How to Convert, Engage and Retain your Productivity App Users

Written by Ritu Poddar on August 22, 2019

We live in a world which is full of interruptions, and we practice distraction so much that we have nearly forgotten the art of concentration. This impacts our personal productivity catastrophically.

In August 2018, a research from the UK’s telecoms regulator, Ofcom, reported that people check their smartphones every 12 minutes (average) during their waking hours. Whether technology should be blamed for it, or not, is a debatable topic, but the levels of distractions are costing us a lot of our time and energy.

And, technology comes to our aid again, with productivity apps. Apps designed to help us plan and finish tasks faster and with better efficiency.

I had written about the most popular apps from different categories, in this blog post.

Like every other space, the competition in productivity apps industry is high and rising. To acquire users, engage them, retain them, and meet the business KPIs is not easy.

Here are some tips and best practices that have been applied by the best brands in the industry that would surely be of help to you.

To improve the conversion rate:

As per App Samurai Inc, the conversion rate for productivity apps is 5.67 for Android, and 3.05 for iOS.

android vs iOS conversion rate for productivity apps

Most app users begin as free users, and convert to paying customers only if they find considerable value in your app. Conversion is determined by a lot of factors like app features, usability, and the onboarding experience.

  • Offer a smooth UX

    User experience decides the future of your app. The core purpose of productivity apps is to help users achieve more in less time and effort. Hence, an easy-flowing, clutter free, minimalistic UI and a smooth UX is a must.

    Evernote’s CEO, Phil Libin says, "Impressive user experience has been among the core philosophies of our brand, right from the start. If the users find your app easy to use, the chances of them becoming paid customers, of course rises."

  • Ace your app onboarding experience

    Nothing strengthens customer relationships as much as an engaging onboarding experience does. Highlighting the app’s value proposition, its core features, and benefits at the very outset is one of the most popular onboarding tactics.

    Spare the users of sharing personal information at the very start, provide short and simple forms, and use tool tips, progress bar and video tutorials, to aid the users. Difficult to handle apps see abandonment very soon.  If you conquer their interest in the onboarding stage, there are big chances to optimize conversion rate.

    Your productivity app is meant to simplify the everyday life of your users. If they become power users of your app from the beginning, and your app becomes a part of their routine, you can rest assured that they will go a long way with you.

    app onboarding experience

To improve app engagement:

As per this report by Statista, the uninstall rate of productivity apps worldwide, as of April 2018, is 31.2%, third highest in the mobile apps category. Not a heartening stats, indicating how crucial it is for you to put efforts in user engagement strategies.

  • Promote your app’s USP

    The hard truth is, you are not one of your kind. Productivity apps industry is one of the fastest growing ones. To stand out, you have to promote your best features in the best of ways.

    You cannot explain everything that you want your users to know in one go during the onboarding process. Hence, it is important to educate them about the unique features of your app. True power users actually look for resources to learn more. So, generate content and promote it through app marketing channels like push notifications and in-app messages, and through email campaigns. Also, create enough buzz about the new features you introduce, to make your users take notice.

  • Share behaviour-based relevant content

    Leverage the power of users’ behavioural data to understand how your users interact with your app, which features they use more often than others, etc. And promote the related or upgraded features accordingly through push notifications, in-app messages, and even email campaigns.

    The key to impactful engagement is a content strategy around your customers’ interests, instead of just focusing on your product and its benefits.

    Trello follows an excellent practice of sharing relevant blogs and guides on topics that interest it’s specific audience.

    drive impactful engagement with behaviour-based relevant content

To improve user retention:

Productivity app category is in 2018’s top app categories in terms of consumer spend for both iOS and Android. If the competition is high, so is the scope. With the right user retention strategy in place, your brand is only going to soar higher.

Top app categories by download, iOS, 2018

  • Seek and implement user feedback

    We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve – Bill Gates.

    Productivity apps is one category wherein customers use the app very regularly and extensively, unlike an ecommerce or a travel or banking app. Be it a project management app like Trello, or a read-it-later app like Instapaper, they interact with the app multiple times in a day. Hence, it is extremely important for you to know what’s working and what’s not. It is your customers only who can tell you what they want from your product.

    Slack says, seeking continuous feedback from its early users to improve the UI, usability and features of its app played a crucial role in its incredible growth journey. They believe that every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity, and hence they value each comment and suggestion that their users give.

    Here in this interview, the founder of Pocket, Nate Weiner, emphasizes how user feedback has helped the app grow and succeed. He stresses that how user surveys are not just a way to get valuable feedback, but how greatly they serve as an engagement tool.

    He shares his secret to running great user surveys:

    3 tips from nate weiner for running surveys

    Source: The Story Behind How Pocket Hit 20M Users with 20 People

  • Leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing

    Happy customers are a brand’s referral army. Since your app offers experience (in terms of making the day-to-day life easier, not products), word-of-mouth marketing matters a lot. Personally speaking, I started using Pocket app after a friend shared how much he liked using the app.

    Hence, identify your champion users and treat them with special attention. Keep delivering superior customer experience to them, and they will recommend your app to their friends and co-workers.

Evernote’s Growth Story

Evernote, the note-taking app, has been on an incredible growth journey. Starting from creating a beautiful user interface, a solid marketing strategy, careful user segmentation, to taking user feedback and implementing it – Evernote has been doing it all, and hence is one of the most popular app of its kind, since the time it was launched in 2007.

Here is a session by Evernote's Ken Gullicksen (MBA '94), Chief Operating Officer, where he talks about Evernote’s innovative business model for global success. 

The era of productivity apps

Businesses as well as individuals are now realizing the utility of productivity apps. And the demand and adoption is only to going to rise in the coming years. In fact, now is the right time to build a strong user base and secure your stronghold in the industry. While your product owners focus on building great features, you as marketers invest in building impactful marketing strategies to boost conversion, engagement and retention. To know how an AI-powered cross-channel marketing platform can like Smartech help you in your growth journey, get in touch with us today!

 
Ritu Poddar


Ritu is a Technical Writer & Content Developer by profession, and a Poet & Creative Writer by passion. She works as Assistant Manager, Content Development at Netcore.

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