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Sticky Hands

We've all heard that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. In the world of mobile, this number becomes even more frightening as the average app loses 77% of it's Daily Active Users within the first 3 days after the install. With all of this in front of us, focusing on the stickiness of your apps' growth is paramount.

If you've been following Sam Altman's "How to Start a Startup" course at Stanford, you may have already seen Alex Schultz from Facebook talk about what sticky growth means to Facebook. If you haven't seen it yet, it's definitely worth the time to check it out.

How Do You Measure Stickiness?

From a mobile context, sticky growth can sometimes be hard to measure. You must understand the most important metrics within your app and how to track them. In many cases, it can usually be boiled down to the question of whether the most important action in a given app is being completed repeatedly by its users.

For shopping or retail apps, this may be a question like whether users make purchases multiple times.

For social apps, you may ask whether users are sharing content in repeat sessions.

For travel apps, you may ask whether users are searching for hotels or flights in subsequent sessions.

Magical Mobile Moments

In Alex's talk he brings up the idea of magical moments. And that when you get a user to a magical moment in your app they become sticky. The actions mentioned above are magical moments for their respective apps. For retail apps in particular magical moments are called activations.

We think this is a great term that can be used for any category of app. Once a user achieves the magical moment in your app you can consider them to be activated.

A great way to understand your sticky growth is by tracking your magical moments or user activations. Taplytics provides built-in analysis tools to achieve this. Our user activations tool lets you define custom cohorts of users, that are exclusively filtered by whatever user action you are most interested in.

Activation Graphs

The activation graphs tend to bring out some very important information about your app. In retail apps the graphs show that the vast majority of customers make their first purchase in their very first session using the app. Activation graphs will typically show that if a user doesn't achieve a magical moment in the first or second session, they will most likely never get there. Once you have this graph set up, it should give you a very clear target of ensuring that as many people as possible achieve the key goals in your app, as soon as possible.

Using the activations functionality in Taplytics, you can quickly understand whether your growth is as sticky as you need it to be. While you can't produce growth that scales based on user retention alone, in the mobile game you have to be able to engage fast and engage early to keep the users you worked so hard to acquire coming back for more.

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Aaron Glazer


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