analytics tools

[Simple Tips] How to Use Mobile Analytics Tools To Stay Ahead Of Customers

For anyone who works regularly with mobile or web solutions, you understand the necessity of data for almost all digital functions. Without the right data, systems run dry and are useless until replenished. Mobile analytics tools work the same way. Unless you are actively tracking user engagement metrics on a daily basis, your stream will run dry. Although, this time it won’t be data you are missing, but customers.

In today’s day and age, marketers and business owners need to understand how mobile analytics tools function in order to stay ahead of their customers. In this article, we are going to take a look at how to use these analytics tools for success, both when capturing data and using it for analysis. Without taking up any more time, let’s get into it.

analytics tools

Start “mining”

Sometimes referred to as “data mining,” the act of collected mobile analytics should begin as soon as possible. The more information that you are able to collect, the better your analysis of your customers will be. Start by taking a look at your latest customer retention techniques and how they worked, this can give you a good insight into where you should focus.

When trying to track mobile users, analytics tools can come in a few different variations. For example, a mobile app is easy to track as you have complete control over the entire situation. Whereas something like a mass text marketing campaign can offer you analytics like click-through rate and conversions, but not the whole story.

Our advice is start mining early and collected as much data as you can.

Capture all data

One of the biggest mistakes made by first time users of analytics tools is to try and predict which data will be useful and which will not. Not only is this an unwise approach, but without all the data available, your reports will be skewed and unreliable. Instead, capture all possible data from as many sources as possible.

Thankfully, a lot of this sort of capturing can be done with marketing automation today. However, we recommend spending a good amount of time setting up the process before you begin in order to make sure you are getting the most out of it. When you are capturing all of that data, creating an understandable filing system will save you a lot of headache later. You may not even need all of this data, but you should capture it anyway and have a system for finding it, should you need it.

Quality over quantity

Now, it is going to seem as if this next step counteracts the previous one, but that is not the case. When we say that you should use quality data over a large amount of data when running your analytics tools, we mean that you should use only relevant data. Despite that fact that we just told you to collect all data from mobile app analytics to user time management habits, that doesn’t mean you will actually need to use all it.

Instead, you should select the information that is pertinent to what you are working on and use your analytics tools to discover the true story. While you should absolutely avoid making assumptions about your audience (more on that in a minute), you should at least know which data is relevant to your current situation. Then, use that to make decisions, not the irrelevant data.

No assumptions

Another common pitfall made when using analytics tools is to come into things with a certain viewpoint and then make assumptions about your customers based on what you have assumed about them. Not only is this unproductive, but it will lead to poor analytics results as well. Instead, try to approach each new look at the data with an open mind, there may be something you missed before due to unintended bias.

It is also worth saying that you should make decisions based off past experience and data from your analytics tools. This is different from simply assuming things about your customers without the proper follow-through. However, if you have already done the analytics and understand the context before making a decision, that is by all means a wise and thoughtful approach.

Avoid unnecessary risk

When you are focused on reducing churn rate and retaining more customers, it can be difficult to approach all decisions with such a clear, thoughtful mind. This is another area where those using analytics tools fall short and end up taking unnecessary risks for the sake of collecting data. While it may have been that you used to have to bed your customers for their feedback on your product or service, analytics tools have taken over.

Now, your customers should never have to perform an extra step or invest additional time to give you the data you need. If you are able to follow these best practices for using analytics tools, you should be able to collect everything you need without any interruptions to your or your processes. Not only will this help you avoid customers who can grow aggravated from repeat prodding, but it will create a better process overall.

Remember the full picture

Out last piece of advice when it comes to using analytics tools is to remember the full, overall picture of your customer retention marketing campaign. It can be easy to get bogged down by stats and analytics tools, so it is important to keep an optimistic mindset and remember why you are doing the things that you are.

For example, it may seem tedious when you are creating your marketing automations and putting together your campaign, but once you see the customers start to roll in based off your smart, data-based marketing decisions, the whole thing will feel worth it. You should also begin to see that the data you collect has an effect on your mind and the way you approach other issues.

By remembering the full picture, you can prepare yourself for anything while being ready for everything. We hope that you are able to use both these best practices and analytics tools to create a better experience for both you and your customers. Now, get to mining!


mobile marketing

How to Use Mobile Marketing Tools to Gain an Advantage

In 2016, an estimated 62.9 percent of the global population owner a mobile device. As we near the end of 2017, that number has only increased, with some experts claiming that the worldwide global market will reach over 5 billion users. Billion with a ‘B!’ As the world continues to embrace mobile technology, companies are looking for a way to capitalize on this opportunity,

Many have discovered a key to gaining an advantage known as mobile marketing, which is a multi-channel marketing strategy aimed at engaging customers on mobile devices in a series of different ways. For those who are looking to take advantage of this opportunity, we have put together a ‘how-to’ guide for various mobile marketing tools.

By using these tools correctly, you can gain a leg-up on your competition and leave them in the dust. Let’s take a look.

mobile marketing

SMS marketing

The first tool you should be utilizing is SMS marketing, sometimes referred to as mass text marketing or business text messaging. While some view SMS as a part of the mobile marketing past, there has never been a better time to get started with SMS than today. In a time where marketers are struggling to bump their email marketing open rates over 30%, SMS boasts a 95% open rate.

