Starting off and just not having enough users on your app is unsatisfying indeed. But clocking in those downloads and acquiring those users, and then losing them to churn – that’s just heartbreaking. And that is why you hear businesses fretting over churn rates all the time. Churn rate is the number of your customers who left you in a defined period of time, like in a month or a quarter.
So in essence, churn rate is the opposite of retention rate, which is how many customers stayed with you for a defined period of time. Now you have probably heard this enough already, that nearly one in four users uninstall an app after using it just once. These users, even if they help increase those download stats, won’t help you make much in ongoing revenue. Trying to reduce your churn rate is so important because existing customers are worth way more than new customers. This is because:
- It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer, than to keep an existing one
- You have a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer as opposed to a meager 5-20% on a new customer
Clearly, reducing churn rate is one of the more important things you need to nail and today, that’s what we will help you do. So here are 5 ways to make sure your customers don’t walk out on you:
1. Find out What Makes Them Leave and Fix It
Analytics. It’s only fitting that we begin our discussion with this mighty word. Effectively monitoring your app’s user behavior analytics is integral to finding out how users are interacting with your app, what they are using most and more importantly, where they are hitting a wall and backing off. This will tell you what problem areas are irking your users and making them leave. Identify pages with the highest bounce rate. Monitor these drop-off points and fix them. Track, measure and manage.
- Start with your sign up page. Is it even necessary? It is a big hassle for users, so either get rid of it or make it simple. Try Facebook login or other simplifications.
- Move on to your on-boarding process. Are you addressing key concerns right away? Users don’t have time for ambiguity. If they are dropping off at the on boarding, rework it.
- Check your services page. Users leaving it too quickly isn’t good. But users spending way too much time here could mean they aren’t finding what they want.
- The checkout flow is one of the trickiest areas, and also the most frequent drop-off point. Hidden costs like delivery charges or taxes are one of the biggest culprits, so make sure your app isn’t committing them. Here’s moreon tackling the checkout barrier.
2. Personalize Your Marketing According To User Segments
User segmentation is a powerful tools app marketers use, to customize their messaging as per their demographic. This essentially means that to acquire, engage and retain your users, each user needs to be approached in a special way. Some users like millenials need apps that will save their time and give them quick, easy, on-the-go solutions. Other users like the middle-aged ones could be more concerned with privacy and security attributes. In your communication with the users, you need to highlight features and benefits that will appeal to them. Always personalize your messaging, sometimes, down to every individual user.
- In the context of churn rate, you could identify segments like new user, highly engaged, flight risk, long term active, abandoned and more.
- New users would like to see some instant benefits of downloading your app. give them introductory offers, discounts and your value proposition.
- Highly engaged and long term active users are your most prized possession. Solidify the bond with them by acknowledging, thanking and rewarding them. These are the people that will give you brand advocacy.
- Flight risks are your trial ground. These users have you in a precarious position so be very careful. Very subtle encouragement to engage with you is needed here.
- Abandoned users need to be re-engaged via external means such as effective email marketing. More on that later.
3. Gather Feedback from Multiple Channels
Proactively seek feedback from new and tenured users. Tell them their opinion matters and engage with them to elicit nuggets of feedback gold. There are various channels you can exploit for this.
The user reviews section in the app store is the first place to target. Thank positive reviewers and assure negative reviewers that you will fix issues and then, keep your word. Even the meanest reviews could show you a way to improve your product.
Social media is another potent weapon for feedback and engagement. Monitor Facebook groups and Twitter feeds to see what users are saying about your app.
In addition to these, directly engage your users with in-app messaging to ask what you could do to improve their experience.
4. Remarketing and Re-Engaging
One of the most insidious things about churn rate is that it is a ‘lagging indicator’. This means that by the time you compute your churn rate, you are already a few weeks past the time your customers actually left you.
So now, managing the damage would actually mean reversing the damage. Your users have either stopped using your app or have uninstalled it entirely. You need to bring those users back and that is a tough cookie. So pull up your socks and get set for remarketing.
Now that in-app messaging isn’t an option, you need to head to the places where your users hangout. Re-engage them on Facebook, twitter and other social networks. Use email-marketing creatively and offer special discounts and irresistible offers for coming back. Do remember that all these strategies can end up looking like cheap gimmicks if not augmented with genuinely heartfelt messaging. Personalize your messages, show them you miss them and want them back. Don’t get cheesy though, there’s a fine line.
5. Re-Design Your Value Proposition
If the churn rate is higher than you can fathom, maybe patch-up solutions won’t cut it. You may need to re-design your very core value proposition. Are you offering a service that’s already available? Does your app lack an edge? Are you offering something new? If you are, are your users not able to see the value in it? Do you need to change your strategy? Are you highlighting the wrong aspects and missing out on communicating what truly differentiates you?
Delve deep and think about what you are bringing to the table. Reorganize if you need to. Maybe a total transformation is in order. If that is so, don’t hesitate. Do what it takes to differentiate yourself and offer something unique. Only that can truly get users to stay.
So there you have it – the complete guide to reducing your app’s churn rate. You don’t have to dive into all the above steps all at once. Pick up one step at a time and implement it. Take a strategic approach and watch the churn rate go down. If you have something to add to the list, do drop us a line.