This sponsored post is produced by Kontagent.
Each month, tens of thousands of mobile apps compete for consumer mind and wallet share. But let’s face it: In the mobile app “dating game,” there are almost as many one-night stands as there are mobile apps. Up to 90 percent of apps are deleted after only one use.
Mobile customers are fickle. If your app can’t seduce them on the first date, the relationship is over. Breaking up is hard to do for app developers. Because every time someone dumps an app, chances for revenue goes out the window.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you have a freemium app that one million people take out on a date. If 10 percent turn into paying customers and monetize at $5 each, you get $500,000, which isn’t bad. But if you gave your users a better first date, you’d have a better chance of reaching your earning potential of $5 million.
But you can increase the chances of convincing your users to agree to second, third, fourth and subsequent dates: Turn them on the first-time around. This sounds easy and obvious, but it can actually be tricky if you don’t know which metrics drive this.
Please don’t go
While there may be something wrong with your app’s core mechanics, the majority of users dump their apps before they get too deep. That’s why you must dissect and measure your app’s first-time user experience. By seeing how your customers first progress through your app, and more importantly, where and when they leave, you’ll be able to pinpoint and fix the exact features and/or screens that are causing your breakups.
The most common reasons users stray from their apps include:
- Complex registration process
Up to 56 percent of users won’t sign up for an app if the registration process is too complicated. Mobile users want to get to know their apps quickly, and an overly complex registration process is a major turn off.
- Bad login experience
If logging in isn’t fast and friendly, your users will leave for good. Half of all mobile customers say they’ve stopped using an app because logging in took too long or was too difficult, making it too frustrating.
Nothing drives away mobile users faster than crashes and buggy interfaces. More than 80 percent of users will delete an app after it fails more than once.
Fix your app’s first-time user experience funnel
Your app may have these or other turn-offs, but it doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocrity. Many of these problems can be solved by doing one simple action: Fixing your first-time user experience funnel.
By doing so, you can double your retention and increase your downstream revenue. And that’s where looking at your data can help.
Enhance your launch and registration experience
After they’ve discovered and installed your app, users usually get to know it through the launch and registration stage. This is a critical point in the relationship; most users run away while creating an account, logging in for the first time or completing your app’s tutorial. (Side note: In our experience, users who finish an app’s tutorial are more like to monetize than those who don’t.)
But by monitoring certain metrics at this stage, such as time spent on each page, the amount of backtracking between screens, and app quitting rates, you can get an idea of the reasons that cause users to leave.
For example, if you know that customers are quitting your app after connecting their Facebook account to their log-in credentials, this could be caused by any number of reasons. Your app may have a bug that’s causing it to crash. Or it could be that users are reluctant to share their social network information on their first visit. Regardless, by monitoring the data points mentioned, and then testing different first-time user experiences, you’ll be able to spot and resolve these drop-off events.
Increase the time users and your app get together
Usage is the next stage in the first-time user experience funnel. It’s here where your customers will finally interact with your app’s core functionalities.
What’s important here is to track every action your users take within your app. You’ll want to know when they enter and leave, the time it takes for them to complete certain actions, and any other interaction unique to your app. This will give you valuable insight into what causes them to stay or stray.
For instance, game developers, such as King or Kabam, would be concerned with metrics related to the degree of difficulty between levels, whether users completed these first few levels, and so on. For them, the longer a user stays in the game, the better. A financial services company, on the other hand, such as Citibank or Bank of America, would be more interested in getting customers to adopt mobile-banking features. For utility apps like these, oftentimes success is determined by how quickly users can get their tasks done within the app, so shorter sessions times are better.
A long and happy relationship
The mobile app landscape is only going to get bigger and more competitive. As more companies enter the market, you’re going to need every advantage you can get to attract users. If you pay attention to the all-important first-time user experience, you’ll go a long way to ensure that your app and your users live happily ever after.
Head of marketing & GM, New Mobile Markets
Catherine Mylinh works at Kontagent, a mobile analytics company. Catherine oversees marketing, where she is responsible for market positioning, product marketing, analyst and press relations. She also leads the company’s new mobile markets business unit, which concentrates on R&D to build analytics solutions for companies with mobile-first business models.
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