Activation and retention tips from Kik Messenger

Dec 1

Activation and retention tips from Kik Messenger

I ran across an interesting article this week about what messaging App “Kik” treats as priority. kik

Here is the link.

It won’t surprise any longer-term readers of this blog what Kik focus efforts on:

“If you have less users coming in the door than you have leaving, you don’t have a viable product. If you have more, you’re viable,”

Yes, Kik know that a leaky bucket is a disaster for their business model and that retention is key.

Here are more salient quotes:

  • “It’s about focusing on how you keep more users with you and on your platform.
  • “How many days from acquisition they will be active?”
  • “Obviously over time it has to come down, but how can you influence factors in order to drive that up by a marginal amount at a time?”

In other words, they understand the reality of Day3, Day7, Day30 retention. They understand the concept of “User activation” – and they seek to understand how they can improve upon that.

Here are some clues to how they work:

  • “We’re building attributes of user behavior and creating predictive variables”
  • “If you stack a bunch of these programs on top of each other … you can propel growth for your organization”
  • “we don’t want to forget about passive users.”
  • “Think about the first week of registration: If a user doesn’t set a profile pic and that’s correlated with churn, we would try to influence it with four or five permutations or messages (from KikTeam) that could drive that behavior.”

…and now some kicker conclusions:

  • “ look if that behavior drove daily active users and/or affected 30- to 90-day churn.”
  • “At any time we have hundreds of growth programs going on. It’s not about one program and a small retention lift, it’s about hundreds of programs.”

The first point is a killer for most App owners – success is about incremental uplift and measuring the positive and negative for each cohort. Only over time with a continued focus can you build an amoory of automated elements that increase engagement and retention. The other big deal here is having the courage and empowerment to try things. Kik know they have many competitors and they “don’t want to die wondering” if they should have tried more activation/retention initiatives.

The key takeaway from the last point is the sheer volume “hundreds of programs”. This is pretty sobering for Apps that have a handful of team members and usually operating in a competitive landscape. You need tools and processes to instrument tests and know what is working for you:

  • At scale of users for a given test
  • Across many tests.

  Get our Referral Program Guide