17 Sep · 7 min read
When it comes to marketing a mobile app, there are 101 different things to be thinking about.
If you feel you are in a good position with most things, honestly, well done. It’s not an easy thing to keep on top of.
As a result, if you’re looking to grow faster, there are a handful of areas you need to pay closer attention to. By doing so, you’ll unlock what you need to do next and where your attention should be.
You can continuously improve your mobile app marketing, so here are some areas for you to start doing just that.
Churn, and retention rates go hand in hand. One means how many people you keep in your app, while the other means how many you have lost.
Predicting and preventing user churn is going to be pivotal in growing fast.
You may be more accustomed to the retention graph where you see a trend line. This graph will depict how many people have used your app after a particular event.
Churn rates tend to need a more extensive timeframe to see more accurate figures. They show you how many people are no longer using your app. More often than not, you want to be using your CRM tool to paint a fuller picture.
If you haven’t done so already, you need to map out your customer lifecycle journey. We discuss this a bit further in the post, but it is in a different context. It also assumes you have already done the minimum here: completed your customer lifecycle journey framework.
Churn rates need to be calculated using the number of unique users in a given timeframe. Typically, you want to be looking at a period of three months. You can do this analysis over one month, too.
Typically, an engagement metric is the best action to analyse for this. While it does not provide a bunch of value to you, i.e., an app open, it is a sign of usage. Analyse a cohort of people who have completed that action and then divide that number by the total number of users who have signed up to your app.
NB: If people are opening your app and not doing anything, then you have a more significant task on your hands to find out why this is…
Five hundred people have opened your app in the past three months.
One thousand people have signed up to your app (not just downloaded) in the same timeframe.
Therefore, 50% of your app users have not even accessed your app and are considered churned users.
Now, what do you do? You need to understand why they haven’t returned to your app and act appropriately.
To grow, you need to learn from this analysis and use it to predict and prevent users from churning in the future. Maybe it was a bug, a lack of understanding, or, more simply, life just got in the way, and you weren’t there to fulfill the user’s needs.
An excellent funnel analysis will help you understand exactly where users are falling between the cracks. This type of funnel analysis is more than just measuring event to event. A full-funnel study will show you every single screen a user sees and takes action on through a specific flow.
Now, we understand that no app journey is going to be entirely linear. It would help if you also understood that not every user will take the same linear journey to get to where they want to go. App users were not made to be one-in-the-same.
However, there are specific flows that will be linear. Your user onboarding series, for example, is most likely the only linear journey that every user will take in order to use the app to its fullest.
Every journey after that is most likely going to be entirely different from user to user.
Focusing on the onboarding funnel, assess each step that a user will take and go one level deeper to look at the screens they land on and progress through.
If you’re lucky, you will see 100% from point to point throughout. More than likely, though, you will see some drop-off on certain pages. Analyse this behaviour and pick up on trends that can create actionable improvements or campaigns. Can the user be reached via push to complete this step? Do they need to be advertised again? Why did users fall off of this page without completing the flow?
Ask yourself these relevant questions and start to drill down even further.
By addressing this specific issue, you can increase the number of people fully adopting your app and increase retention and general app growth.
The customer lifecycle journey is an integral part of any marketing. However, specifically for mobile app marketing, it will allow you to analyse what specific buckets your users are falling into and how they are progressing to the next one.
Mobile app measurement can be tricky to define. The earlier you define these buckets of the customer life cycle, the easier it will be to determine how to push them along.
A great insight is to set up these buckets as dynamic cohorts so you can easily analyse the number of people at each stage on the fly.
To analyse your users this way will bring better abilities to decide what campaigns to run at any given time.
For example, if you see users stay in ‘activation,’ you need to motivate them to enter the monetisation stage. Using personalisation from app usage, you can define that strategy with incredible depth. Personalisation is much more powerful to get them back to the app. Therefore, usage is up, retention is stable (if not increasing), and your conversion rates should grow.
Conversion rates indicate how many people are converting from one event to the next. This is different from the customer lifecycle journey we have mentioned above.
Here you are looking at specific events in the funnel and assessing how many people convert between them.
For example, app installs to user registration or registration to purchase.
These particular conversion events look at a more top-line view and monitor the impact of the product on the user’s ability to convert further down the funnel.
Typically, for a new app to market, the best benchmark to attribute to this is 50% at each point. So, if 100 people install the app, you can expect around 50 of them to register.
These metrics lend their hand to product improvements as well as communication improvements. We mention engagement just below here but how it impacts the usage of the app.
At this point, we are raising the importance of a communications strategy where users are finding it challenging to convert.
A typical use case would be in executing an onboarding flow that the user is taken through once they have signed up. If a particular friction point is not covered, then this can leave the user feeling lost and confused. A confused mind will likely always say “no” and leave.
Another use case would be the application of in-app messaging. This particular function doesn’t tend to need an opt-in because you are not nudging the user outside of the app. Instead, they are being shown relevant information once they re-enter the app.
By assessing where users are typically taking longer to complete an event or dropping off altogether, you can supply them with more information to help them along.
We have spoken about engagement in one context already. Engagement in this instance means engagement and actions from your communications strategy.
You see, every app needs a communication strategy in order to increase app sessions that will lead to more significant events like a purchase, for example.
However, to increase the performance of this particular area, you need to measure the impact of engagement.
Engagement is measured similar to email but with a couple of other things thrown in. You will be familiar with the number of opens, for example, or open rates, where you will start to see some differences in the number of notifications received and dismissed.
Sending out communication to your users in order to push them to take action is just one-half of the equation. In order to assess the success and to improve on your campaigns in the future, you must analyse what users are actually doing after they enter your app via a push notification, for example.
There is one major hurdle, and that is directly reaching your mobile app users. You will see a decent portion of your users not enabling push notifications. The reason is primarily down to having experiences where push notifications irritate people and provide no value. This is where you are going to differentiate yourself in the mobile app market.
Firstly, if you have many users who have not opted in, you need to ask them to do so. However, don’t just show up asking for an opt-in. Tell them why they should and what value they will get from doing so. Otherwise, you can forget about improving your comms strategy.
Check out our article on how push notifications can increase retention.
When it comes to growing fast, you need to be accurate in the analysis you run. If you act too quickly with unreliable data, you may find that you need to back-track and start over again. Typically this causes a whole bunch of cash and resource to be spent on re-doing the entire process.
Before you go headfirst into your growth strategy, make sure you have the right tech and tools in place. Ensuring you are comfortable with the results you are getting and rely on your process is paramount and should not be overlooked.