Apps must be dynamic, or else users will eventually lose interest.
Even the most popular social apps that rely on user-generated content need to keep users interested and excited.
In order to do so, they must keep the dynamic game going by frequently making updates and changes over time.
This is a fact of life for all apps. And this is where you, as a mobile app owner, are faced with the challenge of asking your users to upgrade your app on their mobile devices.
Many devices are set to automatically update all apps, but with the swipe of a finger, users tend to disable this setting (sometimes after angrily Googling how to do it).
So, unless your users opted-in for automatic updates, convincing them to do the upgrade is easier said than done. Until you read this article, that is.
Here are a few best practices when it comes to asking users to update your app on their mobile devices:
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When Should You Ask Users to Update?
Asking your users to make the effort to update your app is a sensitive matter. Thus, you should only send out update requests at the right time; at a time when the upgrade will actually be of value to them. Otherwise, it can frustrate or annoy them.
Put yourself in your users’ shoes before sending out upgrade requests. Is the change resulting from the update valuable enough to warrant the request?
Bug fixing, alone, isn’t a reason for you to invite people to upgrade your app. Fix bugs quietly, and make a big splash about the update once you have a new killer feature to offer. Another good time to invite users to upgrade your app is after a rebranding, especially if the app has visual qualities to it.
Other examples of ideal times to send out upgrade requests to app users are:
- When a retail app has a new accessories section
- When a banking app starts offering expanded billing options
- When rolling out new profiling options in various types of apps
- When your app upgrade coincides with a holiday or external event in a relevant way
How to Encourage Users to Upgrade Your App?
Now that you know when to send out the update request to users, the question is how to convince them to proceed with doing so. It is your job, as a mobile app owner, to educate and convince your users that they should upgrade your app.
You must show them the value in doing so. If the upgrade will drastically improve the user experience, tell your users how it can improve their everyday lives. If your app uses a reward system (badges, points, credits, etc.), let your users know that they can earn additional rewards by upgrading. Those types of benefits can be powerful motivators.
How can you tell them about these amazing benefits? The main methods are in-app messages, push notifications and social buzz:
Users come to your app for a reason. A rule of thumb is to let them complete their desired actions before triggering a pop-up a message inviting them to upgrade the app. Then, it is crucial that the in-app message succinctly explains how they will benefit by doing the upgrade. This way, users are more likely to perform the action you want them to take.
Push notifications can have similar content to in-app messages, but you have to test and experiment with optimal timing. For example, the middle of the day during the work week would probably not be the ideal timing for sending this call-for-upgrade. Later in the day or in the early evening may be a better option. But there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You need to test it and see what works best with your users.
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Social Media Buzz
Many times, mobile app owners forget that they can also promote the app upgrade externally. Remember to post on your social media profiles about the app upgrade (and provide a link to it in the app store), so that your followers will know that it is now available.
If you collected email addresses from your users, you can also send them a short email explaining the benefits they can experience by upgrading your app. If you have made a serious improvement to your app, send out promo codes to bloggers (or the equivalent media of your vertical) for them to check it out and spread the word.
Once you have successfully gotten your users to go ahead with the app upgrade, be sure to give them a proper onboarding experience. Show them an appealing carousel of what’s new in the app, or trigger an in-app message upon their first visit that showcases the cool new features.
And there you have it. The key to getting users to upgrade your app is by offering them real value and by letting them know about the upgrade through engaging mediums. By following this advice, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of requesting users to upgrade your app.