4 Keys to Keeping Your App Out of the Trash
If you could go back in time 20 years, you would see a huge difference that we now take for granted. Go to your local coffee shop or restaurant and at any given moment up to 20% of the people are looking at a smart phone. The first major smartphone came out in 1994 and cost close to $1,000. But the proliferation of smartphone really exploded with the release of the first iPhone. Can you believe that the first iPhone was released in 2007? The world has changed in so many ways in the last 9 years.
Less than 10 years ago, hardly anyone was using their mobile phone to do much more than talk and occasionally send a text message. Now, almost anything you can do on a computer, you can do on your device. Additionally, there are tons of things that you used to have to do in-person that you can now do with a few clicks on your phone. People in the US currently spend an average of 4.7 hours a day on their phone, and most of that time is spent using mobile apps.
In the last 9 years there have been between 1.4million and 3 million apps developed according to estimates. With this many options, it is not surprising that many apps are downloaded only to be deleted after very little use. Some estimates show that up to 80% of mobile apps are deleted after only 1 use. No one wants their app to end up in the trash, so how can you ensure that your mobile strategy develops long term users? Here are 4 ways to help keep your app out of the recycle bin
Why Do I Want It?
If you want people to not only download, but engage with you using your app, you have to give them a good reason to do so. If a user doesn’t experience some value from your app on the first use, you will have lost up to 80% of them. When you design your app, ask yourself how the app will help the people using it. The key to a good app is making the user’s life easier. Are you providing information? Are you giving them time by making things quicker? Are you giving them content that they want? It is likely that as the app developer, you want something as well. Don’t start there. It can be tempting, but resist it. The first things that your users should see are things that establish the value of the app for them. Once you have built loyalty and trust with your users, then you will be able to meet your own goals, but start with a focus on them first.
Is it Easy?
There are lots of ways that we can over complicate an app. Some things to consider are how easy it is to find your app in the app store, how intuitive the app is to use, how much information you asking the user to give you, and to be sure you’re not packing too much into the app. Once someone downloads your app, the main goal is to have them use it repeatedly. If the app design is confusing, you can lose people. If it has too many options or asks too much from the user, they will disengage. Start simply and let people get in the habit of using it, then you can add some additional features once they are routinely using it.
Is it Stale?
One quick way to have your app end up in a digital graveyard is to make it static. The magic of mobile is that you can keep it fresh and give people a reason to come back. One of the most effective ways to maintain engagement is by providing fresh content. Game builders know this, and that is why Candy Crush currently has 2245 levels. A growing tool for keeping people engaged is live stream and podcasts. Research shows that 4 out of 10 millennials listen to podcasts once a month on a mobile device.
Will You Stop Interrupting?
One of the most powerful tools can also be one of the ones most likely to get your app dumped. Push notifications are an amazing tool to provide relevant, timely information. But, if overused, it can become interruptive and down right annoying. Push notifications should be targeted to the people you send them to, so this means that you should segment your audience relative to the content. Two other considerations are frequency and timing. Don’t over do it and try to send notifications when people are most likely to be using your app. No one wants to get woken up by a notification.
What are the reasons that you delete apps from your phone?