There are three stages in the life cycle of an app:
- The Launch Week
- The Steady Midway
- The Deadlock Phase
Another stage might be added if there is a chance of seasonality affecting an app’s performance in the market. This stage can come in between stage 1 and 2 or between stage 2 and 3. The Launch Week can be a boom and might result in quick returns on revenue but to do well in that steady midway stage and to delay the deadlock period, users need to be engaged continuously with the app. There is always a difference between an active user and a normal user. Take the instance of Foursquare. It has 25 million users but only 8 million active users. The trick to know that you have a successful user engagement plan in action is to keep postponing the steady midway phase.
When Imangi launched their first successful app, they did really well in the launch week but then things started to crumble because of the client engagement plan of action. No, I am obviously not talking about Temple Run here which has one of the best user engagement plans in place. Now the crucial question is – how do you track your user engagement and know that a different thought process in the engagement tracker could bring about a huge difference in terms of profitability.
Analytics is a platform that will definitely help you do so. But even when you are going for help from an analytics organization, you would need to know what questions you need to ask at which point of time to better your capability of tracking user engagement.
- The Launch Week:
- Are users downloading the app? This is the first step for any sort of engagement plan to come in action.
- This is the fresh period when people will love exploring a new app. So is your app’s functionality being easy enough for the user to browse through the options you would want them to.
- Are your users using some secondary features of your phone? Are third party organisations taking too much of the traffic away?
- What the peak number is of downloads that has happened in the launch week?
- Where can you see your initial market segment which has the most potential in terms of scalability? Does this initial market segment have similarities or is the group very heterogeneous?
- Is there insight that can be drawn from the social network as to whether users are posting updates on the app?
- Are these users tweeting and are these tweets about your app leading to more visibility?
- Is the traffic that is being generated by this wave of social network being useful in leading to downloads?
- Are bloggers picking up interest and talking about the same?
- The Steady Midway:
- What is the retention rate of the app? How many users are still in the process of using the app – at least opening the app once a day?
- What are the features that are being used the most? Which are the features the active users are avoiding?
- What can be done to postpone this steadiness that has been brought about by time? Is advertising the app or marketing for the app going to be useful to increase customer engagement?
- What are the trends that have changed since it was launched and in this phase in terms of the market, the usability and the retention rate?
- The Deadlock Phase:
- Is there any scope of recovery strategically?
- Is there a problem with the revenue model or some functionality that is causing this phase?
- Is the user engagement plan flawed and has the retention rate has climbed down rapidly?
- Or is there a new app in town that is taking away your users?
- Maybe this is the time tracking your user engagement will help in making that important decision of whether starting off with an idea completely new or just upgrading the same app to Version 2.0
The best way to solve the toughest problem of tracking user engagement is by asking valid questions.