As we’ve written before, success in app marketing is all about retention. No matter how much money you spend or how well crafted your campaigns are, none of it matters unless you can get your users/customers to stick around. If you don’t make a good first impression, you could lose users forever.
So just what does that window of opportunity look like? According to a new study by Countly, you have roughly one week to hook users and make your app a habit.
App users are a fickle group. According to the data, mobile apps lose an average of 60% of their users immediately after 1 week if no marketing messages are delivered to users. The remaining 40% linger on with low or non-existent engagement rates for an additional two months after that initial week. That’s over half your user base gone almost as quickly as they came.
The key qualifier in this data to note is “if no marketing messages are delivered to users.” That is to say, if you neglect to use the marketing tools at your disposal, you can expect 60% attrition. The good news is, mobile marketers have a number of tools they can use to dramatically increase that retention rate during the first week.
Push Notifications Double Retention Rates
According to data from the latest edition of Kahuna’s Mobile Marketing Index, push notifications can double retention rates. When a customer has opted in for messaging, they suddenly become a part of your owned audience. This means they can be more effectively engaged throughout the customer lifecycle — from onboarding to day 90, and beyond. Well-orchestrated messaging campaigns ensure that customers get the best possible utility from your application.
Onboarding can make first-time users into power users.
It’s a huge challenge for marketers to turn people who have downloaded their app into profitable long-term customers. The first step to creating a high-lifetime-value customer is to drive the first handful of interactions with the application in order to create a habit of use. Kahuna data shows companies can expect a nearly 200% uplift over users who either did not receive messages or did not opt in for messaging.
What it means: The first 30 days are critical in creating lasting relationships with customers. Companies can maximize ROI by taking calculated steps to turn acquired customers into engaged customers. Companies that fail to do this are missing an opportunity and simply wasting budget.
Messaging also has a positive impact on long-term retention.
Kahuna data shows that the uplift felt by using messaging in the first 30 days can still be felt on day 90. While the largest gains are in the first 30 days, companies that utilize push messages still see roughly two times more retention than companies that do not use messages at day 60 and day 90.
What it means: While onboarding is an important step to driving long-term retention, it’s not the only thing companies should focus on. Thinking strategically about how to engage customers throughout their entire lifecycle can have significant returns.
If you are looking to turn first time users into lifelong customers, you have only a small window for success. However, with the right tools, improving retention rates through messaging and onboarding can dramatically increase your chances of success.