Your business has created a useful mobile app for customers. Your app has seen a great number of downloads. However, do you know how often users are opening the mobile app? Did you know a recent study finds that over 20 percent of mobile apps are only opened once and then abandoned altogether? The vast majority of smartphone owners have at least 50 apps on their devices, but the reality is mobile app developers are up against a competitive market in which users have a great deal of choice. Mobile users are downloading mobile apps, but they are not necessarily using all of them. With that said, a large number of brands have built compelling mobile apps that have been able to boost investment whilst cultivating a stronger brand image with customers. Building an app for its own sake of it may not be enough for a business to remain competitive in today’s digital market. Focusing on simply building an application and not including engagement and retention strategies is a recipe for failure. While creating customer loyalty and engagement can take some thoughtful planning and extra effort, fortunately, it is a manageable task. So what can be done to engage mobile app users? The answer is there is a lot you can do. Here, we’ve outlined a few ways that you can use to drive customer engagement and loyalty through a mobile app. Streamline the signup process The last thing most users want to do when they are signing up for something is to fill out a long, complicated form that does not seem to have much point. The goal is to get a new user to sign up. For this reason, make it easy and simple for them to do so. Make sure the sign-up form includes no more than the minimum required information. The key is to streamline the signup process. You do not want your visitors to change their mind once they have decided to download your app because of an overwhelming sign-up process. Every additional field is an opportunity to discourage new users. So, you want to make your app exceedingly simple for new users to sign up or register for a new account. Once they have signed up, you want to guide them through the key features of your app and show them how it can make their life easier. Consider the initial user experience Everything that happens after a person launches an app for the first time is very important. Brands place lots of energy and marketing resources to get people to download their app, but that is just the begging of the battle. This is where the initial user experience comes in. First impressions count and there is never a second chance for First impressions count and there is never a second chance for a first impression. The first step is to clearly communicate the value of app features on the onboarding screens. Remember, with a mobile display you are limited with what you can display, which forces you to think about the key features. Everyone will advise you to make your app simple and intuitive and it is not difficult to know how to implement such a concept. Make opting-in and opting-out of push notifications easy Every mobile app has the capability to send messages or alerts to users. These messages are sent to the user’s device to keep the conversation going between brand and customer. A huge advantage of app messages is that the technology does not require the app to be opened in order for a message to be received. This means a user’s device can receive and display text message alerts even when the app that is pushing the notification is closed and the device’s screen is locked. 65% of consumers who have downloaded a mobile app have enabled push notifications and 70% of those found all types of push notifications to be valuable. Although a powerful weapon for advertisers, push notifications on mobile apps can be a real pain in the behind for many brands. Poorly executed push messaging has the potential to annoy users, so much so that they delete the app altogether. Though users may be willing to engage with push notifications, they only want to receive messages they want to receive. In other words, they want to do it on their terms. Therefore, brands need to be very careful about their use of this strategy. Present them with an option to opt-in and opt-out of notifications. Also, ensuring that users can change notification settings will stop them from deleting the app and leaving negative reviews. Make it easy for them to turn on and off push notifications and deliver value whenever you push. Segment your market A segment is a group of people that marketers define so that they can learn more about their behavior and needs. Marketers can create segments based on the demographic information of their target market, the devices that they use, and so on. So many brands fail to determine who their target market is and it is a mistake that is happening over and over again. Having a great idea for a mobile app is not enough. An app should offer real value for a specific group of people. If you identify the group of people you want to target, you will save a lot of time and money during app development and marketing phases. Keep in mind that business apps prosper when they serve a niche audience. Automate app messages Build automated event-triggered messaging campaigns feature, and start engaging your target market with relevant content that gets delivered to the right people at the right time. Triggered app messages determine what action to take based on the user behavior. There are seemingly situations by which you can trigger messaging. Some of the most popular events to trigger an app message include; pre-sale triggers, post-sale triggers, and date-based triggers. These event-triggered messages build stronger, more intimate relationships with consumers, increase loyalty and customer retention. Final Thoughts Your mobile app represents the fastest and most accessible way for your customers and prospects to interact with your brand, and most importantly, engage with a product/service or complete a task. Make sure you are utilizing that app to its fullest potential. Images: ”APPS concept with young man holding his smartphone outside in the park toward sunset/Shutterstock.com“ ____________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? 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