HaruHaru: A media startup experienced a 10% increased in retention
Media "HaruHaru" / FURYU Corporation

HaruHaru: A media startup experienced a 10% increased in retention

Introduction

Furu Co., Ltd. is an entertainment business based in Japan, widely known for the seal printing machine and photobooths.

The company was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December 2015 and is currently investing heavily in the young female market. One of those businesses is “HARUHARU”

“HARUHARU” is a media company targeted at junior and senior high school girls. Their content can be viewed via their website and also their own apps. Despite being well-known for their seal printing machine and photobooth, they went through a lot of hardships to gain viewers for their media site.

This time, we interviewed Otani the Media Production Manager in the Media Business Promotion Department of Media Co., Ltd., and Kobayashi, the Editor-in-Chief of “HARUHARU”.

(Kurokawa: Repro Customer Success Team, Kurokawa)

haruharu-01

Kurokawa:

“HARUHARU” is popular among high school girls, why is it so popular?

Otani:

Originally, “HARUHARU” is a media that was set up to tackle the issue of going through tons of magazines to know what is trending. At the time of its launch, it was difficult to find fashionable information for teenagers, there was no media curate for junior and senior high school girls in Japan who has little interest in trends.

Hence, due to this information, teenagers have a lack of understanding of what is trending right now. We wanted to eliminate this! That is what we thought at the time. That's why we feel that those teenagers will support us.

Kobayashi:

It is important to hold a round-table discussion with junior and senior high school girls at least once a month to understand the actual situation. I constantly trying to retrieve information, such as: What is being used, what kind of lifestyle are they having and what is interesting and trending right now.

For example, when trying to figure out how to organize the apps, I realized through our discussions that many teenagers tend to organize their apps by color instead of function. I remember once, at the round-table discussion after the app icon was renewed, you might hear a lot of them saying, “The app icon has changed color, we must move it to another folder! haha”

Otani:

There is a lot to learn from the roundtable. In my case, I felt that many teenagers weren't used to reading texts. Therefore, we are consciously ensuring the quality of content while maintaining an appropriate amount of text.

Of course, there are zero unread articles. I think that the reason why junior and senior high school students girls are supporting us because we are not trying to give them as much information as possible, but we try to deliver as much deliver the most utmost important information.

Launched by two inexperienced people. Endless days of worrying.

haruhau-02

Kurokawa:

I heard that you had a hard time at the beginning of the launch. How was it actually?

Otani:
We had a hard time in the early days ... In fact, it was the first time for both Kobayashi and I to launch and operate and media site such as “HARUHARU”. Originally I was in sales and Mr. Kobayashi was a designer. So, to be honest, there are times we thought this won’t work out.

Kobayashi:

Especially in the early days, we did not have a clear path to follow. I was doing things randomly, I was looking at page views and retention rates, while at the same time, trying to learn new ways to improve our services. It was at that time, I noticed my opinion with Otani clashes severely. He was more of a “quantity” guy while on the other than, I believe more on the quality of the content. We had lots of arguments and the team dynamic became quite awkward.

Otani:

I miss that story! I felt that the problem at that time was that we were not able to tackle the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle properly".

In addition, since there wasn’t a clear common ground between me and her, the team did not function well.

haruhau-03

Kurokawa:
And you became interested in Repro at that time?

Otani:
Yes. At the time I became interested when we are considering renewing the app. I also want to eliminate the frequent crashes experienced with the free push notification delivery tool I used at that time.

I remember, when I asked the consultant, “Is there any good tool out there?” and without any hesitation, he said “Repro!”.

Kobayashi:

Initially, I was just considering using “Repro” because I wanted to optimize our push notifications. However, when compared to other tools, Repro has many more features for in-app messaging.

But the thing that gave us a final push is actually Repro’s well-known support. I was really concerned if we can actually utilize Repro’s platform fully, however, after knowing Repro provides the full-on support from implementation to onboarding, my concern was relieved.

So I was really looking forward to meeting you during the onboarding process.

Kurokawa:

Thank you! I was very happy to be part of the “HARUHARU” team as well!

Using “Repro” gave us a common ground

haruharu-04

Kurokawa:

How was the onboarding process?

Otani:

After implementing Repro’s platform, we had met with our Customer Success for four times. After having the first meeting, it was the first time I felt that our team might be able to do the PDCA cycle properly!

I think that the most important thing I gained from the onboarding process was, I was able to understand which KPIs metrics we should look at, as well as how to utilize Repro’s platform to achieve our KPIs targets.

Now we can do discussion coming from a common understanding and implement and verify the measures easily.

Kobayashi:

I feel that after going through the onboarding process, we can come out of measures we can take that make a difference for the bottom line.

