You might think that the goal of creating an app is to get people to download it. But that’s only one part of successful app development. If you want your app to stay popular and profitable, then you’ll have to make sure people keep using it.
Maybe that sounds strange to you. After all, people have already downloaded your app. Why wouldn’t they use it? Hang on a second, though—did you know that 1 in every 5 mobile apps are abandoned after a single use? If your app has a large up-front price tag, that might not be much of a problem. However, if you rely on in-app purchases or advertising to provide revenue through your app, the above statistic should definitely concern you.
Don’t panic yet, though—there’s a way for you to escape from the zone of app abandonment. Using a few clever marketing tactics, you can convince people who’d forgotten all about your app to pick up their devices and start using it again. This strategy is called mobile app retargeting, and it’s essential for app developers who want to ensure that their apps don’t get ignored after they’ve been downloaded.
Here are some tips for creating a successful mobile app retargeting strategy:
Remind inactive users your app exists
Just because a user didn’t use your app again doesn’t necessarily mean they hated it. The opportunity to use it just might not have come along before something else got their attention. The user who leaves your app behind once isn’t necessarily gone for good. In fact, all you need to do in most cases to bring them back is remind them that your app is still there. You can do this by using ads.
Ads that target inactive users can get up to 2 x ROI, making them an effective use of your advertising dollars. Isolate specific segments of your user base so that you can create ads designed to draw them back in, whether they’ve only used your app once or have stopped after weeks of continued use.
Related: App Store Optimization: Common Pitfalls to Avoid
Get more mileage from your active users
Even the people who still use your app can be lucrative retargeting prospects. Use push notifications judiciously and you can promote in-app purchases or upgrades that will keep them coming back more frequently. Alternately (or additionally), you can collect email addresses from downloaders when they use your app for the first time, then reach them that way. If you’ve developed another app, you can also use this strategy to cross-promote. People who love your first app may be the ideal market for your second.
Bearing the above in mind, it’s important to make sure you develop your app to support retargeting strategies. Use a high-quality SDK (software development kit) to make sure your app can send notifications, display ads and create new apps that your existing customers will love.
Follow the tips listed above and you’ll see a much higher rate of app usage amongst your customers. App abandonment doesn’t have to be the end of your journey—in fact, with smart retargeting, it may only be the beginning.