9 Mistakes That Will Kill Your Relationships With App Users

Increasing mobile app conversions is the top priority and challenge for every marketer.

Many marketers believe the path to driving app conversions is paved with push notifications, and its right to an extent. However, just by sending push messages you won’t be able to boost app conversions’. It’s important to have users engaging with your push notifications.

Push notification as app retention tool

Push notifications almost double app retention rates

If you have taken a look at your mobile analytics and noticed that your app conversion rate is low, don’t blame your push messages. These problems could be driving those lacklustre results.

By correcting and avoiding these mistakes, you may realize increasing your mobile app conversions is not as tough as it seems.

  1. Not giving app users a reason to allow notifications

Most mobile marketers think that if they’ll ask app users to opt-in for push notifications they will.

That used to be true. If you ask new app users to opt-in for push messages around 70% of them will allow. But that’s not the case anymore.

app users push notification opt-in research midia research

Giving users a reason to opt-in for push notifications is especially important if, most of your customers use iOS devices. As more than 50% of iOS users opt-out to receive push messages. So you need to give them a solid reason to opt-in for push messages the moment they download your app. Take a look at how Saks Fifth Avenue, a luxury retailer uses this approach:

app notitication optin message

The reasons why this opt-in is good is:

  • The copy is conveying the benefit to allow notifications.
  • It’s aesthetically pleasing.
  • It’s succinct.

Asking permission is easy – getting it isn’t. Give new app users reasons’ to opt-in before they decide not to.

  1. Not giving importance to the first impression

When someone downloads your app and allow you to send push notifications, they’ve asked you to communicate with them. The best way to engage with these new app users is by sending them a welcome message. But, there’re very few brands that are sending a welcome message to their new app users. And those who are sending one are not making it count.

When you send a welcome message to your new app users, you can benefit by:

  • An increase in app engagement.
  • Increasing your app retention.
  • Cultivating brand loyalty.
  • Establishing your presence by remaining on top of the mind.
  • Drive quick conversions.

Take a look at this one from Farfetch:

push notification welcome message example

Remember first impression matters - you never get a second chance to create a right first impression, so make it count.

  1. Not creating a push notification strategy

When used correctly, push notifications can be a powerful tool to boost app engagement, done wrong they’ll cause customers to uninstall the app. If you’re starting with push messages, it’s easy to imagine that by sending witty and well-crafted messages you’ll be able to engage and convert your app users.

But once you start sending push messages every day, it becomes clear to you that this isn’t true.

Still, top marketers are following this same approach. But, if you want to achieve good results from this channel, you need a well-planned push notification strategy in place. One that will take into account who your app users are, and what they need from the app.

Now that you understand why creating a strategy is so important - let’s talk about how to take your push notification strategy to the next level.

Track in-app activities, listen to what your app users are telling you. Analyze their behavioral and profile data - use the insights to refine the experience of your app users.

 “Success is 20% skills and 80% strategy. You might know how to succeed, but more importantly, what’s your plan to succeed?” Jim Rohn

  1. Not making the app users feel special

This is one of the biggest mistakes most marketers make with their marketing messages. They send the same marketing message to people on every channel.

This is wrong.

Stay away from sending the same messages you’re sending on your other marketing channels to your app users. There’s no appeal to an offer if it’s available to everyone – some offers should be specifically for your app users. Also, ensure you mention this in your message that the deal is only for your app users to make them feel that they are part of something special.

Given below is an example from Urban Outfitters:

time-bound push notifications example

Never stop telling your app users how important they’re to you.

  1. Asking for too much or too less information at the time of sign-up

When a user signs up on your app, ideally, you should collect some information from them at that point. The idea is to collect some data so you can tailor your messaging and personalize the overall app experience for these users.

But, very few marketers are collecting data correctly. They either don’t collect data at all or ask for too much information.

Both mistakes can kill your relationship with your app users.

How?

If you ask for too less information, you won’t be able to personalize your marketing messages for your app users (especially new ones). If you ask for too much, it increases the chances that your app users will leave the sign-up process in between.

When collecting data always take a balanced approach; the real value doesn’t lie in collecting volume it lies in collecting the right data.

  1. Not trying to win back users who leave (uninstall) the app

Users leave apps for many reasons - you can’t always stop them from jumping the ship. But what you can do is try to bring them back on it when they’re ready again.

Now the question is how to get users to re-install your app?

Well, there are many ways to do that, but the easiest one is to reach them through other channels like email or SMS. But there are very few marketers who collect this data (email address and mobile number) before it’s too late. Don’t be one of them.

If you don’t know how to collect data take inspiration from Urban Outfitters:

user action triggering push notification

Urban Outfitters know people love getting a good deal (app users are no exception), and they won’t mind sharing their data to access the offer.

When creating your push notification strategy, think winning back, not just winning users.

  1. Not paying attention to what not to send in push messages

When it comes to push messages, most marketers keep their focus in one direction - what to send. But they forget that paying attention to what not to send is also equally important.

Why?

It can kill your relationship with your app users. Here is an example to show you how: if you know a customer is a fan of a particular brand from your site, and you send them a message offering a discount on that specific brand a few hours after he bought a product from that brand. Well, that message is likely to make the customers feel bad and is going to generate a negative reaction from the customer.

To avoid the above situation, you should pay attention to what not to send too.

Done right push notifications can lift app conversions – done wrong they can tank it too – be careful.

  1. Not sending push messages at the right frequency

Too many push notifications and your app users will leave the app - too few messages can kill your revenue.

So what do you do to get good returns? You send just the right number of messages. But how can you find that perfect number? Well, the only way to do that is by thoroughly testing, which isn’t easy. Plus, it takes a long time, during which time you might annoy a lot of your app users.

A good benchmark is three push messages per week. You can try scaling up to five times weekly, as long as you can add value. You can even drop back to once a week without totally losing touch with your app users. But if you cross these two boundaries, you’re in dangerous territory.

weekly push notification causing disablement

Image source

When determining your push notification frequency take inspiration from others, but don’t copy them.  Your ideal send frequency should be unique because your audience and your business are unique.

  1. You are focusing on Personalisation instead of Individualisation

I know what you are thinking – personalisation works! But what I am going to offer you is even better than it …. so hear me out.

There is no denying the fact that personalisation works but what most marketers are focusing on is doing mass-level personalisation. They are either segmenting their app users by their profile data like gender, geography, etc. or they are segmenting them by their behavior. But there are very few marketers who are taking into account both profile and behavioral data if you are not one of them, your push messages aren’t targeted enough.

Personalisation is as effective as it is cliché, but I bet individualization is even more powerful.

Wrapping it up: At the end of the day, it’s the dream of every mobile marketer to improve their app retention and reduce churn. Avoiding all the mistakes mentioned above will help you in building deeper relationships with your app users; keeping your app users around for the long haul.

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Reshu Rathi


Reshu Rathi is an online marketing and conversion rate enthusiast. She has been in the internet marketing industry for nearly ten years, specializing in content and product marketing, lead generation and engagement strategy.

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