Keeping Users Engaged with Your App

We’ve talked a lot in recent months about developing an app and the basics of app marketing, but launching your app is really just the beginning. There are many things to do to keep your app users engaged, and to keep your app running smoothly, after the first version hits the app stores. Here are some things to consider post v1.

Stay Relevant
While it may seem obvious, make sure your app stays relevant to your users. They purchased your app because it met a need. As their needs evolve, make sure your app does too. Staying relevant could include everything from keeping content fresh, to adding new features, to offering special promotions throughout the year. Paying attention to what features your top users employ can help give insights into areas you want to continue to grow.

Stay In Touch
Consider how you will support and communicate with your users on an ongoing basis. Some communication methods are more time-consuming and impractical for a broad customer base, so be sure to tailor your choices accordingly. Tools like FAQs, support forms, and in-app feedback are great ways to make it easy for your customers to get answers from you. It’s also important to think about how you want to communicate with them, in order to retain their interest and encourage them to share your app with others. This guide by Neumob provides a solid list of best practices for user engagement including push notifications, texts, and re-marketing.

Use Analytics to Gain Key Information
Analytics help you capture usage patterns in your app such as new and returning users, session length, device types, and user location. A number of services provide methods to gather and view data including Google Analytics, Amazon Mobile Analytics, and Flurry Analytics. Be clear about the information you aim to gain from the data before diving in. For example, do you care about how many repeat users come back to the app or about users who make a purchase? Determine what you want to know upfront, or pages full of usage data could quickly become overwhelming. Google offers free online courses on analytics to help you determine what data to gather and how to interpret it.

Watch for OS Upgrades
Users expect your app to keep up with new OS features, so you will need to be aware of new OS version releases. Apple historically has released a new version annually, while Google has done so less frequently. A new OS means new features that may require interface design changes on your part. Or the new OS may make it easier for you to add a cool, new enhancement users have been clamoring for. Be sure to test your app on the new OS using a variety of devices whether you change the code or not.

Learn about more ongoing considerations for your app by reading Chapter 8 of our book, Inspiring Apps: A Business Perspective on Building Mobile Apps. This chapter includes more information on the topics above as well as tips for how and when to enhance your app. The book is free in iBooks and available for a small charge on Kindle.