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Forget app downloads – that’s not the power number if you’re an app developer. The real battle for app and iGame dominance is fought on the retention front. Focusing on downloads puts you on the wrong side of the numbers. The majority of people who download your app – 21% of first-time users in fact – will never open your app or play your game again. Here’s what the app and game giants who are revealing in high retention rates are getting right.

 

User Engagement 1

 

 

Boom! Get Right To It

When you launch, make sure there are no barriers to playing. Users came to play not to fill out forms, sign in or be stopped at the gate by ads, poor functionality or design that just doesn’t do it. Provide offline playing options if an online connection is normally required, skip e-mail or social media sign-ins, and allow players to proceed as guests if need be.



Don’t give access to secondary downloads until a first-time user has completed a significant amount of play. If an in-app download or game extension is necessary, make sure there’s a progress status visual or something else to halt any abandonment. Let players get in deep, and get in quickly. It’s a relationship after all. As in real life, no one likes complications or hang-ups. Just ask Boom Beach, who get you to the action swiftly. It takes only three steps to start the game, build your initial tower and then watch the battle.

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Create Viral Enthusiasm

User Engagement 2

The best endorsement is word of mouth and online, that means shares and recommendations. Make sure your game or app or download is highly shareable. Also, show appreciation to customers who do invite others to download, whether through bonus features or anything else.

 

Use Incentives, And Then Some

In real life, cash is king. Online, incentives are not only king, emperor or sovereign, but will deliver you your engaged user kingdom as well, and Oddschecker appears to understand when and how to deliver this successfully. They offer free spins, no-deposit access and incremental bonuses. The system is tiered so that the bonus you get for signing up is distinct from others you’ll get for playing further along the way.

 




Deploy Dynamic Interchange

No matter how engrossing your game is in the beginning, the novelty can wear off. Change things by using game dynamics – new levels of interaction, a reason to avoid a penalty or gain further access in the next time frame, or some form of recognition. In light of the latter, Foursquare uses one of the most effective techniques by awarding badges for completing an action.

The bottom line is, the real performance metric you want to focus on is the 33% of users who account for 76% of the engagement. Use incentives, rewards, diminished barriers, social sharing rewards, seductive design, high functionality and anything else you need to to keep them focused – on you, that is.

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