Guest Post: 5 tips from SessionM on how developers can turn average users into power users

Editor’s note: SessionM has a term for users who are constantly using their mobile device. The rewards-based ad network calls them power users, which are defined as users who generate the most in-app activity — including interacting with mobile content, social activities and in-app ads — across all app categories. The company’s co-founder and chief technology officer Scott Weller — formally of MDI, GameLogic and — lays out five tips on how developers can turn average users into power users, resulting in a higher potential for the success of an app.

1. Be a guide

Don’t expect casual users to “figure out” the app features. Instead, guide users through the most important features on their first visit and show them exactly why they should use the app. Walkthroughs help reduce the chance a user will become frustrated navigating the app and increase the chance a user will take full advantage of all the app has to offer.

2. Offer personalization

Your features should be meaningful to users, that’s why they downloaded the app, right? One of the best ways to provide a valuable experience is through personalization. Make sure to provide settings that users can change to customize features and content to their liking. Not only will this provide a better experience for users, but will also give you more insight into the types of people using the app and how to boost conversions down the road.

3. Add reminders

Often the reason a user doesn’t return to an app is just a matter of the app not being top of mind, so adding push notifications is a great way to remind users to come back. A study by Urban Airship even showed that users who receive push notifications in an app have a 26 percent higher retention rate after one month. Supercharge the usefulness and response rates of push notifications by delivering valuable content and tying the content to personalization options previously initiated by the user. Be measured, though — random and repetitive notifications can lead to a quick delete of the app.

4. Reward for good behavior

Humans innately like to be rewarded, so providing something of value to a user when they complete an activity or milestone is a great way to encourage them to come back. Not only are rewards a way of saying “thanks” for a user’s time, but they can also go a long way in providing users a pathway for discovering other features they would have otherwise passed-by. Daily rewards are key to staying top of mind and becoming part of a user’s daily routine.

5. Get with the in-crowd

Your users are social creatures, and most love having the opportunity to share their in-app experience with others. When you build social features into your app, you reduce the risk of users leaving to socialize outside of the app. Of course, social features can help drive users’ friends into the app, too. To help promote this, provide suggested Twitter and Facebook messages that speak to the feature set of the app, not just the app itself.