It seems like an obvious notion, right? Like in life, your relationships with businesses or friends revoles around reciprocity, the equality-framework of giving and taking. User Acquisition follows the same principles, you need to demonstrate app value to the customer, in order to receive ‘buy-in’ from them.
The term Reprocity Principle is one of the basic laws of psychology, whereby one would pay back what she or he receives, or another way of putting it, returning the favor for doing something for someone.
Users are most usually hesitant when it comes to providing a lot of detailed personal information, whether it be a registration information, email address, phone numbers, or even keeping the app, upfront, if they don’t recognize a perceived imminent and obvious value in the app, to them. In fact, when apps ask users for system-permissions to access user locations, to receive push notifiations or access your address book, is a barrier if the user doesn’t trust the app.
This is where the concept of app-rewarding comes in, whereby in order to solicitate buy-in from potential users, and we have some ideas on how you can generate the so-called buy-in.
Defer User Registration & Credit Card Information to increase Buy-In
Open up your app to users without requiring them to register. If you are a navigation app maker, allow the users to use basic navigation features, rewarding them with the ability to use the app from the get-go. If you need users to buy-something, such as to book a parking spot from your app, defer credit card information requests until they are about to make the booking.
Once the users see the value of the app, they will feel more comfortable, in which case after they have achieved their first purchase, you can ask them for their registration information. Of course, if you are a social media app, you probably would need to identify your users immediately, but either way, if you do need their registration information up-front, or you are going to defer asking them, you will need to on-board them into it.
On-board Users to increase Buy-in
Never underestimate the power of onboarding, and the influence it has in acquiring and retaining users. You need to design onboarding processes that are contextually sensitive, and onboard the users with the right information for them. If it’s at the start of the app, you onboard what the app does, clearly and succinctly, and if you need their registration information, explain why you need it at that very moment.
A highly interactive onboarding process, with animation (source: Helpshift)
If you need credit card information from your users, at a specific time later on, on-board them to explain why you need it. Your onboarding process should not just target your new users but your regulars as well, as you should provide constant engagement, and re-engagement to maintain your relationship with your users. Speaking of engagement, push notifications is another important process that needs carefuly management.
Send Engaging and Timely Push Notifications to increase Buy-in
No user wants to receive dozens of unsolicitated push notifications, because they are just as annoying (in fact more annoying) as receiving unsolicitated emails. Push notifications work in conjunction with onboarding, to provide an immediate signal to users, as well as an action for users to react to the notification.
For instance, you can send a push notification with a call-to-action to onboard a user to change a setting in your app, to register their phone number for added protection, and engaging the push notification will result in the onboarding sequence that will provide further information to the user, before she or he decides one way or another.
The more you learn about your users, the more contextual the push notifications can be. If you know your users read a certain category of articles, you can start to push more curated push notifications. If a user has been absent for two weeks, you can send a push notification query to the user to remind them (reward them) for coming back, perhaps with a voucher or coupon.
Defer Asking for Permissions Upfront to increase Buy-in
Finally, don’t ask for user permissions, whether it be for addressbook contact access, push notification permission, location access, health information access, upfront. Once again, if you do need a permission up-front, you on-board users, and explain first-up why you need permission x, and if the user says no, you should still let the user use the app.
For example, if the user doesn’t accept location permission, provide less accurate geo-related information and then prompt the user later on, with reasons why it would benefit them. If you don’t need any of the permissions at the start, defer asking until you need it. Say, you need to access the user’s camera, you ask for camera permissions right when the user presses the camera button for the first-time, so the user knows she or he initiated a process that directly led to a permission request, and is not out of the blue.
So, to increase user acquisition and buy-in, there are certain steps app developers need to take, in order to provide a more solicitated environment. You reward users, or give in order to take, thus enabling buy-in, and in this article I mentioned a few ways in which you can do that.
Privacy reserves a huge real-estate in savvy mobile users’ minds, and thus ensuring you maintain user trust, especially early on in the user-engagement cycle is pivotal. Therefore, taking the right steps will lead to a greater level of expectation between you and your users.