1. What are best practices the top paid mobile apps utilize to maintain their customers engaged and loyal? What is the impact of these tactics on churn reduction? i.e. by what percentage do they reduce it?

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1. What are best practices the top paid mobile apps utilize to maintain their customers engaged and loyal? What is the impact of these tactics on churn reduction? i.e. by what percentage do they reduce it?

Hello, thanks for asking Wonder! I understand you want to know the best practices that the top paid mobile apps utilize to keep their customers loyal and engaged, and how these tactics reduce churn.

As a webmaster who regularly use analytics to improve performance for my clients' and on my own web resources, this question is relevant to me professionally and personally.

The short answer is that across all industries most users do not login more than once to an app they download, and 75% of users will churn after only 90 days of use. In fact, more than 50% of these users churn after the first 30 days of using an app.

However, by increasing number of user login to 11 times within the first 30 days, churn have proven to drop to only 14%. Since for certain industries (like travel) 11 logins a month would not be unrealistic, Localytics' 3x3 Rule may prove helpful in reducing churn and increasing retention.

The 3x3 Rule is simply based on having a new customer login 3 times to an app, within his/her first 3 days of app download. Effecting the 3x3 Rule, which consequently increases retention and reduces churn, is done using the bests practices explained in this research.

METHODOLOGY
To provide qualitative answers I sought for authoritative reports, reviews, cases studies, and articles. Having gone through about 13 authority materials, patterns began to emerge. Based on the patterns that emerged, and based research finding from authoritative sources, I have put together this research to answer your question as effectively as possible.

BACKGROUND
There's a mobile engagement crisis currently on in the mobile apps space. That crisis is that app users are lost faster than before: 25% of app users use an app only once and never in. Localytics says that the solution is giving attention to user retention (more than acquisition) and earning loyal (not one-time) users.

According to Localytics, 'retention' means users are returning to the app one or more times every 30 days. However, retention is measured in 90 day periods, as industry standard demands. That time takes into account the life-cycle of the app.

Average app churn across all industries is 75%. Here's a breakdown of churn across industries:

Media and Entertainment 76%
eCommerce/Retail 82%
Travel & Lifestyle 82%
Technology 81%
Gaming 90%

These number are industry averages. Overall Media and Entertainment retain the most users after 90 days (at 24%) and Gaming the least number of users after 90 days, at 10% retention rate.

For high performing apps, that is apps with 1 million or more users, churn rates stand at:

Media and Entertainment 59%
eCommerce/Retail 71%
Travel & Lifestyle 55%
Technology 72%
Gaming 86%

The best performing popular apps comes from the Travel and Lifestyle, with retention rates of 45%. And the least performing popular apps from Gaming, at 14% retention.

In the words of Localytics, " Top performing apps have been able to improve their user retention by tapping into user data and launching personalized marketing campaigns"

The top 5 Reasons People Stop Using Apps are:

1. I don't need the app anymore (I had downloaded it for a specific reason)
2. I got bored of the app
3. I found a better app
4. Technical problems (app crashes, is slow to load, etc)
5. I need more storage on my device
6. I forgot about the app

LOWER CHURN BY SYSTEMATICALLY ENCOURAGING HIGHER USER SESSIONS

The higher the user session, the lower the churn rate. 75% of users who downloaded and logged into an app only once in the first 330 days, will churn. Mean while only 14% of users who used logged into the app up to 11 times in 30 days will churn.

Achieving 11 logins a month per person is not too feasible for most industries (though might be, for live streaming television). In the light of that, Localytics suggested a method they called The 3x3 Rule.

The Rule simply says that if you get users to use your app 3 times within the first 3 days of downloading it, then you will have 29% user churn. Localytics gave 3 suggestions to doing this:

1. Use In-App Messaging:
Use in-app messaging to immediately engage users, as soon as they download and install the app. Apps that send in-app messages have 200% to 350% more user retention than those that do no use in-app messaging.