Not only is SMS powerful due to how many customers receive your messages, but also its versatility. You can use SMS to run support for your customers, send out regular branded messages, or even improve ecommerce sales.

See how SMS can help your business today.

For any marketer hoping to retain more customers and gain an advantage in the new year, SMS is the way to go.

MMS marketing

The next mobile marketing tool we are going to look at is SMS’s less famous brother, like Casey to Ben. ‘What is MMS?’ you might be wondering. MMS stands for multimedia messaging service, and it is just like SMS, only you can send multimedia like videos or gifs along with your branded message.

Although many mobile marketing professionals aren’t familiar with MMS, it is just as powerful as SMS marketing and has the potential to be so much more. For instance, while SMS limits you to 160 characters and no subject line, MMS messages can be as much as 500 characters and include a subject line.

Companies can use MMS to share expert tips or how-to videos, keep customers up-to-date on their loyalty program, or simply send a fun holiday greeting. When it comes to mobile user engagement, don’t write off MMS, it may just be the secret weapon you are looking for.

Mobile app

It might sound obvious to state that a mobile app is a good tool for mobile marketing success, but it is true nonetheless. Brands that build and maintain their own apps in the marketplace have a unique channel in which they can engage with their users that others don’t. If you can harness this power properly, you can increase user retention and app engagement with ease.

One example of the mobile marketing capabilities that come with an app can be seen with Starbucks. The Seattle coffee giant has had massive success with their mobile app by playing into their customers wants and needs. For instance, by auto-enrolling their customers in their rewards program, they have seen a much higher engagement than before.

If you have the ability to create your own app, we highly recommend doing so. Having access to a mobile marketing channel that only you control can be invaluable to your business.

See why you should make customer retention a focus in 2018. 

Push notifications

Another tool that goes along with mobile apps is push notifications, which allow the app owners to push their messaging onto each of their user’s phones at the push of a button. Like SMS marketing, push notifications require an opt-in to be received, but this often leads to more engaged and active users.

Although using a push notification service does require a mobile app to connect with, stacking additional marketing channels where you can reach your customers only serves to benefit your efforts. Not only that, but push notifications are familiar to many consumers and are even some’s preferred method of contact.

The long and short of push notifications is that if you have the opportunity to use them, you should. Simple as that.

SEO

Although you might be familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) as a way of reaching more customers, you might not realize that it can be a powerful component of your mobile marketing plan as well. Not only are more users on mobile devices now than ever before, but more people are searching on mobile as well.

In order to take advantage of this mobile marketing tool, there are a few mistakes you should avoid and SEO myths you should ignore. Most importantly though, your site should be mobile optimized so that when customers do find you, you aren’t caught unaware.

Make your calls-to-action hard to miss and work with a designer to plan out the flow of your site from the initial click to a conversion to make the most out of your site and SEO.

Social Media

The final tool of mobile marketing that we will examine today is social media. Now, like SEO, social media is a powerful enough tool on its own merits, but when it comes to mobile, social is even more important.

For one, more customers are using social on mobile devices than other means. But, on top of that, social is less planned out on mobile. Meaning that you need to be creating content that catches the eye, tells a powerful story, and is worthy of sharing.

Customers who identify with your headline may share your post without even reading the content, so try to say as much as possible with your header. By crafting your social media with mobile in mind, you can stay ahead of your competitors and secure your advantage.

Mobile marketing tools

Now that you have seen each tool of mobile marketing laid out with their various benefits we hope that you are better prepared to engage with your customers and make a difference in their lives for the better. After all, the world is only going to continue moving forward with mobile.

Don’t get left behind by your competitors or your customers and start your mobile marketing plan today!


mobile user engagement

7 Ways to Improve Mobile User Engagement and Customer Retention

In today’s market full of chalk apps, mobile business ideas, and new technology being released on a daily basis, it can feel overwhelming. Products that once seemed revolutionary have become commonplace and the stuff of sci-fi has become our reality. With all of this going on, small business owners and app developers can feel lost in the noise.

After all, with so much competition it can seem impossible to break through with your app or project. The bright side is that we are here to help you with exactly that. Mobile user engagement and customer retention marketing have emerged as the keys to business success in this fast-paced world we find ourselves in, it’s time to take advantage of them.

In this article we are going to review 7 ways to improve mobile user engagement and customer retention. It is our hope that these strategies can help you break out of the background and into the spotlight. Let’s take a look.

mobile user engagement

App store optimization

The first step to realizing the full potential of mobile user engagement is through app store optimization. While this isn’t technically part of you app, this is where user first engage with your app, so it is vital to have this part done correctly. Think through your mobile app analytics and try to answer the question “What does my app provide?”

Answering this question is the first step to optimizing your place in the app store. Customers are looking for solutions to their problems and unless you are providing that solution, they are not going to be interested. Highlight the benefits of your app over features and make sure that your app store placement screams “Value add.” 

Educational on-boarding

Once you have invested the customer acquisition cost to secure a new user, the time now comes to introduce them to your platform and company. On-boarding is a make it or break it part of the customer retention process, so making sure that your customers have everything they need for success after this point is vital.

However, often app developers spend far too much time telling users about their app and not actually having them use it. Mobile user engagement is all about having users engage with your app so that they can see the value. Your on-boarding should be educational, yes, but try your best to teach users through doing.

