Putting your App's Growth on Autopilot
By Prabhjot Singh, President Pyze
Too often app publishers build an app and it goes un-noticed on the app stores.
Today, more than ever, there is fierce competition between over 4 million apps across Google Play and the Apple App Store. This has resulted in over 94% of the apps to be free-to-download so smartphone users wind up downloading a lot of apps. Unfortunately, those people use very few of the apps that get downloaded.
The apps that dominate our screen time are from companies that have built big data platforms to target and retarget users. Most publishers, whether they are Indie developers or even most Fortune 1,000 companies don’t have the ability to invest in such infrastructures or hire the experts and data scientists needed.
The Pyze Growth Intelligence Platform brings the same sophisticated intelligence and marketing services that big companies use to the fingertips of all app publishers.
In this article, we will delve into automating growth to onboard, activate, engage, retain and resurrect users so you can put your app growth on autopilot.
This article is divided into the following sections:
1. Challenges to App Growth
Most app publishers will say that their biggest challenges to growth are user engagement and retention.
Regardless of whether an app wants to monetize users, build brand loyalty or even just provide a channel to increase productivity, it goes without saying that continued usage of an app is significantly important for meeting an app’s goal.
"Installs and Active Users don't convey the reality"
In today’s mobile app world, Installs are considered to be a vanity metric for growth. Rightly so, they aren’t a respected metric because installs can be easily acquired through a number of known hacks and paid channels. If one has a big enough budget, one can get an increasing top-line of installs.
"Mobile Analytics and traditional marketing automation doesn’t scale to mobile"
Since an app can have millions of downloads from all over the world, traditional analytics based on segmentation just don’t work to be able to properly target a particular set of users or to even identify which users should be targeted for which actions.
Since traditional segmentation tools can’t help precisely target specific user sets, it’s critical for publishers to look for integrated platforms that can help them identify which users to target and then automate engagement.
2. Understanding "Growth Automation"
At mobile scale, targeting sets of users based on their behavior makes the most sense and its important to utilize an automation platform to enable this engagement so you minimize the effort required to identify and engage with users.
An intelligence driven automation solution can analyze metrics across a number of key dimensions based on user behavior, context, geography, device characteristics, networks, context etc. to get a deep understanding of user behavior and actions.
These insights can be used to improve Retention, Activation, and Engagement by automating behavior.
3. On-boarding – First Impressions Count
About 25% of all apps only ever get launched once after download. But the drop-off after second use and third use is also pretty steep. Some metrics suggest that about 77% of all new users drop off during the first week after install.
By providing a customized on-boarding experience at first-launch, app publishers can start to build a relationship to develop repeat users. App Publishers can welcome and thank the user, introduce the benefits and key functionality of the app, and show them how to get started, all with personalized experiences and messaging based on user's traits.
4. Activating & Priming Users for Stickiness
Active Users is certainly a more helpful metric than Installs but surprisingly, not by a whole lot. It’s not just important that a specific user was Active but it’s important to quantify how active that particular user was in terms of dimensions like genre of app, how often, when, for how long and in what areas of the app. For example, counting a user who is active for 3 seconds on a search app may be okay but not a content creation app.
To address this problem, its helpful to also measure and engage with Activated Users – or users who have crossed a certain threshold of activity. Activation metrics can quantify user behavior such as number of app starts, time spent in-app, and number of days an app is used in a week or month and can help in separating just active users from power users.
App publishers should also define custom activation metrics that are specific to their app. For instance, a social photo sharing app may decide to consider a user activated once they share 3 photos with friends regardless of how many pictures they took. Activations provide a unique and insightful characterization of app user behavior and is a much more real indicator of users using the app than active users.
5. Meaningful Engagement Yields Loyal Users
For an app to be successful, it has to develop user loyalty and stickiness.
User Engagement is critical to monitor and respond to because it signals how the app is being used. As users engage with different aspects of your app, you should develop meaningful touchpoints to keep the user’s attention and add value to what they are trying to achieve.
6. Retaining & Resurrecting users
Every app user has a lifecycle. Users can stop using an App for a number different reasons.
As Users become inactive and start to go into attrition, its your job to remind them why they used the app in the first place. By selectively automating reaching out to users at specific time periods, you can retain users that might be at risk of attrition and resurrect users that may have stopped using the app or even may have uninstalled the app.
7. Take the First Step to Automate Growth
Regardless of your goals in developing an app, engaging and retaining your users has to amongst one of the top priorities for any app. In the extremely competitive world of the app stores, the apps that can stay top of mind and build meaningful relationships with their users will be the ones that are most successful.
The Pyze Intelligence Platform offers Growth Automation to help all publishers develop and grow loyal users.
Growth Intelligence is more than growth hacking and growth tactics you use. It is the ability to make the right choices quickly. It is understanding you apps' levers of growth and building a successful mobile app organization around it.
Article by Prabhjot Singh
Prabhjot Singh is the President and co-founder at Pyze and has over 15 years of experience in mobile, marketing and business development. He started Pyze to help all mobile and web businesses build successful brands by personalizing and automating relationship building with their users.
Pyze Growth Intelligence® is a transformative SaaS platform that enables mobile and web app businesses to automate engagement, retention and growth of their users.