Today, we’re going to take a look at one of the most important aspects of any app marketing strategy: onboarding.
If you get this right, you’ll give yourself a huge advantage when it comes to keeping people using your app.
As any successful business person knows, it costs far more to find a new customer than it does to keep an existing one happy, so the better your onboarding process, the more money you’ll save in customer acquisition down the line.
So, what actually is onboarding?
Onboarding is, simply, the first impression your user gets when they use your app for the first time.
When the user loads up your app, your onboarding process will help them understand why your app is valuable, and why they should keep using it.
You might think it sounds a bit much to try and emphasize this straight away, but it’s remarkable how many users will simply delete an app almost immediately if they’re not happy with it!
By emphasizing straight away the benefits of your app, you’ve got a much better chance of helping keep users onside.
Oh, and some studies have shown that an effective onboarding process can improve customer retention by as much as 50% – so it’s well worth taking the time to get this right!
Here some of the key things you’ll need to do;
Make sure you emphasize your key value straight up
If you’ve done your initial planning right, you should have one key thing your app does to make the lives of your users better.
For example, MyFitnessPal helps you keep track of your calories.
Instagram lets you share your content with other people of similar interests.
Your bank’s app helps you manage your accounts on the move.
And so on.
You need to emphasize your main value proposition upfront, usually with a message when the app first loads up.
It’s worth noting that we’re not saying your app can’t have multiple good features…simply that when you first greet the user, you shouldn’t emphasize them all at once. If you do this, the chances are the readers will feel overwhelmed and log out.
Emphasize one main valuable benefit, and then let the users find out the other perks as they use the app.
Oh, and remember the age old rule of marketing: it’s not about features, it’s about benefits. Don’t tell users what your app is capable of doing – tell them how their lives will be better as a result of the features.
Don’t ask for a wave of data straight away
One of the biggest mistakes app builders make is trying to squeeze as much information out of the reader as the possibly can, as soon as the user loads the app up.
Imagine, for a moment, you’ve just installed a new app, and you open it.
Immediately, you’re bombarded with multiple requests for data:
Permission to send you push notifications…
Permission to access location services…
Permission to access the microphone…
Permission to use your number…
Permission to get your name and your email address…
And so on.
What are you very, very likely to do? That’s right – close the app and delete it immediately.
If a sales assistant in a store did this, you’d run as far as you could in the opposite direction!
In 2019, with technology privacy a major concern for users, asking for all of this straight away looks pushy at best – at worst, it looks outright suspicious.
Yes, having more information about your user can be valuable in helping you to target your marketing to them later on…
But start slowly. Only ask for the essential information, and then make it clear why you’re asking for it.
If, for instance, you want to import user contacts into your communication apps because it’ll save them having to input them all manually, make that clear.
The chances are that if you explain this before you load up the permissions box, your users will be far less likely to reject the request.
On a similar note…
Make it as easy as possible for users to login
One of the reasons that so many apps allow users to sign in through Facebook, Twitter, Google and other ubiquitous online accounts isn’t what you might think.
Sure, being able to link to social accounts helps re-targeting marketing – those ads that follow you around the web – but simply because it’s much, much easier for the user.
The simple fact is that, as people, we’re pretty lazy and we really don’t like obstacles.
If you give your average guy or girl a reason not to do something – like them having to open a new account and register it to their email – there’s a pretty high chance they’ll use that as a reason not to bother.
(You might even have done this yourself.)
Of course, not every app will be suitable for this. If you’re running an e-commerce store where users have a login already, then they are going to have to input it.
But if you’re running an app where they just need a login of any kind, consider adding links to social accounts.
Essentially, anything you can do to make using the app as easy as possible for the users, you should do.
If you need a few ‘how-to’ instructions, use one screen at a time
Some apps require the user to read a few instructions on how to use it. There’s no getting around it.
(Although the better your UX, the better chance you’ll have of users instinctively knowing how to use yours.)
If you do need to include a few instructions on how to use major features, make sure to follow the ‘one screen, one concept’ rule.
Essentially, for each main feature, explain it in a single screen. Then when, the user confirms they’re happy with it, move on to a different screen for a new instruction.
Make sure you test everything
Just like any kind of marketing funnel, it will take time and effort to get everything right. So make sure you constantly test every part of your onboard process to ensure you’re giving users the best possible experience.
Almost anything can have an impact, so it’s worth testing as many things as you can, including:
The copy you use to greet new users. All of the copy – from your initial greeting to the way you ask for permission to access hardware – can impact the response you get.
The design of your initial pages. Is your design as user-friendly as it can possibly be? Make sure you test a number of different versions to ensure you’re getting optimum results.
Which hardware you ask permission to use. We mentioned earlier that you should always ask for the minimum possible – but do test this. It’s possible that simply avoiding asking for access to one thing – like the microphone, or your user’s contacts list – could be enough to drastically improve your results!
Get in touch today
If you’d like to learn more about how you can use app onboarding to improve your customer retention rates, get in touch with Iconic Solutions today.
We’ve got years of experience building apps for our customers that get results, and we’d love to do the same for you.