5 Tips to Improve the “Stickiness” of Your App

This article is part 1 in a series of 5 on how Gamification can improve your app.

If you’re like many of our clients, you launch, get featured on Google or Apple, get play, and have your champagne party, thinking, “We’re gonna be billionaires!” 2 months later, you’re crying into a beer asking where it went wrong! That’s Stickiness. Most apps can get a good initial spike of downloads. How do you solve the problem of helping your users to keep using your app?

Our staff members learned the hard way through their experience working in the game industry. Check out these tips to learn how games improve the “stickiness” of their apps:

Give Users a Reason to Return Every Day

Create features in your app that give users a reason to make it part of their daily routine.

One easy way to convince users to return daily is to give free gold to spend in the game.

Or, try implementing extra rewards for fulfilling a “streak”. Psychologically, streaks are important to people. You don’t want to break the chain. Jerry Seinfeld writes a joke a day and doesn’t want to break the chain. Snapchat, Duolingo, and Starbucks all maximize the streak’s impact. In the Starbucks app, you get specific deals if you come in that day- create a sense of urgency.

Incentivize With Prizes

A prize spinner is another reason to return. You can provide different prizes each day, or allow more chances to win a larger prize with a daily streak of spins. In the world of games, many users play for free. Let users watch an ad to earn a spin. You can make money just by having people come in to keep their streak alive.

Fender provides a free month of guitar online. They used streaks to their advantage: if you practice 3x a day for 7 minutes, you’re entered to win a free guitar every single week.

Use High-Impact Reminders

Game apps send reminders: “Hey, your progress is behind or ahead.” Often, these are guilt messages, like “Your pigs are dying” or “Your troops are losing.” These get people coming back. Be intentional about when and where to deploy these messages using data gathered from analytics. And if you send an email, notification, or popup- make them really count.

In the B2B world, that might look different: “Come back in, get this!” Whether it’s a free tutorial, white paper, or a PDF, keep your app on their radar and reward them for coming back in.

Give Rewards for Each Login

Your user should get something every time they log in. Whether it’s data, a feature, or a blog post, give people new content, new ideas, new ways to use your content. You’re competing for their mind share, not just with your direct competitors, but with all types of media.

Keep Your Eyes and Mind Open

You will find excellent mechanics for incentivizing users to return everywhere. Learn from apps outside your industry, or even the apps you use everyday. Which do you keep returning to? For example, both meditation and weight loss apps stand out for incentivizing streaks. Gamification principles apply everywhere.

Want to join this fun group of dreamers and doers? We’re hiring!