Take a moment to look at the home screen of your smartphone. How many of the apps there have been on your phone for more than three months? What about six months? A year?
For whatever reason, it’s usually only a handful of apps that find a long-term home on the phones of most users. Working with Quettra in 2015, Andrew Chen found that the average app loses 77 percent of its users within three days. Localytics latest benchmarks show that this figure hasn’t improved much, sitting at 64 percent churn within the first 30 days.
Users try out a lot of apps but decide which ones they want to ‘stop using’ within the first three to seven days. For ‘decent’ apps, the majority of users retained for seven days stick around much longer. The key to success is to get the users hooked during that critical first three to seven day period. — Ankit Jain, Head of Search and Discovery, Google Play
Jain’s comment raises the question of how do you actually hook users in the first three to seven day period?
One way to do this is through a great onboarding experience. Decent apps — to use Jain’s term — are functional, and benefit users in some way. And although you know your app is functional and will benefit users, people installing your app don’t. You could hope that they discover this for themselves, but given that three to seven day ‘hook’ period, why take the chance?
The ideal way to show them the benefits of your app is through clever use of onboarding where, instead of showing them how to use your app, you expose users to the benefits of your app.
1) What is your ‘Why’?
Your app description probably gives a nice explanation of why your app would be valuable to users. Peppered with a few choice buzzwords, you might even have split it up into neat bullet points. But when did you last read the full app description? No matter how you try and frame it, scanning is not reading.
A great onboarding experience will explain the ‘why’ again. But this time it will be short, pithy, and more visual. You want to elicit an “A-ha!” from your users, because while that doesn’t mean they’re hooked, it does mean they’re more interested than they were five seconds ago.
Hootsuite’s onboarding process is only four screens long, with the first screen introducing the value proposition, and the next three reinforcing it.
2) Keep it brief
Nobody is busy all of the time, but you also don’t know what users…
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