5 Ways to Boost In-App Customer Engagement

User engagement is more important than attracting a mass of customers who end up being dormant.

In-app engagement

In-app engagement metrics are the gold standard of the tech world. They are a befitting reflection of touchpoints that customers have with products and apps. So much so that in an ideal ecosystem, they often end up dictating the direction of technological development.

As Steve Jobs puts it, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.”

And when it comes to the world of apps, such a perspective cannot be closer to the truth. These jaw-dropping statistics paint a compelling picture:

  • Users spend 85% of their time engaging with only 5 non-native apps of the App Store.
  • Only 12% of active smartphone users look for new apps every day.
  • 46% of smartphone users are now using voice to engage with apps.

Moreover, here is what the average retention curve of apps looks like:

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All of this and more only reiterates the importance of customer engagement for app adoption today. Let’s look at some of the leading ways in which in-app customer engagement can be boosted:

1. Creating a Focused Onboarding Program

If users do not understand the value proposition of an app, they will not use it. This is what makes ‘onboarding’ a crucial ingredient in the mix. Being the very first step of the process, onboarding also carries the onus of casting a memorable first impression. By highlighting the key features and benefits, both retention rates and Lifetime Value (LFV) of new users can be significantly boosted.

If users do not understand the value proposition of an app, they will not use it. This is what makes ‘onboarding’ a crucial ingredient in the mix. Being the very first step of the process, onboarding also carries the onus of casting a memorable first impression. By highlighting the key features and benefits, both retention rates and Lifetime Value (LFV) of new users can be significantly boosted.

Some of the best onboarding practices include:

  • Emphasizing the value proposition of the app from an ideal point-of-view. “Here’s what our app can do” and “Here is what you can do with our app” may sound familiar at first, but they are poles apart.
  • Highlighting core app features, functionalities, and buttons. For instance, compatibility with word documents is a primary feature (and strength) of Google Docs. Hence, Google aptly includes it in the onboarding process.
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  • Just asking for permissions that are mandatorily needed for proper app functioning.
  • Making the signup process as easy as possible and ending with a relevant CTA.

2. Real-Time Support for Instant Query Resolutions

One of the easiest ways to boost engagement is to become proactive, especially in customer support. Most user and engagement trends today point towards one key variable – instant gratification. With the proliferation of technology and on-demand services/features, impatience is rife at the user’s end.

This is why leading market players are working hard to extend products like cobrowsing, chatbot and live chat tool. As a result, users are able to:

  • Extend their chat experience beyond text and solve customer care issues in real-time.
  • Engage with customers at precise instances in their purchase journey and maximize the chances of conversions.
  • Address support queries with auto/canned messages to handle customer support at scale.
  • Implement custom and branded engagement sections in apps that add relevant context to chats.
  • Help support teams to gather relevant data about customers that can be later leveraged by sales teams.
  • And much more!

3. Personalized Offers and In-App Push Notifications

Push notifications give marketers a strategic edge when it comes to reminding users about the app. But it is also important to strike the right chord in terms of quantity. While a number of notifications can fail to engage, too many of them can put them off. This is the reason why more than 50% of the app users consider push notifications to be annoying.

Thus, it becomes imperative to construct and deliver push notifications in a non-intrusive manner. Their performance can then be mapped via metrics such as conversion, click rate, and user engagement. And naturally, notifications that take into account the profiles and user behaviors tend to perform much better than the broadcast type

.

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Primary push notification strategies include:

  • Getting users to opt-in to push notifications by using engagement elements such as splash screens.
  • Using personalized notifications to reach up to the 800% engagement level of generic notifications.
  • Prompting users with limited time offers on the basis of the target and objectives.
  • Urging users to update their apps so that they do not miss out on new features or 
  • improvements.

4. Motivating User-Generated Content

As evident, user-generated content (UGC) refers to the type of content that is created by the users of applications. Not only do they boost engagement rates, but they also lead to increased word-of-mouth marketing. Leading types of user-generated content for apps can include reviews, mentions in forums, images, links, and more.

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One can explore the following benefits:

  • Imparts of the crucial element of authenticity to applications as users tend to trust other users more than the word of companies.
  • Forges a relationship between the brand and the users, increasing the level of trust.
  • Personalized the experience for all users, enabling them to have a unique voice.
  • Motivates users to use the app over and over again, significantly boosting engagement metrics.

5. Triggering Automated Behavioral Emails

User engagement can also take place outside of the product. Based on prior engagement patterns with users, automated emails can be triggered. This can intervene at relevant points in the user journey, making it more likely for users to take action.

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Events that can (and should) be used to trigger emails can be:

  • Activation/Sign-up Emails: Welcome emails are an engaging way to introduce the brand and add a personal touch to the onboarding process.
  • One-off Emails: Emails can also be set to be triggered as a response to specific events, such as certain users not using the app for X days.
  • Educational Drip Emails: Upskilling users about features of products and their benefits over a period of time.
  • Customer Feedback Surveys: Collecting feedback from customers by sending them short surveys.

Conclusion

User engagement is more important than attracting a mass of customers who end up being dormant. These practices will help you explore customer engagement strategies in the short run while also doubling up as customer retention strategies in the long run.

Which engagement tactics do you leverage for your app?

P.S. Get started with UXCam to engage your app users better.