How to Court Your Mobile Users
Dina Chaiffetz
Dina Chaiffetz

How to Court Your Mobile Users

Dina Chaiffetz, Director of Product Strategy

Mobile users are fickle.

After a single use, one in four mobile apps are abandoned by users.

After 30 days, the average app loses close to 90% of its user base.

These statistics are not news to the mobile industry. We’ve known for a while that investing in retention is increasingly important due to the growing competition from more than three million apps on the market, and a generation of easily distracted explorers.

But what spells the difference between a quick fling and a loving, long-term relationship with a mobile user?

Mobile experts at Amplitude, Branch Metrics, and Prolific Interactive recently sat down to discuss how to acquire and engage users by leveraging lessons from the dating world.

Check out the complete webinar here, or read on for some highlights of the conversation:

Getting the First Date

Mobile marketers know that getting a user to install an app in the first place is no cake walk. How can you increase your odds of getting that critical first date with the user?

In dating, it comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Although many Americans still venture to bars to find a mate, only 9% of people actually meet a future spouse at that venue. The most likely way to meet people is through relationships that start as platonic or through friends – and these relationships carry a 40% success rate.

While leveraging existing relationships and networks is successful in the dating world, how does it apply to mobile? Mada Seghete, co-founder at Branch Metrics, suggests doubling down on efforts to convert web users into mobile users. This ensures that you saturate your existing audience before heavily investing in attracting users from other locations.

“When Charlotte Russe offered a mobile-only coupon to their web users via email, they found great adoption rates and were then able to create a deeper relationship with users,” said Mada. “In addition, providing a link to web users so they can can text themselves an app download link is still a very effective approach.”

Branch Metrics evaluated more than a million links and found that the highest converting link – close to 50% – were users that text themselves a download link from the website.


Making a Good First Impression

Seven seconds. That’s how long it takes to make a first impression according to researchers at NYU. In that short time span, a person can make up to 11 judgements about you, which is enough information to decide if they like you or not.

Suffice to say, making a good impression on a first date is as important as making a good first impression when a user installs an app. Many brands have realized that onboarding is a critical component in creating a good first impression, and increasing the likelihood of long-term engagement.

However, much like an eager person on a first date, some companies come on too strong.

“Often, companies treat onboarding as if it’s the one opportunity to show the user every feature and capability of the app,” said Nandhita Kumar, UX Designer at Prolific Interactive. “That can have the opposite effect by overwhelming the user.”

“The goal of a first date is to optimize for a second date, not try to show someone every good quality you have. In other words, you are optimizing for marriage. In the same way, effective onboarding means providing just enough information and context so that the user can get started and get excited about the possibilities.”

Wendy Vang, Success Manager at Amplitude, agrees, “Showing value is the single most important thing you can do when onboarding a user. The key is to first focus on an action that’s valuable to the user, not necessarily the action that’s valuable to the company.”

Recently, Amplitude was working with a music-sharing app to determine what factors impact new-user retention. The team found that users were much more likely to come back the next day if they played music versus if they shared music, even though long-term success and the point of differentiation for the app is sharing music.

Le Tote Onboarding

Making Your Move

Congratulations! You secured a first date and successfully made a good impression. Now it’s time to make your move. In the dating world, let’s say that means going in for a kiss. The ultimate goal is to reduce the risk of being rejected through perfect timing and effectively reading the signals that the other person is interested in taking it to the next level.

How can a mobile marketer increase the odds of success when making a move such as asking for permissions or prompting for conversion?

Wendy recommends letting data be your guide. Often times there are key actions, or signals, that are common for users who stick around the longest. Using data to seek out those behaviors will help you determine the timing for making your move. For example, you may determine that a user in an e-commerce app who likes five items is more likely to purchase one. So, you can encourage users to add to their wishlist and offer an in-app coupon to prompt conversion after 5 items have been favorited.

Another way to see if you’re making the right moves by testing the waters. In the mobile context, this means mastering the art of the soft ask. Prior to surfacing a native prompt for push notifications, display a screen that explains how the notifications will provide value to the user with the option to accept or defer. Even if the user says no, you still have the option of trying again later.

You can leverage your data to find the best time to make your move, using methods like cohort analysis. By dipping your toe in the water to avoid coming on too strong, you can maximize your odds of a successful conversion.


Digging Deeper into Mobile Dating

Want to learn more about how you can use dating tips to enhance your mobile acquisition and engagement strategies? Read these posts: