One of the most important things an app can be is a conversion tool, influencing user behaviour in a bunch of different ways – from buying a specific product, to signing up to your newsletter.
Conversion Rate Optimisation, often known as CRO, is the process of increasing the percentage of users who perform the desired action online.
The route to a successful conversion, however, is more complex than getting users to complete just one action. A better way to think about conversion is as a funnel.
To give you an example of how to create a conversion funnel, let’s imagine you’re building a dog training app, filled with videos and how-to guides.
Users install your app and gain access to free content that helps with the more basic commands, like getting your dog’s attention and learning the ‘sit’ command. For those who want to learn more advanced skills, there’s premium content they can pay to unlock.
Alternatively, by signing up as a subscriber and paying £3.99 per month, they can access the entire collection of how-to guides and chat with a professional dog trainer for extra help and support.
For this particular app we would define the steps that result in a conversion like this:
Completing each of these steps gets you closer to your conversion, but the key point in the funnel occurs when a user hits the button to become a paying subscriber.
With any conversion funnel, it’s important to remember that you will encounter drop-offs at each stage of the process. The goal of CRO therefore is to tighten up every step and help users move more seamlessly from the first stage to the last.
Additional considerations to take into account are that users may not complete the funnel in one session, or even on one day; some may enter your funnel at a different point or skip steps, making your efforts to map out user journeys slightly more complex.
Once you’ve mapped out your funnel, give each step a percentage value. If, for example, out of 750 users who saw the ‘subscribe’ message, 105 subscribed – that part of your conversion funnel has a 14% conversion rate.
To begin improving your app’s conversion rate, you’ll need to start by setting up analytics tracking. By collecting data on how your users are responding to different parts of your app, you’ll be able to see them move along your conversion funnel.
You should also make sure that you’re tracking the stability of your app, as things like crash reports are vital if a bug is stopping your users from converting. Once your analytics are set up and you’re collecting data that informs your funnel, you can start experimenting within your app to improve your conversion rate.
The best thing to remember when running in-app experiments is that you don’t need to change everything in your app in one go. It’s much better to take an iterative approach and change one specific thing at a time, using data to analyse the results. Changing colours, text and layouts are all great ways to experiment with your app and improve your conversion rate.
Introducing in-app messaging is another highly successful method used to improve conversion rates. These cleverly designed, non-intrusive prompts can be used to explain to users the key benefits of a premium feature or subscription and will motivate them to buy using a strong call to action. In-app messages can also be experimented with, either iteratively over time, or using an A/B split test to send one version to half of your users and another to the other half.