Speed as a priority 

Users abandoning an app early on has become a major concern for many companies in recent years. For one reason or another, if users aren’t impressed with your app they may use it once and then never pick it up again. This is why on-boarding is so important. It’s also why making sure that your app is up to speed is vital to its overall success.

Work with your app development team to secure your app and keep the core functions as efficient as possible. Not only will this reduce churn rate, leading to more conversions, but it will leave your users happy with their experience instead of looking for the next best thing.

 

Push notifications

Another underutilized customer retention strategy is push notifications. Push allows for users who have downloaded your app to receive messages and updates directly to their phone. This can be incredibly advantageous when it comes to getting users more engaged with your app.

Want to get started with push notifications?

However, be careful with the frequency and messaging of your push notifications. What can sometimes happen is a push notification can remind users that your app is still installed on their phone, prompting them to delete it. The first part is good, reminding them of your app, but not the second.

This is why the wording of your messages are so important. You might consider working with a push notification service to help you craft your overall strategy and make sure you are avoiding costly mistakes like this.

SMS marketing

SMS marketing is another user engagement tool that you need to make sure you have in your repertoire. In the same way that push notifications gets you directly to the phone of your user, SMS marketing can do so even if they don’t have your app installed. Not only that, but while traditional channels like email boast a 30% open rate, SMS is notorious for its 95% open rate.

Learn more about SMS marketing

Again, this is a tool that should be used with caution, simply due to its potency. Make sure that you are only sending users SMS messages if you have value that you can add right that moment. Otherwise, you might end up scaring off more customers than those you retain. 

Easily reachable

One of the best ways to improve engagement with your users is by making yourself reachable and available. This means that when a user goes on your app or to your site to make a comment or complaint, they don’t have to search very hard. You want to make it clear that customer feedback is important to you, because it actually is.

While user engagement metrics are important for data, actual user stories and experiences are how you can take your app from good to great. Let your customers know that they can reach you with feedback and then, when they do, show them that they are heard.

Another way to make sure they know you are reachable is by making the first contact. User feedback surveys can be sent out through email or SMS and are a great way to make the first move when it comes to establishing a good customer relationship, which ultimately will lead to higher retention.

 

Up-to-date technology

The final piece of advice when it comes to mobile user engagement is to always be on the lookout for new technology. In today’s world, more and more consumers are aware of trends in tech. This means that they will come to expect a certain level of new technologies in their interactions with companies that are in this space.

We recommend that each time a new technology is put out you review with your team if it would make the user experience better. If it doesn’t, not a problem, there will likely be another new technology out next week. But if it does make their experience better, consider finding a way to incorporate it into your strategy.

This sort of staying on top of things is what separates customer retention techniques that work from those that don’t. As long as you can continue doing this, you should have no problem with mobile user engagement and customer retention for the foreseeable future.


increased app engagement

The Basics of User Retention and Increasing App Engagement

In the fast-paced world that we live in, customer expectations have been on a slow and gradual rise. As these expectations rise, the job of marketers and businesses is to rise with them and create exceptional products. On area where expectations are at an all-time high is the world of mobile apps. According to a recent study, 80% of users abandon an app less than 3 days after downloading it. In other words, while customer expectations are at an all-time high, user retention is at a low.

So, what can be done to combat this drop-off in user engagement and retention? Some have opted for employing a push notification service, while others stick to more traditional approaches like email marketing. But what is the best solution?

Hoping to help you better understand user retention and app engagement, this article will explore the basics of both. Our goal is that after reading this, you will have a better concept of what the issues are, but also how best to solve them. Let’s take a look.

user retention

Importance of user retention

Ever since the Harvard Business Review published its study on retention rates over 15 years ago, customer retention has become a more prominent marketing model. The study claimed that an increase in customer retention rates by 5% could increase profits anywhere from 25%-95%. As the times have shifted, this has only become more true.

When you compare this to the fact that it costs around 6-7 times as much to acquire a new customer as to retain an existing one, you can see why user retention is so important and vital to a business’s success.

Engaging customers in new ways

It is clear from user engagement metrics that unless businesses are able to engage their customers in new and exciting ways, these trends will continue and customers will continue to churn. However, the good thing about this is that the digital world is full of new ways to do just that.

Here are just a few ways in which you can improve mobile user engagement and by proximity, retain additional users.

Push notifications

One of the most widely used but potentially least understood forms of user engagement is push notifications. Although they have been around since the early days of mobile apps, only recently have they become a viable custom retention technique. Far too many use this engagement tactic incorrectly, so make sure you know what you are doing before launching your campaign.

For instance, try your best to limit push notification use only for when it is necessary. Since users have to have your app installed in order to receive notifications, you have already gotten over one hurdle. But, if done incorrectly, simply reminding them that they have your app installed might lead to more uninstalls than engagement.

Be quick, be helpful, and be timely. Push notifications are a double-edged sword, just make sure you don’t accidentally cut yourself.  

user engagement

Incentivize them

Another interesting tactic for reducing churn rate is to incentivize users to stay with the app. Sometimes, all that users need in order to stick around is a reason to come back to the app. Things like gamification, rewards, or loyalty programs can be the difference between a lifelong customer and your app simply being an afterthought.

