Guest writer, Author at SaaS and mobile app marketing and lead generation agency - App Marketing Minds

How to properly integrate technology into your bootstrapped SaaS startup

Understanding When To Integrate Technology into Your Bootstrapped Startup

Startup CEOs have to make hundreds of decisions every single day to properly manage their small companies and help them gain traction and get off the ground. Some of these decisions are small. However, some can be quite significant. Big investments into new technology may be one decision that many entrepreneurs have to make several different times over the course of their careers.

 

There are many ways technology can benefit a company. However, sometimes making such investments is a mistake that allocates important resources without much return on the large investment. You have to be smart about it. With that in mind, here are some tips for understanding when it’s the right time to make an investment to integrate new tech into your business.

 

Keep a Tab on Macro Market Trends

One pitfall for many startups is making large investments much too early. Especially, if it’s into technology that fails to last for the long term.

You may remember Betamax videos or HD-DVD, home video formats that did not last the test of time and were wiped out by their competitors, VHS and Blu-ray, respectively.

Companies that plan to be around for awhile need to plan for the long term. Tech that may seem fashionable one year may be obsolete only months later.

This is especially true for small businesses. An upstart vape shop, for example, might topple before it gained any traction if it put too much money into an atomizer that appeared to be the next big thing, but turned out to be a flop.

 

While it can be hard to predict what tech will stand the test of time, you can get a better handle of the situation by studying macro economic trends that affect large swaths of the public.

Smartphones and mobile devices, for example, are one example of a kind of tech that is here to stay. Proving so is quite easy as well. 90 percent of the American public now owns a smartphone. The statistics released also suggest extreme growth trends of near 50 percent since 2010.

 

With all that data in mind, the trend is clear and extremely substantial. As such, investing in apps and other mobile related campaigns is likely to pay off since most consumers are using smartphones regardless.

 

Do the Math

However, just because the market trends seem favorable to the technology in question, it does not mean investing in that kind of tech is the right course to take.

Instead, you need to be very deliberative about the decision. This requires determining exactly how much the investment is going to cost and whether you have the extra funds in reserve to make the investment.

51 percent of companies plan to invest into big data analytics. This decision was only reached after extensive research by those businesses.

 

Part of this process means trying to gauge the profit that could be made from the investment. While you won’t know for absolute sure, you should perform the research needed to get a close approximation as well as the odds for that outcome occurring.

If you find that there is a 70 percent chance that making the investment will produce an additional profit of $1 million, it may be a good idea.

Alternatively, if the foreseeable profits are moderate at best or only pay for the expense required to make the investment, that money would probably be better allocated somewhere else within the organization.

 

Investing in Technology Requires Investing in Training

You also need to actually consider costs related to the technology apart from the hardware and software itself. One of the biggest expenses will be related to training employees on how to use that technology to reach the company’s goals.

 

Companies spend $1,208 to train each employee. With more tech training, this expense could increase. If the tech in question is needed to effectively manage the company, you will also need to integrate that technology into your leadership development program.

 

Technology can make the difference between developing a strong competitive advantage and losing your profits to more tech savvy competitors. Certainly consider different ways to invest in tech in your company. However, do so strategically and only when you have substantial research and reason to believe it will increase your bottom line.

 

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SaaS customer success

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

6 tips on how to increase SaaS customer lifetime value (CLTV)

 

In an online business, you can easily pick out all types of numbers through which you can analyse your brand. You can calculate bounce rates, CTRs, conversion rates, and micro conversion rates – all of which are immensely important.

There is another metric, however, the importance of which far outweighs that of all the others. It’s called CLTV— the customer  lifetime value.

The following article is going to highlight the factors required to improve customers’ LTV for an ecommerce business.

The value behind customer retention

While there is nothing wrong with increasing your consumer base, it is essential to remember the real value behind customer retention and brand loyalty. A research by social analytics platform SumAll suggests:

“25% to 40% of the total revenues of the most stable businesses in the SumAll network come from returning customers. Even better, steady customers help businesses weather lean economic times; businesses with 40% repeat customers generated nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.”

SaaS CLTV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Attaining brand loyalty is one of the most difficult assets for a company. Or at least, it used to be. We used to depend on customers having a good experience with our service or with our team. Now, brands can give them a great experience, even though most businesses still haven’t figured out how to do it.

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Why Lifetime Value (LTV) matters

LTV is the total amount of money you will receive from a buyer throughout their entire lifetime as a consumer. Let’s say you have an online store. If the average visitor spends $100 per year and does so for an average of three years, then the average customer’s LTV is $300.

