How iOs 10 Empowers Mobile Marketers

 

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Apple’s iOS 10 updates are coming this fall — the public beta is now available for download, so the official release is likely closer than we think — and the host of changes will have a significant impact on mobile marketers. How can you be poised to take advantage of the changes when they launch? Here’s a quick primer.

SiriKit

This is one of the bigger changes. SiriKit opens Apple’s virtual assistant to developers, meaning they can build voice controls into their own apps. Siri will be able to order you a Lyft or Uber with a simple voice command.

Your move: Integrate your app with Siri as much as you can. It will help your product stay top of mind with consumers if they can call it up with a simple one-liner as they lie in bed on a weekend morning.

New Messaging Features

This one is pretty big, too. In an effort to compete with WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger, Apple added a variety of new messaging features in the iOS 10 updates:

  • There’s an iMessage App Store coming. Users will be able to add third-party functionality to messaging (i.e. stickers and GIFs).
  • Calendar scheduling and mobile payments. (More on the mobile payments in one second.)
  • Powerful iMessage capabilities. Send full-screen messages, hand-written notes, ‘invisible ink’ messages that are only revealed if swiped by the recipient (a little Snapchat touch there), and a ‘Tapback’ functionality to quickly reply with a pre-set message. You can also easily replace words with emojis, i.e. “Going for pizza or burgers” becomes “Going for 🍕 or 🍔.” Venmo, anyone?

Your move: As messaging functionality (and fun) continues to increase with iOS 10 updates, it’s time to consider investing more in SMS marketing. Coca-Cola, is wasting no time getting in on the action, as they’re poised to spend 70% of its mobile budget on SMS in the next fiscal year. It also means users want messaging that has the tone and feel of a personal message. Embrace emojis! 😜

Mobile Payments

 We’re arriving at a tipping point for the adoption of digital wallets, and the iOS 10 updates might push Apple Pay to the forefront.

in the U.S., we’ve had magnetic stripes on the back of our credit cards for a generation. But these days, chip technology is becoming more prevalent in the U.S. It’s called EMV, and most chip-card reading terminals can work with NFC, or near-field communications. NFC is a set of standards for portable devices. It allows them to establish peer-to-peer radio communications, passing data from one device to another by touching them or putting them very close together.

This new system supports contactless payment, which means a whole host of digital wallet options are opening up as the U.S. fully transitions to chip-based credit cards.

Your move: It’s a great time to adjust your app’s payment options. Digital wallets will foster ease of payment, and ease of payment could be huge for customer retention and acquisition.

Expedited app reviews

 Currently the cycle takes about 4-10 days. With iOS 10 updates, the expectation is 1-2 days.While Apple still reviews about 100,000 apps/week, it’s devised a faster process. This means that from the point of submission, you could be ‘live’ in front of consumers within about 30 hours.

Your move: Have your ducks in a row for rollout before you submit your app, because it’s not a potential two-week waiting game anymore.

Revenue Splits and Subscriptions

 Apps that use subscriptions will see a 70 (developers) / 30 (Apple) revenue split in year 1, and then in year 2, it will become 85-15. Subscriptions will now be available across allcategories, whereas previously it was limited to only a few.

Your move: Do subscription services make sense for your app? To qualify, you’ll need content that is updated or delivered on a regular basis — or you need to provide paid access to an ongoing service within the app, i.e. massive multiplayer online games.

Paid App Search

This will be new feature — but unlike Google AdWords, only one ad result will show at the top of keyword searches in the App Store. Mobile marketers can bid on keyword searches, but the competition for some might be very tight,and relevancy is going to play a key role here. Apple is apparently going to parse the app descriptions for relevance, which is the first time they’ve done that in any iOS release.

Your move: Write compelling, targeted descriptions of your apps if you plan to keyword-bid at any point.

Simple unsubscribes

 iOS 10 Mail will offer simple unsubscribes from marketing list e-mails, which is a potentially great feature for users — and makes prioritizing permission-based subscription more important than ever for email marketers. The exact repercussions of this will evolve once iOS 10 gets out of beta, but standard email marketing approaches will become even more important. In essence: good subject lines, relevant content, and offers and personalized approaches that resonate with consumers.

So, where should you start?

This is a jumping-off point for your thinking about iOS 10, which will likely be live by the end of September. For now, we recommend brainstorming strategies around how to use messaging more effectively (one of the bigger changes) and utilizing SiriKit to integrate with the voice of the iPhone.

