updated icon September 13 2016

So you have an app that probably simplifies a user’s daily life or is a game that gives him a break from the day-to-day monotony. But with so many applications entering the market, how do you ensure that your users are actually coming back to your app for another session? Lets take a look at why apps should focus on becoming a part of their users time-out.In a previous post, we discussed why and how games (and other apps) should be measuring user engagement for higher monetization.

App metrics such as acquisition rate and ARPU don’t let marketers and developers fully understand market opportunities that could help them grow bigger. Apps that last in the market go beyond these KPIs, and also measure how well they are able to deliver a great experience to their users over a long period of time.

As a matter of fact, top grossing games in the mobile industry swear by user engagement for their growth. Their primary goal is to keep users actively engaged, lower their churn rates and then monetize from them.

Let’s take into account a scenario here – when PokemonGo launched, the entire world went crazy trying to catch pokemons in their area before anyone else did. In simpler words, the game instantly became a part of the user’s break time, in this case for entertainment, quickly engaging players, and therefore, retaining them properly.

“Whenever a mobile player had some free time, he would firstly check is Pokemon Go game.”

Now consider another example – Candy Crush.

Just how many times did you find people popping candies on his phone? Or how many times did you end up playing the game while at work, having lunch or heading out for a walk?

Yes, these games actually became a part of your break time and that’s exactly why they are really successful!

So how they do it?

Here’s taking a look at some of the strategies that these games have used over time to keep their users thoroughly engaged.

Strategies that will make your app a part of the user’s break time

1. Become their new chatting platform

The moment you get about 5 minutes off from your work, you land up on a chat app to discuss the day with your friends. Our need to socialise actively throughout the day, every day, is actually the strategy that games can use to boost their engagement levels.

Incorporating in-app chats where users can engage with their friends as well as other players, will help your app become a part of their break time. For instance, Frontline Commando 2 uses an in-app chat wherein people can communicate with each other without having to leave the app or seek out to another chat app for the same.

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Frontline Commando 2 using Getsocial’s Chat

2. Don’t miss out on social media

Gather the social channels that the majority of your players come from and are active on. Then create a strategy that reminds them of what your app has to offer in a creative manner – be it sneak peeks into new features, a discount on an in-app purchase, relatable gifs or more, just be consistent at your posting and retargeting efforts.

For example, the Clash of Clans runs competitions that its players can participate in occasionally. This not just re-engages them on social media, but also helps them get a word-of-mouth promotion when they share their participation/ submissions.

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Clash of Clans social media example

Also read: 7 simple strategies to re-engage your inactive app users  

3. Bring them back with engaging notifications

Let’s face it, you can’t expect your users to remain on your app all the time. This is where push notifications come in. Engage and bring them back to your app with push notifications that do the nudging for you. The trick here is to find the right time and the right message to send to your users.

For example, Pokemon Go made use of location personalized push notifications to engage with their users. This practically means that the notification could come up at any given time or any given place a user is at – more sessions guaranteed with that kind of messaging!

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Pokémon Go Push Notification example

4. Become a part of users groups and communities

Your app users are part of multiple online communities and groups. Discover where your users are seeking tips, discussing, or question your app. When you’re a part of their conversations, you get to answer it all first! And when you become the first to resolve their concerns, you show that your app puts its users concerns has a top priority!

For instance, Clash Royale found its players seeking solutions and hacks on Reddit. They nailed the engagement game by becoming the one with ‘the answer’! They even shared the same on social media so that their other players could know too.

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Clash Royale social media example

In fact…

5. Create your own community

Being active on popular groups and communities your users are on, is definitely a smart move. But creating a community of your own, is even smarter!

Let your app users connect with one another and exchange notes on how to use your app more effectively. Creating a community for your users will keep them engaged even when you’re not actively interacting with them. They will also keep each other motivated to keep continue being on your app as well!

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Fancy Cats using GetSocial’s Activity feed

Takeaway

The idea of becoming part of your user’s break time, is to encourage more app sessions. The higher and longer the app sessions are, the more loyal the user is to your app. This in turn boosts your app’s retention rate, reduces churn, and increases in-app paid conversions.

So is your app part of the user’s free time or are you still struggling to get attention?