Say I Do – The Art of Engagement


How many apps do you have on your phone? Ok then, how many of these do you actually use on a regular basis? How many just sit there gathering digital dust?

Let’s take it one step further: How many apps have you downloaded, decided they were rubbish and subsequently deleted? If you’re like most people, you have probably deleted more than you can remember.

The statistics say that the vast majority of apps fall into the latter two categories. Here are a couple of statistics that I think illustrate an interesting point around this:

  • It is estimated that a whopping 84% of app users will delete an app after using it only twice.
  • A recent study in the US found that 49% of all app activity was limited to a very small number of social media, game and radio apps. These apps are very sticky few people tend to delete them.

Now, let’s put these two numbers together. What they tell us is that there are another 5.7 million or so other apps, all competing ferociously for only half the audience’s screen time. Is it any wonder, then, that users are incredibly picky and will pretty much immediately discard any app that doesn’t tick all their boxes? Spoiled beyond belief, today’s digital consumer has little patience for any app that doesn’t give them precisely what they want. There are probably a thousand others just like it that will meet their needs, thank you very much.

You can see now how intense the pressure is for app developers and marketers to ensure that their app’s look, feel, user-experience, content and functionality are all absolutely spot-on. One wrong move and your app will be consigned to the cosmic digital wastebasket. Tap and hold, X, Delete. It’s just that easy to have all your hard work disappear from that little screen.

It is no wonder, then, that organisations can dedicate enormous amounts of time and resources to exhaustively researching and testing in an effort to get the experience perfect. Nevertheless, in a rapidly evolving environment, that magic bullet can be incredibly elusive. Remember Google Wave? Didn’t think so. No-one else does either (unless you are a total tech geek like me). Google described its next generation collaborative messaging system as “What e-mail would look like if it were invented today”. It was a sensational idea, it was poised to revolutionise the way we work, communicate and collaborate. Unfortunately for Google, nobody liked it. Nobody understood it. Nobody used it. The UX was impenetrable and counter-intuitive and rather than simplifying things, it just seemed to make them more complicated. Then came along a bunch of guys who invented Slack, and Boom! Same concept + better design + better experience = major success.

If an organisation like Google can get it SO badly wrong, what hope, then, is there for the rest of us mere mortals to get it right? Are the Slacks and Whatsapps of this word just flukes? Lightning strikes of divine digital inspiration that happened to just hit at the right time in the right place?

Well, maybe that’s a part of it. However, the same technology that frustrates and challenges us also provides us with some of the answers. There really is no sure-thing formula but if you get a few things right, you will certainly be well on your way to increasing your chances of hitting the right notes with your audience. Here are our top 3:

1. Push Notifications:
No, they are not a dirty word. While many of us roll our eyes at the thought of these annoying bings and glows, studies show that on average, over 50% of push notifications are accepted. This is nothing to be sneezed at. Before you start bombarding your users, it’s important to remember that they are a finicky bunch! Get the balance right and they will love you. Overdo it, they will delete you. Underdo it and they will forget you. It is absolutely critical to know your audience and ensure that you are communicating with them in the right way, at the right frequency. For instance, acceptance

rates increase the older the audience. Men are more likely to accept push notifications that women across all age groups. Android users accept more frequently that iOS users. Content-based apps get a much freer pass on the pushes than retail apps. Apparently, users are happy to be interrupted to find out which Kardashian was seen where, wearing what, with whom than they are to find out about your latest discount offer. This is just beginning. It is easy to see how a well-researched, planned and executed push regime and easily make or break an app.

2. Loyalty programs:
Who doesn’t do the internal happy dance over a free coffee? Great loyalty programs have proven to deliver results. Businesses that employ loyalty programs well have been shown to achieve the following:

  • Up to 23% increase in revenue
  • Fivefold increase in likelihood that customers will deliver repeat business
  • As much as 90% increase in the frequency of purchase.

Carrots work, there is no doubt. However, not every loyalty program is a success. Making sure that you offer the right incentive, keep it simple, engaging and fun is a must. Consumers are increasingly responding positively to the gamification of the online experience, yet they don’t want anything that overcomplicates the experience. Just let me have a moment of fun, then give me my free latte, please! Understanding how to best engage your audience in order to obtain and maintain their loyalty is a must.

3. Eye Candy:
We all know that as the world becomes more digitally engaged, the flood of information and stimulation has resulted in shorter attention spans and less inclination on the part of app users to read. This is why getting the visual look and feel is so central to any app experience. Whether it’s the over-arching design aesthetic, the quality or format of images or the smoothness of transition, it is clear that users will gravitate to and stick with apps that look and feel good to use.

These are just 3 of the most important factors to consider when designing an app. There are dozens more, however, apps that get these right certainly put themselves in a stronger position than their competitors.

This begs the million-dollar question…how can I, as an app developer, get all this right and give myself the greatest chance for success? How can I tap into what my users are thinking and feeling and turn that information into an experience that will grab them and keep them?

We believe that the answer is simple: Just ask them.

We developed Appee, an in-app user engagement tool, to help organisations peer through the smoke and get answers to these questions from the people who matter most – their users. Most importantly, Appee does this from inside your app, so that the user-experience remains as smooth and seamless as possible. Appee clients have seen consistently higher response rates, astronomical click-to-response rates and have used the information they have gleaned to make crucial decisions that accurately reflect what their user base is telling them. No guessing, no role playing, no focus grouping. Just hard, accurate data in real-time that delivers results.

To find out more about what Appee can do for your business, click here.

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