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12 August, 2018

Maximizing App Engagement to Boost Your ASO

ASO
Best Practices

App Engagement

Why It is Important and How to Maximize it

You’ve got a great new app to put on the market – it’s something you value and think the world needs. You are sure it’ll be a winner! You would think that the daunting process of creating an interesting, informative, fun and interactive app would be the hardest part of marketing the app. I mean, think of all the hours you would have to spend drawing up ideas and plans. Coming up with questions like “What could be useful to consumers?” and “What do people really want to spend their time (and, potentially, money) on?” and perhaps the hardest one yet, “What ISN’T already out there?” That’s a lot to think about to even just begin the app development process.

But then you move on to design it, to test it, tweak it and make it perfect for the current market. Okay, cool, wipe the sweat off your brow!

It’s time to set up meetings on how to advertise your app. You’re thinking that once the app is in the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store, then the coast is clear and the rest will be incredibly simple. But wait — what if your users do what much of the population has been known to do, and they simply download the app to appease their curiosity and then delete it or never open it again? You may be asking yourself, “Will that happen to my app? Does it matter how often or how long they actually stay engaged with the app? C’mon, it can’t have that much of an impact on my App Store Optimization strategy, could it?”

Well it’s time to buckle up and pay attention. yellowHEAD is here to help!

User engagement can and will affect your app’s rankings solely based on the fact that the platforms want to see quality apps that users keep coming back to. The app stores are able to see the amount of engagement that users have and base your app’s value on it. If users are not coming back, the app is seen as a low quality app and, therefore, should not be ranked as strongly anymore.

Fear of the Churn

First thing’s first, we need to address the most problematic aspect of app creation – the churn.

What is churn? Churn is the rate at which your subscribers lose interest and cancel their subscription or in-app use.

This does not bode well for business. If you are losing customers and not gaining enough of them, your ratings will be lowered in the app store. Your company’s growth depends heavily on how many users are staying engaged with your product, in this case: the app. While your rate of growth measures how many new customers you have, the churn measures how many you have already lost. Naturally, the growth has to outweigh the churn in order for your company to be experiencing growth. You need to keep getting customers to not only download your app, but use it regularly.

Read more about how to retarget churned users.

So then, how do you keep users engaged? We’ve got a few tested suggestions to help you out!

Things to Consider Beforehand

Let’s start with your product.

We all know and have heard of apps that sweep the world by storm for a few weeks, but then they fall off the market and are practically unheard of thereafter. They have something to spice up the market for a week or two, but lose their significance as the next new and exciting app floods in behind it.

Then, of course, we all know of the “must-have” apps on the market. You know what I’m talking about – the apps that everyone you know has downloaded on their phones, and the ones that are being checked and regulated. I’m talking Facebook, LinkedIn, Uber, YouTube, Spotify… to name a few. Can you even name a person who doesn’t have at least one of those apps (if not all of them)?

You need to make your app as marketable as possible before we can even move onto retention. Your ASO strategy should take all of the following into consideration in order to get the right users to install your app from the get-go.

App Name

Beginning with the app name – it should be short and catchy, something that users will be able to easily tell one another about. Examples of short, easy to say and use names include Facebook, Tinder, Bejeweled, and Diner Dash. The names are using only one or two words, and are easy to pronounce. This makes them easier to spread by word of mouth.

Icon

The next thing you need to consider is your icon. When you develop your icon ideas, you need to keep in mind who your target population is and make sure it catches their eye. You don’t want to clutter the image too much, but you want something to represent your company and product. You can go more simple and classic like Twitter, or add some color and fun as Instagram has done. Just make sure your app is easy to distinguish from others.

Description

The next major step seems like a no-brainer, but you can be sure we’ve included it for a reason. You need to have explanatory app descriptions. Use keywords that are concise and helpful. This will make it easier for customers to locate what they need and want, and will help reduce churn by making it less likely that they are downloading your app just to delete it afterwards.

Screenshots

Lastly, you can include screenshots from your app and an engaging feature video that will showcase your product. You can also offer a free trial or even free version. This allows users to try out the product and get a feel for what you offer.

All of these are things to consider when going into the creation process. Maybe some of them you’ve already thought up, but skipping over even one of the “things to consider” can really hurt your marketing capabilities. Don’t get skimpy, and don’t rush the creation or branding process! Your business and your product deserve careful thought and consideration, and so does the look of your app.

But if you’ve got all that down, you can move right on to our suggestions for how to improve engagement to boost your ASO.

