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How not to retain users
on a mobile app.

The 4 common mistakes your competitors are making.

By Sol Hardy

Read time: 5 minutes 22 seconds

Your competitor’s apps suck.

and let’s take that one step further, most mobile apps out there suck.

 “We estimate that up to two-thirds of apps receive fewer than 1,000 downloads in their first year, and a significant proportion of those get none at all.”

We don’t want your app to fail. The cost to your family, wallet and reputation just isn’t worth it.

Below we will highlight data from leading app analytics providers and thought leaders of what not to do when releasing a mobile app. 

So you can make an informed decision, making sure your mobile app doesn’t suck!

Here are the 4 most common mistakes most apps are making.

Ready to learn from them?

1. Most mobile apps are not focusing on the first time experience.

(The average app loses 77% of its users in the first initial 3 days.)

2. Most mobile apps are not utilising clever messaging and push notifications:

(Apps that use targeted push notification receive 2 to 3 times higher retention rates compared to those that don’t)

3. Most mobile apps are not offering a strong enough reason to use the app.

(Apps that offer some time-sensitive incentives get higher retention rates. For example, apps that give the users a reward for using the app do better.)

4. Apps with bugs and bad user experience directly ruin retention rates.

(Most mobile apps provide bad user experience or an app with lots of bugs. This has a direct effect on user retention)

References and good blogs to read for this data.

* New Gen Apps, Leanplum, Global app testing, MindSea, Andrew Chen, ClearBridge Mobile, Buildfire.

How will you be different?

Ready to beat your competition?

Now you know what holds back most mobile apps.
We will focus on what you need to do differently. 

Your goal is to focus on retention.

If you have happy regular users that can’t stop talking about your app, then you will grow your business.

How can you learn from these 4 common mistakes

Ready to beat your competition?

Hand holding Iphone1. Focus on the first time experience.

If you don’t have a strategy for releasing your app, then the chances are you will lose 77% of your users in the first initial 3 days. That means for every 1,000 people you bring into your app you will lose 770 of them unless you do something about it. 

From the moment the new user downloads your app, the first 3 days are the most important, so, onboarding, signing in/signing up and initially using the app should be well thought through. 

Limit the number of restrictions as possible. You should be looking to wow the person in the first 3 days. Try and think of a clever way to take your customers on a journey.

Be creative, you don’t always need to stick a big sign up button on the first page. 

If you can think of a clever way to keep your users interested in the first 3 days, then you are already ahead of your competition.

2. Utilise personalised push notifications. 

If you don’t use push notifications then your app is in a strong position to fail.

Push notifications get 20% more retention rates, and personalised push notifications (like social media apps) do even better. Some studies say you get up to 7 times more retention with personalised push notifications.

If you aren’t personally inviting your users back into your app regularly, then they most likely will forget about you. 

“On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.” James Clear: Atomic Habits

We aren’t saying spam your users, but let them know regularly when there is a great reason to reopen your app. Because it may take as long as 66 days before your users will remember to open your app without receiving a notification.

3. Offer a strong enough reason to use the app.

There are a lot of barriers to a mobile app. Your customer has to hear about your app, go onto an app store, download the app, wait 20-30 seconds, sign in, etc etc. 

Compare that to a website, where they can have almost instant access.

Because of this, you have to make sure there is a strong enough reason for your customers to use your app regularly, or you will lose people very quickly.

In the app world, our main measure of success is something called “stickiness”. Stickiness means, how sticky is your idea, how often will someone need to come back onto your app to solve a problem they face.

Lots of companies have done this well, Starbucks – reward users for buying coffees. Under Armour – help people work out. Uber – Help you get a taxi. These are “real-world” problems that require regular action.

You may be wanting to create an app that doesn’t solve a real-world problem. That is ok, but you still need to apply stickiness to your app to maximise retention. 

4. Focus on the user experience

Unfortunately, irrelevant to your idea, you are competing with the likes of Facebook and Google if you want to make a good mobile app.

We are blessed in the modern world that companies like Facebook and Google offer us amazing technology for free.

This is a problem because we (as app users) have got used to expecting amazing software, without spending a dime.

How often are you on Facebook and it crashes? How many times do you search for something on Google and get no helpful response? ALMOST NEVER!!!

That is because they focus on great user experience and preventing any bugs.

Irrelevant of the app you are looking to build, if your app isn’t easy to use or has lots of issues with it, you will lose people. Because nowadays, we expect to use great software all the time.

Are you unsure of how much it costs to build a mobile app?

We have put together a simple guide to help you understand how much your app idea would cost to build. We have been app developers in Bristol for a while, and feel confident that these prices will help give you clarity for when you are ready to build an app.

What else?

So, Now you know what not to do. What will you do?

We have put a guide together to help you understand the 5 decisions you must make before building a mobile app.

Good news, with just a few tweaks to your idea, you are on the right path to building a mobile app that beats your competition and grows your business.

Download our guide to
prevent unexpected
costs and mistakes.

Together Let’s turn your idea into a solution!