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“What does it take to get my app to the highest of the charts?”

Ah, the million-dollar query.


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And if the reply have been that easy, all app builders and publishers could be multi-millionaires. And we, as an app advertising company, would have a brilliant simple job!

So, what does it take to have a successful app development technique? Is it nailing down consumer acquisition and getting as many downloads as doable? Is it specializing in app consumer retention and consumer engagement methods? Is it having the fitting app monetization technique? Is it channeling your efforts into re-engaging churned customers?

The truth, buddies, is that it’s all of this stuff.

If this appears overwhelming, that’s as a result of it definitely may be. The excellent news is that taking a scientific strategy to creating a profitable app development and app advertising technique is far more manageable if you have a look at it by the lens of lifecycle advertising.

Let’s dive in…

What’s Lifecycle advertising?

Lifecycle advertising is about creating efficient methods that meet the shopper’s want the place they’re at of their app journey and, thus, elicit a desired motion at that second.

Methods to realize success on the acquisition stage (the place the objective could possibly be getting a brand new app obtain) is not going to essentially work for achievement on the monetization stage (the place the objective could possibly be a subscription buy).

For many cell apps, the shopper journey (or funnel) appears one thing like this:


Acquisition: enhance your consumer base

On the very prime of the funnel is Consumer Acquisition the place the objective is to extend your consumer base. Is smart, as you’ll be able to’t create paying app customers if you happen to don’t have any customers to information to that time, proper?

Numerous effort and time (and cash!) goes into this stage since you not solely have to seize customers’ consideration and get them to know what your app is/does however you additionally want to influence them to obtain it on their cell machine. There are two methods to do that:

1. Natural consumer acquisition

Right here, App Retailer Optimization (ASO), word-of-mouth, and social media techniques lead the cost. Let’s keep in mind that there are over 2 million apps within the iOS App Retailer and over 2 million apps in Android Google Play—which implies that app shops are extraordinarily crowded! ASO is your likelihood to extend your app’s visibility so your ASO technique must be rock-solid.

With a correct ASO technique in place, your app will enhance its rating, which is predicated on all app retailer metadata—app title and title, quick and lengthy descriptions, key phrases, screenshots—plus the variety of downloads and rankings/critiques.


2. Paid consumer acquisition

Paid UA will assist up your consumer acquisition recreation. Apple Search Adverts is usually a game-changer for iOS apps, as ASA is understood to be probably the most environment friendly methods to draw intent-based, high quality customers.


With a enough media finances, paid campaigns with Google Adverts, Fb Adverts, Instagram and TikTok can actually ramp issues up!

Activation: convert acquired customers to engaged customers

Many methods come into play on the activation stage the place the principle objective is to maintain the customers you acquired engaged and really utilizing the app. Right here is the place you desire a consumer to carry out an motion like finishing the registration course of or signing up for a free trial interval. For a well being and wellness app—like a yoga app—the specified in-app occasion could also be finishing a yoga session.

However right here’s the tough trade reality: On common, apps lose almost 75% of customers throughout the 1st day of the app set up.

So how do you retain customers activated? Listed here are some methods:

1. Optimize the consumer onboarding course of

How constructive (or destructive) a consumer’s onboarding expertise has an enormous impact on whether or not or not a consumer sticks round. That’s why following onboarding course of finest practices is essential. Ask your self these questions from the angle of a brand new consumer that’s simply put in your app and opening it for the primary time:

  • What is that this app about?
  • What can I do with this app?
  • What am I alleged to do subsequent?
  • Am I completely satisfied that I downloaded this app?

If there are unsure or destructive responses to questions like these, then you might want to return and repair the circulation and UX design of your app, in any other case, you’ll find yourself with a annoyed and/or disinterested consumer.

2. Provide a free trial

The easiest way to get a consumer hooked on what your app provides is by letting them get the complete expertise first-hand. A free 7-day trial that provides them full entry to all of the app’s options is an efficient solution to get them to discover your product. Ideally, they’ll love the app a lot that they’ll fortunately pay to subscribe to maintain utilizing it.

Make certain the free trial is distinguished and included within the onboarding course of early on.


3. Use Push notifications

A well-timed push notification can have a big affect at each app buyer lifecycle stage—together with activation. If a brand new consumer hasn’t signed up for the app after opening, a custom-made nudge or reminder may be simply the factor to get them to finish the specified motion.

A push notification calendar that schedules particular notifications to be despatched inside specified time frames is without doubt one of the only methods. Right here’s an instance of an activation stage push notification calendar based mostly on app registration completion.


Retention: incentivize consumer behavior formation

Retention is a important stage within the app buyer journey. Most apps want their customers to stay round and use the app persistently for the lengthy haul. Consumer retention not solely impacts app retailer rankings, however it’s very important to reaching monetary enterprise targets. Retention Day 1, 7, and 30 are a number of the most essential KPIs to trace.