In-app messages work as navigational beacons to the app. They can also be used to incentivize future use, with things like special offers.

2. Use re-targeting campaigns to remind users of your app:
This makes sense in the light that it costs more to acquire new users than it costs to keep old existing users. And according to Marketing Land mobile users spend 80% of their time in just 5 apps, with a majority of that on Facebook.

3. Offer personalized targeted promotions with push notification and email message:
Using all the data you have about your users, you can send targeted and personalized messages to these users offering them customized content. This should be done with caution, minding that 53% of users see push notification as annoying.

USING PREDICTIVE APP MARKETING TO REDUCE CHURN
Using all your customers' data at your disposal, factoring in all of the ways they interact with your app, to predict customer behavior and proactively engage them with personalized experiences, is predictive app marketing.

Localytics explaining predictive app marketing, says "These experiences are personalized to both the user and to the stage the user is at within the customer journey. The end game is driving higher engagement and retention, and ultimately lifetime value."

The key benefits of Predictive App Marketing are

1. Target your ads better and increase ROI on marketing
2. Develop stronger relation with users (loyalty stems from strong relationships)
3. Predict and engage customers who are at the risk of churn, before you ever have to win them back

Predictive app marketing is crucial, following that 20% of apps are only used once.

MORE BEST PRACTICES AND CASE STUDIES ON REDUCING CHURN
Localytics identified 8 ways to improve retention and reduce churn. Other authoritative platforms, such as Econsultancy, have variants of these 8 best practices.

1. Define and track customer lifetime value (LTV or CLV):
ConversionXL explained, in a case study, how Groove reduced churn by more than 71% by defining their customers.

2. Use in-app messaging and push notification
In-app messaging can boost retention by over 300%. Since this can be highly sensitive to customers, it is important to take precaution. Apart from raising retention by 200% to over 300%, doing push notifications and in-app messaging right can quickly increase app launches by 27%.

3. Personalized Apps:
Most people want more personalization for their apps. Based on statistics, here's the most requested forms of personlizations:

i. The app always applies my stated preferences

ii. The app knows the last action I took in the app and factors that into content displayed or in push messages sent to me

iii. The app knows my location and factors that into content displayed or push messages sent to me

iv. The app knows the last action I took in the real-world and factors that into the content displayed or in push messages sent to me

Personalization is key. Localytics provided 8 ways to personalize apps, which is a great resource for taking this point seriously.

4. Use predictive insights for predictive app marketing

5. Re-targeting audiences: Push notification can cause up to 50% churn, making customer re-targeting vital.
Re-targeting can be done through email, social, and search advertisements. In doing this, it's crucial to tap into data insights about lapsed app users’ behaviors, interests, and preferences to ensure that your re-targeting ad is relevant and thus, effective.

6. A/B Testing: A/B testing is about the only way to know what campaign tactics and practices are working and which aren't working. Localytics, in the light of A/B testing, says" The more in-app activity and conversion actions a user has, the more sticky your app becomes to them."

7. Omi-channel experience: Retention is improved with the integration of the app with other marketing channels. Localytics had provided a thorough resource to help in this regard.

8. Be guided by data: Using user-testing platforms like Localytics, UserTesting, UserZoom, CoolaData and other such platforms can be helpful in understanding the true nature of engagement on your app.

ConversionXl has 9 noteworthy case studies to help you reduce churn.

CONCLUSION
Across all industries most users do not login more than once to an app they download, and 75% of users will churn after only 90 days of use. In fact, more than 50% of these users churn after the first 30 days of using an app. However, if users logged in an average of 11 times within the first 30 days, churn dropped to only 14%. Since for certain industries (like travel) 11 logins a month would be unrealistic, Localytics' 3x3 Rule may prove helpful in reducing churn and increasing engagement.

The 3x3 Rule is simply based on having a new customer login 3 times to an app, within his/her first 3 days of app download. Effecting the 3x3 Rule, which consequently increases retention and reduces churn, is done using the bests practices explained in this research.

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