Turn Clicks into Customer Connections with 5 Valuable App Engagement Practices

Harriet McNaughton EMEA Marketing Manager Airship

Why do you continue to use apps? Convenience? Simplicity? Time-savings? All the above? 

These are the top reasons customers continue to come back to apps. Keeping them top of mind will help increase app traffic, interactions and conversions. It comes down to this: your customers want convenience, you want conversions. So add in the right kinds of communications and everyone wins! 

In our recent webinar, Leslie Kettle, the Very Group’s App Marketing Lead, and Emily Stevens, Director of Strategic Services at Airship, shared valuable insights on key strategies to help you optimize customer engagement through mobile apps. The Very Group, with a customer base of around 4.4 million, has elevated its app to become its central hub for customer experience.

Grab your notebooks and let’s explore our top five practices to evolve your app customers from interested to obsessed.

1. Harness Data for Personalized Experiences

It all starts with data! Data is the fundamental input for improving your customer engagement. Zero-party data, obtained through surveys or onboarding processes, provides valuable insights into customer preferences and interests. Brands can deploy diverse methods, such as in-app quizzes, gamified rewards programs or customer feedback, to gather data progressively throughout the customer journey. Emily highlighted that moving beyond first-name-only personalization increases engagement rates by a pretty decent 37%! You heard it here first. 

2. Amplify Customer Engagement With Gamification

Gamification is a powerful tool for driving engaging app experiences! Depending on your goals, you can use gamification to create short-term bursts of engagement or support a longer-term loyalty strategy. Make your customer experience more exciting by inserting fun, game-like elements. Even the most serious customer appreciates a bit of fun or being recognized for progress and achievement!

3. Deliver High-Quality Experiences

Delivering high-quality experiences is the key to app value. To move people across the chasm — beyond activation to engagement — brands need to show them that you know them. It calls for in-app experiences tailored to the individual so you can build loyalty and generate revenue. In turn, high-quality experiences incentivize customers to share even more data with your brand, sustaining an ongoing value exchange.

What contributes to high-quality experiences? Leslie and Emily highlighted the following: 

  • Delivering on customer convenience expectations
  • Providing proactive help and support
  • Keeping customers in the loop on product deliveries, service issues and app updates
  • Showcasing new features and how to use them
  • Exercising good timing to make the experience positive rather than disruptive
  • Using tags and custom events to analyze use of features and content
  • Micro-targeting customers through effective data collection and segmentation

4. Drive High-Value Action 

Brands can nudge users toward high-value actions at key moments using contextual and timely messaging. The first step to driving a high-value action is making it relevant. Say goodbye to random promotional messages and instead focus on sending out contextual alerts to customers. Is there a forgotten item in their cart? Is there a new product or service in your app similar to what they’ve already looked for? Is there a free trial they could benefit from? Encouraging your customers to complete high-value actions will improve their in-app experience.

Timing your messages for when users are likely to be active and receptive can make the difference between being ignored or triggering action. It’s about catching your customers at the right moment guided by their behaviors, context or predictive AI (such as Optimal Send Time).

According to Lesley, exploring partnerships can be a critical part of this engagement practice. Aligning with relevant partners can help provide additional value to your customers and expand your reach, resulting in higher customer engagement and an increased likelihood of customers performing these actions. 

5. Continuously Experiment

Your brand’s strategic approach should be geared towards continuous experimentation and optimization for optimal results. This process begins by identifying and bridging gaps in expertise, bandwidth, process and data analysis resources. 

It’s important to empower all your employees with both access and encouragement to use tools for ongoing testing and optimization — such as Airship’s A/B testing capabilities across messages, journeys and no-code app experiences. A culture of experimentation empowers everyone to test hypotheses and test fast. 

Get in touch to learn how Airship can help you implement and master mobile app engagement strategies.

Learn the Top 5 Mobile Engagement Practices. Watch the on-demand webinar to gain insights about in-app experiences that help your customers engage fully and see the benefits of your app they may not have noticed before.