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4 Ways to Build Trust with Your Customers

What efforts do you take to build trust with your customers? Building solid, trusting relationships with your customer base is one of the best ways to retain them. In fact, News Cred’s recent study revealed that among millennials, the top three brand loyalty drivers include a great product (77%), followed by brand recognition (69%) and trust (69%).

Research also shows that retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. The longer a customer is loyal to a brand, the more money they spend. What does that mean for your bottom line? According to a study cited by Retention Science, increasing customer retention by just 5% increases profits by 25-95 percent.

Needless to say, building trust with your customers is a worthwhile and profitable endeavor. Here are four ways to build trust with your audience:

1. Communicate with customers on a regular basis

You shouldn’t just contact customers when you want them to make a purchase. If customers feel like every communication is a sales push, you’ll dash any hope of building trust.

Instead, communicate with your customers on a regular basis. Consider emailing a regular newsletter, sharing links to helpful articles on your social media channels or providing how-to articles on your blog. Customers appreciate useful information that makes their day a little better.

For example, if you run a fast casual restaurant, create a monthly newsletter that highlights upcoming menu items and welcomes new staff.

If you run a cleaning company, share an article about best ways to clean up nail polish, like the example below.

Every interaction builds trust. Plus, if customers hear from you on a regular basis, your occasional promotional email won’t feel out of place. It’s just another message from a friend.

2. Provide quality customer service in your store

One of the best ways to gain trust is to offer your customers service they can’t find anywhere else. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your service inside your store is top-notch:

Make sure your staff is friendly
Create a welcoming environment that keeps customers coming back. Train employees to nurture your customer relationships. Don’t assume employees know how to interact with your audience, show them.

Collect and use feedback
Ask your customers to provide feedback and use it to implement changes that can improve their experience. Collect feedback in store and online.

Show gratitude
Make sure your customers know that you appreciate them. Send exclusive deals to your most valued customers, host a customer appreciation event and set up a loyalty program that rewards your customers for their continued support.

3. Consider providing customer support on social

With so many of your customers using social media, using these platforms to offer service and support is quickly catching on. Xbox, a popular gaming system, offers customer support through Twitter. Customers can tweet questions and get live help. It’s so popular Xbox has created multiple accounts to handle the massive crowds.

If you plan to offer support on social channels there are a few tools that can help. ZenDesk, for example, offers software that manages customers’ requests and creates a self-help arena for customers to troubleshoot issues on their own.

Desk.com is another option. It creates a universal inbox where you can help your customers through social sites like Facebook and Twitter all from one dashboard.

Your online service should compliment your service efforts in store.

4. Own up to mistakes

Customers reward companies that are honest and transparent. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Whether you missed a service appointment or have products on backorder, it’s important to communicate with customers about any problems that affect them.

As soon as you’re aware of the problem, reach out. For example, when Adorama fell short on cameras, an email was sent to explain that the item was on backorder. Notice the company apologizes for the wait and offers additional relevant information like how to cancel an order.

Correct A Mistake Quickly

Research shows 95% of complaining customers will forgive a company if a problem is resolved in the next interaction. So, in addition to being honest, you also need to act quickly. Customers expect swift solutions.

How do you build trust with your customers? Feel free to share any additional strategies or tips.

How to Attract, Maintain, and Retain Loyalty Program Members

attract, maintain, and retain loyalty program members

A loyalty program is meant to retain more customers and boost their profitability when they become members. But you still need to optimize your loyalty program just like every other marketing initiative you run. You want to maximize the number of people who join (attract), number of people who participate (maintain), and keep members from leaving (retain).

In this post we will be going over some best practices that will keep your loyalty program running at its best. When you focus on the three pillars (Attract, Maintain, Retain) you are ensuring that your program is top notch!

 

Attract More Loyalty Program Members

We can apply some pretty simple logic here. Give your shoppers what they want from a loyalty program and they will join. Miss the mark, and they will join someone else’s program.

Here are the two biggest drivers for someone to sign up for your loyalty program.

attracting people to your loyalty program

These two criteria are the backbone of almost every loyalty program out there, both in retail and ecommerce. The key take away is that they want to earn “points” for their purchases. They are not looking to earn cash back. Your shoppers prefer the allure of a different currency than what they are used to.

get people to join your loyalty program with an attractive name

Because shoppers prefer a different currency than money, you want to make sure you get their attention with your points. That is why I recommend you don’t call your currency points, you should call them something that matches your brand and what you sell. For example one of our client’s – Denim Industries calls their currency “Denim Dollars”. You can also give your program a name to make it even more enticing. Here is a quick video to help you come up with some creative names.

