Follow these 9 time-tested steps to implement a winning retention strategy

Author: Steffen Meyer, Mobile Marketing Content Specialist

A customer retention strategy reduces user churn and is key for making your app profitable. Though setting up such a strategy is easier said than done. That is why we created a framework to guide our clients through the process.

This blogpost will provide a glimpse into this step-by-step procedure to help you better understand the basics. We can’t go into details, as it’s specifically different for each client, but if you want to know more, feel free to drop us a line.

Step 1: Client Requirements

First of all, we collect the client’s requirements, for example, what kind of users download the app? Are there different target groups? Which marketing channels are already employed? At the same time, we analyze the app: How does it work? What are the technical specifications? What languages are in place?

We gather as much information as possible to get a good understanding of the client and its app. This basic knowledge forms the basis for the rest of the process.

Step 2: CRM Provider Selection

As we’ve covered before, getting a tool really helps to implement a retention strategy. It provides an easy-to-understand interface, data tracking, user segmentation and – maybe most important of all – lets you automate certain messages. 

Based on the clients’ needs, we review the various tools and decide which product suits them best. We work with different partners, like Airship, Braze, CleverTap, Leanplum & MoEngage, and identify the right tool for the client.

Step 3: Creation of Campaign Strategy

Having chosen the right provider, we concentrate on the overall campaign strategy. Together with our client, we define goals, put up a time scope and choose the tools, methods and resources we need. After drafting this broad outline, we start with the technical implementation.

Step 4: App Events & Definition of Parameters

Depending on the campaign goals, we define which app events and other parameters need to be tracked. For example, for a shopping app it’s wise to set-up a profound tracking system around the check-out system to find out why users follow through with a certain purchase – and why others don’t.

Step 5: Integration by Developers

To implement and use the tool mentioned in Step 2, you need to integrate a so-called Software Development Kit (SDK) into your app. This SDK is suited to the decisions made in Step 3 and 4 and our technical staff works together with the client’s developers to ensure a smooth integration.

Step 6: QA Integration

Nothing’s worse than getting the wrong data because of a software glitch. So as soon as the chosen tool communicates with your app, we will test the connection thoroughly by setting up certain concepts to check again and again if everything’s going according to plan. When we are certain that all is well, we give it a go.

Step 7: Set up segments & Campaigns

As described in this blogpost, it’s wise to refrain from sending out generic messages to all users and rather execute personalized communication strategies. That is why we divide users into certain groups, for example according to age, location or interests and tailor our campaigns to these user segments. 

Then, we have a look at the communication channels (read this blogpost for an overview) and decide which of them to use for what needs. When this is done, the campaigns are launched.

Step 8: A/B Testing

The incoming data provides us with valuable insights into the various campaigns. Which messages get users to open the app again? Which ones are just ignored? And which ones convince customers to purchase an upsell? 

We try various possibilities to achieve the campaign goals and adjust our strategy according to these results. Always optimizing, always getting better.

Step 9: Reporting

On a weekly basis we summarize and present the outcomes to our clients, providing full transparency and gaining insights to optimize the campaigns further.

Feel free to reach out for help

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when setting up a customer retention strategy. Especially the technical implementation can be a big challenge for companies that have no experience in this area. So feel free to contact our consultants who are always happy to help.

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