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