Roll out the welcome mat for guest users

Traveling home for the holidays, you put up with a lot. An uncomfortable pullout couch. Visions of maniacal sugar plum fairies manifested by too much eggnog and mom’s jello surprise. Uncle Jimmy’s incessant yammering about gout and his latest root canal. But hey, you’re with family, so it’s all worth it.

Holiday guest users aren’t as forgiving, and you can expect a lot of them to drop by your mobile app in the very near future.

Mobile downloads are the new tradition

Christmas Day 2012 set a single-day download record and mobile devices are once again topping holiday wish lists and gift guides. If last year’s numbers are any indication, expect a rush of users to blissfully download apps to their new devices well into January. Getting them to register and stick with your app is a bigger challenge.

About 34% of users will open an app 11 or more times, according to Localytics. Almost a quarter (22%) will come back only once after downloading. Want your New Year’s numbers to look rosier? Show anons a good time.

5 ways to increase registration and user retention

A lot of developers choose to authenticate and prompt login when an app is opened. Although Facebook integration makes it incredibly easy, there’s no guarantee users will come back or even register.

Another option is to use your amazing UX to hook users, saving registration for later. If you do go this route, set up a guest access control list (ACL) with restricted permissions. Anonymous users will have the same access until they log in. A few ways to motivate users to take the leap and register:

1. Obviously, build an amazing UI/UX. A lackluster experience won’t drive conversion. Deliver on whatever you promised your app would do and then go the extra mile to delight users.

2. Include helpful screen tips. Make it a no-brainer to engage with your app right from the start.

3. Give away a lot.  Removing roadblocks can motivate sign-ups, increase popularity and improve ratings. For instance, YouTube lets you watch videos, but prompts registration to access community-driven features such as commenting, rating and uploads.

YouTube App Popular Videos
YouTube shows app users popular videos first.
YouTube App Ratings and Comments
Watch thousands of videos on the YouTube app. Log in to comment and rate.













4. Find your value. Look for the sweet spot between providing enough functionality to demonstrate value but still whet users’ appetites for more. For instance, an exercise diary won’t feel very useful if users can’t enter real, complete data. Not sure where to start? Try A/B testing and using analytics to understand user behavior.

5. Make it easy to get started. Provide a simple way to sign up that’s easy to find from anywhere in your app. Within the Red Stamp greeting cards app, for example, users can browse and create cards. The ability to register and login is always at the top of the app menu for users who want to access their accounts, enjoy premium content or easily share cards on social networks.

Browse Red Stamp cards without login
Browse and personalize Red Stamp greeting cards. Log in to save contacts, access premium content and share on social.
The option to register for Red Stamp is always at the top of the menu so users can access their accounts and access premium content.













Wishing you tons of downloads this holiday season!

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