Apps need to get sticky in 3 months

NEW YORK—On the second day of the Yahoo Developer Conference last August 26 at the Marriott, breakout sessions were held, with user acquisition as a topic attended by OLC. The key takeways: Developers have a three-month grace period to get sticky; get the app store experience right; app install ads work, but it’s important to talk to your users through a variety of marketing channels.

There are two ways to go about acquiring customers with apps—organic and paid.  In Yahoo’s recent app smart phone research conducted in July 2015, with a sample test of 2,590 people, the results varied.

Organic search users most actively searched for new apps in the following categories: gaming, 88 percent and video, 80 percent. About 60 percent claimed suggestions (from users) triggered a download.

In terms of downloads, people decided based on direct control: price, description, photo, video and release notes.  Indirectly, they were compelled to do so by the ratings, reviews and smart prompts.

In terms of behavior, the app downloads were triggered by how people like to look for something cool/hottest; it was a personal recommendation, and they just got bored with their apps.

It was interesting to find out that parents downloaded an app based on the request of their kids.

The preferred categories were entertainment, connection and shopping.

As for paid acquisitions, the mobile app installs in 2014 netted $3.6 billion, 50 percent of them based on their response to an advertisement. Brand messaging is alive and well in the app space, as 50 percent of users also claim previous brand knowledge as a result of other marketing channels.

The top categories influenced by ads were entertainment, shopping, sports and games. What made the ads effective: a clear CTA, app store rating and a “rich’ image.  Yahoo extolled the importance of “creativity that connects.”

What gets unreported is how people remove apps for various reasons. About 60 percent “clean their apps” 18 times a year. To find out how your app gets waylaid? It’s when the app is dormant for 12 weeks.

The most revealing and may be not as surprising reason for removing an app? About 73 percent delete their apps because of battery concerns. Users also say they remove apps to declutter and free up storage space.