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The Fastest 3-Step Process to Boost Your User Engagement Strategy

February 21, 2024

What causes low engagement, most effective engagement boosters, and 3 steps to find your ideal user engagement strategy fix

Is your user engagement strategy working?

User engagement is one of the most crucial app-health metrics. It can instantly tell you if your product is enabling users to find some level of value, and can help counter churn and help retention while you test and iterate for conversions.

On the other hand, if your product has low engagement early on, it’ll have a knock-on effect on all your other metrics and can be a clear indication that something needs to improve. See how to use analytics for better app user engagement.

In this post, we look at the fastest and most logical way to analyse a decrease in engagement and ask how to investigate the best solution to turn that around by fixing and fine-tuning your user engagement strategy.

What causes low user engagement?

Technical issues, an unclear value proposition, complicated steps and sign-up or onboarding, and users not achieving their goals are all common reasons people stop engaging. Almost 50% of apps are uninstalled within the first 3 months of download, so it's absolutely vital to focus on engagement for your product early on.

Find a full discussion, with examples and strategies for investigating root causes in our post on identifying the reasons for low app engagement. Then also see how to calculate your app engagement rate and how to increase active users.

Also get ideas for exciting new fin products with our look at blockchain in banking.

Common user engagement strategy examples

Once you know your engagement rate and a few possible causes, it’s time to look at strategies to increase that engagement. 

Now, it’s not always clear what will work for your individual product, so we’ve put together a table of 11 of the most common user engagement strategies that have worked for others in the past (and you can see how to execute most of them in our post on how to increase app engagement) and paired them with possible reasons for a drop in engagement (arranged from most common/likely to least likely):

Cause of low engagement

User engagement strategies

Method of discovery

Content presentation and relevance to users

Add more personalisation; Update and enhance content more regularly

Easily discoverable through a UX Audit

Design flaws and user interface challenges

Analyse user behaviour; A/B test different UI designs; and App performance optimization

In-app messaging and push notification effectiveness

Fine-tune push notifications and in-app messaging; A/B test different options

Usability issues and navigation difficulties

Analyse user behaviour and drop-offs; A/B test alternatives, Optimise app performance

Onboarding and user education effectiveness

Hone onboarding and tutorials; Collect user feedback through surveys

App responsiveness and performance issues

Optimise app performance and address technical issues

Competitor analysis and industry trends

Look to collaborate and build  partnerships to remain competitive

Requires individual and in-depth steps to discover and explore

Deep understanding of user motivations and emotions

Gather user feedback through surveys and interviews; do a much deeper analysis of user behaviour and needs

User demographics and behaviour shifts

Gather user feedback through more surveys and interviews

External marketing and user acquisition strategies

Build social sharing into your product; Seek collaborations and build partnerships with others

App performance in different contexts

Optimise app performance and address technical issues

Now, the trick is finding out which one is the right solution for your product…

Which user engagement strategy fix is right for you?

Now, you’ll notice that we structured the above table with a third column labelled “method of discovery” and simply indicated whether it can be easily discovered through a UX audit or not. That’s actually a vital part of our 3-step process to boost your user engagement strategy.

See, if you look at that table again, you’ll notice that more than half (60%) of causes can be discovered through a UX audit. The rest are quite diverse, specialised, and thus probably time-consuming and costly.

So our approach is: The fastest way to discover what’ll work for you is to do the one exercise that will instantly identify or eliminate 60% of the possible causes of low engagement.

3 Steps to determine your ideal user engagement strategy fix

1. Do a quick industry and competition check

A new competitor or big change in your industry is a very common cause for a sudden drop in your engagement. And it’s usually pretty easy to discover: Just Google and see if any new competitors have launched or if any existing competitors have had major updates. Look for any news in your segment or industry that could indicate your users are being drawn elsewhere. See how to check if an app idea already exists.

2. Have a UX Audit done

As we showed in the table above, it’s the fastest and cheapest single process that can eliminate 60% or more of the possible causes of your engagement drop. Comparatively, it’ll be much faster (5 weeks) and cheaper than trying to test for 11 possible causes individually. So we definitely recommend it in a user engagement strategy review.

If you’ve never done it before, here’s what to expect during the UX audit process, including how long a UX audit takes and the business benefits you get from a UX audit. Also discover the latest FinTech and banking UI trends.

3. Explore the last 5 only if necessary

Now, if the UX audit didn’t highlight any of the first 60% as your probable causes for user disengagement, you only have the remaining 40% to explore – much fewer than the entire 11. Start by doing in-depth user behaviour analyses and conducting way more user interviews – using the last 5 possible causes of low user engagement as your guide for drafting interview questions. That should highlight where people’s concerns lie.

Want to ensure you get great, usable feedback? See our guide on how to do customer interviews.

Doing things this way means you don’t get bogged down in a long, tedious process of investigating the entire list one by one. Step 1 should only take 30 minutes or an hour max. Step 2 takes only about 5 weeks max, and then you’ve eliminated about 60% of probable causes.

It’s simply a faster and simpler method for fine-tuning your user engagement strategy. To move even faster when building, discover the benefits of low-code development. Also see the benefits of cross-platform vs native app development.

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