So your app crashed. Oof. It’s never a good feeling. Yet that doesn’t signal the end of the world.

Believe it or not, app issues are not all bad. Often, you can leverage performance problems to increase your user engagement.

You might find that hard to swallow, but bear with us for a moment.

Innovative app teams use these events as an excuse to generate a touchpoint with the customer to try to remedy the situation. If you are on top of it quickly, the proactive measure can be seen as a positive by the customer.

But before we dive into how to use app issues to your advantage, first thing’s first: some healthy crisis counseling. When your app runs into performance issues, such as app crashes, slow load times, or intrusive ads, you have to monitor these issues in-real time and fix them before they affect more users. Identify where and why problems occur, using factors like geography, app version, device, and OS.

Once you’ve located the problem and are working on a solve, pull in your marketing team to help with these three post-issue use cases for greater engagement.

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1. Leverage an App Crash to Increase Checkouts

Who would want to complete a checkout after experiencing an app crash? You’re right; most users would be turned off. Apteligent’s data found that crashes decrease next-day app opens by almost 8x. But with segmentation, there’s an easy way to incentivize those who had a less-than-stellar experience and convince them to return to your app.

If a shopper has added an item to their cart, and was in the midst of the checkout process or continued browsing when the app crashed, there is still a way to convert this customer. They had a bad experience, so the best strategy is to send a push notification with a perk that encourages them to come back. CrazyEgg found that when a buyer is in the “purchase” stage of the customer journey, they’re most likely to complete checkout if they see an offer for free shipping. So go ahead and send that push notification offering something to make up for the experience — like free shipping.


If you’re not a retail app, don’t worry. You can still take advantage of this strategy in similar ways. A travel app can offer 10 percent off flight or hotel booking, a game can offer free currency, and more.

2. Boost Post-Abandonment Re-Installs via an Email Campaign

If your app often has performance problems, such as network latencies, memory inefficiency, or battery drainage, users may uninstall. After all, it doesn’t take much to drive users away.

Leanplum data shows that after the first app open, you’ve already lost 79 percent of your users. The rate of abandonment only continues to rise from there. With apps spending an average of $2 to acquire each user, this is a danger you can’t afford. If your app is prone to frequent issues, there is a fix.

Again, segmentation is the key to higher engagement. Once users uninstall your app, you can’t message them with push notifications. Protect your acquisition investment by reaching users who received an app crash and uninstalled outside of the app — with email.

TextNow, an app that offers free unlimited texting, calling, and more, ran a re-engagement campaign using our email solution and saw incredible results. TextNow sent an email to users who uninstalled the app, asking them to re-download and continue use. Through a single email, it convinced thousands of users to install and re-engaged users it otherwise would have lost.

Don’t assume that just because some folks uninstalled that they’re lost forever. If you never ask users to re-download, you’ll miss out.

3. Lift the Rate of Five-Star App Reviews After Slow App Load Times

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Apps with high ratings turn up higher in search results and are more likely to be downloaded. According to Marketing Land, 96 percent of users say they would install an app with four stars, compared to an app with a lower rating.

The point is, when an app has a four- or five-star rating, it becomes obvious from the first glance that users will have a great experience. They wind up trusting the app before they even install.

But if your app has a slow load time, you’re likely to get a higher instance of one- and two-star reviews.

Here’s what you should do. Segment out the users who recently experienced slow load times due to higher-than-usual traffic or a software bug. Then, send a message to the other users — only those who have had a positive experience — and ask them to rate your app.

Separately message the users who experienced slow load times and offer them a way to submit private feedback directly to your developers. This shows users that you care about their experience. You can ask them for an App Store review at a later date, after they’ve experienced a happy moment in your app, like after successfully purchasing, favoriting a new playlist, joining a loyalty program, and more.

Ready to get started? In conjunction with Apteligent, Leanplum can help you increase mobile app engagement and ROI. Schedule your personalized demo with Leanplum here.