Ilya Pozin is a serial entrepreneur, writer, and investor. He is the founder of online video entertainment platform Pluto.TV, social greeting card company Open Me, and digital marketing agency Ciplex.
Active monthly users are the precious gold of the business community. Acquiring new users is great, but active monthly users, the ones that come back to the site on a regular basis, are what really matter.
A July 2014 study by The Realtime Report found many popular sites have active monthly users numbering in the millions. Facebook topped the list with 1.32 billion, but Twitter was right behind with 255 million.
Every company wants numbers like those. Finding and creating a strong base of active monthly users is every entrepreneur’s dream, but it can be a bit like capturing a unicorn. So, how do you do it?
Talentoday, a psychometric, social and data-driven career guidance solution, launched in the US in January 2014 and, after only nine short months, now has 955,000 monthly active users and more than 3 million registered users.
How did the company scale active monthly users so quickly? Pierre-François Verley, co-founder and CEO of Talentoday, gives his three tips on attracting and connecting organically with users:
1. Keep the experience user-friendly
Talentoday has a 41 percent bounce rate of new visitors, 16,000 new users signing up daily, and 955,000 monthly active users. With statistics like this, it’s clear the site is doing something right when it comes to attracting users and keeping them interested.
“We credit those numbers to our user-friendly design and human-centric approach,” Verley said.
The company used principles of universal design from The Institute of Human-Centered Design to create a site that was immediately engaging. This approach allowed them to turn serious and sometimes scary psychometrics into something appealing and familiar.
Verley suggests keeping in mind the user’s knowledge level and experience with the product or service to use as a guideline when building your site. Use appropriate sizing and spacing to create something clearly understood and easy to navigate.
If you want people to connect with your company and stick around, make sure your Web design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
2. Utilize the power of sharing
It’s no surprise the sites with the largest amount of active monthly users are social media sites. The ability to share is crucial to finding and keeping active monthly users, for several reasons. Not only does it allow users to share activity and start conversations, but also it can open the door to new users.
For example, BuzzFeed has seen huge amount of success with its sharable quizzes. It allows users to share results on social media sites, keeping a strong base of active monthly users.
These fans then drive traffic to their site, creating new users every day. In February alone, these quizzes drove more than 169 million visitors to its site.
“Part of our success in attracting active monthly users stems from Talentoday’s sharing capabilities,” Verley said. “Namely, we allow our users to share their personality questionnaire results on Facebook and Twitter, which 22 percent do.”
The bottom line? Tying sharing into a product or service’s core is one of the best ways to strengthen the current active monthly users your site has, as well as bring in new ones.
3. Offer services that promote monthly usage (for free!)
What do Pandora, Dropbox, and Evernote have in common? They’re all sites that offer free services (music, document storage, a digital workspace)…and have large amounts of active monthly users. The key lies in the fact that their services stay relevant from month to month.
And don’t underestimate the power of free.
“The average career counselor charges $160 per hour. That’s a lot of money for career advice,” Verley said. “In response, we offered a scientifically-proven psychometric online questionnaire that reveals critical insights into users’ personalities and inner drives — all for free.”
Offering services for free is a great way to drive users to your site. However, to turn them from one-time users into monthly users, the product or service must have real value. Think about what you have to offer that will keep users coming back.
Research is key to this. Use case studies, surveys and other techniques to collect data and determine if there is a need for the product or service and if it is enough to drive monthly use of your site.
It’s not enough to simply attract users — you have to keep them, too. If you want to attract users and keep them coming back, you need to ensure your services offer real value and will entice users to return and share the experiences with your company.
What are other ways to attract users and turn them into active monthly users? Share in the comments!