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5 Possible Ways to App Personalization

Let’s admit it! To create an addictive app, the developer has to treat his product very uniquely – make loads of room for app personalization. That is, in terms of features and functionalities that would make the users feel the app is specifically designed for them and is meant to address their needs, specifically.

And, this sort of personalization approach is increasingly gaining importance given that 60 percent of the apps get deleted within one month of being downloaded, and only 4% use the app a year after downloading it. The increasing app deletion rate is being attributed to several reasons. One being, annoying onboarding processes, another being, impersonalized push notifications. Third being, errors and crashes. So, the need of the hour is to fill in the holes, specifically in terms of personalization strategies, which would help cut down the uninstallation rate to a greater degree.

According to Forrester study, 75% of the respondents stated that personalization strategies could make a significant impact on app retention rates and lifetime customer value. Meaning, app personalization could turn out to be one of the best strategies to decrease deletion rates drastically.

So, do you wish that your app takes up a permanent residence in the users’ smartphone and becomes part of the significant 4%?

5 Possible Ways to App Personalization

Go ahead! Wade through these 5 app personalization strategies that might help you  design an addictive app.   

#1. Get Onboarding Right 

Suddenly sign-up pages are slipping into the background because as per a recent Appiterate survey, people dump apps that have forced social login pages as their first screen. The churn ratio is almost 19%. It’s like getting into a departmental store, where the salesperson forces you to fill forms with all sorts of personal details even before you have started shopping? Same is the case with apps. You are annoying users by making them sign-up just after they have downloaded the app.

How to right this wrong? Grab the users attention right from the first screen itself, by helping them experience the app’s features and functionalities.

Say, for instance, the Codeacademy app, that helps newbie developers learn coding on the go, plunges the user directly into the app experience, while the sign-up page is relegated to the last screen.

The app’s first and the following screens focus on the app functions, only.  Plus, the screens are arranged to appear like a perfect walk through.  And, by the time the user reaches the end of the app they are free to decide whether or not to sign up.

#2. Leverage Location-specific Content

As per the data by Local Search Association, the click-through rate of geotargeted mobile display ads are higher compared to industry benchmark for all verticals. So, it comes as no surprise that next generation apps will focus more on geolocation.

Some of the famous apps that are making the most of location-based technology include Google Maps, Uber, Yelp and Foursquare. Even Apple’s location-sensing iBeacon technology is milking location specific content to help users shop better.

With advanced geo-tracking facilities built in most devices, you can easily identify a customer’s location and send personalized messages to them based on time and previous buying patterns.

Starbucks does that well. This location-based app guides customers to their nearest Starbucks coffee shop and also updates them about the latest discounts and other offers as well.

#3. Address Users by Their First Names  

Well, nothing lights up a user’s brain more than his or her name.  It’s said that the famous American motivational writer and lecturer, Dale Carnegie, was a man who believed in addressing people by their first names so much so that he came up with a strategy called ‘The LIRA Formula.’ Carnegie’s strategy revolves around the hunch that “respect and acceptance stem from simple acts such as remembering a person’s name and using it whenever appropriate.”

So, the catch is to address your app users by his/her name in all sorts of  push-notification, whether it’s recommending products based on your past purchases, cart abandonment messages,  follow-up interactions regarding a drop in price, or reminders. You can easily convert unsteady users into lifetime users by adding this small dose of personalization strategy because addressing users by their first name only mean you are offering them tailor-made services. This is one quality users would appreciate a lot about you.

#4. Personalize Emails with Recent Updates

Believe it or not, emails are an evergreen form of marketing. Emails ensure a return of $40 on every $1 spent, while in the case of banner advertising it is $2 (on every $1 spent), and keyword advertising it is just $17.  Therefore, it’s in the best interest of the app developers and marketers to connect with users beyond the app’s real estate, and this includes emails.

Long story short, send users emails before app launch. This helps build excitement and a customer base of early adopters waiting to download your app. You can even send walk-through emails, after the launch, to help your customers know your app better. As time goes by, you can even send push emails, email newsletters, and as well as retention emails.

For instance, to beta test Echograph, the company sent out an email to users issuing step-by-step instructions, via a couple of images and short text, as to how to install the app during the beta phase.

#5. Make Sharing of Files Easier  

Undoubtedly, there’s a problem of plenty these days, specifically in the enterprise app space. An enterprise-level organization uses 115 small-scale apps and 508 platform size applications. So many apps hamper employee productivity. As in, there’s one app for presentation, one for files, one for videos  and so on. More the apps, more the chaos. Isn’t that the case? Not surprisingly, employees are losing files, or their files are easily getting corrupted, and sometimes they simply forget to share content.

So, if this kind of overload is hassling you and your employees, go ahead and streamline the app ecosystem by prioritizing tools that bring together all the key features and then get them connected to a central cloud storage service.

For instance, the memit app brings together the functionalities of different apps into one, simple interface. The app clips, tags, annotates, and even shares online content. Further, memit integrates directly with other vendors such as Dropbox, Google Drive, CudaDrive, and OneDrive to save stored content and that too in the very place where you have stored other content.

Wrapping Up

Creating a popular app is pretty easy  if you know your target audience inside out. Come to think of it, Apple products are pricey, but users are going for it – left, right and center. Maybe the super-sleek design that’s acting as a game-changer, or maybe its features and functionalities, it could be anything. You too could be in the same league if you get your personalization part right. Probably, by giving your push notification strategies an overhaul, or your sign-up pages or even your email marketing campaigns a simple tweak. Whatever it is, find the holes and fix it, and you will have a great app in the making.

Does any other app personalization strategy cross your mind? Go ahead, share them in them comments. We are all eyes and ears.

Image: business, internet and technology concept – close up of businessman hands working with table pc and smartphone

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Jini Maxin blogs for OpenXcell – an app development company with 7 years and 700 apps to its credit. A crazy geek, a pseudo tech lover, an insane-wimpy mom, and last but far from least, a die-hard bibliophile, who intends to turn over, no fewer than 1000 books, before hammering out her first-class novel. She has been blogging for the tech world for at least 8 years now, after experimenting with the newspaper and advertising medium. If you are interested in reading her, you could check out her blog posts on

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  • Jini Fernandez

    Thanks a ton Sian for publishing the post

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