The nature of your app will dictate the type of incentives that you should roll out. For example, if you are hoping to boost in-app purchases, try time-sensitive discounts. Whereas if you are operating under a freemium model, you can incentivize your users with usage-based rewards for time they spend using your app.

Easier onboarding

Onboarding users onto your app is one of the most important parts of your user retention campaign. Users who do not have a good experience simply getting started with your app are not likely to forget the bad taste in their mouth and will likely jump ship at the first sign of trouble.

With this in mind, it might be worth taking a look at your current onboarding process and see if there are ways in which you can simplify what you can to make it easier on your users. Here are a few examples of ways in which the process can be tweaked to provide maximized results:

  • Make logins and account creation easy. This involves reducing steps, offering multiple registration options, etc.
  • Teach through doing. Walk your users through exactly how to best use your app. Unless you tell them, they likely won’t take the time to figure it out themselves.
  • Don’t overload them. Instead of showing them every feature right away, teach them how to use features as they organically discover them within the app.

One way to know where problem areas where users are dropping off is by tracking mobile app analytics. Make sure you have the systems in place to track, collect, and analyze these important metrics.

Personalize their mobile experience

In 2017, mobile personalization is a must. Your users are not all the same, and treating them as if they are is one of the reasons why we are having this user retention discussion in the first place. Furthermore, personalization is no longer simply adding the user’s name into branded messaging, but creating a unique user experience for each individual customer.

There are a couple of ways in which you can do this. One is to work with a user engagement platform to personalize user’s app experience wherever possible. Another would be to segment your audience into distinct user profiles so that you can easily divide your audience into groups that you can then build brand messaging around.

No matter the route that you take to get there, unless you are making an effort to personalize your user’s experience, you are falling behind.

increased app engagement

Last thing

Although it may seem as if user retention and app engagement are impossible to perfect, find hope in the fact that as users continue to demand better products, we will continue to rise to meet them. This is the way that progress is achieved, through setting higher and higher goals for ourselves.

So, when you are coming up with your customer retention strategy or working hard on improving your apps stats, remember that you are only making the process better for future users. As Bill Gates says, your worst customers can be your best inspiration. Use the tools that you have at your disposal and starting making a different right now. Today.


mobile app analytics

10 Mobile App Analytics and Metrics You Need to be Tracking

As the world continues to shift towards mobile, the success of a mobile app or campaign is being redefined. While app developers used to rely on metrics such as downloads and overall revenue, in recent years their focus has narrowed down to the nitty gritty. Mobile app analytics are not becoming a driving force for not only understand what users are doing, but why.

Companies that can fully understand why their users are engaging with them will have a much easier time achieving success (in the 2017 definition of the word). By engaging users in ways that fit their needs and provide value, you are able to prove to them in their mind that you are worth coming back to again and again.

In order to help you better understand exactly why your users are engaging with you and how to better serve them, you have to understand which user engagement metrics you need to be tracking. In this article we will review 10 mobile app analytics that you need to be tracking and why. Before we begin, let’s talk about the “why” factor.

mobile app analytics

The “Why” factor

The “Why” factor of mobile app analytics is really just another way of talking about the value proposition of your app. If someone came up to you on the street to talk to you about your app, you should be able to the question “Why should I use it?”

Your answer to this question is your value proposition. It is the reason why users will download your app and, if the value is there, is the reason they will continue to use it.

Each of these mobile app analytics we are about to cover will help you to discover why users are engaging with your app. Once you figure this out, you will have a much clearer idea of how to meet their needs and be successful.

1. Number of downloads and installs

The first mobile app analytic you should be tracking is how many people have actually downloaded your app. This seems obvious, but there is more to it than you might expect. While tracking total numbers is helpful from a marketing standpoint to raise awareness of your app, it is also important to track where these downloads are coming from.

This is a good way to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising campaign. For instance, if a number of downloads are coming from a site or source that you have never heard of, you should find out why. Remember, finding out what your users are doing is important, but why they are doing it is where the true knowledge is found.

2. Users

Tracking your users is one of the best ways to understand their behavior. User data can be measured in a number of different ways, such as:

  •      MAUs: Monthly active users
  •      WAUs: Weekly active users
  •      DAUs: Daily active users

These metrics can be further broken down by demographic, device, gender, age, and whatever else you need. Each of these can become a segment as you continue to grow, so figuring this out early will give you an advantage later.

3. Active users

Now that you know how many people have downloaded your app and who they are, you now need to see who is actually using your app. When 25% of apps are used once and then discarded, mobile app analytics like active users are more important than ever.

A good benchmark to have is that the active users number should be higher than the number of new users. This indicates that users are recurring, coming back more than once. This is the basis of value and user engagement.

mobile app metrics

4. Session length

Mobile app analytics can be complicated, but when it comes to session length, it is really quite simple. Session length measures the time period from when someone begins using your app to when they leave. Basically, how long they are spending in your app in an individual session.

By itself, session length is not as helpful as other mobile app analytics. However, by cross-referencing this metric with others, you can understand exactly what your customers are doing while using your app.  

5. Session interval

Like session length, session interval is pretty self-explanatory. Session interval is simply the time between one user session and the next. By itself, this metric is not that interesting, but you can use it to measure the retention and stickiness of your app. Users that come back over and over are likely keyed-in to the value of the app.

