How We Increased User Retention in the LoopMessage App Using Free Messagingby@tehdrew
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How We Increased User Retention in the LoopMessage App Using Free Messaging

by AndrewAugust 26th, 2021
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A few months ago, our team was contacted by the owners of a financial application for iOS, which has the main user market: North America, Europe, and some Asian countries. In this app, you can receive individual recommendations, up-to-date information about the stock market, simulate trading on the stock and cryptocurrency market, and view the trading results from other users in the app. In the application itself, during registration, the user left the following information about himself: First and Last Name, Email, Phone Number, interests in certain public companies.

Attempts to Use Irrelevant Approaches

There have been attempts to use email notifications to retain users. But, as statistics have shown, Email campaigns have proved very inefficient. Because many users ignored emails, some of them automatically went to spam, and only less than 20% of users opened emails. Many users also had low interest in the suggested click-through, and as a direct result, the click-through rate was extremely low.

In addition, the problem was that not all users approved of receiving push notifications from the app, and some even ignored them altogether, accidentally cleared them, or forgot to check what was new in the application. Then, after a certain time, some users completely removed the app because they lost interest or motivation to check new updates. Together with the removal of the application, the subscription to the service will also be canceled.

App owners decide to look for other ways to communicate to improve app retention rates.

There was then an idea to use regular text messages, but this option has many disadvantages and showed good results only in limited cases. In SMS services, texting to different countries was very expensive, and for certain countries and cellular providers, the delivery speed left much to be desired. Sometimes messages did not reach the recipients at all, which also raised doubts about the reliability of this distribution method. Therefore, the idea of using instant messengers looked more promising.

Instant Messengers for Contact with the Audience

As a result, when the app owners contacted us with the question "How we can help their product," we explained that instant messengers are installed on most smartphones, and iMessage is used on almost all devices of the Apple ecosystem, being an independent internal communication system. And since the application was distributed only for iPhone and iPad, it was obvious that most of the users already have iMessage configured on their device. This eliminated the problem when, depending on the country, users had a different collection of instant messengers.

The efficiency of using instant messengers is much higher than the traditional communication channels used to promote sales, but businesses are using them rather poorly so far. The main advantage was that, unlike regular texts, sending messages to any country via iMessage is absolutely free!

According to our internal statistics, messages in instant messengers are opened 5 times more often than by e-mail, which provides new stable channels of communication with clients. Through them, it is more convenient to interact with users, help to understand the choice of products or services, with orders, and provide technical support. As a result, the owners of the application decided to try using our product for personalized messaging.

Personalized Bulk Messaging

According to our recommendations, the user base was unloaded, with the following data: Phone number, Email, First name, Last name, last interesting company. Contacts were imported into the LoopMessage macOS app via the CSV import function. After that, the recipients were separated into three different groups:

  • paid users;
  • active users without a subscription;
  • users who were previously active but then did not launch the app for several weeks.

Distribution for a group of active users was carried out 1-2 times a week. For a group of users who have not logged into the application for a couple of weeks, we distributed messages once every 2 weeks.

Different message templates were made for each of these groups. For example, for users who haven't logged in for a long time, we formulated the following:

👋 Hello [FistName] [LastName]! This is the XXX app team. In the upcoming week, there will be significant changes in the stock market to the previous company you expressed interest in: [Custom1]. We are also ready to provide you with a promotional code for our personal consultations: [Custom2] Let us know if you have any questions.

To attract the attention of previously active users and return them to the application, a different template was used, for example:

Sup [First Name] 👋! That's Roger from the XXX app. New recommendations for [Custom1] are already in the app. Check them out when you’re free!

At the end of each message, sometimes, a link to the app was inserted. For the [Custom1] tag, the ticker of the last company the user was interested in was inserted, for example, APPL or MSFT.

Average open rate (Messages vs. Emails)

The result was great. The message reading statistics were about 80-90%. About 30% of active users who received a message in the first minute immediately responded to it by answering, clicking on a link, or launching an application. The rest of the users have already read and somehow reacted to the messages during the day. Naturally, a certain proportion of recipients did not react in any way to our messages, and this is quite normal.

The main difficulty was to try to communicate only with those users who really understand who they are receiving the message from. If you only try to reach those who’ve only spent a couple of minutes in the application a month ago and then deleted it, or even try to cold message everyone, then many users can mark messages as spam, and your messages will never reach them again.

Average response rate (Messages vs. Emails)

If you try to personalize messages for users as much as possible, it will create the effect of a message written solely for them. These messages will most likely show the best possible results.

