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If the reply had been that easy, all app builders and publishers can be multi-millionaires. And we, as an app advertising and marketing company, would have an excellent straightforward job! What does it take to have a profitable app development technique? Is it nailing down person acquisition and getting as many downloads as potential? Is it specializing in app person retention and person engagement methods? Is it having the appropriate app monetization technique? Is it channeling your efforts into re-engaging churned customers?


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The fact, pals, is that it’s all of this stuff.

If this appears overwhelming, that’s as a result of it actually may be. The excellent news is that taking a scientific strategy to growing a profitable app development and app advertising and marketing technique is way more manageable whenever you take a look at it by way of the lens of lifecycle advertising and marketing.

Let’s dive in…

What’s Lifecycle advertising and marketing?

Lifecycle advertising and marketing is about creating efficient methods that meet the shopper’s want the place they’re at of their app journey and, thus, elicit a desired motion at that second.

Methods to attain success on the acquisition stage (the place the purpose could possibly be getting a brand new app obtain) won’t essentially work for achievement on the monetization stage (the place the purpose could possibly be a subscription buy).

For many cell apps, the shopper journey (or funnel) appears to be like one thing like this:

Acquisition: enhance your person base

On the very prime of the funnel is Consumer Acquisition the place the purpose is to extend your person base. Is smart, as you possibly can’t create paying app customers when you don’t have any customers to information to that time, proper?

A whole lot of effort and time (and cash!) goes into this stage since you not solely have to seize customers’ consideration and get them to know what your app is/does however you additionally want to steer them to obtain it on their cell gadget. There are two methods to do that:

1. Natural person acquisition

Right here, App Retailer Optimization (ASO), word-of-mouth, and social media techniques lead the cost. Let’s keep in mind that there are over 2 million apps within the iOS App Retailer and over 2 million apps in Android Google Play—which implies that app shops are extraordinarily crowded! ASO is your likelihood to extend your app’s visibility so your ASO technique must be rock-solid.

With a correct ASO technique in place, your app will enhance its rating, which is predicated on all app retailer metadata—app identify and title, quick and lengthy descriptions, key phrases, screenshots—plus the variety of downloads and rankings/opinions.

2. Paid person acquisition

Paid UA will assist up your person acquisition recreation. Apple Search Adverts could be a game-changer for iOS apps, as ASA is understood to be one of the environment friendly methods to draw intent-based, high quality customers.

With a enough media funds, paid campaigns with Google Adverts, Fb Adverts, Instagram and TikTok can actually ramp issues up!

Activation: convert acquired customers to engaged customers

Many methods come into play on the activation stage the place the principle purpose is to maintain the customers you acquired engaged and truly utilizing the app. Right here is the place you need a person to carry out an motion like finishing the registration course of or signing up for a free trial interval. For a well being and wellness app—like a yoga app—the specified in-app occasion could also be finishing a yoga session.

However right here’s the cruel business truth: On common, apps lose almost 75% of customers inside the 1st day of the app set up.

So how do you retain customers activated? Listed below are some methods:

1. Optimize the person onboarding course of

How constructive (or unfavorable) a person’s onboarding expertise has an enormous impact on whether or not or not a person sticks round. That’s why following onboarding course of greatest practices is vital. Ask your self these questions from the angle of a brand new person that’s simply put in your app and opening it for the primary time:

  • What is that this app about?
  • What can I do with this app?
  • What am I purported to do subsequent?
  • Am I pleased that I downloaded this app?

If there are unsure or unfavorable responses to questions like these, then you could want to return and repair the stream and UX design of your app, in any other case, you’ll find yourself with a pissed off and/or disinterested person.

2. Supply a free trial

One of the simplest ways to get a person hooked on what your app affords is by letting them get the complete expertise first-hand. A free 7-day trial that offers them full entry to all of the app’s options is an efficient option to get them to discover your product. Ideally, they’ll love the app a lot that they’ll fortunately pay to subscribe to maintain utilizing it.

Ensure the free trial is outstanding and included within the onboarding course of early on.

3. Use Push notifications

A well-timed push notification can have a big affect at each app buyer lifecycle stage—together with activation. If a brand new person hasn’t signed up for the app after opening, a personalized nudge or reminder may be simply the factor to get them to finish the specified motion.

A push notification calendar that schedules particular notifications to be despatched inside specified time frames is without doubt one of the handiest methods. Right here’s an instance of an activation stage push notification calendar primarily based on app registration completion.