Backside line: Have a tremendous app product that individuals love! They’ll not solely change into your most loyal, constant customers however they’ll inform their social community about it and change into your strongest model ambassadors.

Some consumer retention finest practices embrace:

1. Customise in-app communication

As talked about above, push notifications are beneficial at each stage of the app consumer journey when achieved the fitting method. In-app messages which can be persuasive and well-timed can assist give consumer retention the increase it wants.

2. Apply app gamification parts

Suppose rewards, badges, chief boards, and many others. To get a consumer hooked, you want a sticky app product! Clearly, app gamification parts like incentives and rewards are very efficient for gaming apps however they’re additionally extraordinarily related for different classes like well being and health.

Listed here are examples from informal gaming app, CoinMaster and widespread meditation app, Ten P.c Happier:



Re-engagement: win again inactive or churned customers

This is a crucial stage to not overlook. The actual fact is that re-engaging a consumer that has already used your product is far more cost-effective than buying a brand new consumer.

Make sure you preserve consumer churn charge and DAU knowledge in your radar from the get-go. Having a method in place for Day 1, Day 7 and Day 14 is the way in which to go—most occasions, ready till Day 30 is just too late!

Some helpful methods embrace:

1. Incentivize with “free stuff”

For a recreation app, the re-engagement messaging might contain giving an inactive consumer further cash for gameplay, or unlocking a brand new degree. One thing that the consumer can get totally free that makes them return to the app is a win!


2. Provide a reduction or limited-time financial savings

Folks love saving cash and, oftentimes, a great deal is sufficient to win them again. Under is an instance from Uber Eats with a push notification providing a reduction to entice an inactive consumer to come back again:


Monetization: enhance income or convert customers to paying clients

Ideally, you’ve nailed down engagement and retention and customers LOVE your app. As soon as they’re hooked, their buyer journey brings them to the monetization stage the place they’ll decide to a purchase order.

Standard monetization methods may embrace:

1. In-app purchases

It is a frequent strategy with gaming apps. Customers can “spend as they go” by buying an additional life, extra cash, a brand new character, and many others. for a low value of some {dollars}.

2. Month-to-month and/or yearly subscriptions

Most apps now use this monetization technique that kicks in after the free trial interval is over. Customers are billed a set month-to-month value or will pay for a 12 months’s subscriptions at a reduced value.

3. One-time app buy

Some apps are arrange so that you simply purchase them outright, that means that you simply pay one low worth to make use of them endlessly—like informal gaming apps, productiveness apps, or picture modifying apps. Others use a mix of subscriptions and one-time app buy choices. For instance, a health app might provide a subscription for $19.99 monthly or a one-time buy worth of $199.99 for lifetime entry.

Under is an instance from Transportable North Pole, a seasonal vacation app that gives a yearly “Magic Cross”.


What can go fallacious at every buyer lifecycle stage?

Protecting the funnel visible in thoughts, simply take into consideration the place you’ll be able to spring a leak—just about wherever, proper? The identical is true with the levels of an app consumer’s journey. The important thing factor is to determine the place these leaks are and repair them!

For instance—on the acquisition stage—your app could also be buried too deep within the app shops, giving it extraordinarily low visibility. Not together with related, high-performing key phrases in your app retailer metadata or poor app rankings could possibly be the issue. Getting a full ASO audit that identifies your weak factors helps you work this out.

Or, on the conversion stage, you could have an excessively difficult onboarding course of. Are you requesting an excessive amount of private info from the start or bombarded customers with an excessive amount of data earlier than giving them an opportunity to expertise what the app does? In that case, you’ve discovered your leak.

Greatest app engagement instruments to make use of for buyer lifecycle methods

Fortunately, there are a lot of instruments accessible that assist arrange and optimize these buyer lifecycles. It is a large asset as a result of, as you’ll be able to think about, triggering the fitting push notification on the proper time may get fairly messy with out an automatic software on the wheel!

Braze, OneSignal, LeanPlum, and Airship are trade leaders in relation to rising in-app buyer engagement and implementing multi-channel retention methods. Push notifications, emails, in-app messages, and A/B testing are simply a number of the superior options that they provide.

Closing Ideas

For each cell app technique, getting downloads is essential. However it’s often the tip of the iceberg.

For long run app success, it’s essential to take a look at the complete funnel of the app consumer buyer lifecycle journey and figuring out the place the leaks are—what’s it that’s stopping your consumer from transferring ahead to the subsequent stage and reaching the final word objective (i.e., making a purchase order)?

Mastering the funnel requires hands-on data and utility of probably the most related methods for each stage. This consists of:

  • Mastery of UA finest practices for ASO and paid media
  • Offering the optimum app onboarding and UX expertise
  • Implementing efficient push notifications and gamification methods
  • Having a plan to win again inactive or churned customers