Here are some of the reasons discussing why this is of such a significant value:

  • LTV affects every area of business

LTV matters because it affects all areas of business. Take a closer look at how the customer’s lifecycle virtually impacts every section of an ecommerce business.

customer lifetime value

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the diagram above, what do you see beyond the labels? Strategy outreach, development, product, customer service, management decision-making – basically everything that makes an online brand viable. LTV is part and parcel of it all.

  • Increasing LTV means higher profits

LTV shows you the path to achieve higher profits. The Marketing Metrics suggest the possibility of selling to a new prospect to be 5-20%, but the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. By maintaining focus on existing consumers, you are focusing on a strategy that gives your business much higher profit margins.

An ecommerce store provider, BigCommerce, writes;  to ensure a high profit, it is important to ‘influence your customers to keep coming back to purchase.’ This means that you would want your churn to lessen once you get a customer. Lower churn means higher LTV and a healthier business overall.

As a marketer, what can you do to level up your customer’s lifetime value? The following six ideas will get you there:

 

1. Publish engaging content to increase CLTV

A newsletter may sound like an old-school trick, but it is also a great method of improving LTV.

How so, you may ask?

Firstly, a newsletter keeps your company front and centre in a customer’s mind. How can they forget about you when you keep sending them regular offers via email? They can’t. And when they remember, they are more likely to return and buy.

Second, you can gain even higher value from each letter by segmenting customers. A targeted email to customer segments is way better than a generic email sent to a huge mailing list. Just having a newsletter, however, isn’t enough. Here is how you can make your messages truly valuable:

  • Make your emails worth reading

Few emails make it to the junk pile faster than a boring newsletter. Therefore, keep your emails interesting if you want to use it as an LTV growth strategy. “People will open good emails no matter how often you send them,” says Kevan Lee from Buffer app.

  • Test your subject lines

The best emails are those that begin with an attention grabbing subject line. By testing my email subject lines, Brian Kelly, the CEO of Kissmetrics, said that he was able to improve his open rate by 203%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2. Focus on your SaaS customers to increase CLTV

SaaS CLTV cohort analysis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cohort Analysis chart shown above is a marketer’s new best friend. This script has a really useful function with an aim to expose which specific months in your customers’ lifetime are at the highest risk for churn. To instantly identify where you have a problem, you can examine the churn rate per cohort, and take immediate action by focusing on customer success efforts in that particular period (or before it).

Let’s say, if compared to other days, month-3 has a much higher churn rate, try talking with your consumer base entering month 3, and understand the problems they’re facing with your services. Fixing this may require product enhancements, or a better on boarding and support process.

 

[Free Tool] Download The SaaS Sales Checklist
Use the SaaS Sales Checklist to improve your sales processes and drive more revenue by organizing all your sales components!
saas sales

3. Send your fans an unexpected present

If your fans take an interest in what you’re selling and what you care about, it’s only fair for you to do the same. Take a look at their social profiles to see what kinds of things they really enjoy, and then send them something you know they’ll like. They will definitely talk about it on their social media platforms as well as in person with their family, friends and anyone else willing to listen.

General electric sent a batman book to one of their buyers, with the latter referencing the gesture in three widely shared articles.

SaaS customer success case study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Remember to not pick out something obvious when it comes to the gift you send. Do a little research and find something unique from what most people are talking about. (Unless they flat-out said, ‘I really wish to have…’)

4. Be wary of your rivals

One of the essential factors that determine the strength of your consumer bond is their view of your competitors. If they don’t perceive any of your rival brands to be better than you, there is a lesser chance of them churning.

Keeping an eye out for your competition is another important part of the SaaS marketing ideas. See what they’re doing right and wrong to figure out where you stack up against them. By calculating your rival’s next move, you’ll be able to adapt your SaaS marketing ideas accordingly and find something different to offer to your customers.

5. Add sticky features to your product

This one always brings up some conversation, including a term that is usually avoided in product discussions: User lock-in. The idea of adding metaphorical prison bars to your product makes it hard for them to leave, going against everything we have learned about making a great service experience.

Build features in your product that allow consumers to create their own data and add further value to your platform, making them reluctant to leave. For example, if it’s a service app, an automation testing tool like accelQ could enhance product features, with consumers building their own segments inside the platform.

Result: Adding sticky features equals lower churn rate, thus, increasing customers’ LTV.

