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Last update: September 2020

5 mins to read - 2020/09/23

Mobile Marketing User Journey Stage 5: Using Notifications to Beat Churn

Churn is a constant risk for mobile apps, and it can occur at any stage of the user life cycle. 61% of mobile app users churn after 90 days. Different industries of app can have different thresholds for defining churn; for example, a mobile game might see a user who has gone missing for 7 days as churned, while an app that does your income taxes might be fine with being opened once or twice a year. As long as the user hasn’t deleted your app, push notifications are your best tool for an anti churn campaign.

anti churn push notifications

Objective: Educate and Re-Engage At-Risk Users With Push Notifications

A lot of the strategies for re-engaging lapsed users are the same as standard engagement tactics. Users churn when they are dissatisfied with your app. This can sometimes be because they aren’t aware of the app’s full capabilities. If you notice a user is only using 5% of your app and their number of app opens is lagging, send them a notification inviting them to discover more of the app. For example:

“Hi there. Did you know that PhotoHappy lets you customize your own filters for your pictures? Click here to put your own spin on your selfies!”

Then direct them via deep link to a walkthrough of different features they can explore. Send notifications at 7, 14, and 30-day intervals.

With mobile games, re-engaging can require a more personalized approach, as different types of players can have different gaming preferences and motivations. Segment players according to their preferred behaviors in the game – do they spend most of their time exploring the game universe, socializing with other players and NPCs, or battling and racking up points? Based on whether your at-risk player is an explorer, socializer, or competitor, this can inform what ang

le you will take in trying to win them back. Can you appeal to their competitive spirit by informing them that their friends have passed their high score? Or would they be more interested to hear that a bonus level has been unlocked for them for a limited amount of time? 

Objective: Get Users to Contribute Feedback on App Experience

If there is a problem with your app that’s driving users away, 99% of them will simply churn without saying anything. Do you want constructive criticism so you can work towards a solution? Then you will have to be proactive in asking for feedback. This is easier when it comes to mobile games. Gaming apps often have vocal communities who are always ready to make their opinions heard. 

With non-gaming apps, send users who have been absent for a week or longer a request for a review. Or ask them for a starred rating. Direct them to a feedback form or survey in-app. Request input on what you could be doing better. Not only will you get some valuable pointers on how to improve UX. If users feel like they had a hand in the app’s development, they will feel more emotionally invested in continuing to use the app.

Objective: Win Back Churned Users With Freebies or Discount Codes

This should only be a last resort. But if nothing else is working, offer the most stubborn of lapsed users a 15% discount for your retail app. Or offer them a free magic helmet in your mobile game, or a free week’s trial of your streaming app, or let them suspend their paid subscription for a length of time. A push notification is the perfect vehicle to try to sweeten the pot for these users at risk of churn.

Make sure you calculate the projected value of the user you’re chasing, to ensure that you’re not spending more to get them back than they’re worth. If this is the case, you may be better just letting this particular user churn and focusing your efforts on retaining your current, paying users.

Objective: Demonstrate Your Worth By Providing Users Real-Time Information

A common fault with push notifications is that situations and news in the real world often change faster than people check their phones. Because of this, notifications can quickly become outdated or have misleading information. With conventional push notification SDKs, the only answer is to send another notification to amend the mistake. But this can lead to multiple versions of the same notification spamming the user’s notification center. This can be misleading as well as frustrating. Sloppy mobile marketing tactics like this can result in the user turning off notifications, and can even contribute to user churn.

OpenBack is the very first platform to offer dynamic notifications. These allow the marketer to go back into sent notifications to edit or even delete content. This allows developers to discreetly fix typos or other errors. However, it can also be useful when it comes to keeping users abreast of real-time information or changing scenarios. Dynamic notifications can be used to inform users of breaking news or traffic, with the headline being updated as the situation unfolds. The same goes for keeping users on top of the latest scores for a sports app. 

Gaming apps can also use dynamic notifications to keep players updated with the top scores in a community-wide championship. Use dynamic notifications to inform players of other live events. Tip them off about raids or quests where a cohort of players gather within the app to collectively complete a task. Dynamic notifications let players stay on top of the latest developments in an MMORPG, while still having access to an open invitation to join later on.

For more tips on how to use push notifications to beat churn, read our blog post: Top 5 Tips to Re-Engage and Beat Customer Churn

Or get in touch with one of our experts to learn how OpenBack’s dynamic push notifications will boost your app open rate!

Calculate how much your revenue would increase per month using OpenBack:

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For our push notification best practices download the OpenBack Mobile Marketing Playbook 2020!

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