This post was originally published on Adweek.
It seems like it was only yesterday that you met at the App Store. They sneaked a peek at your cool screenshots, you offered a great deal, and an instant connection was made. But then, without warning, you woke up and realized they were gone. You have been deleted. So put down the ice cream and tissues, and let’s get you closure. Listed below are a few more-than-possible reasons why your users moved on:
“It’s not you, it’s me…” we cannot stress enough how important it is to present your app to the right audience. Let’s be honest: if you offered your product to the wrong people – they’ll probably never download it in the first place. But, say that someone, for some reason, did – it will be a short and meaningless fling. It’s extremely important to target the right groups for your app, in order to make sure that users will put it to use, and to guarantee a high retention rate.
“We’re moving in different directions” So, did you think that after users clicked “install” – your work is done? Think again. And again. Your work (and, quite frankly, ours) has just begun. Starting now, and until you get sick of being successful and popular, you’ll have to work hard to remain relevant at any given moment. The real trick here, tough, is knowing how to do that without updating versions every other day – which would only annoy your users. Only significant improvements to your app justify a new version at the AppStore. And still, there are plenty of ways to invest in your app if you want it to stay up-to-date.
“I don’t have time for this right now…” Be honest: Your app is kinda slow, isn’t it? Shame. Because your users (rightfully) value their time and unfortunately for you, your app is slowing down the same device they use as a watch. The only things users find more irritating than a slow, buggy app are phone-calls from their parents, and that level they’re stuck on in Candy Crush. In fact, the most common reason for deleting apps has to do with its technical performance. A slow app will cost you users – fast.
“I need some space…” Your app is supposed to make users’ lives better and easier. If they spend too much time dealing with your push notifications – they’ll push you away before you know it. There’s no doubt it’s crucial to reach out to them, but it is even more important to do so in the right manner. Similarly, the permissions requested by your app might have crossed the line. An app that should only function as an emergency flashlight doesn’t need to track users’ location. If you ask for too much, you might end up with nothing.
“Maybe at a different point in life…” There won’t be a different point. Sorry. The fact is, users will only give your app two shots, tops, before deleting it forever. We don’t mean to pressure you (yeah we do), but please note that your window of opportunity is very, very narrow. There’s hardly any room for mistakes. Yet another reason to assure a great product right off the bat, and contact experts throughout the development process.
“There’s someone else” Ouch. Awkward. Well, just so you know, we looked at the new app they downloaded, and yours is much prettier. We promise. But still, your users found an option that seems more attractive, maybe more up-to-date. And so they’ve demonstrated the field’s usual level of loyalty – none. We’re afraid that your popularity today doesn’t guaranty you anything for tomorrow. Even a huge hit like Angry Birds could find itself in serious trouble. You must pay attention to the changing trends of this fast & cruel market and constantly improve your product. The world of mobile really is mobile, and it’s moving fast. So you better keep up.
After closely analyzing every word and reason, it’s now time to put on a brave face and move on. Make sure that future users will remain loyal to your app for all the right reasons. We realize that the standards set here are pretty high, but your users will ask for no less. The good news is you don’t have to do this on your own. Now, please pass the ice-cream, it looks yummy.