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6. Solve a consumer problem

Go beyond your actual services and provide your customers something that makes their life easier on a regular basis. Portent did this with their content idea generator and Neil Patel did it with his website analyser on QuickSprout.

Try to understand your customer, find out what product would simplify their lives, and build it. When you are able to pull this off right, you make your buyer dependent on you for more than just your service, and that makes you almost irreplaceable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is a mysterious beast…

The ideas above represent some of the most common yet effective ways to extend the length of customer lifetime and the amount of money each one is willing to pay.

The only difficult part is having a solid hold on LTV estimation, carefully tweaked to the characteristics of your company, and being able to achieve highly reliable, measurable results from the above ways to grow your consumer lifetime value.

 

About the author: 

Audrey Throne is a mother of a 2-year old and a professional blogger by choice. Throne is passionate about health, technology and management and blogs frequently on these topics.

Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne.

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SaaS customer success

Make customer success a part of your business DNA for higher SaaS MRR and decreased churn

Delivering SaaS Customer Success for improved business performance

 

How to ensure customer success with SaaS?

In recent years, an increasing number of SaaS companies have come to recognize the impressive array of benefits available through customer (or client) success management, also known as CSM. As a result, more and more SaaS companies have placed a greater emphasis on customer success and have taken steps to ensure that the happiness of their customers contributes to an increase in conversions and a decrease in churn, both of which are critical for SaaS companies that rely on recurring revenue streams.

 

At first glance, the concept behind customer success management seems simple enough. After all, ensuring customer success requires only that SaaS companies orient any and all customer interactions in such a way that the customer is ultimately positioned to achieve a specifically desired outcome. Despite the relative simplicity of the underlying concept, the process that goes into ensuring customer success is nonetheless worthy of a thorough and detailed explanation.

 

In the sections that follow, we’ll discuss why ensuring customer success is so important to recurring revenue businesses while also answering some of the most common questions associated with CSM, including each the following:

 

  • What is the relationship between customer success and recurring revenue increases?
  • How can a SaaS company make customer success part of its company DNA?
  • Which metrics are best for measuring customer success?

 

In addition to answering these critical questions, we will also review the best practices associated with CSM and will detail how each of those practices directly contribute to increased conversion, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced churn.

 

How Customer Success Leads to More Recurring Revenue

 

Customers have to be able to clearly see the value of investing in your SaaS company’s product, and there is only a brief window available to demonstrate this value. This window occurs during the onboarding period, and it may be as brief as 24 to 48 hours. During this time, your SaaS company must prove how its product will help the customer achieve a desired outcome or risk permanently losing the customer.

 

Since renewals and up-selling — all of which occur after the initial sale — represent the overwhelming majority of revenue generated by SaaS companies, a successful onboarding process that demonstrates the product’s immediate value to the customer increases customer lifetime value, or CLV, by a significant margin.

 

Of course, immediately demonstrating the value of a product in this way dramatically reduces churn rates and also makes customers much more likely to become brand advocates. The impact of these outcomes on recurring revenue ought to be obvious, further underscoring the significant benefits associated with highly effective customer success management.

 

CSM and Company Culture: How to Make Customer Success Part of Your Company DNA

 

Now that we have reviewed the benefits made possible through an effective approach to CSM, it is important to discuss the many ways in which your SaaS company can make ensuring customer success a lasting part of your company DNA. During this process, it is especially critical that every department recognizes how they contribute to ensuring customer success and why it is necessary that they take a proactive approach in doing so.

 

It is only when your entire company feels responsible for ensuring customer success that the full range of benefits associated with CSM can be realized. This is why it is so important that your company’s leadership team emphasizes CSM at every level and highlights the specific rationale behind the use of CSM strategies.

 

When each department understands the importance of CSM and feels responsible for ensuring customer success, every interaction between the company and the customer will revolve around the achievement of the same core objective: helping the customer achieve a specifically desired outcome.

 

Of course, it’s worth noting that an increasing number of SaaS companies have created CSM teams specifically dedicated to ensuring customer success. Creating a dedicated CSM team is especially effective if you have already successfully embedded customer success in your company DNA, as it is of the utmost importance that you have a team of employees solely dedicated to developing strategies and processes for ensuring customer success at every stage of the customer journey.

