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Building Positive Habits using Data, Personalisation and Human Communications with Kwit App CEO, Geoffrey Kretz


Geoffrey is an entrepreneur, user experience guru, and development expert who’s previously worked for banks, biotech companies, and everything in between. He’s a technical mastermind with a strong human touch — key qualities in attracting (and retaining) the consumers of tomorrow. Nowadays, Geoffrey is the CEO of Kwit, an exciting Strasbourg-based startup.

  1. An Introduction to Kwit
  2. Cracking 2-Year Retention
  3. Data and Personalisation
  4. Stopping Bad Habits and Creating Good Habits
  5. What Is Retention and Why Does It Matter?
  6. What Is Retention and Why Does It Matter?
  7. Keep These 3 Things in Mind if You’re Beginning to Think More About Prioritising Retention

An Introduction to Kwit

Kwit helps people stop smoking for good: using gamification to drive long-lasting behavioural changes in individuals. We rely heavily on CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). In short, our app helps people understand their behavioral and cognitive relationships to the addiction, so that these can then be addressed at a deeper level. 

We’re quickly approaching 2 million downloads globally, we have over 200,000 active users (with a third of these being in France), and our app has been rolled out in no fewer than 15 languages. The French, Dutch, Russian and Turkish versions of our app regularly feature in the App Store’s Top 25 paid Health and Fitness apps.

We recently conducted a study that shows we have a 21% success rate. To put that into perspective, that’s 3X more successful than traditional methods of quitting.

Cracking 2-Year Retention

Generally speaking, we find that it takes 2 years to pass the critical phase. There’s a 15% chance of relapse and smoking again after year one, but just a 3% chance after year two — so it’s key that we get as many users as possible to stay with us for two year and past this benchmark.

We use the AARRR framework (Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, Revenue) but in the right order, so it becomes RARRA — Retention, Activation, Referral, Revenue, Acquisition. If you focus too early on acquisition then you’re essentially throwing water into a leaking bucket. 

Data and Personalisation

Addiction is intimate… Everyone’s addiction is slightly different. Therefore, accurate personalisation is crucial in building trust with our users — we want them to know that we understand the specifics about their addiction, not just addiction in general.

Of course, the backbone of successful personalisation is having the right data and GDPR has only made this more difficult. In order to gain as much relevant data as possible, we ask a series of questions right at the beginning of a user’s journey. These include (among other things) their age, sex, and how long they’ve been smoking.

We then tailor the in-app journey depending on their answers — everyone has a slightly different experience depending on their specific circumstances.

Stopping Bad Habits and Creating Good Habits

We take quite a unique approach to help users quit smoking. Historically, the topic of addiction has always been around guilt and negative emotions — the main tactic up until now has been to scare people (think of all the images on tobacco packages). 

Instead, we try and remove the guilt: emphasising that even if they fail, we’ll still be there to help them try again. Quitting can be a very emotional process so we try to make it as painless as possible.

We actually took a lot of inspiration from Nir Eyal’s book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking to focus on increasing their levels of customer engagement — it’s a great read. 

Addiction can be a lonely road; when you’re at your lowest ebb, it can really help to receive a motivational message. It’s important to remind people that they’re not alone.

What Is Retention and Why Does It Matter?

Customer retention refers to any strategies that companies use to keep their customers coming back again and again: whether it’s to buy a new product or to continue using your service.

Retention is on the whole cheaper and requires less effort than constant acquisition. Existing customers have already gone all the way through the funnel and (hopefully!) somewhat trust your product/service. Therefore, it’s easier for you to sell to them than it is to sell to someone who’s never even heard of your brand.

For this reason, companies always aim to retain as many customers as possible — and put a special emphasis on fine-tuning their retention strategy.

Amplitude Retention Dashboard

When it comes to apps, retention doesn’t necessarily mean upselling existing customers — it primarily refers to making sure that users keep returning to your app.

However, use retention amongst apps is particularly low; 80% of new users stop using the average app just three days after downloading it. It’s nice if your app is downloaded by thousands of people, but it matters little if they all stop using it within a few days. 

Your retention rate is highly indicative of your company’s overall performance. You might think that you have a great app or wonderful products — but if you can’t keep hold of your users/customers, then your business has a problem. 

A common misconception about retention is that it only matters after your company is past a certain stage of growth. In reality, once you have a portion of users coming back to your product on a regular basis, you have enough information to then begin optimising for retention (no matter your company size).

Keep These 3 Things in Mind if You’re Beginning to Think More About Prioritising Retention

1. Understand what ultimately drives retention for your business

What value do you offer your users/customers? How can you demonstrate this value as quickly as possible (so that consumers trust your brand from the get-go)? As valuable as it is to recognise your weaknesses, you also need to play to your strengths.

2. Figure out when and why your users are dropping off

In order to pinpoint their exact reasons, you’re going to have to acquire plenty of customer feedback. This might take a fair bit of time — trust us, it’s worth it. Work out what you’re doing well, what you’re not doing so well, and even consider what your competitors are doing better than you.

3. Understand how you can improve your product or service to increase retention

Once you’ve identified why people are dropping off, you can now focus on what you should do to remedy the situation. This isn’t a one-time effort; it takes ongoing monitoring and tweaking. If you get customer retention right then the payoffs are large — so it’s well worth putting the work in.

Need help getting users to Build Habits on your products? Get in Touch

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