So you’ve gone through the process of creating a mobile app and now you need to ensure it’s growth for success. Mastering user acquisition and retention techniques, using analytics tools, paying attention to additional features, audience targeting and referrals as well as testing out different monetization approaches are among the best steps to building up a stellar mobile app startup growth strategy.
What to Consider for Your Growth Strategy
User Acquisition Techniques
Getting better acquainted with SEO and content marketing and using Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla are a great way to attract users and spread the word about your app with screenshots and demo or teaser videos. Building a relevant content marketing strategy can attract plenty of potential new users to your website organically.
App store optimization (ASO) can also increase the visibility of the app in stores using elements like keywords, good icon designs, screenshots, video tutorials and informative product descriptions to boost its rankings. Utilizing social media to your advantage can also help in the task of acquiring users like sharing product information in communities like Quora and Reddit. You can scope out trending hashtags or even create a specialized hashtag for the app itself. Social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube can also be used for advertising purposes to boost the reach of your app.
Retargeting customers can help you to stay ahead of bounced traffic and show your mobile app ad to users surfing the internet who don’t initially interact with your site. And finally, boost campaigns can help move your app to a prominent place in app store rankings. These campaigns are when people buy a large amount of media exposure for their app for a short period of time which can then result in a large number of downloads in a short amount of time.
User Retention Methods
First impressions are important, and so creating a smooth, quick and straightforward onboarding process is a good start to retaining app users. There is no need to overwhelm users with a long and complicated onboarding or else they could quickly abandon the app. Adding elements like progress bars so users known when the process will be over can help to increase retention.
Push notifications and in-app messaging are communication tools that can be used to interact and engage with users, giving them quick and informative messages about new features and functions. These are great reminders to users that the app still exists on their smartphones, giving them a reason to return. When user interactions and engagements increase, so does the growth of your app.
Mobile personalization and loyalty programs can also provide a very unique experience such as making recommendations to readers based on previous behaviour and in-app activity and providing them with an incentive to keep using the app like with rewards, discounts and coupons.
Adding New Features
Something to consider when thinking about your mobile growth strategy is your product roadmap. Once your app has been released to the public, you can add new and valuable features as you upgrade it to newer versions. These can be a great way to generate different revenue streams and entice users to stay with the app long-term. This is also a good opportunity to remove any sources of friction before adding the new features, such as functions that may be unpopular and don’t work well for users or users doing accidental taps on the wrong button if there is too much clutter on the screen. We will discuss how to determine which functions work and which are unfavourable to users down below as we go over app analytics and A/B testing.
Tracking App Analytics
Data is essential for any growth plan. Going over app usage data can help to understand how well it’s functioning, how often users are in the app every day and analytics can measure which features are attracting users the most and maybe which areas of the app are the least visited. Keeping track of the app usage data is helpful for grasping how the app could grow much faster and it allows you to continuously improve on the pain points, making the user engagement and experience more pleasant. The following are different strategies for analyzing and tracking app usage data:
Heatmaps: Touch heatmaps are tools that monitor all the different gestures done in your app whether it be taps, swipes, double taps or pinches. The heatmap is layered on top of the app so that you can see how users are interacting with it. These interactions are shown in a colour frequency from blue to red, with blue showing the lowest interactions and red showing the highest. This can help reveal which features on your app are the most and least popular. With a heatmap you can see if there are any unresponsive gestures coming from your app, this means when user interactions and gestures with the app are left unanswered. For example, this could be a bug in the app leaving some of the buttons unusable or unresponsive. You could see maybe a lot of users are constantly quitting out of a particular screen and then investigate as to why that is happening.
Google Analytics and Mixpanel: These platforms can also both aid in tracking web and mobile traffic. Google Analytics is a free tool offered by Google which collects data related to actions by users, individual app visits, individual page visits as well as button clicks and video views. Mixpanel has the same idea where the goal is to track user interactions with web and mobile applications to better understand how users engage with your product.
User recordings: This is pretty self-explanatory where everything the users are doing with your app is recorded. You are able to follow them throughout their entire app journey. This gives you insight into the users’ experiences, whether anything needs to be fixed and if they are experiencing any particular problems.
A/B testing: A/B testing is a way to test two different versions of an app to see which works and performs best. The testing process involves half of your traffic being shown an original version while the other half is shown a modified version. The users’ experiences are then recorded, measured, collected and analyzed.
The following are a few testing tools that are helpful for monitoring the user experience in your app:
Appsee: With this analytics platform you are able to see how users are interacting with your app with session recordings and heatmaps. With this, you can experience firsthand any problems the users might be facing.
Loop11: This is an online user testing tool with video and audio recordings. You can also invite participants to take a usability test for your app which helps you understand what works and what doesn’t.
Apptimize: This is an A/B testing platform for iOS and Android applications to improve on user experiences.
Generating Referrals and Finding New Audiences
After reaching the initial target audience with your app, you can keep an eye out on new opportunities and begin looking at other areas which could benefit from your product. With referral marketing, you can use the network of your already existing users to your advantage. You can offer current users an incentive for recommending your app to their family, friends and colleagues. Your users can easily find out about referral programs by sending out notifications and promoting it across your product’s social media channels.
The users can send and share with their friends the referral links and codes to experience the app. In fact, 92% of consumers from around the world trust recommendations from family and friends more than any other forms of advertising and marketing. In return for referring the app to other people, the users could receive rewards and monetary benefits like app credit. For example, an app user could get 50$ in credit for referring the app to 5 friends. The goal is to make it worth their while to recommend your app.
Testing Monetization Strategies
There are different monetization models that can be tested out to generate the most value. The following are a couple examples to consider:
Freemium: This type of app can be downloaded for free but users can pay for special features or purchase a monthly subscription for a premium version. You can also offer users free subscription trials. People may not upgrade for paid subscriptions if they don’t quite see the value in it or they aren’t sure if it’s worth the money. With free trials, they can access special features to test them out without the risk of having to pay for it. It gives them a chance to see if they enjoy the paid version of the app.
It is also important to make sure that the paid features have enough value for customers to be willing to purchase them, otherwise, they will simply continue using the free version. The free trials and access to exclusive features might help to convince customers that the paid premium version can solve their problems more effectively than the free version.
In-app purchases: These types of purchases can be virtual goods like coins or credit for mobile games. Limited time offers can also be included to increase conversions and to convince users to engage with different in-app goods and features.
In-app advertising: This is where advertisers are charged to display their ads in your app.
Paid apps: This type is fairly self-explanatory where users are charged an initial downloading fee. With paid apps, it is important to remember to optimize the price or else users will refuse to pay if it’s too expensive. You could test different pricing structures and run them through A/B testing to find the right pricing balance. Because even charging too little could be bad for generating revenues.