 

Metrics to Measure Customer Success

 

While your company will certainly benefit from the addition of a dedicated CSM team and the establishment of a company culture that emphasizes customer success, the only way to maximize those benefits is through the use of specific metrics designed to measure the various elements associated with customer success. The most successful SaaS companies tend to rely on metrics that focus on measuring each of the following:

 

  • Customer Satisfaction (e.g., Support Satisfaction Rating; Net Promoter Score)
  • Churn Rate
  • Onboarding Engagement (e.g., Core Tasks Completion; First Session Length; Returning Sessions)
  • Trial-To-Paid Conversion Rate

 

Each of these metrics is designed to help identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses as they relate to CSM, thereby making it possible for you to quickly address any weaknesses that might be hindering your company’s ability to ensure customer success.

 

In order to yield the short- and long-term benefits that accompany efforts aimed at ensuring customer success — including, for example, recurring revenue increases, churn rate reductions, improved customer satisfaction, and increased activity and support from brand advocates — SaaS companies must remain attentive to these CSM metrics while also remaining wholly committed to the underlying principles associated with effective customer success management.

 

About the author:

Gina Kawalek is currently a Senior Marketing Manager at QASymphony, a leading provider of QA testing software for agile developers. Prior to QASymphony, she spent 5 years in B2B marketing at ExactTarget, Salesforce and Insightpool.

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The 4 Best Practices for SaaS Customer Success

In the SaaS world, Customer Success is everything!

Customer Success in SaaS has gone from a dull, ‘Hackneyed’ saying to a crucial sales weapon to increase conversions, enhance customer happiness and reduce the churn for returning revenue businesses. There is no doubt why a customer success has moved from ‘optional to obligatory’ for SaaS companies in recent years.

 

In today’s competitive marketplace, the companies that are not providing SaaS , or not even the technology companies, have appreciated the transformational power of customer success and adopted it as their operating model.

 

According to Lincoln Murphy “Customer success is about more than delivering service or support.”

 

To be successful, a SaaS (Software as a Service) must focus on establishing an accurate customer acquisition and steady customer retention strategy.

 

In this article, I will share the top 4 best practices or approaches the ISVs should follow to ensure customer loyalty, satisfaction and develop customer success as the company’s culture. By following these top practices, organizations can leverage to develop and establish the client success culture from the level zero.

 

Without further ado, let’s start!

Success Culture as Your Top Priority

It is essential for the SaaS companies to ensure that every department, be it sales, marketing or software development are dedicated to create a customer success culture.

 

And how do you achieve that?

 

Well, the key is to ensure that every team member is to be made clear that customer success is a priority for the company. Employees will be directly or indirectly involved in making that happen.

 

Implementation of the culture of success is not only the CSM role alone!

 

Let’s take Sales and Marketing Team as examples:

 

  • If Mr.A from the Sales is selling a product to the wrong customer or overselling the product, customer success will not meet its retention goals.

 

  • Similarly, if Mr. M from Marketing department is not able to capture the customer success stories or include current customers in his outbound marketing campaigns, the customer success goals will suffer.

 

I don’t mean that Customer Success should be used to pinpoint the Sales or Marketing efforts. I simply mean that the success and retention goals of the organization will require the efforts and participation from all departments.

Follow up on every customer interaction and sales

I don’t mean service requests. I’m talking about that instant moment of courtesy after the customer query is solved or a product is purchased.

 

Following up your customer interaction and sales not only showcase your allegiance to customer service but also assist in building customer loyalty and ensuring repetitive sales.

 

A follow up usually include:

  • Providing refunds, repairs, and warranties
  • Interacting with customers after purchase or query solution to ensure they are happy
  • Creating customer follow-up opportunities like sales alerts

 

Customers appreciate the personalized attention and care. Even a small hacks like remembering his name, a previous interaction with ended on a positive note, assist your customer to feel “belonged” to the business.

 

It is advised that you remember your customer and pay attention to their interests and requirements.

 

Align to Customers’ Goals & KPIs

 

The key to establishing a mutually beneficial and strategic partnership between your customers and SaaS organization is understanding the customer inside out.

 

As a service provider, it is necessary that your team should form a solid relationship with the decision makers, architects and with everyone associated with the business including your users and even beyond.

 

Your team should be well aligned to get to the roots of everything, especially the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the individual goals.

 

You should be asking them various questions including:

 

  • What are their foremost KPIs?
  • How are the compensated or measured personally?
  • What are their preparations and team goals to offer solutions?

 

And more…

 

After all the information is collected and well understood, it is now time to customise the solution to what matters most to the client. This will ultimately assist you in realizing what will make your customer successful.

