By John Turner, founder of SeedProd

Getting users to download your app is hard enough. But, what’s even more challenging is getting them to stick around and use your app on a regular basis. So, how can you build a more active user base

Show the benefits in your app store listing. 

When users aren’t aware of the benefits your app provides, they won’t be able to get the most out of the experience. So, if you want to increase user engagement, it’s wise to present all of the benefits users will get from your app right from the start. In your app store listing, clearly state what problems your app solves and how it will help users. 

For example, in Evernote’s app store listing, they let users know that the Evernote app helps users focus on what matters most and lets them have access to their information when they need it. That sounds much more captivating than listing off a bunch of features. When users know what benefits they can receive from using your app, they’ll be more likely to stick around to experience the rewards for themselves. 

Simplify the account creation process. 

If a user decides to download your app and the account creation process takes too long, you risk users getting bored and giving up before they even have a chance to see how cool your app is. To avoid this, be sure to simplify the account creation process. 

Only ask for the basics during registration, such as a username, password and email. You could also allow people to sign up through their existing Gmail or Facebook account for an even quicker signup. 

Or, let users try before they “buy.” Instead of having users create an account right away, let them explore your app first. This will let users see the value of your app. When they want to perform an action, you can then prompt them to create an account. Ideally, by this time, the user will already be in love with your app and they’ll rush to create an account. 

Provide an easy onboarding experience. 

Not being able to understand or use your app is one of the top reasons users will abandon it. So, you should be providing an easy onboarding experience. A good onboarding experience will show users exactly how to use your app. But, don’t bombard users with a ton of information all at once. Since the user isn’t familiar with your app yet, that will only overwhelm them. 

Rather than providing a tutorial right out of the gate, continue to educate users on the benefits of your app. For example, many apps will reiterate the value proposition of the app in an illustrated slideshow first. Then, you can offer feature and functionality education as users click on those features. 

Use push notifications -- wisely. 

Have you ever downloaded an app, used it a few times and then completely forgotten about it? It’s pretty common and it can really affect your engagement rate. Luckily, you can use push notifications to remind users your app exists and draw them back in. But, you have to use push notifications wisely.

If you send users too many push notifications, send them at the wrong time, and they aren’t relevant to the user, they’ll ignore them. Even worse, they could become irritated and delete your app. Here are some push notification best practices you should follow:

  • Consider timing: Don’t send push notifications in the middle of the night when users are sleeping. Pay attention to the time zones of users. 
  • Provide value: Don’t send notifications too frequently and without reason. Your push notifications should provide value to the user. 
  • Use targeted push notifications: Targeted push notifications are more personal because they’re based on the user’s interaction with your app.

Ask users for feedback. 

Asking users for feedback might not seem like a strategy you can use to increase user engagement, but it is. By asking users for their feedback, you’ll make them feel appreciated, which is a good way to build brand loyalty. The more loyal users feel to your brand, the more they’ll use your app. 

Plus, collecting feedback from your users will help you discover what they love about your app and what aspects of it could be better. These valuable insights will help you come up with new features and updates that will make your app even more irresistible to users. 

Don’t let your app be downloaded and forgotten. With these tips for how to increase user engagement for your app, you can make sure you’re able to capture the attention of users and keep it.

John Turner is the founder of SeedProd, the most popular coming-soon page solution for WordPress used by over 800,000 websites.

Published on: Sep 20, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.