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How to improve user engagement and acquisition in 2017

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Vlad Dm
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No matter what stage your startup is, you want it to grow, gain more users, and engage the existing ones. Do you remember Mark Zuckerberg's expression 'move fast and break things'? Well, this is what most of the startups go by when they develop their user acquisition strategy for apps and sites. However, is the idea of fast and aggressive, if you wish, onboarding really that effective? It's time to figure it out. 

User Acquisition and Engagement for startups

First of all, let's briefly look at the Customer Lifecycle Funnel. In marketing and sales spheres, the funnel is normally represented as a circle to show the consistency of the process. However, for the better visualization, here is a vertical representation.
customer lifecycle funnel explained
Customer Lifecycle Funnel with a brief description
The customer has to pass six stages to complete the full circle. Sadly enough, most of the visitors use your product at least once. The process of converting a visitor into an activating user is the User Acquisition definition. The series of actions aimed to turn users into the loyal customers are called User Engagement. These two pieces of a puzzle are crucial to your startup success. And, as we promised, here are 3 steps of user acquisition and engagement at the early stages.

Getting your product ready for user acquisition

User acquisition and, all the more, user engagement, isn't that predictable and linear. But it doesn't mean that thorough planning is unnecessary. Starting a business is a risky affair itself and many of things may go wrong and they actually do, as Paul Graham, a co-founder of Y Combinator, explains. Still, it's in your power to make a few things that will eliminate some risks.

Defining your target audience

The first and the most important thing is defining your audience. If you haven't done this yet, go for it asap.
Tip: Try to think of two audiences: your current audience, it's the one you can reach already, and your ideal audience, that you're eventually aiming at. Alexa, analytics tools, and social media can tell you about your current audience in no time. In order, to define the ideal one, your will have to do some research.

Keep in mind the power of the first impression

Though the first impression is only the impression, the importance of design shouldn't be underestimated. A potential customer sees your interface for the first time day by day. At this point, they already know whether they would launch your app or visit your website again. Sure, you may question the necessity of creating an outstanding UI at the first stages. However, by putting efforts into the UI, you build the basis for long-term advocacy, you are moving from 'acceptable' to 'respectable'.
Besides, it isn't so difficult to ride the wave of design trends in 2017. See for yourself. According to Behance design trends highlight, the trends of interfaces design will not change a lot from those of 2016, however with a few new influences. Let's see how you can engage users of your product with their help.
  • Landing Page
Landing pages won't lose their positions as an effective targeting instrument in your user engagement strategy. Quite the opposite, they will gain in popularity and obtain some new design features.
 
Irregular Grid. Do you remember those websites organized in columns? Well, those days are gone: 2017 is going to bring us new UI trends in terms of layout. One of them is a Creative Grid. There is no need to organize the content in the strict grid, let your imagination out.
irregular grid: the design trend of 2017
Irregular grid (Source: Dribbble)
Storytelling. The trend we saw in 2016 will remain this year as well. How to increase user engagement and keep them on your web page? Tell them a story. It's in your power to capture them with the story, rather than with a plain text. So go for it!
SEO. Seriously, what's the point in the beautiful design, creative details, and UX excellence if poor SEO will leave behind the discoverability of your web page?
 
 
 
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