5 Ways to Maximize App Engagement

1. Personalize Your Encounter

Even though your product is marketed on the internet, it doesn’t mean you can skimp on customer service. And customer service isn’t just answering messages speedily when there’s an issue or a question; you need to interact with your users.

One great way is by providing them push-notifications – it can help if these are not just generic updates, but specific updates geared to target groups. To do this, it would help if you have software or a type of survey that pulls your information to see when your app gets the most volume and what demographics of people are using it at which times in order to better personalize your messages.

You can get demographic information from users such as age and gender when they first subscribe and login if you offer an option to sign up with simple registration questions that helps identify your audience. This will help you to better know who is using your app and what they are more interested in viewing not only in-app but in personal messages as well.

2. Push Notifications

This brings us to our next tip: optimize your push notifications.

We’ve all downloaded apps and been swarmed with dozens of quick messages. “Do you want to turn on location for this app?”, “Do you want this app to save your password?” and the inevitable, “Turn on Push-Notifications”. But does that really do anything good for your app or business? Not necessarily.

Many users just click no, no, no on every question in a rush to open the app they wanted to use. They may actually even be frustrated with the spam of quick questions or suggestions encountered. Especially when the app itself takes time to set up and log into.

So, how as a business can you still offer push notifications without being a hinderance? You can instead send messages within the app at any time. You can ask your users if they would like push notifications at a later date, and you can ask them more than once. Perhaps they immediately clicked out of the pop-up without really reading the message, or perhaps they did not want them at the time. That’s fine! Because you can offer them the opportunity later on, at a more appropriate time for you and for them.

In addition to the push notifications, you can offer them to receive emails, reminders, and SMS messages. This helps keep them engaged and is sometimes more accepted than push notifications.

3.   Keep It Updated and Upgraded

Let’s be real for a moment – it’s the 21st century and we are constantly seeking out the bigger, better, newer and shinier things. As soon as the new phone or laptop comes out, our perfectly good one feels old and outdated.

People feel the same about our apps. With the app store updating (what feels like) monthly, users are constantly looking for updates to the system and to their products. For this reason, you need to keep your app updated and let your users know that you’ve made improvements. They will be glad to hear that there is something new and cool for them to explore and use, and they will appreciate that you have taken the time to let them know.

This does not have to be a major upgrade or revamp. You simply need to show your users that you are tweaking the program to make it more innovative and interesting. And, it goes without saying that you need to update the app if you have user reports of glitches or complaints.

4. Rewards, Rewards and More Rewards!

That’s right, you need to offer a rewards system.

Many gaming apps, like Diner Dash, offer in-app rewards if the player taps or unlocks something within the game each day. Other apps offer you small discounts, sales or coupons for checking into the app daily. Some, like the Domino’s app, have offered deals like everytime you order via the app, you unlock points. When you have acquired 10 points, you get a free pizza delivered right to your door. This is great for the college-age market and deliveries.

Consumers have drifted more toward online shopping and waiting for deliveries, so when you offer a free sample, prize or an entire pizza after so many purchases, it’s hard for them not to log in and buy something! And, from the users’ perspective, the free item is essentially paid for by their repeated and frequent visits and purchases. This will also boost your ratings and your usage so your relevance in the app world goes up for having users simply log in or make a purchase on a regular basis.

5. Get Those Reviews

It might seem rude or artificial if your reviews are ones that you have asked for, but some people just need a bit of prompting.

Don’t be shy to send a simple pop-up message asking if they like your app. When the user clicks ‘yes’, they will be offered the chance to rate the app in the app store. This takes the user only moments, and can really increase your app store rating and relevance.

We all know that having five stars puts you much farther ahead not only in the store, but in customers’ minds as well. Just like we’re always looking for five-star hotels and restaurants online, people’s mindset are the exact same in the app stores: five stars all the way. Especially when you stand next to competitors, you will be happy you sent that simple pop-up message asking users to rate you at their convenience. Of course, they can do this directly in the app store, but people can be forgetful and the simple reminder is helpful to the user as much as the marketer.

Are You ready For It?

So, now that you’ve got the tips and tools, are you ready to take the necessary steps and plunge yourself into a sea of success?

Just make a few small adjustments and you’ll be on your way to a better, more personal relationship with your users. You’ll be able to give consumers exactly what they need and they’ll be able to leave reviews. They’ll stay connected with you and your product, reducing your churn rate. The positive feedback, in turn, will increase your growth rate and you’ll be seeing increased popularity of your app.

Get more information about App Store Optimization strategy and/or contact our ASO team for help with your organic mobile marketing efforts.

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