Habit loop (engagement loop, retention loop) is a closed system where a user behavior gets reinforced through triggers and rewards, so, that a habit forms around your product's value prop.
While growth loops bring new users to your app, habit loops push for more usage from existing users.
What Is Easy to Get Wrong
- There's a natural frequency to each use case - you can't make users use your product more often than that.
- Doing only time-based triggers.
- Not differentiating between set-up actions (that provide no value to the user) and value prop (things that actually bring value to the user).
- Not building incentives around habits (more under growth loops).
Habit loops are built in four steps:
- A trigger (cue) that inspires some sort of action;
- The channel by which the trigger is delivered;
- The reward the user experiences when coming back to the product;
- The action the user is prompted to take once returning.
Most of our waking life is spent on (reinforcing) habits: eating, entertainment, work, brushing your teeth, even toilet breaks. If there's a re-occurring problem, a habit around solving that problem likely already exists.
The golden rule of habit change is: "Keep the cue and reward, replace the routine."
Types Of Triggers
- Organic - naturally occurring in a person's mind (emotions, feelings etc)
- Manufactured - created by your company
- Time - e.g. Hertz: Your car rental will start in 26 hours
- Location - e.g. Barking: We spotted your car at Balti Jaama Turg - would you like to park there?
- Change - e.g. Revolut: The price of Tesla stock just increased 970%
- Peer action - e.g. Facebook: John just tagged you in 2 photos
- Programmatic - e.g. Toggl: Download our browser extension to track time
Channels For Engagement
When it comes to manufactured loops, these are the options for engagement with users:
- Mobile (push, sms, alerts)
- In-product notifications
- Integrations (e.g. Slack notifications from your product)
- Browser (notifications & extensions)
- Desktop notifications
- Paid media (retargeting)
- Direct mail
This is not a comprehensive list but it covers the main ones.
Examples of Habit Loops
Check out example loops on the main page.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business [Duhigg, Charles] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Advertising Age Classics Library)
My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Advertising Age Classics Library) [Hopkins, Claude] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. My Life in Advertising and Scientific Advertising (Advertising Age Classics Library)
Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything
Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything - Kindle edition by Fogg, PhD, BJ. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything.