You’ve attracted users to download your app, and your colleagues, leadership team, and other stakeholders who seek out regular mobile performance updates have (hopefully) been impressed by growth metrics. At a certain point, if not already, you’ll be accountable for and be measured by your ability to deliver on other KPIs, such as the logical next step after acquisition: getting users to engage.
A key mobile app engagement metric, user sessions are a critical indicator of your app’s performance. In fact, there’s a direct correlation between customers consistently spending time with a mobile app and their chances of long-term retention.
In other words, if someone is actively using your app now, they’re more likely to be actively using your app in the future, too. The troubling reality of today’s cluttered mobile landscape is that most people only actively use a handful of the dozens of apps they’ve installed on their devices, and, among newly acquired users, less than 25% who try out the app will return to use it the next day.
One brand that really gets the importance of user engagement, and came up with an effective way to cultivate this with their ecommerce audience is retailer Anthropologie. Looking to boost activity within the app, the fashion company proposed a two-pronged strategy: first, use in-app messaging to inform customers about a special, limited-time promotion, and second, use deep links to take potential buyers directly from the in-app message to the sales section of the product, making finding the best deals seamless and easy.
Leveraging in-app messages
Most marketers never or rarely use in-app messaging to communicate with customers. And, as a result, most marketers are missing out on reaching audiences when they’re most engaged, i.e. using the app. (Unlike push notifications, these messages only show up if someone has the app open.)
When testing its strategy for boosting user sessions, Anthropologie took advantage of these messages to inform users about new promotions, a prime use for this marketing channel. In addition to featuring the company’s sale, the in-app message included a promo code and took customers directly to the sale section of the app.
Take advantage of deep linking
Even though deep linking has been found to double conversions, increase retention, and boost engagement, it’s still sometimes overlooked and left out of mobile campaigns.
Anthropologie did not overlook the power of deep links. Quite the opposite, the company utilized deep links in the in-app message to guide customers to the specific section within the app where customers could find the sale, which otherwise might have been harder to find without diving further into the app.
Typically, Anthropologie experiences the highest amount of customer activity on the weekends. When the fashion leader tested out using in-app messages and deep links, it did so on a weekday (Tuesday), and found leveraging these two tactics produced sessions per hour that were 10% higher than average, even though it wasn’t a Saturday or Sunday.