 

Earning points and giving discounts on purchases can be done with almost every loyalty program software, including a Mass Mobile App. With both of the main reasons to join a program covered it should come as no surprise that getting a customer to join is the easiest pillar to construct.

how many loyalty programs to ppl join

Therefore it should come as no surprise that the average person is joining more and more programs (13.3 on average) but they are actively participating in fewer each year. This is great for attracting members but makes it more difficult to get the benefits of a loyal customer.

 

Maintain Your Member List

Now that you have convinced them to join your program, you now need to convince them to actively participate. The value of a loyalty program comes when shoppers are actively participating and engaging with the program.

According to research by Forrester an active loyalty program member will spend 30% more than a traditional customer and will rate their customer experience as better than non-loyalty members. This is just the beginning of all the benefits you will see when creating loyal customers.

You will not see these benefits when you first attract a member. You need to encourage your customers to earn and more importantly spend points. Your members will begin to become loyal when they experience the pleasant emotions of getting a reward with their points. According to eMarketer there are two main factors that drive program participation. It needs to be easy to understand and offer relevant rewards.

why people participate in loyalty programs

The easiest way to make a program easy to understand is by having a loyalty program explainer page. This is an area of your store that is dedicated to showing members all the ways they will earn points, and what they can redeem those on.

You can make a detailed explainer page like. Gongshow’s explainer page is an example of what you can do to showcase your program. Below is a quick video lesson on how to create an effective explainer page.

 

The second part of maintaining participation is to offer relevant rewards. As stated above the most desired reward is a discount on your product, but there are some variations you can use. If your customers like to save and get big rewards you can offer a reward schedule that makes it advantages to save points, like the example below.

plum-point-reward-schedule

If your shoppers have very short attention spans you may want to make it extremely easy to get the first reward. You can make it so that if they sign up for your program they will immediately get enough points for their first reward. With some programs you can also introduce more exclusive experiential rewards.

Be sure to study your customers to discover what will be the most motivating for them. If you want them to participate they have to be motivated to do so. I would recommend conducting a simple survey to see exactly what your customers are looking for.

 

Retain Your Loyalty Members

When I tell clients that they need to focus on retaining customers in their retention tool, I usually get a funny stare. This is because most people think that you can start a loyalty program, set it, and then forget it. If you take this approach your program will get old fast. When your program seems dated your customers will stop using it.

The two biggest reasons I see people leave or stop using a program is because they are not monitoring the program effectively, or they are making it way to hard to earn/spend points.

reasons for leaving a loyalty program

I know that every time you send out an email campaign you meticulously check your open and click rates. When you run an Adwords campaign you are checking performance daily, and I know you spend a good chunk of time in Google Analytics. So why would you start a loyalty program and then ignore it?

Not paying attention to your programs results is a surefire way to start losing members. If you don’t care then why should they? You should be checking on your program and customers monthly to see what is working and what you can add to retain them.

check your program monthly if not weekly

The second big factor in why your program members leave is because you are making it way to complicated for them. This is usually because you are trying to limit costs which usually limits a program success. You want to put your customers interest in mind before your own.

While only giving points for orders above $50 dollars on your house brand items during the holiday season looks good financially, it is too hard for members to understand. If you want to retain customers you need to make it easy for them to earn and spend points. If they find it to be a chore they will just leave.

 

How to Maintain An Online Loyalty Program

This post has shown you the three pillars of a successful online loyalty program. It is impossible to build a successful loyalty program if you are missing or lacking in any of these areas. You must first attract shoppers to join your loyalty program. They cannot possibly see value if they never join.

Next you must maintain their interest in your program. You need to make your program easy to understand and provide relevant rewards for your customers. Lastly, you need to retain members. Your program is not providing value if more people are leaving your program than are actively using it.

This is meant to act as a framework to cover the basics of loyalty program strategy. If you are looking to truly become a loyalty expert you can check out our resource center. It is full of video lessons, ebooks, and case studies to make you a retention expert. You can also subscribe to the Mass Mobile Apps blog for weekly loyalty articles!

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About the author:  Alex McEachern