Strategies for user loyalty and engagement in subscription apps: Insights from Industry Experts

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Olivia Doboaca
Strategies for user loyalty and engagement in subscription apps: Insights from Industry Experts

Table of Content:

  1. Introduction
  2. Meet our experts
  3. Strategies for ensuring user loyalty and driving engagement
    • Diversifying channels in marketing
  4. The power of personalization in marketing
    • Personalization in the customer journey
    • Developing highly personalized customer journeys
  5. Managing engagement and feedback
  6. Exploring upselling and cross-selling in customer success
    • Considerations for seasonal campaigns
  7. Conclusion


In the fast-paced world of subscription apps, it’s all about ensuring user loyalty and driving long-term engagement.

During our previous webinar, we delved into the strategies that keep users loyal, the art of team organization for maximizing touchpoints, and the power of retention-driven growth.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Meet our experts

Peggy Anne Salz led the conversation as a host for this webinar. She’s a content strategist, senior Forbes contributor, and the founder of Mobile Groove.

Gessica Bicego, CMO of Paired: Gessica brings her expertise from working at various digital agencies in Italy and is now at the helm of Paired, an exciting app that strengthens couples' connections through meaningful conversations.

Dina Barysevich, Customer Success Manager at Floor: Dina's role at Floor revolves around fostering customer satisfaction and implementing successful review strategies, emphasizing the importance of putting customers first.

Philip Wayman, Co-founder and CMO at Fastic: Philip's journey started with his personal experience of intermittent fasting, which led him to create Fastik, an app dedicated to fasting, mindfulness, better nutrition, and movement.

Strategies for ensuring user loyalty and driving engagement

When building high-performing teams and achieving our desired goals, the insights we gather from customer success are essential. Customer feedback and reviews are like gold mines of information for our marketing strategies. Sharing this valuable intel with our marketing teams can help to know what our users want, what they don't like, and what features they're dying to have.

To do that, you must set up a solid data infrastructure. You will need more than just metrics from influencer campaigns to give you the whole picture. Dig deeper, check out organic applications, listen to feedback, and see how users engage with you on social media.

As a CMO, it's super important to foster data literacy within the team, which includes setting measurable goals for every campaign, even if it's all about raising awareness or building your brand. Market research, testing new channels, and adapting your communication to meet the needs of our target audience are all keys to success.

Learn more about app engagement in an expert guide from AppFollow

Diversifying channels in marketing

Start by getting inside your users' heads and conducting some good old market research.

Relying solely on your existing fans will give you a partial picture of the entire market. Conducting annual market research will help you uncover different segments within your target audience and see if your current fan base covers all those bases.

While TikTok and Facebook may be the go-to platforms, there are other spots where people soak up knowledge, like influencers, podcast ads, and video-on-demand platforms.

To weave these diverse channels into your strategy effectively, you need to take a step back and get a bird's-eye view.

While you can expect some level of trackability, not every conversion from these channels can be neatly measured. Sometimes, you'll have to rely on organic interactions and visibility as signs of their impact. Comparing the cost of acquiring a customer from an influencer campaign to a Facebook ad is like comparing apples to oranges. Some influencer conversions may not be directly trackable but can still contribute to organic growth.

Putting all your eggs in the Facebook basket may not be the wisest move, considering the potential issues or changes that could limit your spending there. Allocating resources to different channels, even if they may not be as lucrative as Facebook, allows experimentation and balances your marketing approach.

At the beginning of each month, create a nifty matrix of all your channels to optimize how you distribute your spending. Set some target costs for trials or acquisitions and adjust your spending across channels to get the best bang for your buck. Avoid putting all your chips on a single channel by aiming for a distribution where no channel exceeds 40% of your total spend.

The power of personalization in marketing

Marketing health-related products or services requires a personal touch. There's no one-size-fits-all solution. It all begins during onboarding, where you carefully extract the user's gender, age, and goals. You want users to feel like they've found their soulmate brand—a knowledgeable, approachable guide.

You must infuse personalization into every nook and cranny, from tailored creatives that make hearts flutter to the first-time user experience that feels like a warm embrace.

User-generated content is a sneaky trick up your sleeve for personalization. Showcasing success stories or experiences from folks with similar backgrounds can ignite inspiration in others and prove that your product delivers the goods.

Personalization in the customer journey

Tough as it sounds, but people have the attention span of a goldfish during onboarding, so customizing this phase is key.