6. Time in app

Time in app measures how long users spend within an app. The range that you are looking for with this metric is going to looking very different depending on the type of app you are creating. For example, a social media app mobile app analytics would look much different than an entertainment or gaming app.

The important thing about time in app is that it helps you ask the right questions. If someone is using your app much longer than other users, you should find out why. Use time in app to find irregularities and then try your best to explain what went wrong, if anything.

7. Screen flow

Another incredibly value member of the mobile app analytics family is screen flow. Screen flow allows you to see the exact path (or flow) that users take within your app. This is a great way to solve and unanswered questions that other metrics have discovered.

An essential part of measuring screen flow is having a set app flow that you expect users to follow. Then, when users don’t convert or follow said path, you will know. Not only that, but by seeing which steps they took, you can evaluate if changes need to be made in the flow so that it is easier for users to find what they are looking for.

8. Retention rate

Retention rate is the percentage of users who return to your app at least once in the last 30 days. In the mobile industry, however, retention rates are often calculated by quarter or 90 day periods.

The reason why we use this mobile app analytic is to figure out if user retention is improving over time. It’s also a good best practice to measure this across different devices and app versions.

mobile app analytics

9. App crashes

An important customer retention technique that should be in the back of your mind is how the user interacts your app. UX and UI design are coming to the forefront and companies that don’t subscribe to these frameworks will soon be on the outside looking in.

Tracking app crashes is a good way to stay on top of technical problems that users are coming across. An app that crashes often is an app that will soon become frustrating to users. Monitor your app crashes and as you start to grow, cultivate a beta testing group to avoid unnecessary technical glitches.

10.  Lifetime value

Lifetime value (or LTV) is the total amount of revenue generated by a user before they stop using your app. This is a very simple way to measure the profitability of your app and plan for the future. Keep in mind, especially when you first start out, that a user’s LTV might be lower than the amount spent to get them in the first place.

Don’t fret! More users will come that more than make up their own cost. Once you have a good idea of lifetime value, you will be able to see what sort of profits you will be able to make in the future. If your users are not making the money for you that you expect, this will be a good indication that something needs to change.


sms marketing

Why SMS Marketing is Valuable to Small Businesses

As we have covered previously, SMS marketing and mass text marketing are becoming increasingly powerful tools for businesses to reach their customers. However, like most trends, the majority of business owners believe that it won’t work for them. Small business owners especially often think they don’t have the time or resources they need to make a difference with their marketing.

Sms marketing

What we want to tell you, is that they are wrong. SMS marketing is not just a big business tool; it works well for small businesses as well. The problem is that small businesses simply don’t have the same knowledge and capabilities of a large organization on which to base their decisions off of. That is what we want to change.

In this article, we are going to walk you through exactly why SMS marketing is so valuable to small businesses. Not only that, but we are going to walk you through the dos and don’ts of SMS marketing as well to make sure that you are set up for success. Let’s get started.

What is the value of SMS marketing?

While email marketing has dominated the industry for years, SMS has only recently been accepted as a valuable means of marketing. The first thing we want you to know is that SMS will never replace email. They both have set purposes that they are better equipped to fill.

The second thing we want to say about SMS is that it is immediate. If you are used to sending an email, waiting a few hours (or days) for a response, and then picking back up again, you might need to switch your mentality when it comes to SMS.

importance of sms marketingSMS has a 19% click-through rate and these messages are read on average in 5 seconds. Therefore, to run an efficient and effective SMS marketing campaign, you need to plan for this immediacy. Not only that, but you need to start off strong, since 90% of participants in SMS loyalty programs feel they have gained value from being members, it’s your job to wow them as soon as possible.

How to do SMS marketing properly

One of the most difficult things about SMS marketing is making sure you do it right. While email is notorious for spam messages, only 1% messages are spam. The reason for this is strict rules on exactly what you can put into an SMS.

In order to make sure that you are obeying these procedures and using best practices, here are a few of our favorite tips when it comes to SMS marketing.

Understanding the rules

Before getting started, it is worth reviewing the TCPA regulations on what can and cannot be done in SMS marketing. However, the most important thing you need to know is that you can only send text messages to customers who have explicitly opted in for you to do so. This is not an optional thing.

As we mentioned, spam is a huge problem for email, but email also has looser restrictions. The best way to avoid having a problem here is to ask your prospects to manually click an option to sign up for text messaging. While this makes lead acquisition more difficult, every lead you generate will be much stronger and have a higher chance of converting.

sms marketing company

Timing is everything

Since SMS marketing is so immediate, timing when you are going to send your targeted messaging is critically important. Remember that mobile user that open these messages do so within 5 seconds.

What this means is that your objective should be to reach your user just before they make a buying decision. For example, a pizza shop might send texts around noon, while a plumbing business might use SMS to schedule appointments. Think about when your users are likely to make decisions and try your best to get your message to them right then.

Restrict messages to 160 characters

While there are specific reasons why you should limit your SMS messages to less than 160 characters, the core idea is that these messages should be short and to the point. Your customers will use email if they want to read something longer than this, so avoid going over.

Additionally, most carriers split up text messages into multiple parts if they exceed 160 characters. Since you never know what device the user will be using, restrict your messages to below this number.

