With more than 2 million apps in the Apple App Store, focusing on app user acquisition is critical. While acquisition strategies have been successful in generating new users, many apps have failed to engage and retain them. According to Localytics, 71% of the users are becoming inactive (dormant) in only 3 months. With that, there is a need to put focus on engagement and retention efforts for MyOperators apps.

The problem

According to Forrester, US and UK users spend more than 80% of their mobile time with 5 apps. With millions of apps in the app stores it has become increasingly difficult to gain user’s attention and engagement. On average, 58% of users become inactive within the first month after downloading a new app, Localytics remarks. Not surprisingly, in only 3 months, 71% will no longer use the app.

This is an issue for many organizations that struggle to engage their app users and keep them active. Oftentimes the problem occurs in the very beginning. According to Mobilecore, when the on-boarding process is not designed and explained properly, users have troubles setting up and using their new app. In other cases, consumers have difficulties navigating and getting the value for which the app was downloaded in the first place.

Are there quick fixes for long-term retention?

According to Localytics, there are some quick ways to reactivate your sleeping users. However, those tactics will only produce lasting results if there is a retention strategy in place.  Before you attempt to reactivate your sleeping users you have to uncover the reasons that initially made them inactive. Utilizing your app’s analytics is the place to start to gain insights. Once the main issues have been uncovered you should optimize your product roadmap to eliminate or at least mitigate them. 

Because the reasons for your users’ inactivity are very app specific, there is no universal solution. However, we have gathered strategies and tactics, based on insights from industry leaders and our own experience.

Engagement and retention

Optimize the on-boarding experience

The value of your app should be clear from the first session, as 25% of the users only give one chance to new apps. That is why it is important to optimize the on-boarding experience. The best practices suggest that it should be a short, straightforward that makes immediately clear to the customer what the MyOperator app can solve.

In order to avoid overwhelming users, part of the functionality is not explained during on-boarding. In this case, the operator has to ensure that there are proper step-by-step tutorials on their support website. Including supporting visuals and mobile first design.

Localytics remarks that retention is a long-term initiative, but engaging your users during the first 3 days after downloading your app is crucial. This is a data-driven concept named the “3 x 3 rule”. It suggests that the chances of users becoming inactive are much slimmer if they have launched the app 3 times during the first 3 days. To achieve that you could utilize tactics as push notifications, in-app messaging and email campaigns.

All in all, the more session’s users have in the beginning of an app’s lifecycle, the better the chances of retention and long-term engagement.

Turn your app into a customer service tool

As findings from a Forrester study suggests: by not integrating customer service in the “MyOperator” app, mobile operators miss a major opportunity.

Today’s customers search for frictionless ways to solve their support issues. In 2015, 86% of US online adults have used some type of online self-service application, help or FAQ on a company’s website. This confirms the high adoption rate and demand for these types of services. By adding support content and self-service capabilities to their apps, operators provide a valuable service option to their customers.

Content strategy

Relevant content and regular updates are oftentimes the way to attract a user’s attention. As suggested by Mobilecore, you can utilize the on-boarding process to gather data about a user’s interests and content preferences. In content strategy segmentation is key. For best results, push notifications should be only used with content customized to the user’s personal preferences. Otherwise notifications would be counter-effective.   

Conclusion

MyOperator app reactivation attempts only make sense when the initial causes for user inactivity have been uncovered and taken care of. Optimizing the on-boarding process, and adding customer service capabilities and valuable content to your app on regular basis can help, but there is no universal remedy. The solution should be data driven and tailored to the app’s specific context.