSocial live chats to garner feedback on his app.

For instance, you launched a new level in your game but aren’t sure about how difficult you have made the level. You could let the users try it for about a week and then have a conversation with them to see what they think about it. If it’s too complicated for them to even understand, you’ll know exactly what to do!

The game Fancy Cats has implemented this tactic very successfully. See it in action here!

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Fancy Cats activity feed

You can encourage them to work as your ambassadors

When you communicate with your app users frequently, you create the impression of being someone who is customer-centric. This helps create a community of loyal users who are more likely to recommend your app in their circles or even invite their friends to it.

Using GetSocial Smart Invites you can create easy to complete in-app referral campaigns and encourage these users to work as ambassadors for you. You could incentivise the activity by offering them a feature for free or a special discount on an in-app purchase.

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Trolls Vs Vikings Smart Invites with incentives

You can personalize in-app purchase recommendations

Personalization and contextual marketing is very important if you want to achieve a high conversion rate. When you communicate with your users, you are able to better understand what they need as per their usage of the app. This helps you give contextual purchase recommendations that they are more likely to convert on.

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GetSocial Social In-App Purchases in Front Line Commando 2

Over to you

The mobile app market is booming and the competition is increasing by the day. Don’t be the one to lose out on users just because you were ‘busy’ making your app better. Be the one who is known to be ‘very interested’ in what your users are doing or have to say, to create a better experience for them!

Do you think developers should communicate with their users?