Include CTAs in every text

CTAs or Calls-to-Action are the foundations of SMS marketing strategy. Why send a text unless you want to have an immediate response and action? This is the beauty of SMS marketing, but it can also be difficult to do well.

While email marketing allows you to manipulate your message however you want, SMS is much stricter when it comes to design. This is why many SMS marketing companies opt for either making their CTA as simple as sending a word or phrase back to the number it was received from. Others include a smart URL at the end of their messages, prompting the user to click through for more information.

Importance of CTA - Sms marketing strategy

No matter what you decide as far as approach is a concern, the important thing is that you always include a CTA in every text. Without a CTA, your user has no next step and ends up in a dead end.

Further mistakes to avoid in SMS marketing

Now that you have a good understanding of the do’s of SMS marketing, let’s talk about the don’ts. While best practices can give you an extra boost, these mistakes and problems need to be avoided at all costs.

  •      Regurgitating messaging from other channels: SMS is unique and should be treat as such. Use it when it is necessary, but don’t add it to just another list of channels. SMS works best when it is exclusive.
  •      Spamming customers: Again, SMS should be used as a tool in and of itself. The quickest way to lose a valuable lead is by annoying them with constant messaging.
  •      Not integrating: Even though SMS is a tool best used on its own, you still need a way for users to enroll in the program. By not integrating SMS into your signups on your site or app, you could have the best program in the world with no one to enjoy it.
  •      Inconsistent messaging: On the flip side of spamming users, inconsistent messaging can also be a major turn-off. Mobile users often will need a second to remember who you are as SMS messaging doesn’t allow titles or subjects. If you messages are painfully inconsistent, this will be even longer and may lead them to avoid your messages altogether.

sms marketing servicesHopefully, now that you know the dos and don’ts of SMS marketing, you will have a chance to try it out (or try it again) with great success. You will be surprised at the power of text marketing to not only reduce churn rate across the board but engage clients on a new level never experienced before!


user engagement metrics

7 User Engagement Metrics You Need to be Measuring

Gone are the days of Mad Men, when marketers and advertisers had to guess what was working. In 2017, we live in the age of Big Data and that means everything is trackable. Now the question becomes, since everything is quantifiable, what should we be watching? User engagement metrics have become a big part of measuring success in a digital world, but what metrics truly matter?

In this article, we are going to walk you through the user engagement metrics that you need to be measuring. While we will mainly be talking about mobile app analytics, the same rules and strategies can be applied to more than just mobile apps. There are so many out there that it can often be hard to choose what to track. It can also be difficult to understand what a metric is telling you about your users.

Not anymore. After reading this, you should be able to collect and analyze the metrics you need for success. Let’s get started.

User Engagement-compressed

1. Users

Users are an important part of any metric, but users themselves can tell a story. There are several ways to track users, such as MAU (monthly active users), WAU (weekly active users), and DAU (daily active users). You can also measure stickiness, which is defined as DAU/MAU.

Another way to divide users into helpful metrics is through segmentation. You can break them up by their demographics, what device they used, their age, and plenty of others. Understanding how certain users interact with your service or platform compared to others can give you insights into potential areas of opportunity.

Some of the things you can learn from these user engagement metrics are:

  •      User base, usage trends, and what users love or hate about your app.
  •      What areas to improve on.
  •      Highlighting areas in which bottlenecks occur or that could use restructuring.
  •      Take a closer look at user drop-offs through segmentation.

Engage with users better than ever with SMS marketing. See how!

2. Session length

Session length is the amount of time that a user spends in your app in one session. During a session, users typically perform a series of different actions and then either exit or the session times out.

There are a few things we can learn from session length, such as segmenting users to help identify which of them stay in the app longest and seem most engaged. This can help your marketing moving forward.

On the other hand, if it feels like no one is using the app for as long as you thought in the original design, you may need to speak with your development team. Your developers can take these user engagement metrics to discover where problems exist. For example, the checkout process might be too complicated, prompting users to exit a session early.

3. Session frequency

Session frequency or session interval is often confused with session length. However, session frequency is simply the time in between two consecutive sessions. While session length shows you how engaged your users are while in the app, session frequency shows how often your users are coming back for more.

When monitoring session frequency, keep an eye out for trends in how people use your app. If they only use it during certain times of the day, ask why. User engagement metrics are only as valuable as the questions you ask of them. Use the answers to guide your decision making,

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4. Acquisitions

This user engagement metric determines which channels your users are originating from. Acquisitions can come from so many places, like organic search, direct, paid search, referral, social media, and countless others. By figuring out where your downloads and interactions are coming from you will have a better idea of how to attract new users.

Acquisition can also help you calculate your customer acquisition cost, or what it takes as far as revenue goes to gain a new user. By understanding this metric, you can better plan your budget, sales, and marketing activities.

5. Retention Rate

Think of retention rate as the opposite of churn rate, in that it measures the percentage of users returning to your app in a given period of time. By calculating your retention rate over days, weeks, and months, you will have a good idea of the longevity of the app in the market.

Retention rates let you track and watch out for problem areas of your app that can be improved upon. It is a continuous process, so be sure to keep up to date to make sure you aren’t falling behind.

Additionally, apps on average retain only 40% of their initial users after a month. Use this as a benchmark for your own app. It also is important to keep in mind that acquisition costs are on the rise in the industry, so it will pay for you to focus on retaining users over going after new ones.

