Maximizing Customer Engagement with Mobile AppsWhat is better than happy customers?
Happy customers who keep coming back and bringing their friends.

If your goal is not only customer satisfaction, but a wider brand exposure and more new customers, betting your dollar on mobile apps is the right strategy.  Apps are built for stickiness – more so than mobile sites.  To fully realize its “sticky” potential, each app needs a special sauce  – something you figure out through close observation and analysis of your customers’ mobile buying behavior.  But apart from that, there are several common-sense strategies you can employ to produce totally addictive mobile apps for your brand.

Our 4 best tricks to boost customer engagement with mobile apps:

1. Keep it simple.

One of the biggest drivers of marketing “stickiness” is decision simplicity, found Harvard Business Review.  Today’s consumers are bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages via dozens of channels.  What keeps customers engaged with your brand is the ease of collecting trustworthy information about your products or services, and an opportunity to calmly and efficiently make a purchasing decision.

How does this translate into app design?  Trim your list of app functions down to the optimal use case that allows you to accomplish 3-4 key goals, each in less than 4 taps.  Avoid cluttering your app with cool but unnecessary features – splash screens, needless menu elements, or too many required steps.  Keep your UI design, and your use case, as clean and simple as possible.

2. Use your time wisely.

It takes a user 10 seconds to decide whether to download your app and 30 seconds – whether to keep it.  Mobile real estate is valuable, and you want to make the most of those 10 and 30 seconds in order to gain a permanent place on your customer’s mobile device.

When submitting your app to the app store, make sure you provide an accurate, engaging description and the best screenshots.  Try to come up with an elegant app icon that really stands out.  To break through the 30-second barrier, simplify your app activation – avoid requiring upfront user registration or lengthy load times.  Design your home screen to provide instant clarity as to how the user goals are to be achieved.  Tapping through your wireframes, before you start building, may offer a ton of valuable insights into your app’s usability!

3. Test your app to perfection.

If your app crashes or freezes, or takes too long to load data, its chances of being dumped grow exponentially.  Test it thoroughly on multiple devices and OS versions.  Once your app is launched, don’t forget to check user reviews on a regular basis and issue updates with fixes and requested features.

With MobileSmith, testing and fine-tuning native apps is a breeze.  Our platform allows you to build your prototype for testing simultaneously for iOS and Android and send the app instantly over-the-air to mobile devices.  You can play with your live app or share it with your focus group and collect feedback.  If you need to make changes in the user interface or workflow, you can easily make them in the platform’s app canvas and instantly rebuild the app. Once you are 100% satisfied with user experience and performance, you can build your app for production and push it to app stores.  Updating your app is easy as well – you can build and release new versions of multiple apps without disrupting the user experience with the existing versions.

The best part? You get to do all of this without writing a single line of code.

Want to try your hand at building native apps?  Get a demo of our platform today!

4. Keep your app buzzing.

Once your mobile app occupies that coveted place on your consumer’s mobile device, don’t let it go to waste!  Keep your app buzzing with push notifications, social media sharing, real-time content updates, and interactive galleries.  Incorporate gamification and points – users love to share their achievements and make recommendations – especially if they are rewarded for it!  Fans can quickly build your mobile community and turn it into an organic marketing army for your business.

Driving regular engagement by effectively using push notifications and social sharing will keep your app at the forefront of your customers’ minds while also attracting new prospects.  But don’t overdo it – mind the information overload today’s consumers are facing.  MobileSmith facilitates content marketing through your apps by automatically providing a powerful, dedicated CMS for each app you create in the platform.  Streamlined app versioning workflow makes upgrading your apps super-easy!

Every aspect of mobile customer engagement, from downloading an app to receiving useful information and special offers through push messages, must be carefully orchestrated to deliver a smooth and easy experience.  Mobile users appreciate the opportunity to engage and respond at their leisure, using their mobile device of choice.  If your app delivers these expectations, it will bring you lots of happy customers – both old and new!

To discover how marketers can take mobile app development into their own hands, download our free eBook:

Making Your Own Mobile Apps: a Marketer's Handbook