opinion

Mobile Apps - Engagement and Loyalty

Joe D

Back at the end of October we talked about developing successful mobile applications. Now let’s talk about what happens after you’ve offered that app to all your brand loyalists and new brand converts!

Customer retention is more important than ever these days. While there are millions of users out there who might become customers, today's marketer knows that the smart investment is in keeping customers happy, engaged and recurring. How engaged are your users? How loyal are they to your brand? Have you gone out of your way to offer services that are desirable to your users? …Services and upgrade options that will keep them coming back for more?

This is a vitally important area of any marketing campaign or development project. Think about how you want your customers to use your mobile site and app. Do you want them to access it daily to get updates on news, information or to view fresh content? Will you encourage ease of use that will help to connect them with other aspects of your site and product offerings? Here are some stats that you need to know in order to improve customer engagement and loyalty:

  • VISITOR FREQUENCY - You need to know the ratio of visits to actual users over a period of time. Check this weekly, monthly and quarterly. This metric will help you to know how frequently your mobile site or apps are being used and it is essential to understanding your overall user loyalty.
  • DEPTH - How deep do your visitors go into your site? Do they just look at one page and then move on? Tracking the number of screens viewed by the average user and then comparing it to the total number of visits will help you to easily see the engagement level of your customers.
  • BOUNCE - This statistic can be hard to look at, but it is important just the same. Having a ratio of the single view visits to the total number of visits is important because it shows you how many users are launching the app and then closing it right away again versus how many are launching it and then actually using it.
  • DURATION - You need to know how much time your users are spending on your mobile site or using your mobile app. Again, this will show the level of engagement your visitors have with your properties.

What is a Conversion?

Another metric that you need to stay on top of is your conversion ratio. You need to establish the actions you want your customers to take when they use your app and then measure how many of them have "converted" and have done what you desired them to do. A conversion can be any action that you want it to be, such as the purchase of a product, a membership, a registration for a promotional campaign or even the viewing of a gallery or video promotion. Measuring the level of engagement in this area is extremely important if you truly want to measure the success of your mobile marketing campaign. This is true of any mobile property - websites, apps or other SMS promotional campaigns.

To measure the success rate of your mobile project, you need to identify all the different ways your app helps you to achieve your goals. By mapping out the measurement to individual customers who have completed the activities required for conversion, you will be able to see the true value of your project. Think about the various characteristics of your target audience and how you can reach them through your mobile site, app or SMS promotion. If you keep your focus on your target market, you will be able to easily identify the critical elements of success. Also think about the activities you want to make available for your users, how they will generate revenue, save you money or help to brand your business in some way, shape or form.

Retaining Users and Encouraging Usage

If you own a smartphone then you understand how it’s possible for people to download dozens of apps that they ultimately never use! Retaining your customers and encouraging them to use your apps is one of the most important aspects of a successful mobile property marketing campaign. You want to offer features that will be useful and relevant to your users. The best place to start is to think about how your customers will use your app. If your app is highly useful, they will use it more often and will keep coming back on a daily or weekly basis. Here are some things to think about that will help you to encourage use and retain users:

  • BE STICKY - We all know about developing a sticky website and it's no different when it comes to mobile property development. You need to find unique ways to keep your app at the forefront of your users' minds and you need to stay on top of it and keep it fresh. You can't stay sticky forever - there's always a newer, bigger and better app being introduced. Take steps to make sure you remind your users that your app exists, keep them informed about the features available for use through the app and stay ahead of your competitors by launching the newer, bigger and better app yourself!
  • FEEDBACK - You need to know what your customers think and feedback is an essential part of gaining insight into the true user-experience. Make sure to offer opportunities for your customers to give you feedback, either a simple thumbs-up or thumbs-down metric or an option to send you a paragraph or two in their own words. You can do this via your online app store showcase or via your main or mobile websites.
  • DISTRIBUTION - Don't just hope that your customers will find you via the online app store. Make sure to distribute your app freely to as many markets and in as many opportunities as possible. Market your app via traditional websites, mobile websites, offline print marketing - anything you think will get new customers to download and use your app.

You’ve learned over the years how to successfully market your websites, now apply everything you’ve learned about site marketing to your app marketing efforts!

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