How to improve mobile user engagement

The Kumulos team explains why you should focus on mobile user engagement and how to improve it

The Kumulos team explains why you should focus on mobile user engagement and how to improve it
Mobile user engagement is something you should aim to continually improve. So, let’s be clear what’s meant by the term mobile user engagement. In mobile marketing, engagement is the term used for an interaction between a user and an app. And, it’s measured by examining analytics.

But, before you can measure anything, you need to interact with your users using push notifications and in-app messages. Actually, it’s possible to improve mobile user engagement by 30 per cent using intelligent messaging. So, let’s take a look at why you should focus on engagement and how to improve mobile app engagement.

Why you should focus on mobile user engagement

Engaged users form the basis of a healthy app. When you increase engagement, you increase the app retention rate. And, you will have more active and loyal app users.  Moreover, these loyal users will be more likely to leave positive reviews and help improve app store listings too.

From a budget perspective, engagement campaigns cost less than acquisition campaigns. Stats from Bain and Company say that it costs 700 per cent more to acquire new users than it does to retain existing users. So, in this post, we’ll take a look at the messaging channels to improve mobile app engagement – push notifications and in-app messaging. 

Firstly though, build a quality app!

This sounds obvious, but so many apps suffer from poor engagement because certain app features crash. After users have downloaded your app, any bugs affect the user experience.  Sadly, some apps as well as having a poor UX/UI, also lack proper functionality and hence have a poor app retention rate.  

So, arguably the most important step in boosting engagement is for app developers to build a quality mobile app with decent app features. Minor bugs after launch do happen, but just make sure all app developers test your app thoroughly before releasing to the Google Play and Apple App stores. Moreover, build in crash reporting and API endpoint monitoring to ensure any crashes and problems are picked up and can be fixed fast.

Engagement starts with the onboarding process

You can increase user retention rates by 50 per cent with good onboarding. When you implement a solid onboarding process, your app users will understand the value of the app better.

Your onboarding messaging should lead with the value of your app, and show off the key features. Importantly, only ask for the mobile device data that you need.

It’s important not to bombard the user’s mobile device with permission requests, like location prompts, at the start of the onboarding process. Make it clear to users exactly why you’re asking for access to specific areas of their phone. And, explain how that information is important for them to get more value out of the app. Finally, save the ‘nice to have’ permissions for when the user is more engaged with your app.

Using in-app messaging to increase engagement

As great as push notifications are, often in-app messaging is better for engagement as the messages are delivered in the app. As there doesn’t have to be an opt-in process, it is a way to reach the majority of the app audience. However, at Kumulos, we do still recommend asking for consent first. Check out why consent-based in-app messaging is the future.

Using push notifications to increase engagement

Push notifications are an excellent channel to drive users to the app. Remember, app users like personalisation – but not just their name! They want their interactions to be relevant to their preferences, location, and in-app behaviour.

Individualised push and in-app messages perform much better than broadcast.

So, by including segment attributes like location, in-app behaviour, message preferences and more, targeted push notifications achieve even greater mobile app engagement. This is especially true of rich push notifications that include media like photos and videos. Use deep links which allow you to link directly to a screen within an app and this creates an incredibly seamless experience and increases the app retention rate.

Use analytics to guide your messaging strategy

How you measure engagement depends on your KPIs and the type of app. Regardless though, your mobile user engagement strategy will be much more successful if you use app analytics to understand app users’ behaviour. You can look at metrics such as active users, number of sessions, session length, time in app, screenflow and more. It’s also worth looking at opt-ins and opt-outs to see what users are choosing to receive.

If you still feel that you need to narrow down your KPIs, here are the 10 app performance questions you need to answer.

What you need is a mobile marketing platform that gives you insights into how well you are retaining users, and the impact of your app marketing campaigns.

In a platform like Kumulos, you can view engagement data for the last 30 days, 60 days, 120 days, 6 months, 12 months or All Time.  Also, the data shows when during the day and week users are opening the app, how frequently they open the app and how long they typically use the app.  This is vital information to help you make data informed marketing decisions.

What’s more, with Kumulos, if you have enabled Push Notifications & In-App Messaging, it will also show how many notifications have been sent and opened.

Hit send, repeat

Mobile marketing is an iterative process. You need to analyse the data, target the right audience, hit send, then repeat. How each person responds is a glimpse into their preferences, even unexpected responses!

You should do retrospective segment analysis to expose new insights from past campaigns and reduce the app churn rate. Retrospective analysis lets you build more compelling ones the next time around.

Improving engagement by using Kumulos

Kumulos offers a number of features to assist app developers in engaging users through mobile messaging and measuring engagement analytics. To learn more about driving engagement, take a look at our push notifications and in-app messaging feature guide.

We also offer app analytics so you can measure campaign results then improve your next campaign. Moreover, Kumulos give you everything you need to make an app successful. In one dashboard, you can also benefit from the App Store Optimisation feature to help increase downloads.

And, when it comes to the technical performance of the app, there’s crash reporting and API Endpoint Monitoring too. Contact us for a product tour, or start your free trial today.