5 ways to engage your users - Smile Machine
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5 ways to engage your users

5 ways to engage your users

If you’re planning an app, you need to be thinking about its long-term marketing strategy. We’ll take a look at why this is vital, and 5 engagement techniques you should be planning in your strategy.

How are we going to keep people interested the day after downloading? A week later? A month later?

It’s a Crowded [App] World

In many respects, the app stores are a victim of their own success – or more accurately, your app is likely to be a victim of the app store’s success.

In today’s world, user acquisition is perhaps the greatest challenge. However, the app stores are competitive – as of March 2017, there are about 5 million in both the Apple and Google stores. You have a lot of competition before anyone even opens your app.

What Makes for a Winning App?

Success in mobile requires a high-quality app experience. People just aren’t interested in apps that look amateur or have glaring holes in their user experience. This means fresh content, good social integration and frequent updates to squash any bugs or add the odd enhancement.

In reality though, even for the best app, downloads are only part of the story. What you want and need are engaged users – and that takes more work. Organic downloads are great, but if you’re paying for app installs, you’d better have a plan to convert to them to engaged users – otherwise you’re just wasting your money.

The good news is there are a number of tools and techniques that can help engage your users.

From Download to Engaged User

Here’s a quick look at 5 ways you can keep your app users engaged:

1) Push Notifications

Although not everyone enables push notifications (studies show about 40% of people do), for those that do they can be incredibly effective.

By sending targeted, appropriate and useful messages directly to your users, you can minimise those who would otherwise turn off your notifications and keep them regularly engaged with your app.

2) Email

Email should be used more sparingly than push notifications, but can be effective for engaging users who’ve missed your notifications.

You can use them to engage users at key points in their journey and provide them with more detailed information, sharing and learning opportunities than a push notification can provide – think along the lines of a welcome email, a registration email, and a monthly update.

3) In-App Messaging, Feedback and Support

In-app messaging is an effective way to engage with users who have your app open – whether that’s asking them to rate your app, helping them discover extra features or supporting them when they can’t find the feature they’re looking for.

You can drive up your launch rate significantly if you use this effectively.

You can also trigger action-based messages based on a page your user is on or an action they’ve just completed – this sort of timing and personalisation will increase your conversion rates considerably.

Another key benefit of in-app support is that you can head off those having a bad experience before they turn into an uninstall and, even worse, a bad review.

4) Social Media

Social media is an easy way to reach a large potential audience for your app.

You should be sharing interesting content from your app, advertising through social networks to targeted audiences, inviting your users to participate and give feedback, and last, but definitely not least, making it as easy as possible to share content from within your app.

5) Advertising for Re-Engagement

Driving downloads is important, but advertising also has a big part to play in re-engaging your users.

There’s technology now that can let you remarket across several platforms – display, mobile web and in-app among them – and then target them based on whether they own the app or not.

If they don’t own your app, deep linking to content within your app lets them view it as if they were in it, and with a well-placed call to action, can be an effective way to drive up download conversion rates.

The key is to tailor your messages – target your users in the right place and with the right message, and give them an incentive to return to your app.

The Most Important Point

All the best app marketing techniques are useless if you don’t understand your users.

All of the above are tools that can help you reach your users and remind them who you are and what you offer.

But all the best marketing techniques are useless if you don’t understand your users. You need to have a good understanding of their needs, know what messaging will resonate with them and where the best places to reach them are, otherwise you’ll struggle to engage them effectively.

It’s best to plan for engagement well in advance of release, mapping out key customer journeys and the lifecycle of your key target users while you’re in the process of planning your app.

Don’t make your app marketing strategy an afterthought.