For all subsequent weekly messaging, we recommend changing the message templates to constantly look like personal messages for each recipient. Thus, customers may not even know that this is an automated process for hundreds of users using personalized tags.

The rest of the users who could not be contacted via iMessage sent messages through the other most popular messenger: WhatsApp. Thus, it turned out to cover the distribution of messages for almost 99% of the entire user base.

Final Results

  1. Unlike regular SMS, sending to instant messengers is free, regardless of the country where messages are sent to.
  2. Delivery of messages is seamless, unlike SMS, where we cannot even find out whether the user received the message or not, let alone whether he read it at all.
  3. Average message open rate: 80-90%. The number of users who return to the app after sending them a message: 25-50%, depending on the group of recipients.
  4. Messages are delivered to recipients almost instantly. There is no need to wait for any additional filtering, such as email or regular text distribution by SMS. Many active users read and respond to the message in the first minutes after sending it.
  5. You can send pictures, links, various media files, and other data that iMessage can process and display beautifully in messages.
  6. When sending via iMessage, you can identify the recipient with the user's phone number and Email. You can also specify Email as the sender of messages instead of a phone number. If the recipient has added the sender, he then will see the name indicated in their contacts.
  7. Even if the recipient uses an Android smartphone but has an iPad or macOS device, he can have iMessage activated and receive a message there.

It is very important to add your business email and phone number to the user’s contacts. This helps solve the problem when Mail, iMessage, WhatsApp, and other messengers can flag a message as suspicious or move it to spam. To do this, you can invite users in the mobile app to download a vCard file, which contains:

  • Application name (Company field),
  • Corporate Email from which mails come,
  • iMessage Phone / Email,
  • Support team phone number,
  • Application icon (Contact photo).

The easiest way to solve this is to offer some minor reward because the user clicks the confirmation to add a new contact to his Address book. To generate a vCard file, you can create a contact on your iPhone/iPad, fill in all fields, and then export by clicking “Share contact.”

As a result, it turned out that the owners of the application used LoopMessage not only for corporate correspondence (to return the user back to the application) but also to wish their active users happy holidays (such as on birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.), as well as congratulate them on and track their achievements (like successful trades or break-even days/weeks). This helped to always keep in touch with users and, sometimes, receive feedback to further improve the app.

Total comparing (average open rate and response rate)

Benefits of the LoopMessage App

The main idea of the product: it is easy to send personalized messages to your audience or customers in instant messengers. Our clients get several important features that give them great benefits:

  • The ability to use personalized tags. It is enough to indicate in the message to the client "Hello [First Name]," and it will automatically replace the teg with the username specified in the contact. A personal appeal to the client in the message gives a higher percentage of reading and involvement in the context of the message. In the application itself, many different tags can be used for personalization. Among other things, you can use “Custom Fields,” which makes it possible to fill in special information for each contact. In this example, stock tickers and promotional codes were added there.
  • Unneeded credentials. The app will not ask you to enter credentials for your instant messenger. This is because the app will interact with accounts that you use in their native apps, where you are already authorized through your own account and subsequently protected by their encryption systems. Thus, all conversations with contacts will be stored only in your own accounts.
  • Supports popular instant messengers. At the moment, the product supports the bulk sending of personalized messages in almost all popular instant messengers: WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Skype, Viber, Threema. And also via iMessage, which is installed by default on all iOS/macOS devices worldwide!
  • Minimum risks of being blocked by instant messenger. The use of personalization tags in the application allows each message to be unique, as mass messaging of the same text is often marked as spam. Thus, if you follow the recommendations described above, you can avoid being blocked by instant messengers for sending spam. It should be kept in mind that if you plan to conduct “cold messaging” to contacts who do not know you or your company, this can look very suspicious to instant messengers, and recipients will mark your text as spam.
  • No changes in your phone book. The app can use contacts from your phone book for messaging but does not have the ability to edit or delete contacts. Your phone book is only under your control!
  • Internal local contact storage. In addition to the regular Apple Contacts, you can use the internal contact storage in the app. All internal contacts are stored only locally on your device and are not uploaded to external servers. With CSV, you can easily import your contacts into the app. The support team is ready to help you if you have any difficulties with the import.

Please note that the iOS and macOS build differ in the number of instant messenger platforms they support. In the macOS build, the messaging is fully automated, while in iOS, the messaging is semi-automated. This is due to the fact iOS has a lot of automation limitations. You can download the LoopMessage app from the Website or iOS/Mac App Store.

Also, if you initially purchased a license on the website for a macOS app, then it will work for the iOS version as well.