Re-engagement Techniques for Mobile Marketers
App downloads and installs have been the main focus for mobile marketers for many years, but we are now undergoing a paradigm shift toward metrics that go beyond the install. For example, social networking apps or commuting apps are often used daily, if not more than once a day. These apps, by their inherent nature of what they set out to accomplish, tend to drive customers back by themselves. However, that is not the case for all the apps. According to a report by Google, an average app user has 36 apps installed on their mobile device, only four of which are used daily. Even if users install an app, they may either remove it quickly or never open it.
Mobile marketers are beginning to understand that installs don’t necessarily reflect the success of an app nor does it guide user engagement, which is why app marketing efforts are becoming increasingly focused on engaging and retaining customers. Re-engagement campaigns are designed to bring back users who have downloaded an app but aren’t interacting with it over long periods of time.
Let’s take a look at some of the effective techniques mobile marketers can employ to drive user re-engagement.
1. Utility and value
Before setting out on aggressive re-engagement campaigns, the first question app marketers must ask themselves is, “What value is my app is bringing to my customers?” As mentioned above, entertainment and utility apps naturally have longer session duration and frequency with which users engage with them. That said, bringing customers back to apps that fall into other categories may require more effort or a completely different strategy.
The biggest point hers is that customers will only re-engage when they are aware of what the app is and how it brings value to their lives. To get here, it is important the app has a clear user experience and a landing page clearly explaining its value proposition that is both informative as well as uncluttered.
2. Deep linking
To put it simply, deep linking is a way by which app developers can link to specific pages within their app. With deep linking, a user is taken to a specific place within an app, such as a profile page or product listing, just as hyperlinks work in a web scenario (i.e. when the link is tapped, mobile users are directed to a specific content in a app instead of being directed to the app’s homepage). Deep linking allows for a seamless user experience, which leads to deeper engagement. Deep linking can also be deployed through notifications, email, SMS, etc. to direct users to relevant content, rather than having the user to go to the home screen and navigate to find that content.
Deep linking can be done in one of the following ways:
- Standard deep linking: With standard deep linking, users are directed to a specific page within an app. This type of deep linking works great when a user has already installed an app. For example, User A opens a link in an email promotion and that takes them directly to that offer in the app, without having to navigate around the app to find this content.
- Deferred deep linking: This type of deep linking works by directing users to the content within an app, but also directs users to the app store listing if the app isn’t installed. This type of deep linking can be deployed in a similar way to the first example, but here, User A hasn’t downloaded the app yet. In this case, the user will be directed to the content within an app after the user has installed the app.
- Contextual deep linking: In addition to the first two types, contextual deep linking also allows for precise tracking by allowing developers to users more personalized app experience after they open an app.
Mobile deep linking has only recently matured, and app developers are beginning to see how it can improve user engagement and re-engagement over time.
3. Push notifications
If customers have stopped interacting with your app, push notifications can help to bring them back—but only when they’re used in the right context. Push notifications pop up on a user’s screen to notify them about new offers, events, or messages when the user has not actively engaged with the app for a set period of time. Letting customers know about limited time offers or reminding them about coming back to check the new features in the app can be a good way to re-engage them.
However, while push notifications can be a great way to remind your users about your app, be cautious not to spam them with irrelevant notifications that may actually drive them away. Mobile marketers can make their app’s experience more engaging by tailoring the notifications to suit the customers’ needs. Research by LeanPlum found that push notifications triggered by individual user behaviors produce nine times the open rate of blasts sent immediately.
If used cleverly and respectfully, push notifications can help reduce churn by changing the way users interact with the app. By tracking install and post-install activity, mobile marketers can determine the user lifecycle to tailor the messaging suited to the phase your users are in, prompting them to open and engage with the app.
4. Rethinking your social media strategy
To say that social sharing is a powerful tool for an app’s virality is stating the obvious. People love to interact with brands on social media, and mobile marketers can use this to their advantage to make sure their app resonates with their social communities. By building a brand presence on social media, mobile marketers can tap into a space where users spend a fair amount of their time.
Targeted re-engagement ads through social channels can remind users of your product and redirect them back to explore the app. Creating call to action within your ads such as “Shop Now” or “Order Now” can prompt customers to click on it and spend some time in the app, especially if they haven’t been engaged for awhile. You can even take it one step further and personalize your ads based on the user’s location and the time of the day to enhance their experience.
5. Incentives and rewards
Another strategy that app marketers can deploy for re-engaging users is through incentives and rewards specific to mobile. These can be through coupons, promotional offers, discounts, etc. that can drive engagement and conversion. For example, check out an ad Domino’s India ran for their app users recently:
While user acquisition is an important step in the conversion funnel, app marketers have realized user engagement and retention are equally important metrics to help define the success of their app. Converting users into loyal customers helps to increase their lifetime value, which is a more reliable metric to measure the revenues over a longer period of time. If you aren’t already focused on re-engaging your app’s customers, now is the time to start.