In addition, our customer’s support brought us several proposals on how to improve our KPIs in the early days. Actually, we selected one or two measures from a list each month and implemented them. We witnessed firsthand the numbers were improving as we intended and felt that we are making progress on the PDCA cycles.

I also started filling up the retention sheet which allows me to make observations through a certain period of time.

Otani:

By the way, it’s a bit embarrassing to say this, but in the early days at the introduction of Repro, we noticed the numbers we used to be observing was different from what Repro was showing. That is when I realized we were biased at how we were collecting the data and how having Repro as a third party gave us an unbiased view of it.

All these were only possible thanks to Repro’s Customer Success team who is equipped with the know-how on different Mobile App industries.

Kurokawa:

I'm honestly happy that you felt it was a result of having implemented the measures!

Retention rate improved by 10%! What are the measures taken to create killer content?

haruharu-05

Kurokawa:

What kind of measure did you guys implemented which resulted in success?

Otani:

The most memorable success we had was the measure taken to improve our retention rate. Before using Repro, we always thought “HARUHARU had a very high retention rate for new users, because of that, we didn’t really take any measure in trying to improve retention rate. But after using Repro’s data analysis, we realized that our retention rate is in fact, very low after seven days.

haruharu-06

Because of that, we analyzed what kind of content is being viewed by users who have been engaging with us for more than seven days.

Based on our analysis, we noticed the retention rate for users who viewed Korean content is very high.

Before of the analysis, I didn't put any effort into creating Korean content, but from that point onwards, we focused more on producing Korean content, and the retention rate was significantly improved by 5% in a month.

Kobayashi:

In addition, we also verified the hypothesis that “If we trace the behavior of highly retained users and guide other users to follow a similar path, will they have a high retention rate as well?”. To test this hypothesis, we create a series of push notification and in-app push notification to guide users to follow the same path of highly retained users.

As a result, the retention rate was improved by 10% by next week after implementing the campaign.

By the way, we have also changed our strategy to increase the number of our Korean content, and now more than 70% of our content found in our app is Korean content.

If we hadn’t used Repro, we may have difficulty trying to creat killer contents.

Otani:

In addition, the proposal given by Kurokawa, suggesting to provide a special reward to our users who had logged in consecutively for three days also improved our retention rate.

Specifically, the weekly retention rate for new users who participated in the campaign improved by 10%, and for new users who actually signed up for the reward in the campaign improved by 40%.

Frame 1

Actual campaign contents

In addition, I have also tried various measures, but every time if we have something that we do not understanding, it was really reassuring we can just ask Kurokawa.

Kobayashi:

Since the implementation of Repro, I always felt that our Kurokawa is a part of our team. I am the type of person who switches from excitement and regrets really quicky after implementation but having Kurokawa beside us, experiencing the same joy and sorrow was a truly remarkable experience.

Humanizing what you send and only send what you need! The Creativity of “HARUHARU”

haruharu-09

Kurokawa:

The push notifications acceptance rate exceeds 50%. Why do you think so many users wanted to receive a push notification from HARUHARU?

Otani:

We are consciously making an effort to only sending what is necessary for the users so that it does not become a burden. Basically, we don't think about push notifications much, for example, we only send out push notification if the users have not used our app for two days.

There were times when we delivered push notifications three times a day. But it turned out that the results is similar to delivering it once a day. I also regretted that I wasn't aware of this earlier, and kept sending unnecessary push notifications to users.

Kobayashi:

Our users are looking for “cute and convenient” while using “HARUHARU”, so our push notification must also be “cute and convenient”.

I actually tried sending simple push notifications, but the opening rate dropped dramatically because of that. Junior and senior high school girls are too honest!

To get inactive users back to our apps, we created many recovery series. Among the series, I personally liked the “Mom Series” the most.

Frame 2* "Mom Series" actually distributed

Kurokawa:

This is cute! I also love what was written here!

Kobayashi:

As a result of pursuing cuteness, there are things that were effective and those that were less effective. Since we are an app that provides "cute!" content, the more we should try to make our app look “cute”.

We want to continue to provide interesting information for our users so they can have a good childhood

haruharu-11

Kurokawa:

Finally, please tell us what kind of media you would like to make “HARUHARU” in the future!

Otani:

Personally, I want to make it an indispensable media for a childhood. To me, they are an “entry generation”, an age where they learn how to use their own money for the first time. I want to provide them with the right information ensuring that those girls will not have bad memories of their childhoods.

Kobayashi:

Me too. I would like to think about a new concept or what’s the next required content is. I also want to make the UI easier to use. I would be happy if Kurokawa can provide me with some insight too!

Kurokawa:

Thank you guys for the interview!

Learn how Repro can help your Business Grow.

Schedule a 30-minutes personalized consultation

Get a Demo