The time has finally come and your app is ready for release. Now comes the fun and critical steps you need to plan the unveiling of your app with supporting promotions and branded materials to ensure a successful launch. A large part of your launch strategy is creating awareness among your target user base of how the app can be useful and add value. When potential users understand this value and can visualize how your app will streamline or improve their daily life, they will be more likely to download your app. In a recent blog, we discussed several tactics that are useful to driving app awareness and app installs.
Once you’ve implemented a promotional strategy that is driving app downloads, the next task at hand is to ensure your subscribers take advantage of the app’s main features. Consistent usage is one of the best ways to illustrate the value of your app and positively reinforce your subscribers’ decision to install the app in the first place.
“There’s Too Many Apps for That”
App fatigue is very real and, as publishers of both free and paid apps, wireless carriers must dedicate sufficient time and resources to overcoming this pervasive problem. According to a 2018 report by app optimization firm, Adjust, it takes app users on average just 5.8 days to delete apps they haven’t used. From this, it’s logical to deduce that the correlation between consistent app usage and sustainable installs is very strong.
In helping our carrier customers bring several successful lifestyle apps to market, we have learned what works and what doesn’t in driving consistent app usage and long-term subscriber satisfaction. Here are six tactics that we recommend:
- Regularly add new features that improve app experience and reinforce app value - A fresh and continually improving feature set is necessary to prove value over the long term. Additionally, adding new features and functionality provides further engagement opportunities with your subscriber base. Introducing new features that subscribers find useful can also help to illicit positive app ratings and reviews.
- Keep subscribers informed via in-app messaging - Use in-app messaging to keep your subscribers in the loop regarding new app versions and incremental improvements. In particular, in-app messaging is most effective when "deep-linking" within the app is enabled. "Deep-linking" means that upon clicking on an in-app message, a user is taken directly to the relevant page within the app rather than a supporting URL web page outside of the app experience. Deep-linking streamlines overall app experience while increasing the likelihood that users will explore and adopt new features/functionality.
- Usage Analytics are Your Best Friend – Use Them to Your Advantage – App analytics are your most important ally in the constant struggle to boost usage and retain relevance with your subscribers. Analytics are critical to pinpointing under-utilized features. Once you’ve uncovered these areas for improvement, use in-app messaging to promote the features to your subscriber base.
- Promote under-utilized features through in-app messaging - When combined with analytics, in-app messaging can be applied to promote under-utilized features. Once underutilized features are identified, interactive tutorials should be created to illustrate the value of these features.
- Interactive feature tutorials - Use in-app messages to direct users to interactive content on your website, such as GIFs and videos, to illustrate the complete functionality of your app. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. For example, explaining how a Geofence, or a designated safety area, surrounds a particular area becomes clear with a brief animated GIF depicting how to define a safety zone. Tutorials are also relevant and essential when breaking into a new market with advanced, yet easy-to-use features, such as those features found in in the Tracker + Safe & Found.
- Provide an In-App Feedback Platform – Integrate a feedback mechanism, such as surveys, into your app experience to gain valuable feedback from your users. Doing so provides the end user with a voice and is prudent for several reasons:
- It’s effective in mitigating the amplification of negative reviews. Users with negative sentiment regarding your app are less likely to write a bad App Store review if there is an alternate way to express their frustrations.
- It can be used to encourage users who like your app to rate and review it on the App Stores.
- It helps you to gauge overall user sentiment regarding your app.
- It helps shape the feature roadmap of your app.
When combined with the insights gained from app usage analytics, user feedback can provide a blueprint for continuous improvement and sustained user loyalty: Boost the usage of under-utilized features with in-app messages and tutorials – address the functionality gaps and usability issues identified through user feedback – promote the value of each new release through in-app messaging and tutorials and continue to highlight the most widely used features – analyze app usage data, and… repeat!