Read more: Get started with our 30 Retention Tips ebook!

6. Time in app

Again, different from session length, time in app shows the amount of time a user spends in your app in a given interval. Time in app is a user engagement metric that’s relatively easy to understand. The more time users spend in your app, the more engaged they are, the better they like your app. Simple as that.

However, if you do want to take a deeper look, segmenting here can be of great value. For instance, there may be a group of users that has not been spending much time in the app for one reason or another. Ask questions of them and your development team to find out what’s causing this and decide if it’s worth fixing or will pan out on its own.

7. Screen flow

Screen flow allows you to see exactly how your user interacts with your app. Of all the user engagement metrics you should be tracking, screen flow is one of the most important. While other metrics simple allows you to see how much time was spent in your app, screen flow will show you exactly when and where the user exited the session.

You should use screen flow as a way to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each page or screen of your app. If for instance you see one area that is really struggling, it may be worth either eliminating or reworking. Same goes for entire processes that are triggering users to leave the app.

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Put it all together

As valuable as each of these user engagement metrics are on their own, none of them exist in a vacuum. In order to truly understand your users, how they think, and which areas to improve or change, you need to look at all of these metrics together.

For example, screen flow is an important metric, but without knowing how long each of the users spent in each area, you are stumbling in the dark. Use each of these different user engagement metrics together to become a powerhouse in your industry. All of them are there before you, but in the end it’s up to you to do something with them.


Mobile user engagement

Mobile User Engagement: What We Can Learn from Snapchat

As mobile device usage becomes more and more widespread, it seems everyone is fighting for users and their time. This trend has brought about new ways to measure the value of an app, something called mobile user engagement. The more users that engage with your app, the better the app is viewed.

One of the best apps in mobile user engagement is the picture and video sharing app known as Snapchat. Snapchat has higher user engagement than any other social media app. According to Bloomberg, average active users spend anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes in the app every day. Most brands would kill for that kind of engagement. The question then begs to be asked, what is Snapchat doing differently?

In this article, we are going to look at mobile user engagement and what can be learned from Snapchat’s success. Hopefully, through reading this, you will be able to employ the same strategies to increase engagement on your own app.

Gamification

The first thing we can learn from Snapchat about mobile user engagement is that people love games. Whether the games have a set purpose or are just for fun, gamifying your business model drives engagement. By having rewards and goals to achieve within your app, users have a reason to come back over and over again.

Snapchat understands this and has used it for their success. For example, they have a feature that tracks streaks of days you and a friend have sent each other pictures. This serves no purpose, but for some reason users want to keep their streaks alive and see how long they can go. This simple addition to the app gives users just another reason to come back to the app and stay active.

Exclusive content

Another mobile user engagement tactic that can be taken from Snapchat is providing exclusive content through your app. Snapchat allows their users to get a behind-the-scenes look at major award shows, red carpet walks, and other exclusive content that is only accessible through their app. In doing so, users are directed to the app and engagement skyrockets.

Use this for your own mobile app by hosting exclusive content on your app that can’t be found anywhere else. Dedicated users will engage with your app more and new users who might not have used your app otherwise are likely to jump onboard.

Meet customers where they are

One of Snapchat’s greatest strengths comes from their ability to meet customers where they are. Snapchat engagement is higher than others because it resides exclusively on their mobile phones where customers always have them.

In this way, Snapchat users are more prone to use their app throughout the day than say Facebook where they might check it when they are on their computer. For your own mobile app engagement, consider new ways in which you can help users throughout daily activities.

For example, if you have a delivery service app, allow your customers to order on the go. Prompt them to try new places in their area. Give them the tools they need to engage with your app. By meeting clients where they are and giving them options for engagement, your numbers should increase. Additionally, users will keep coming back once you have proven to be a valuable asset to getting things done.

Don’t hide your features

Another one of Snapchat’s features that increases mobile user engagement is how easy to use their various features are. Just about everything in the app can be accessed by simply swiping up or down, left or right. Giving your users features but hiding them away in the settings or three pages deep is not actually that helpful.

Instead, let your users know about new features and consider creating a short tutorial on how to use them. Snapchat users are more than familiar with messages from Team Snapchat, but without them no one would know what was new. By continuously updating features and educating your customers, you will have less frustrated users and increased engagement.

Let your users choose how they interact

A trap that a lot of apps fall into is having too many boundaries or limits to what their users can do. Snapchat opened the floodgates when it comes to mobile user engagement by providing the canvas and letting their users paint the picture.

Obviously this can be a difficult task for a non-social app or enterprise mobile app, but the lesson still applies. Instead of dictating how your users go about working with your app, give them the features and enough freedom to decide for themselves.

Users who choose the way in which they interact with your service will be far more likely to remain engaged once they discover what problem they are fixing with your app. Don’t be afraid to show them how everything works, but when it comes to how they use it, leave that up to them.

Follow the trends

Something else that Snapchat has done well to engage with their users is to follow the trends. By analyzing their user data, Snapchat has been able to follow trends and then provide their users with related content and material.

For example, as more and more mobile users created BitMojis for their online presence, Snapchat allowed users to incorporate their personalities into their pictures and stories. By giving these users more of what they want, they are just giving them another reason to stay engaged.

