What is a good user growth rate, how to measure and track it, 7 reasons for slow or low user growth and some strategies to increase your app users. Here’s how to ensure you keep growing your user base
Are enough new people using your app?
This is important, even before you start developing your app because, while the market’s huge, with close to 7 billion smartphone and tablet users worldwide, spending up to 88% of mobile time on apps, there’s a lot of competition.
So, to ensure your app is successful, we delve into user growth – especially asking: What causes low user growth, and how do we fix it?
Apps are built for people. That’s why the success of a new commercial app will hinge greatly on 1) how many people download it and 2) how many people use it because that’s how it makes money.
User growth is seeing an increase in the number of active users over time. A growing user base can indicate that the app is resonating with its target audience and that it has the potential to become successful in the long term.
Owners will always have an app analytics tool – from Google Analytics to Amplitude, Mixpanel, AppDynamics, UXCam, AppFollow etc. And, for user growth, it’s just a matter of following the right metrics:
But (arguably) the most important metric is the User Growth Rate. You calculate, on a month-to-month basis, for example, by subtracting your total MAU of this month from the MAU of last month, then divide it by last month’s MAU again, and times the answer by 100, to give you a percentage.
January: 1000 MAU
February: 1200 MAU
Growth rate = 20%
Benchmarking growth rate depends a lot on your niche, industry and goals. But in general, new apps should grow by at least 5%–10% per week, while established apps usually slow down to around 1%–3% per week.
Though there might be multiple and overlapping reasons for low user growth, they’ll generally fall into these main spheres:
If people don’t know about your app, they can’t download and use it. This usually comes down to your marketing strategy. Maybe your product doesn’t have good search engine optimization (SEO). Or it’s not showing up in the app store. Or your marketing is not reaching enough of the right people, and it’s just not effective.
Often touted as the number 1 cause of app failure, user experience (UX) can make or break your product. If people don’t enjoy using your app, they stop using it and won’t recommend it to others.
This can happen when an app is slow or buggy, with frequent crashes and a confusing interface or navigation – all things that come down to architecture and UI design, by the way (see how to design an app the right way and learn about the value of great app design).
If people can't see the point of your app, they also won't tell others about it, and they won’t be motivated to download it. This often happens if your product is too similar to others, and doesn't solve a real and significant enough problem.
See more on validating your app idea.
If people don't understand how to use your product, they won't stick around long enough to figure it out. This can happen if the onboarding process is too complex, doesn't provide enough context, or doesn't effectively explain the app's value.
If you don’t give people a good enough reason to come back to your app, they might stop using it. This often happens when you don’t have engaging features that make people want to use it regularly.
See our post on the critical causes of low app engagement.
If users aren't coming back to your app after their first or second visit, your product might be lacking engaging features or, again, it’s not solving an important enough problem for them to come back.
If you’re targeting the wrong audience, your messaging is unclear or confusing, or you’re advertising yourself on the wrong channels, you won’t see many new users either. Although a great marketing strategy alone can’t “save” a poorly created app, even great apps need good marketing.
Start with a three-pronged approach:
There are literally hundreds of different strategies and playbooks on how to grow a product. From a better value proposition to a UI redesign, to better marketing.
But the most important part of user growth is knowing what causes disengagement and focusing on fixing that – and that’s where a proper app audit and optimisation comes in.
You already know that we at Specno build some of the coolest, high-engagement apps. But did you know that we also have a specialist team that helps you boost your existing app?
Yes! We use our best-practice expertise ad insider know-how to run extensive app audits, user research, app optimisation and even app redesign – contact Specno now.(You’ll get a response immediately.)
Ensure your UX is spot-on with the complete overview checklist of good app design, see how much your app design will cost and learn to calculate your app engagement rate. Also see why a UX review is a game changer.
Also get on top of your product's profitability with an in-depth look at optimising your app conversion rate. And And get the full picture of what's required for best-practice app development with our guide to the optimal app development process, 9 vital things you need to know even before you start developing an app, see how long your product will actually take to build in our guide to app development time how much to budget for in app development cost, and what a week for an agile development team looks like.
And see what we're doing to develop SA's tech ecosystem with the exclusive Founders Den.