Working with a wealth of top brands all across sectors and regions, it is inevitable to recognize the rising trend of competition when it comes to acquiring new users. The cost of acquisition, today, is skyrocketing! Getting downloads on stores like Google Play and the App Store is so fierce that brands spend $2, on average, to acquire a new user. Just imagine this cost on the scale of tens of thousands or even million monthly active users.

However, the challenge does not just finish with acquiring users. It is also about retaining them! According to data, 90% of users are about to fall out of your marketing funnel soon after downloading the app. Deploying a multi-channel messaging strategy turns out to be the answer to all our acquisition and retention problems. Yet, it often comes with a lot of questions like – What is my target audience? What channels should I use? Which is the best copy? When is the best time to send it? How to optimize my campaigns? And so on. 

So the big question is: How can we build highly effective marketing campaigns that solve initial retention challenges and maximize the value of the cost of acquisition? And here are Leanplum’s Top 10 tips to supercharge mobile engagement for turning app downloads into super customers! 

1. Understand Your User

Delivering best in class engagement starts with knowing your users.  Do you know what their demographic is (location, gender, etc.)? Or maybe what device they’re using? Or how many purchases they have completed? You can think about these as all the different data points that you can have on a user and trigger campaigns based on all of the criteria or personalize the content of your message. The richer the information you have about your users, the better equipped you are in engaging with them in the right way.

2. Create User Definitions

Now that you know your users, define each step of their journey. So why don’t you start with the newly acquired users, those who just downloaded your app? Then they can move into an onboarding phase where your communication is typically focused on tips and tricks of your app or some tutorial screens that encourage them to sign up.

User definitions will map out the different phases of the user’s lifecycle and help you create campaigns that drive users to conversion.

3. Go Beyond the Standard Funnel

Going beyond the standard marketing funnel will enable you to understand your user base in much more detail. You can create sub-definitions based on user activity within a specific phase. For instance, let’s take the retained bucket and compare two of the users within. The first one is a power user who is actively engaged with the app and made a purchase in the last 30 days. The second one is a hesitant user, someone who has shown interest in buying a product but didn’t complete the purchase yet. This is a classic example of how users may fall into the same definition while needing completely different communication.

Once we have a better understanding of what these user definitions are for your specific business, we can start creating a series of messages in campaigns that draw users towards those desired milestones.

4. Refine the First Impression

Starting at the beginning of the user journey, we should pay extra attention to the onboarding phase in order to reduce the risk of users’ churn.  As data shows, just by sending daily onboarding reminders and personalizing as much as possible (even at the beginning of the user lifecycle) a marketer can achieve a 40% higher retention rate for day one. 

5. Invest in a Multi-Channel Engagement Strategy

User engagement has never been a one-time effort and successful brands know that. Having a multi-channel engagement strategy across email, in-app messages, push, etc. really pays off. What’s even more important, however, is to make sure that you have the right messaging delivered to the right users at the right time. No brand would like to be identified with spam. See how TED increased user engagement with 72% using Leanplum:

6. Boost App Loyalty

This is one of the key factors that separates successful apps from unsuccessful ones.  Providing your users with small incentives or tokens of gratitude can help keep them coming back. Who doesn’t love a good rewards program? Read more on how to boost customer loyalty here:

7. Do Not Underestimate the Power of Reactivation

Retention might be the biggest pain point for most of the marketers out there, but let’s consult the data – the majority of unengaged users don’t actually uninstall your app. Take a look at your phone and you will find at least a couple of apps that you do not use regularly (or at all), but you still keep them in the background. So, maybe, there is another way in which you can engage with these users? Maybe it is a new feature, product announcement, or a special promotion that will resonate with them and turn them back into active customers. See how Via reactivated 27% of dormant users with Leanplum A/B testing:

8. Personalize Using Data

At the end of the day, irrespective of the stage your customers are in or the message you are deploying, what truly matters, is to make your brand as personalized and customer-specific as possible. And personalization requires data.

Platforms like Leanplum are able to ingest data from a wealth of different sources and provide you with a rich understanding of your user. We can take data from existing marketing cloud attribution platforms, tag management, CDPs, or track real-time user behavior by adding Leanplum’s SDK on your app. This way, a marketer can go beyond demographics or location data, and truly understand how users interact with their app, delivering authentic personalization across all communication channels.

9. Personalize Based on User Behavior

Personalization is key. But what should we personalize? 

Well, starting from the messages we use to communicate with our users, we might find it efficient to personalize based on factors like demographics, lifecycle stage, localization, technology, etc. What is probably the most powerful among all, however, is user behavior and attributes. According to our analysis, by recognizing users’ behaviors and sending messages in response, you can increase open rates by 800%.

10. Personalize Your Timing

The content we create and the way we communicate it is crucial when building long-term relationships with users. What is equally important, however, is timing. Tools like Leanplum, allow marketers to better understand users’ lifestyles and build data-driven strategies according to individuals’ preferences and habits. Sending push notifications with optimal time, for example, improves open rates by 2.5 times and retention rates by 7 times.

To learn more about multi-channel campaigns and how Leanplum can help you effectively engage your audience, see our unique approach to mobile engagement and mobile retention.

Leanplum is a mobile engagement platform that helps forward-looking brands like TED, Afterpay, and Tesco meet the real-time needs of their customers. Schedule your personalized demo here.