5 Mobile App Engagement Blunders to Avoid Like the Plague

Business.com / Marketing Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

By avoiding these five common app engagement mistakes, you can give your users the information they need when they need it.

Mobile devices have made a huge impact on the way we conduct business, make purchases, and even the way we use financial services.

As a result, smartphones have become a main engagement medium for many types of businesses, such as banks, tour operators, and online stores.

Continuously, large companies are dedicating significant resources to improving the engagement functions of their apps to ensure that their customers remain loyal, keep coming back and do not uninstall the app.

Many times, users download apps, use them once and then forget about them, or they even uninstall them completely.

In order to prevent these undesirable outcomes, many app owners try to retain and engage with their users in order to build a relationship, but in doing so, they tend to make a few common user engagements blunders.

Related Article:Mobile App Marketing: How Apps Contribute to the Consumer Journey

Here are five app engagement mistakes that every app owner should avoid:

1.  Targeting the Wrong Users

You wouldn’t target online ads to just anyone, you would cater your ads to specific types of users and audience segments. So why wouldn’t you use the same concept when engaging with your app users?

For example, if you want to use a video tutorial to show users how to use a new feature in your app, should you make the video appear for all of your users?

No, of course not. Users that have already watched the video or have already used the feature do not need to see the video again, so you wouldn’t target your entire user base with this engagement tool. New users or existing users who have not used the new feature would be ideal for showing the video. Along the same line, if you want to remind users about a feature that could enhance their experience, you should only send a notification to those who have not already used it.

2.  Jumping the Gun on Using Permissions

Let’s face it, permissions are crucial.  But that doesn’t mean you should ask for them immediately when a new user downloads your app. Many users are less likely to grant permissions to apps they have only recently begun using. Before they feel comfortable granting permissions, they need to understand what value granting those permissions will give them.

For example, if you have a user that has not completed the registration process, you should send a push notification in order to motivate that user to finish the process.  But in order to send a push notification, you need to the user to grant you the permission to do so.  If you ask the user for push notification permission too soon, they are more likely to deny your request. Rule of thumb: send permissions requests to users only when it is absolutely necessary, and make sure that you clearly explain why you are making the request.

Related Article:Marketing to the Mobile Man and the Mobile Woman

3. Launching Too Quickly

Rushing and engagement do not make a winning combination. For example, not taking the time to develop a stellar subject line for a marketing email can result in a low open rate, even if the mailer is amazing. Why? Because the subject line is what people see first, and it didn’t compel them to open it. Many times, an app’s new feature could potentially become its central engagement driver. But if it is rolled out too quickly, without proper user onboarding and planning, it can go to unnoticed.

Implementing user engagement features, such as tooltips, in-app messages, onboarding carousels and banners, helps to highlight the attractive offerings within your app.  They also help to resolve any issues regarding user onboarding. While the actual capabilities of the app are ultimately the most important thing, launching it with the ideal implementation of engagement features will help make it more successful.

4.  Triggering Engagement Features at the Wrong Time

How do you know when is the right time to roll out certain engagement features, such as interstitials, tooltips, in-app messages and mobile coupons? You must pay attention to your users’ activities within the app and plan carefully so as not to overwhelm them or catch them at an inopportune moment when they are less likely to engage.  

One of the most frequent mistakes is to trigger these types of features automatically when the user opens the app. Users usually go into an app for a particular reason - they want to do something specific. Presenting them an engagement feature immediately when they launch the app, before they can complete their desired action, can result in user frustration, and you risk losing the user.

For example, if you want to request that loyal users complete a survey, trigger the appearance of survey only after they have done what they came to your app to do.  At that time, they will be more likely to respond favorably and complete the survey.

5. Communicating Too Frequently With Users

Communicating and engaging with users is the key to building user loyalty and strengthening retention, but there is such a thing as “too much”. Being overly communicative with users can be overwhelming and annoying, and it can lead to an increase in uninstalls. It is important to cap communication with your users.  

Remember that different types of users react differently to engagement features, so cap your communication according to your audience segments. There is no “one-size-fits-all” rule when it comes to engagement, so carefully experiment with your communication techniques and capping limits according to your user groups.  

Related Article:Text Savvy: 6 Reasons Brands Should Start Using SMS Marketing

By avoiding these five common app engagement mistakes, you can give your users the information they need when they need it, without overwhelming them or driving them away from your app. No matter which industry you are working in, at the end of the day, the goal is to provide a better experience to the users while strengthening their loyalty to the app and your business, long-term. And that is exactly what proper app user engagement is all about.  

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