Infographic: Email Marketing Vs. Facebook Page Vs. Native App

 

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We’ve put together an infographic that explores the relative merit of email, Facebook, and mobile app marketing.

Think Mobile, Act Local

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The term “mobile strategy” instantly brings to mind the jetset traveler, suitcase in hand, ready to embark upon some great adventure armed with a repertoire of tablets, smartphones and laptops. So, when you discuss a “local mobile” strategy, it almost sounds like an oxymoron. However, most interactions with small business comes from local customers, and your greatest chance of long term success revolves around creating a tribe of loyal local customers.

But how does this ultimately affect your mobile strategy, and how should you structure your app interactions to engage with a local audience? The answer can be broken down into two primary goals, consistency and value. In the same way that businesses want consistent revenue from customer, so too do customers want consistent experiences with a business (note that consistent does not mean boring, it means being consistently remarkable).

The good news is that many small businesses already meet that criteria in their personal interactions with customers. You likely see some familiar faces who frequently visit your business, and have built a rapport with them. The trick is to build the same kind of rapport through your mobile strategy. This sounds easy, but there are a few common areas where small businesses tend to fail.

For one thing, mobile strategies for small businesses are a relatively new development. Only recently have apps and other mobile engagement tools become affordable and functional enough for them. In one sense this is excellent, because companies who act quickly will have a serious advantage over competitors while the strategy is not yet commonplace. The flip side of this, though, is that many small businesses have only been exposed to mobile messaging from large corporate and tech-focused apps. Because of that, businesses sometimes feel that their app messaging and interactions needs to be somewhat detached in order to lend validity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Customers will always gravitate towards technology that reflects a businesses personal, human elements.

Small businesses also encounter difficulty determining the types of deals and advertisements to run. Often they turn to simple, low-cost deals that they believe will draw in more customers due to the immediate value and ease of redemption. However, while someone may very well redeem a deal for a “free soft drink with any purchase” if they are already in the restaurant, such basic offerings are not powerful enough to pull customers in. Offering real value, even if the redemption process is more involved (“Bring in a friend and get two free desserts,” etc.) will intrigue local customers and give them a reason to check out your business.

There are many other local mobile strategies we could discuss, but we’d like to hear from you! How do you generate interest locally, how can you/would you translate that to a mobile strategy? Sound off in the comments!

 

Second Screens for Small Business

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While traditional television advertising methods remain effective for many small businesses, they only represent a surface-level exposure to customers. According to a number of worldwide studies 75%-85% of people use their mobile devices while watching their favorite shows. In what is perhaps an even more telling set of statistics, between 27% and 44% use their devices to explore products or services they have seen advertised on TV. This trend demonstrates two key points: that viewers seek a greater depth of information than that provided by commercials, and that they are turning to their smartphones immediately upon viewing those commercials to conduct product research.

Businesses can capitalize on these trends by ensuring an established presence in the mobile ecosystem. Though mobile-optimized websites and third party information outlets are beneficial for this purpose, a dedicated application offers the opportunity to extend front-of-mind awareness for potential customers. For instance, someone may have looked up dozens of products as a result of advertisements set during a major broadcast. However, they are unlikely to forget the business that offers them a push-notification with a great deal a few days later.

Fortunately, EasyApp allows small businesses to develop an application extremely quickly (and often for a fraction of the cost of a mobile-site). These applications allow for effective targeted engagement that will stretch your advertising dollar. As smartphone adoption rates continue to climb more users will conduct product research via the “second screen.” Build an app in minutes and increase profits by allowing customers to interact with your business on their terms.

Announcing EasyApp 2.0

For the past six months Apptive has been working hard to make our intuitive app creation tool even better. Today, we are extremely pleased to announce the release of our newly redesigned EasyApp service!

EasyApp 2.0 is a major upgrade to Apptive’s web-based app creation and management platform with new advanced features such as iPhone and Android support and on-the-fly content and design updates. Businesses can build and update their apps in minutes without any coding experience or technical knowledge required using our simple drag and drop interface.

Of course, EasyApp 2.0 continues to support our ever-expanding library of customizable modules. Each module is designed to facilitate a high-impact mobile experience every time a customer uses your app. With popular functionality including geolocation, push notification deals and even take-out food orders for restaurants, EasyApp 2.0 lets you quickly tailor an app to your specific business needs. We also include recommended modules based on your business type to get you up and running with proven features that will delight your customers.

We hope that you are as excited as we are about the possibilities that EasyApp 2.0 can offer your business. We offer two convenient ways to build your app: you can sign up for a free EasyApp account to create an app yourself, or contact us for our pro setup option.

ROI of Mobile Apps for Business

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Why would my clients want to spend money on a mobile app? What is the return on investment (ROI) for a business mobile app? This blog post draws upon a white paper we wrote a little while back helping Value Added Resellers and end businesses understand why gaining a mobile presence with an app has a positive impact all the way to the bottom line.

As with any new product or service a business is considering, mobile app ROI is important. Let’s estimate the ROI for a representative small businesses to give you a more concrete idea of what it might be for your clients.

For this example we’ll look at a hypothetical day spa. Let’s set up some assumptions first. Our assumptions are:

  • – Day Spa paid $300 upfront and $29.99/month fee for their app.
  • – Average spa treatment is priced at $100
  • – Average Profit Margin for a spa treatment is 50%
  • – Day Spa has 500 customers who have downloaded app
  • – Day Spa sends one push Deal per week, or 4 per month
  • – Each Deal is for 25% off regular price
  • – Open Rate for “Deal” push notifications sent by Day Spa to customers is 30%
  • – Conversion or redemption rate for a Deal sent by Day Spa is 2.5%

So, taking all of these numbers into consideration let’s calculate the ROI of Day Spa’s mobile app in the first year.

  • – First, based on the numbers above, we’re saying that 4 push Deals were sent in the month and that 150 customers opened the Deal each time for a total of 600 Deal opens.
  • – Based on a Deal conversion rate of 5% that means we sell 15 incremental treatments during the month with the push of Deals.
  • – Based on assumption laid out, the normal profit margin of a $100 treatment is 50%, or $50.
  • – In this instance the Deal is for 25% off, so average treatment is priced at $75. This means profit margin in dollar terms is $25 per treatment sold from the push of the Deals.
  • – 15 incremental treatments sold X $25 profit per treatment equals $325, multiplied by 12 months equals $3,900.

So we calculate Return on Investment with the following formula:
((Return-Investment)/Investment ) x 100

In our case then, ROI would be:
(($3900-($300+(12*$29.99))/($300+(12*$29.99)) x 100 = 491% Return on Investment

Obviously a 491% return on investment is a nice result for any business. When taking into account the fact that it will be so much easier for customers to interact with a business from their smartphones for calling, booking appointments and sharing with friends, and that they’re likely to see your brand multiple times per day if your app icon is on their smartphone screen then it’s easy to imagine actual ROI is much, much higher.

Having a mobile app and mobile optimized presence is becoming table stakes for businesses as web sites were in the late 90’s and 2000 era. Combined with their high ROI potential, getting a mobile app makes sense for almost all small and medium sized businesses, organizations and non-profits.

How Do You Measure the Success of an App

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How do you measure the success of a mobile app? There are several common metrics that should be examined when considering the success of an app. I’ve laid out a few of them here:

Metric

Definition

Number of downloads Number of people who have downloaded the app
Number of daily or monthly active users People who have downloaded the app and use it for its intended purpose
Number of loyal users Number of people who open an app a designated number of times
Average time on an app Can include average time in a section of an app
Number of items users engaged with For publishers: number of items readFor  video distributors: number of videos viewedFor e-commerce apps: number of products viewed,  put in shopping cart
Transactions Number of items purchased, subscriptions, or registrations
Retention rate Percentage of users who installed an app during a specific time period and are still active users of the app for a designated time period

We built the EasyApp platform from the beginning with analytics in mind. We give easy access to the data outlined above so you can always objectively evaluate the performance of an app and how to use it to grow your or your client’s business!