And there’s no easy fix. Many methods for reducing churn are costly and slow. Improving the user interface, for example, eats up significant development resources and requires users to get used to a new layout and navigation.
Is there a faster way to increase engagement and reduce churn rate? One that actually improves the user experience?
How Real-Time User Engagement Solves Churn
Real-time user engagement involves sending targeted messages and notifications to users the moment they need them. This lets you share the right message with the right user at the right time, boosting engagement and reducing churn.
These messages and notifications can take many forms. One of the most popular is push notifications in a mobile app. These simple notifications show information on a device screen, whether it’s unlocked or locked. In many cases, the phone will vibrate or make a sound as well.
But you can also use email, web notifications, SMS, and any other real-time method of communication. Using a combination lets you eliminate the blind spots in your marketing.
To boost engagement, though, app marketers need to do more than just send notifications. Those notifications need to be delivered to the right people, at the right time, and with the right content.
Engaging the Right People
Before you start your real-time user engagement campaign, you need to know who you’re targeting. And that often requires collecting a lot of data.
If you’re trying to reduce churn, for example, you may want to target your users who are most likely to stop using the app. How do you figure out who those users are? Through detailed analytics.
You might find that users who haven’t used the app in two months are very likely to churn. Or that people who leave items in their shopping cart without checking out are in danger of deleting the app. Proper analytics will tell you who these people are.
This ensures that your messages are being sent to the right users, without spamming your entire user base. If you’re sending retention-focused notifications to people who are already using the app every day, you might annoy them into using it less. That’s a waste of your effort.
By discovering user behavior patterns, you can define specific user groups based on those behavior patterns to send real-time notifications for users at each stage of the customer journey. You might not send the same message to brand-new users as you would those who have been using your app for a while.
This kind of cohort analysis can help you better target your engagement efforts, getting better results and further reducing churn.
Sending at the Right Time
Now that you have some insight into which behaviors indicate a likelihood of churn, you can start thinking about your campaign. It starts with timing: when is the best time to send notifications or messages to your users to reduce the chance that they’ll churn?
As per research, 10 am, 12 pm, and 1 pm are good bets. Your analytics can show you other times that work well for your users. And you can even customize the delivery based on specific actions.
For example, if someone leaves an item in their shopping cart, you can send a push notification reminding them to complete their purchase two hours after they close the app.
But you can get much more sophisticated than that, too. Generally, mobile marketing platforms use machine-learning algorithms to personalize send times for each user. These algorithms help you send messages at the times that they’re most likely to capture users’ interest and prompt them to take action.
Delivering the Right Message
The right message is both relevant and actionable.
Relevance is crucial for effective real-time user engagement. If a notification isn’t relevant to a user, it’s not going to drive action. And irrelevant notifications are annoying to users. They might revoke permission for push notifications or delete the app altogether.
So every message, whether it’s in-app, push, SMS, or email, needs to be relevant to your user.
In a travel app, that might mean highlighting sales on places that the user has searched before. The same is true of an ecommerce app—you should target items that a user has shown interest in. If you’re marketing a news app, you might show notifications when something happens near the user’s current location.
The other half of the equation is actionability. Just telling a user something that’s relevant won’t drive revenue. You need to get the user to take action. On a music streaming app, that might mean a message like “Tap here to see what your friends are listening to today.”
If you can manage to pair relevance with actionability, you’ll have a highly effective message for real-time engagement.
Not sure what you should say? Check out these 45 push notification templates for some ideas!
Experiment to See What Works for Your App
Every app needs a different combination of factors to create real-time user engagement. But if you’re sending notifications to the right people at the right time with the right message, you’re sure to boost engagement.
And by boosting your engagement, you’ll encourage more users to use your app. That’s the key to reducing your churn rate.