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Mobile apps are one of the most effective drivers for success in the modern business climate. Some have gone so far as to say that many companies would do better to have an app than a website. We are inclined to agree. Still, simply having a mobile app is not enough. The companies who experience the most success with their mobile app usage rates have implemented creative strategies that both hook users and keep them coming back for more.

Make Your App Immediately Useful

Business owners can include an incredible variety of functionality into their apps. For many businesses, this includes passive content such as a product showcase or menu. This type of content is engaging and informative, but it does not necessarily provide an immediate benefit for the app user. Coupling passive content with value-laden interactive elements will encourage people to download and use your app regularly. For instance, a pizza delivery place that lets users view a menu through their app can capitalize on the interest that generates by also giving them the ability to order directly from the app. In this scenario, your app has proven mutually and immediately beneficial to both the customer and your business: you have made it easier to quickly order your product, meaning the customer is more likely to do so.

Keep Them Coming Back

The ease with which people can download mobile apps to their device is a bit of a double edged sword. If an app does not regularly prove its worth, your customer can just as easily delete it. Therefore, you should provide tangible benefits to your app users on a regular basis. There are a number of ways to do this, but the most effective do not put the impetus on your customer to uncover the value of your app. One of the best ways to effect a continuous relationship with a customer is through the use of a smartphone’s push notification system. Whether you are sending daily deals to customers or simply reminding them of exciting new releases, fans of your business will appreciate the heads up. If your product and messaging are suitably engaging then you can increase sales through front-of-mind awareness fairly frequently. Similarly, rewarding customers with a loyalty program integrated into your app will encourage users to both keep the app on their phone and keep shopping at your business to rack up free goodies or discounts.

Design, Design, Design

It seems obvious, but app users love their sleek smartphones. If your app doesn’t look and “feel” awesome then customers won’t keep it on their phone for long. We make it incredibly easy to design a beautiful app in minutes, but that doesn’t mean you should rush through the creation process without thinking about quality design. Creating a great app icon, splash screen and color scheme will help a lot, but you also need to do a good job of showcasing your products or services. We have found that the creative use of attractive images in apps is one of the best ways to achieve this end. Descriptions are great, but if your catalog features a big block of text rather than showing off pictures of your awesome products then customers will frankly not be that interested.

And Beyond…

These are just a few ways to get customers interested in your app. Because businesses in all industries can derive value from apps, there are truly unlimited opportunities to maximize engagement. Still, these tips provide a solid foundation that you can build on to make a great app experience. Focus on design, functionality and value and you will excite your customers while generating an impressive ROI from your app investment.

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