Mobile App Retention

The Aha Moment: The Key to Improving Mobile App Retention

If you have a mobile app, you know the importance of app retention. What is the best way to improve app retention? It begins with finding the ‘Aha’ moment of your mobile app. This post explains.

App retention is difficult to achieve. The typical smartphone owner uses less than 28 mobile apps every month. If your app is going to be one of the 28, you need to show the user the value of your app as quickly as possible.

Does Your Mobile App Have An Aha Moment?

Look at the mobile apps on your home screen. Those apps have something in common. At some point when using those apps, you experienced an ‘aha’ moment.

The “Aha!” moment is the point at which your value proposition ‘clicks’ for your users. (Trakio)

Because you experienced the ‘Aha’ moment, you use the app again and again. This is marketing 101. Customer loyalty comes from value delivered over time. People who find value in your mobile app, once and again and again, will use it again. Simple as that.

How do you get first-time users to your app’s aha moment? Let’s explore.

1. Identify the ‘Aha’ moment of your app with focus groups and analytics. Do you know what the Aha moment of your app is? To identify the ‘Aha’ moment, have focus groups and watch people use your app. Do this before launch. Once your app is in the market, live and breathe your analytics. Look at the actions that distinguish loyal users from one-time users.

2. Illustrate the ‘Aha’ moment during on-boarding. If you chose to have some tutorial screens appear when the app is opened for the first time, make them count. Use these screens to communicate (with text and visuals) the ‘aha’ moment of the app. Inbox by Google is a good example.

3. Provide a call-to-action (CTA) that leads to the ‘Aha’ moment. Amazon does a great job of this. The value proposition is clear. Amazon makes it easy to search for and buy an enormous variety of products. When a new user opens the Amazon app, the first thing they see is this. The question ‘what are you looking for?’ prompts you to take a desired action i.e. search. By searching, Amazon is confident it can deliver the ‘aha’ moment in the search results.

4. Get right to the ‘Aha’ moment. You can bring new users right to the value of your app by eliminating anything in the way. Scannable, Evernote’s much-improved scanner app, does just that. When you open Scannable, you do not have to select anything. It opens in scan mode. Scannable can tell if there is a document to scan, and when it finds the document, the scan just happens. Furthermore, Scannable automatically crops the image to only show the document. I had Scannable a year ago, and it would crash all the time. No more. Now Scannable just rocks your world with the ‘Aha’ moment.

5. Reinforce the ‘Aha’ moment throughout the first 7 days. I downloaded BillGuard recently. The day after I installed the app, BillGuard sent me a push notification. The push told me the value of the charges I had to review. The push notifications reminded me that BillGuard is making sure I do not get scammed. Through these push notification, BillGuard reinforces the Aha moment. Sure enough, I re-opened the app.

What are some other Aha moments? I’ll revisit this in the future. In the meantime, let me know in the comments.

Want to read more about Aha moments? This is a great post about Facebook’s Aha moment.

Also, if you like hip-hop like I do, then you know Jadakiss’ most famous adlib is the ‘aha’ laugh. Enjoy this: