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APP INTELLIGENCE · COURTNEY TOUCHSTONE · APRIL 2021

Mastering Mobile App Growth with iOS 14.5: User Retention Strategies

Apple's App Tracking Transparency is here. Sensor Tower details four ways to maximize retention while solidifying your post-IDFA strategy.

Tips for Increasing User Retention Post-IDFA

Since its announcement during WWDC 2020, the mobile world has been waiting with baited breath for Apple to finally transition iOS advertisers from IDFA to its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) framework. Last week, in the wake of its Spring Forward event, Apple finally ripped the band-aid off and began fully enforcing ATT on April 26, 2021.

We've spoken to many of our customers about how they're dealing with the impacts of losing IDFA for campaign attribution and the new ATT framework. Most of our customers expect their campaigns to be less efficient as ad networks catch up with Apple's new guidelines and implement SKAdNetwork. In the meantime, our customers have mentioned a few different strategies they'll be using to ensure their revenue doesn't falter during the next several months, including an increased focus on creative optimization and doubling-down on retention.

By prioritizing user retention, mobile app companies can aim to reduce churn and lower customer acquisition costs. At Sensor Tower, we define retention rate as the percentage of users still using an app at a particular time interval after it's initially installed. Most of our customers measure retention benchmarks at Day 1, Day 7, and Day 30. In general, the longer a user is retained, the more likely they are to generate revenue for an app.

Here are four quick tips on how you can raise retention rates for your mobile app:

1. Create a Delightful Onboarding Experience

There's nothing worse than logging into an app for the first time and being bombarded with a novel-length sign-up and onboarding process. Even some step-by-step game tutorials can go overboard with too many steps before the user reaches actual gameplay. Users downloaded your app for a reason, and it's imperative that you show them value as quickly as possible. Make the onboarding experience seamless by reducing the number of steps necessary for users to create an account or sign up. Login SDKs, such as Apple, Facebook, or Google, are a great way to allow users to easily sign up for your app and ensure you collect the information you need.

How to create a delightful onboarding experience

2. Leverage Push Notifications to Shape the Customer Journey

Push notifications are an excellent way to communicate with your users outside of your app and provide them with relevant and useful information. They're also an effective way to increase your app's retention rate. If a user opts in to push notifications from your app, you can use these messages to help shape the customer journey with personalized information that improves app abandonment rates. Push notifications can also re-engage users who may have dropped out of your conversion funnel. Keep in mind: When using push notifications, personalization is critical. Dynamic push notifications that include a user's name for added personalization are particularly effective in bringing users back to your app.

3. Utilize In-App Messages to Encourage Continued Engagement

In-app messages are one of the most powerful tools in a mobile app marketer's arsenal, and can be used for a variety of tasks—including user onboarding, new feature information, and special offers and promotions. One great way to increase attention through this method is by celebrating a user's activities with personalized messages. As a user reaches a particular milestone with your app, use an in-app message to deliver a reward that encourages continued engagement.

4. Demonstrate Long-Term Benefits in Your App Store Listing

When a user downloads your app, they're frequently motivated to resolve an immediate pain point or struggle. Whether they want to learn a new language, try out a new game, or invest in cryptocurrency, your app meets a clear objective. If a user opens your app for the first time and realizes that it doesn't actually meet their needs, you risk immediate churn. In fact, according to Localytics, 25 percent of users abandon an app after just one use. Not only is your app's description an essential piece of your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy, but it should demonstrate the long-term benefits of using your app. If your app listing aligns closely with the value users are actually receiving from your app, you're less likely to quickly churn users.

Demonstrate long-term benefits in your app store listing

As the industry adjusts to this new reality of a post-IDFA world, doubling down on user retention is one of the most valuable ways mobile apps can ensure sustained revenue growth. Stay tuned for more tips on how to navigate app growth post-IDFA.

Interested in learning more about how you can use Sensor Tower to supercharge your user retention strategy?

Sensor Tower's App Intelligence platform is an Enterprise level offering. Interested in learning more?


Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?


Courtney Touchstone

Written by: Courtney Touchstone, Senior Product Marketing Manager

Date: April 2021

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