Feedback collected during onboarding can help to figure out where users might lose interest. Again, personalization is your secret weapon to make users feel like they're getting a one-on-one chat. Tossing in their name and sprinkling personalized info creates a great user experience.

Personalization isn't just a marketing thing—it also extends its touch into product development. Take the Paired app, for example. Different stages or dynamics in relationships call for different features and offerings. Delving into personalization within the product opens doors to exciting possibilities, like crafting custom product pages based on ads or sneaking in those familiar questions within the app experience.

Developing highly personalized customer journeys

Crafting highly personalized customer journeys requires strategy. Don't try to do it all at once—instead, zero in on the stuff that packs the biggest punch and prioritize it. Remember the 80/20 rule? 20% of your actions should give you 80% of the results.

Data is a key ingredient here. You've got to try new things and see how they work out. Relying solely on data can damage your creativity and stifle innovation. Striking the right balance between data-driven decisions and good old gut instincts can lead you to wildly positive results.

At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding the customer. Slip into their shoes and figure out why certain messages or experiences make your consumer's heart skip a beat. Marketers can create stronger connections with their audience by adopting an empathetic mindset and serving up value instead of just trying to make a quick buck.

Managing engagement and feedback

Customer success management kicks in for app companies when certain conditions are met. A larger customer base means more feedback to work with. As the company grows, effectively handling this feedback becomes difficult…and even more important.

Personalized communication and feedback by a customer success specialist are how it’s done. The ASO team members can always vouch for its effectiveness, as the positive impact of personalized feedback on metrics like ratings and user engagement is quite evident.

Monitoring feature reviews is also important. They offer insights into user opinions and the developer's response, helping improve the overall app experience.

Establish a unified approach to reporting to get started. Actionable insights should be the focus, ensuring the right information reaches the right people. Regular impact meetings can also facilitate this process. Lean testing methods can be used to validate insights and seize new opportunities. Strike a balance between report quantity and meaningfulness. It's about getting the right insights to the right individuals and prioritizing based on urgency and importance.

Exploring upselling and cross-selling in customer success

Customer success folks are not flashy salespeople. However, the idea of using customer success as a secret sales weapon is the way to go.

For instance, Gessica mentioned during the webinar that her company is contemplating letting Customer Support embrace the upselling powers, especially during the holiday frenzy—Black Friday, Christmas, New Year's, and even Valentine's Day. They've tested the waters, and, surprise, surprise, it actually works! They're even considering creating fancy landing pages exclusively for these upselling activities.

Customers are quick to gripe but not always as eager to shower praise. Keep a balanced perspective and try not to get too caught up in the negativity. Sometimes customers demand certain features, but their preferences magically change once those wishes are granted.

Considerations for seasonal campaigns

First and foremost, the collaboration between departments is a must.

A well-coordinated team effort is needed here, where everyone's on the same page and working towards a common goal. No last-minute scrambles or frantic brainstorming sessions. Start early in the year and gather insights along the way to craft a brilliant campaign strategy.

Then, don’t just throw stuff out there and hope something sticks. Do price testing, onboard via new channels, and create good seasonal content that will make their heads spin. Be ready to make quick changes, though, as sometimes you might go the wrong way.

For instance, by addressing pricing concerns head-on, brands can show they've got their customers' backs. Whether through discounts or making the offer more relevant, it's about creating that perfect match between your campaign and your target audience. You want them to feel like their investment is worth every penny and more.


In conclusion, here’s what you must always be aware of:

Focus on the actions that have the most impact on long-term strategies. Applying the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the results come from 20% of the actions, is how it’s done.

Develop a sustainable strategy that can be upheld in the future. This involves making investments in terms of money, time, and personnel. Taking a holistic approach and understanding the entire customer journey is key, rather than focusing on isolated elements.

Shift the mindset from a sales-oriented approach to one focusing on bringing customer value. By delivering value, trust, and confidence can be fostered, ultimately driving success long-term.

And don’t forget about your own precious self:

  • Take care of yourself to avoid burnout, as personal well-being impacts productivity.
  • Set big goals but break them down into smaller, manageable tasks.
  • Seek fresh perspectives by asking peers for feedback and insights. This can provide valuable ideas and takes a minimal amount of time.
  • Simplify approaches to challenges rather than overcomplicating them, considering the unpredictability of future outcomes.
  • Break down silos and promote cross-functional collaboration. Building teams that include diverse expertise can lead to more effective campaigns.

It’s all about humans. Be a good human to yourself and your users, and your app will thrive.

Thank you for reading!

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