You ran an amazing ad campaign to drive installations of your mobile app, and you got people to install in droves. Now what? The average app retention rate in 2017 was a measly 20 percent over 90 days. Without an intervention, those users will disappear back into the app store, never to be seen or heard from again.
App Retention Marketing Delivers
Let's face it, mobile users can be pretty flaky. Marketing to get installs of your app is only the first step. It's not enough for the vast majority of apps to simply acquire users. Building retention marketing into your strategy could be the difference between whether those users stick around or not.
The typical app retention playbook goes something like this: Use customer data to personalize outreach, use in-app messaging, and never miss out on a chance for push notifications. Push notifications and in-app messaging work. They're both great ways to advertise new features and facilitate onboarding. Used effectively, apps have been proven to receive a 3.5 times increase in retention over in-app messaging.
It just doesn't work for all businesses, particularly startups who might not have much data yet or systems set up to run personalized campaigns. Messaging can be a drain on the creative department; it can also blow up budgets. Plus, the cold, hard fact is that a lot of people think push notifications are annoying.
People Don't Like Being Pushed
A large number of your app users will simply mute push notifications. More than 60 percent of mobile users turn off their notifications in some categories. That number is much lower for apps that are deemed essential, like ride-sharing apps that could cause someone to miss their ride if there were no annoying ding. In nonessential situations, however, people often don't want an interruption. That fact can leave a lot of e-commerce and shopping apps out in the cold.
With remarketing, you don't have to worry about things like whether half your users have opted out of your push notifications. Here's how remarketing revs up some of the best app retention tactics out there.
Supercharge Onboarding With Retargeting
Adding remarketing to your onboarding campaign gives you new ways to engage people who slipped through your fingers the first time. After all, who hasn't downloaded an app and robotically clicked through the mandatory onboarding sequence just so they could start using the app?
The key to this onboarding tactic is segmenting prospects by connecting ads to actions in your app. You don't want to just blanket every app user with remarketing; you need to tie users to specific actions if possible.
Here's how to set up an audience list for your remarketing campaign in Google AdWords. Go to Google's Audience manager and then "Remarketing," and click "Audience lists." Select the second option, "App users." Then go to "List Members" to pick actions that will trigger your ads, like when someone fills in details on their profile or uploads an image for the first time.
Amp Up Retention Emails With Retargeting
"Welcome" emails work. They generate up to four times as many clicks and opens as other marketing messages. By targeting users on recency, you can boost retention to a whole new level. Take Flight app Hitlist. It reengaged its flock by sending emails to subscribers who hadn't been on the app within a certain number of days of signing up. It sent out an email detailing the usefulness of the app for booking flights to remind users of the value they'd been missing out on.
Take Your Remarketing to a Deeper Level
Data shows that customers who engage with a brand via a mobile app are likely to keep engaging with that brand, which results in higher Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). Deep linking is a way to drive engagement and help promote retention. Here's how it works: With mobile deep linking, people use a URI to link to a location within the app. The link takes a user to exactly that place in the app or website; it doesn't just drop them off on the home page.
In real-life terms, let's say you're promoting your clothing shopping app. You run an ad that offers a discount on short-sleeve shirts to lure your deactivated users who've been shopping in the shoe section but didn't buy. When someone clicks through via the ad, they're taken straight to the shoe department – not sent to the home page.
The results are real. Deep linking has been shown to drive important app metrics. How does double the activation rate sound? Well, deep linking has been shown to double app retention rates, plus users who are deeply linked visit an app twice as frequently as those who are not.
Is Your App Campaign Still Missing Retention?
Marketers know how to use retargeting to recover abandoned carts. But for too long, they haven't used remarketing to recover lost users. Apply these remarketing tactics to help you quickly go from first impressions to fast friends with your mobile app users.