Retention: incentivize person behavior formation

Retention is a vital stage within the app buyer journey. Most apps want their customers to stay round and use the app constantly for the lengthy haul. Consumer retention not solely impacts app retailer rankings, however it’s important to attaining monetary enterprise targets. Retention Day 1, 7, and 30 are among the most necessary KPIs to trace.

Backside line: Have an incredible app product that individuals love! They’ll not solely turn into your most loyal, constant customers however they’ll inform their social community about it and turn into your strongest model ambassadors.

Some person retention greatest practices embrace:

1. Customise in-app communication

As talked about above, push notifications are helpful at each stage of the app person journey when performed the appropriate approach. In-app messages which can be persuasive and well-timed might help give person retention the increase it wants.

2. Apply app gamification components

Assume rewards, badges, chief boards, and so forth. To get a person hooked, you want a sticky app product! Clearly, app gamification components like incentives and rewards are very efficient for gaming apps however they’re additionally extraordinarily related for different classes like well being and health.

Listed below are examples from informal gaming app, CoinMaster and fashionable meditation app, Ten P.c Happier:

Re-engagement: win again inactive or churned customers

This is a vital stage to not overlook. The very fact is that re-engaging a person that has already used your product is way more cost-effective than buying a brand new person.

You’ll want to hold person churn charge and DAU information in your radar from the get-go. Having a method in place for Day 1, Day 7 and Day 14 is the best way to go—most instances, ready till Day 30 is just too late!

Some helpful methods embrace:

1. Incentivize with “free stuff”

For a recreation app, the re-engagement messaging might contain giving an inactive person additional cash for gameplay, or unlocking a brand new degree. One thing that the person can get without cost that makes them return to the app is a win!

2. Supply a reduction or limited-time financial savings

Folks love saving cash and, oftentimes, a great deal is sufficient to win them again. Beneath is an instance from Uber Eats with a push notification providing a reduction to entice an inactive person to come back again:

Monetization: enhance income or convert customers to paying prospects

Ideally, you’ve nailed down engagement and retention and customers LOVE your app. As soon as they’re hooked, their buyer journey brings them to the monetization stage the place they are going to decide to a purchase order.

Widespread monetization methods might embrace:

1. In-app purchases

It is a frequent strategy with gaming apps. Customers can “spend as they go” by buying an additional life, extra cash, a brand new character, and so forth. for a low price of some {dollars}.

2. Month-to-month and/or yearly subscriptions

Most apps now use this monetization technique that kicks in after the free trial interval is over. Customers are billed a set month-to-month price or will pay for a yr’s subscriptions at a reduced price.

3. One-time app buy

Some apps are arrange so that you simply purchase them outright, that means that you simply pay one low value to make use of them eternally—like informal gaming apps, productiveness apps, or picture modifying apps. Others use a mixture of subscriptions and one-time app buy choices. For instance, a health app might supply a subscription for $19.99 per thirty days or a one-time buy value of $199.99 for lifetime entry.

Beneath is an instance from Transportable North Pole, a seasonal vacation app that gives a yearly “Magic Cross”.

What can go flawed at every buyer lifecycle stage?

Maintaining the funnel visible in thoughts, simply take into consideration the place you possibly can spring a leak—just about wherever, proper? The identical is true with the levels of an app person’s journey. The important thing factor is to determine the place these leaks are and repair them!

For instance—on the acquisition stage—your app could also be buried too deep within the app shops, giving it extraordinarily low visibility. Not together with related, high-performing key phrases in your app retailer metadata or poor app rankings could possibly be the issue. Getting a full ASO audit that identifies your weak factors helps you work this out.

Or, on the conversion stage, you might have a very difficult onboarding course of. Are you requesting an excessive amount of private info from the start or bombarded customers with an excessive amount of data earlier than giving them an opportunity to expertise what the app does? If that’s the case, you’ve discovered your leak.

Finest app engagement instruments to make use of for buyer lifecycle methods

Fortunately, there are various instruments accessible that assist arrange and optimize these buyer lifecycles. It is a large asset as a result of, as you possibly can think about, triggering the appropriate push notification on the proper time might get fairly messy with out an automatic instrument on the wheel!

Braze, OneSignal, LeanPlum, and Airship are business leaders on the subject of rising in-app buyer engagement and implementing multi-channel retention methods. Push notifications, emails, in-app messages, and A/B testing are simply among the superior options that they provide.