Low App Retention Rates? – You need to Optimize FTUE or First Time User Experience

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Your app got excellent downloads in the first few weeks of its launch.  And you are super-happy about it. You even started calculating the profits you will make with this app.

But, you notice something that shatters all your hopes. It is low retention rates. It is killing your business.

Though no. of downloads is pretty good, a majority of users have either stopped using the app or uninstalled it.

User retention is one the most pressing problems faced by appreneurs, today.

Don’t believe us! Look at the figures yourself:

  • Do you know 23%, that is roughly 1 in 4 app users, abandons the app just after using it once?
  • 75% Users uninstall an app within just 90 Days.
  • 62 % people use an app less than 11 times.

App stores are getting crowded. Too many apps = increased competition.  In this scenario, user acquisition does not necessarily guarantee success.  You need to retain the users to monetize in the growing app economy.

Now, the question is how to retain users?

Before we move on that, it is important that we understand why users abandon an app (so soon)?

There can be different reasons for it. But, poor FTUE or first-time user experience tops the list.

Let’s put it this way. FTUE is like the first impression. The stronger, the better; the weaker, the worse.

However, First Time User Experience or FTUE often fails to catch the attention of many appreneurs. Result – Users not coming back to the app or worst uninstalling it (almost) immediately.

Wondering what is FTUE and why is it so important?

As we said above, FTUE is like the first impression, it is hard to ignore. Better the first impression, better the chances of users coming back to the app.  It is basically user’s initial experience and interaction with an app. You can call FTUE as one of those defining moments which can make or break your app! In fact, it is noticed that frictionless FTUE brings down app abandonment by 40 -60%.

You might be wondering whether it is possible to create positive FTUE. Yes, it is. And why not, it is not some kind of a rocket-science.

Remember, FTUE depends on how well and seamless user onboarding is done. Get it right to keep the users engaged. In fact, a study revealed retention rates soaring up to 50% with solid onboarding process. Onboarding is a practice of making your app as simple as possible. It helps user understand how it works and why they should stick to it.

Onboarding is a practice of making your app as simple as possible. It helps a user understand how it works and why they should stick to it.

Being around in the industry for quite a long time, we have learned few things about how to increase app retention rate with good and effective FTUE.

Here’s a glimpse of it:

# 1. Focus on app’s value proposition.

It is observed that some apps focus more on the features, while onboarding a new user. They welcome them by telling about the features. Now, the fact is, users are hardly interested in knowing the features, once they have installed the app.

Instead, the best way is to welcome a first-time user is by telling them how the features help and how it adds more value.

This will serve the purpose of engaging the users. Right from the beginning, users know how an app will help them. This feeling encourages them to come back to an app, time and again. Result – Low churn out rates!

# 2. Keep the ‘User Guide’ simple

We have experienced that users get pissed off when they are made to go through dozen screens and complicated user guides before they even start using an app.  Believe us, it is a potential UX killer.

Hence, it is better to stay away from this practice. So, what could be done? Well, it is always good to stick to basics.

A simple ‘how to use the app’ guide help the users to have a better understanding about app. Some apps have elaborate content about how to use it. Believe us, it never works. Why? Because users get bored with all the long and lengthy explanations.

Instead, using app screenshots or illustrations to guide the user through an app, is more effective.  This create an interest among the users, making them want to see what value they can derive from it.

#3. Quick and Easy Sign-up

Let’s face this. We all hate sign-ups. They are annoying and often make app adoption difficult. We understand that sometimes, sign-ups/sign-ins are required.

We are not saying to just throw these forms out. The point here is to have a sign-up which is quick and simple.  Filling out sign-ups, before the user can start using app might make them leave the app immediately.

What can be done? Simple – Have an easy and quick sign-up process. Provide user option to sign in/sign-up through their existing social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or Google.

#4. Sample Content for the first-time users

First-time user will have zero data in their app. This does not mean that a black screen should be displayed. Obviously, it leaves quite a bad impression. Probably, users can even feel disconnected with app.  Therefore, instead of a blank screen, users can be welcomed with a sample content.  Something as simple as Lorem Ipsum sample text can also work.

This way, you can:

  • Make the users aware of the app in a very subtle manner.
  • It increases retention. A user will not feel confused or isolated. Hence chances are, they will not abort the app, after using it once.

Remember, effective onboarding is just the first step that can take up the retention rates. It does not stop there.  Plummeting DAU or Daily active usage can create major hurdles in user retention.

You can check app abandonment by ensuring unmatchable post onboarding experience!

Now, the question is how to enhance post onboarding experience?  Simple: Update App content, regularly.

When would a user want to come back to an app? When it offers new and interesting content/features, on a regular basis.

Bottom line – Keep updating app content, regularly. This inspires the users to get back to the app and this way, churn out rate can plummet.  Updating content is not enough. It is important that information about new feature or version update is conveyed to users, through push notification or in-app message.

A seamless FTUE is an effective way to convince users about the value an app provides. This apparently improves retention. Reduces the churn out rate.  This brings you to the bottom-line – you can fill your pockets with $$$.

Have questions about improving app retention rates? Want to know more about FTUE? Get in Touch with us: https://www.spaceodigicom.com/contact/