Mobile App Retention: 5 Ways to Win Disengaged Users Back

While we wish our app fans were forever loyal, it’s not unusual for users to drift away as time goes on. When users haven’t had a session in a long time, they become a higher churn risk. Getting users back in your app is vital to making sure you stay positioned as a valuable app asset on an individual’s smartphone.

Today we’re examining 5 ways apps can win back disengaged users. Remind them of why you rock!

1. Tailored Push Message Special Offers

Sometimes users who have gone dark with your app just need a little reminder that you exist. The modern smartphone user’s device can get pretty crowded with apps, and it’s easy for folks to forget about you in favor of something more new and shiny.

If users haven’t had a session in a long time, try using push message campaigns to notify them of new sales or limited time discounts (whether it’s for a flash sale on clothing or 50% off premium app memberships).

To really make these special offers successful, make use of app user data. What do you know about the user? What purchases have they made in the past through your app? Use the data you have on that user to deliver a tailored, extra-appealing offer that your user can’t help but notice.

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2. Offer via Email (For Those Who Opted Out of Push)

While push messages are often the ideal method for getting in touch with app users, many folks opt out of push completely. For these users, email is the way to go.

Craft an email offer for these app users – and as with push, make sure to let user profile data and past behavior history dictate the type of deal or discount you deliver to an individual.

3. Targeted Ads via Social Media

Targeted ads have been a staple of online marketing for several years now, and the strategy has plenty of value for apps as well.

Studies show that 20% of all digital media time is devoted to social media, and that nearly 80% of all social media usage is done via mobile devices! Using targeted social media ads to reach out to potential churn risks is a great avenue to explore considering how social media dominates so much mobile activity.

As long as you have the Facebook SDK set up, this is pretty easy to do. Facebook lets you target users based on certain activities taken or not taken (in this case, app launches) within a given time period.

Next time users are surfing around on social, they may catch a glimpse of your app ad and be reminded of just how much they miss you!

4. Say What You’ve Fixed

Sometimes apps have issues. A bug with this or that version, compatibility issues – it happens. And believe it or not, most users are pretty understanding when it comes to mistakes, as long as you’re willing to fix them.

If you had some serious bugs with your previous Android build, and an Android user hasn’t opened your app in a blue moon, now may be the time to let them know you’ve changed for the better.

Being transparent and addressing any app issues head on can earn you the respect of many an app user. Most of them will be more likely to give you another chance if you openly admit your failings and show what you’re doing to address the problem!

5. Celebrate New Features

Users who have gone quiet in your app may just be plain ol’ bored. In an age where most folks have attention spans just a few seconds better than your average goldfish (at least so it seems), it’s easy for apps to lose the glorious gaze of their audience.

One quick (but not so easy) fix is to make sure you’re releasing new and exciting features in your app regularly.

When users get a push message talking about your new barcode scanning feature or a release of new legendary, limited-time Pokemon, they will likely be more inspired to launch your app and see what’s new for themselves.

After last summer’s PokemonGo craze, I fell off the bandwagon around the fall (like many others). It had been a solid 8 months since I opened the app, and I thought about uninstalling it many times. But then, not too long ago, I got a push message about the legendary birds being released, and out of curiosity I opened the app.

Believe it or not, I’ve gotten sucked right back in! Now the legendary dogs are popping up and I’m nearly as devoted to PokemonGo as I was when it first launched.

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It goes to show, new features and updates really can pull in app abandoners. Think about what features users are most desperate to see (hopefully you’ve conducted enough app user feedback to have at least some idea) and make sure to let people know when these long-awaited features are released. Shout it from the rooftops and the users will follow!

Do you have any other ideas on how to get potential churners back in your app? Share your own thoughts in the comments!

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