How To Get People To Use Your iPhone App Over And Over Again

rio careff vevoRio Caraeff, CEO of Vevo

Photo: Michael Seto for Business Insider

New York investor Fred Wilson recently noted that some consumer internet companies are struggling to master mobile behaviour:Distribution is much harder on mobile than web and we see a lot of mobile first startups getting stuck in the transition from successful product to large user base. strong product market fit is no longer enough to get to a large user base. You need to master the “download app, use app, keep using app, put it on your home screen” flow and that is a hard one to master.

At our IGNITION conference, Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff revealed how his company tries to master the “keep using app” part of Wilson’s equation.

Vevo, which is a music video startup, has 20 million app downloads, and 6 million monthly users. To get people coming back to the app, Caraeff says you have to send them alerts. 

As soon as someone opens the app for the first time, Vevo asks, “can we send you alerts?” The user doesn’t even choose what kind of alerts to get. (For instance, you don’t have to check boxes for “Lady Gaga” alerts.) The idea is to eliminate another step that would stop the user from asking for alerts.

As they get alerts, the hope is to get them coming back to the app over and over again.

Obviously, it takes more than just alerts though. Vevo has just 6 million monthly users. That means 14 million people aren’t using the app after they download it. You also need an addictive, indispensable app. But, alerts are still an important part of the equation.

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