They say idea is what drives it all to success. But once your creative mind has come up with an ingenious thought there starts all the fun. Surely you want your app to be successful and profitable. That's why you are set to improve app monetization and user retention. However, it is not as easy as it may sound. We learned while experiencing and indeed it wasn’t a short lesson. You probably know that valuable examples can teach, save time and help to avoid failures?
Here is a story of one product for you where you will find ideas for improving user retention and choosing the right monetization scheme.
By trial and error
If you take a look at the final version of our app My Day, which is now available in both App Store and Google Play, you might find it hard to believe what it was supposed to be according to our initial idea.
My Day - Event Countdown for Birthday, Retirement, Cruise & Trip, Graduation, Wedding etc.
Brilliant, isn’t it?
That’s how it all started...
The app was supposed to track seconds, days, months and years of sobriety period and offer the users to share success with friends via social media.
Monetization model:In-app purchase and advertising. The plan was to create Free Trial, which at some point offers to pay $ 1,99 for the further use.
User retention and engagement data are indicators of user loyalty. Loyal users perform valuable actions and increase profitability. Therefore a proposal to pay for the further use is not a good idea, as it won't help to breed retention. To add more, there is no such a thing as Free Trial in the App Store.
Read also: App monetization strategies explained
How did we plan to acquire more users?- added more events a user could track; - integrated Facebook and Twitter to generate referral as word-of-mouth works best for user acquisition.
We skipped the idea of the Sobriety Calculator completely, replacing it with Event Сountdown. Users could set notifications and get a reminder of the most important events that happen in their life.
Monetization idea:A proposition to unlock a pro version for unlimited events.
My Day launched on AppStoreFree version included: standard set of backgrounds, import Birthdays from Facebook.
Pro version offered a possibility to use a camera on the device to create unique user backgrounds.
This type of app monetization did not meet the expectations though. Instead of desirable results we got bad feedbacks from the users and the rating of our app was not inspiring.
New idea of monetization
Unique designer backgrounds became our new source of revenue.
However, the figures of the revenue still were not promising...
Free AppMy Day with unlimited events and a great variety of backgrounds absolutely free became much more successful than it had ever been before. All the backgrounds are divided into categories: Birthdays, Vacations, Holidays, Retirement, Parties.
Retention data increased! Why?
Our push notification about the event would come up on the screen in a form of a message “John has a Birthday!”. Fair enough, very informative, but what’s the trick?
The fact that John has a Birthday does not urge users to open the app. And we need our users to get inside My Day just as people need water to live. Did we think about Retention and Engagement? Right, those two are our goals! So we changed that notification about a very important event in John’s life into “Your friend has a Birthday”.
Unfortunately, people do not remember all the Birthdays of their friends, but why not to use it as our advantage? That way our customer has to open the app and check who exactly is about to receive congratulations.
The purpose of Growth Hacking is to make people open your app as often as it is possible. By all means.
Import HolidaysIn order to increase retention and engagement rates, we came up with an idea to include Holidays specially picked, according to the region of distribution.
My Day launched on Google Play
After retention rate of My Day version for App Store grew from 1% to 15 %, due to all the optimizations and improvements supported by the relevant data, we decided to increase the user base and profitability by launching the app on Google Play.
Our latest update for Android is a GUI widget to the home screens of the user devices. It displays event arrangement changeable by the user. We do not only remind our customers about the approaching event but also make sure they never forget about My Day and return to the app over and over again.
Good idea to increase retention, isn’t?
Key to Success - Iteration Development
Our approach to app development involves following the principles of iteration. It means, we analyze metrics and see how successful our techniques have been to increase the user acquisition rates, drive customers to use the product repeatedly and perform valuable actions within the app. In other words, if you want to maintain growth rates, study how people use the product and continually test and optimize every digital touchpoint in order to get prospective customers to take action. It is not a good idea to cram the app with everything you have come up with. A worthwhile application has features not immediately apparent. Gradual build-up, supported by relevant data will most likely generate desirable figures.
We keep to AARRR metrics (acquisition, activation, retention, referral, revenue) in our iteration development. These KPIs are the most important data to look at when trying to measure success of the product and come up with new ideas.
Our achieved results in retention
Number of sessions grows continually which means our users get engaged with our app longer and better.
We had a steady decline in the number of new users. But we put much thoughts into it, took measures and now the growth of the newcomers is very inspiring.
My Day has perfect interface solutions, offers extensive functionality and provides positive user experience. The end? Not yet! Wait and see while we test, iterate and optimize.
After all, there is always way to grow.