You’ve worked hard to get your app or website up and running, and you certainly want people to use it. And it would be really nice if everyone who used it did so often and stayed for a while. In industry lingo, that effect is known as stickiness, and it’s an important measure of your app or software success.
Let’s talk about stickiness. And no, I don’t mean that icky feeling you get when you go outside on a humid day. Nor do I mean what happens to gum after it’s been pasted on the underside of a school desk.
What I mean when I say stickiness is how well your app or website keeps users engaged and involved. How long do users spend on your app or website and how often do they come back?
These activities are signs of stickiness and they are important because they help your business grow. When users stick around on your app or website and revisit often, they’re more likely to click on links and ads, and share your app or website with their friends. In monetization terms, increased stickiness means increased growth and increased revenue.
If I’ve convinced you that stickiness is important (and I do hope that I have), now is a good time to offer some tips on how you can make your app or website stickier.
1. Update your content.
What do fish, socks, and content have in common? They all start to smell when they get old! More seriously though, you want to keep your app or website fresh and exciting because that’s what keeps people coming back for more. Remember, it’s stickiness (not stinkiness) we’re striving for!
2. Make it useful.
People are busy. They don’t want to waste time with apps and websites that don’t provide them with a useful experience. If you’ve got a useful product or service, people will come back for more, over and over again.
3. Allow for personalization.
This may not be relevant for every app and website, but if you can make your product conducive to customization, go for it. Users want to feel connected to the apps and websites they use. Think avatar. Think weather. Think personal photos. Think customized background.
4. Build a community.
Everyone wants to feel connected. It’s part of human nature. Let people engage in your app or website in the way that’s most natural for your product – through community-building features such as user feedback and content contribution. If you notice that a certain feature is really popular, grow it. If you notice that a feature is receiving sub-stellar feedback, kill it.
5. Make it fun.
Even if your product isn’t a game app or website, that doesn’t mean you can’t integrate some fun into your product. If users have fun, they’ll come back for more fun.
6. Think like a user.
To really gauge how your users feel about using your app or website, step into their shoes and walk around. Would you say things like “This looks great” or “I love this feature”? If not, think about changes you could implement to make your product better. Strive to create something that you would like to use. Make your app or website brag-worthy.
7. Cross-reference yourself.
It may sound like you’re tooting your own horn, but integrating hypertext cross references into your site helps keep people on your site even when they leave a specific page. How’s that for sticky?
8. Make like a wheel and squeak.
Don’t let your users forget about you. Just because they’ve been away for a week or two doesn’t mean they’ve deserted you. Maybe they were on vacation. Push notifications, updates, and social media posts are great ways of letting your users know that your app or website is alive and kicking. Not to mention squeaking.
You’ve worked hard to create your website or app, and you want people to keep using it. The more people use it, the more opportunities you’ll have to learn what they like, and the more you’ll be empowered to improve it. As your business grows, so too will your opportunity to monetize.
Stickiness is important because it means people like what you are doing. It’s not just a form of flattery – it can also improve your revenue.