While not everyone has the capabilities of Snapchat, you can still follow the trends and use them to your advantage. However, keep in mind that trends are just that: trends. They won’t be around long and you don’t want to appear out of touch. Jump on a trend early or wait for the next one to come. The last thing you want is to be late to the party.

Final thoughts on mobile user engagement

While there is a lot to be learned about mobile user engagement from Snapchat, no company has it all figured out. Snapchat has higher engagement than others, yes, but they also have a lot of areas they can work on.

As you create your mobile app engagement strategy, use these tips and strategies with a grain of salt. Find ways to use the psychology behind them for your own success. In the end, your own user engagement success will rely upon you providing a solution to your customers’ problems. Other than that, the rest will come as you go.


User Retention Strategy

5 User Retention Strategies the Most Successful Companies Use

We are living in a consumer-driven economy. This means that the customer has all of the power. With the growth of review sites like Yelp, consumers now have a platform to voice their opinions like never before. An increase in consumer power means that user retention is as important as ever. Users simply have more options in the market nowadays. In fact, it’s common for a mobile app to lose 80% of its users. These kind of statistics are scary to hear – especially for those who are launching a mobile app, but haven’t thought through their marketing strategy.

Read also: Use Engagement Platforms: 7 Things Your Boss Wants to Know

Let’s take a look at 5 strategies that some of the biggest brands and most successful companies use to retain their mobile users.

Customer Loyalty Programs

“When a rewards program can be moved from a punch card to an app, opportunities to interact and build customer loyalty grow exponentially,” Shep Hyken, a customer service and experience expert wrote in a recent article on loyalty programs for Forbes.

When I think of a premiere loyalty program, I can’t help but think of the My Starbucks Rewards program. The Starbucks loyalty program does a great job of providing value to the customer through interaction with the Starbucks mobile application. Not only are users able to earn points and rewards through the program, but they are able to gain specific benefits as well including ordering ahead of time and skipping the line at Starbucks. These benefits keep the user coming back. Starbucks isn’t strictly creating a system where consumers gain rewards, but there are increasing the number of opportunities Starbucks gets to interact with their customer.

Users keep coming back to the Starbucks mobile application because the application promotes a lifestyle, one filled with a plethora of Frappuccinos and iced lattes. Customer loyalty programs are a great way to build a relationship with your customer and keep them using your app on a daily basis.

New Content and Features

Content marketing is a key customer retention technique. Content creation is cheap, and an easy way to keep your customers engaged with your brand. New content, including articles, videos, and blog posts, is a great way to keep your users coming back to your app. Alerting them with texts, push notifications, or emails will help them stay up-to-date with your content and create an easy reminder for them to interact with your mobile application.

Additionally, new features and updates are a way to increase user retention. Constantly improving your product and adding features will let your consumers know that you are serious about providing an incredible customer experience. When they get a notification for an app update, they will also be enticed to login into your app and see what new features you are offering.

Big tech companies like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram are constantly adding new features and improving their mobile applications. The user needs to be at the heart of the experience, and your product needs to constantly be getting better.

Read also: Reduce Churn Rate in 7 Easy Steps Now

Engaging and Actionable Communication

Push notifications, text messages, and emails from your mobile application are an easy way to keep your user engaged even they aren’t in your mobile application. The key to user retention is keeping your brand at the top of your user’s mind. If a user hasn’t logged into your app in a while, send them a message and offer them an incentive.

The MyFitnessPal app does a great job communicating consistently with its users. If you’ve logged a lot of your meals through their app, they will send you an encouraging message to keep up the good work. But, if you haven’t logged your meals and exercise, they will remind you to do so through push notifications. Make sure your messages are focused on user retention and getting users to interact with your mobile application.

Check it out: How to Build Your Customer Retention Strategy in 4 Steps

User-Driven Ecosystem

User-generated content is the name of the game. Think of how Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram became popular. They thrived because they focused on being a platform for users to create their own content. Mobile applications that are built around user generated content have to overcome a few initial challenges to be successful, but once they get over these barriers their success can be immense:

  • Mobile applications and platforms that rely heavily on user-generated content need to make sure that they have enough users on their platform. Imagine Facebook if no one posted anything. That would be the worst! Getting enough users to create a sizable amount of content is crucial.
  • User-driven applications also need to make sure that the platform has specific features to make content-sharing ideal and cool. This is important because you need to ensure that users are able to recruit their friends to your platform.
  • Your entire platform doesn’t need to be built around user-driven content, but aspects of your design can lend themselves to user-generated content.

Including user-generated content in your mobile application is a good user retention strategy because users will feel more inclined to interact with your app if they have a voice in it and can share on your platform.

Connection to a Larger Community and Purpose

User retention is most successful when your user feels connected to a larger community through their mobile application. I think FitBit does a great job of this through their mobile application. Their app allows you to connect to other individuals in the FitBit community and compete in challenges. The application not only tracks your steps, but it also tracks other vitals that are crucial to your health. It’s tracking capabilities along with its challenges create a connection to a larger community and purpose through their platform.

These benefits contribute to successful user retention by focusing on delivering value to the mobile application user. These functionalities are a core part of what makes the FitBit mobile application click with users.

Final Thoughts

User retention is all about designing your mobile application in a purposeful way where you can continuously deliver value to your user. If you have a user-focused approach, you should have no problem retaining customers and constantly improving your user experience.