 

Brand yourself as a service, not a software

 

World is a tricky place for SaaS providers. It is so much of the competition around. They offer both the software and service and can’t fake it on either side.

Your customers are paying you every month, isn’t it? Are you not serving them? Don’t they know this? If you are able to offer your customers the service in tangible ways, you will more successful in rendering the customer satisfaction.

 

It is advised that you roll out service improvements schedule with your billing schedule. While your customer watches the withdrawal of the payment, he should also be convinced that he is getting something valuable in return.

 

By introducing new updates, increasing the security, storage, etc. you can make your customer feel comfortable in the value-addition process.

 

Conclusion:

 

Customer Success is the most important activity in a SaaS business.

 

A real testimony on any organization’s culture, product and professionals is highlighted in the success of its customers. Customer success should be given top priority, not just by the company itself but by each and every employee or a team which is associated or own a stake in the customer’s success.

 

How do you find the article?

 

What is your favourite Customer Success Strategy?

 

About Author

 

Ankur Kumar is a content marketing expert and an experienced blogger. He works in a reputed software development India firm and likes to ideate, write on various topics including technology, digital marketing, startups and environment. An avid outdoorsman, explorer and nature lover who believes in minimalist lifestyle. You can find Ankur on LinkedIn.

 

 

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On-Premise vs SaaS: How to Choose the Right Enterprise Order Management System (OMS)

The average American spends $1,800 shopping online each year, according to the Statista Digital Market Outlook. That’s an enormous market. Efficient operations and great customer service will help you attract and retain more of those customers, and an Enterprise Order Management System (OMS) is designed to do just that—by improving internal operations, inventory management and stocking, and customer service. Picking the right one for your business is a big, complex decision, but it all starts from understanding which fundamental approach is right for you.

The Two Approaches to Enterprise OMS Deployment

There are many important decisions along the road to choosing an OMS, and one of the earliest you’ll need to make is the deployment model:

 

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): A SaaS solution is deployed and maintained by the vendor, on their local servers or on a cloud server. They’re responsible for maintenance, uptime, and hardware upgrades.
  • On-Premise Solutions: In this model, the software is installed on a local server, which is operated and maintained entirely by the eCommerce business.

 

Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the decision will depend on your strengths and needs.

SaaS Solution Pros & Cons

SaaS has transformed the tech world, including OMS, by providing solutions at a lower cost and with greater scalability. SaaS vendors can provide robust hosting environments, high performance, and excellent security and compliance features by distributing the costs across their many subscribers. You’re also protected from sudden spikes in cost, such as costly hardware upgrades, or emergency security patches. Deployment is generally simpler than an on-premise solution, allowing your tech team to focus on tackling other problems.

Data from Forrester Research shows that over one-fifth (21%) of OMS users at medium to large organizations have already made a switch toward SaaS for their primary OMS deployment. Another 40% are planning to either fully replace or complement their existing OMS with a SaaS solution over the next two years.

 

There are few drawbacks to SaaS deployment. For some large, long-established retailers, losing direct control over the server environment or having their data reside outside the company firewalls may be uncomfortable. If it’s important to you to have a direct role in security and compliance, SaaS will likely be out of the question. Finally, SaaS vendors have the power to schedule maintenance windows when necessary, so you may not have control over scheduled downtime.

What About On-Premise Solutions?

The market for on-premise OMS solutions is shrinking, but still going strong. Their strengths include the potential for greater customization, flexibility and dedicated custom IT environments designed for high scalability, which is valuable to large retailers with outstanding technical resources. If your company already has a powerful data center, you may be able to leverage that investment and reduce the cost of an on-premise deployment. Finally, you’d maintain complete control over your data, security, and compliance, which may make this model more palatable to some businesses.

 

According to Forrester Research, the average life expectancy for an enterprise ecommerce platform was over seven years in the last decade, but this trend is changing. Today, the pace of change and rapid innovation means that businesses that still host their own software will need to significantly upgrade their software as often as every four years. Thus, on-premises merchants will need to replatform every four to seven years. These shortening replatforming life cycles will continue to drive on-premise, licensed-based solution upgrades but we’ll see a gradual decline in the popularity of new on-premise solution installations going forward.

 

The weaknesses of on-premise deployments are considerable. There are a lot of unknowns and potential headaches, as your organization is entirely responsible for deployment and maintenance. IT costs can be highly variable and difficult to predict, and you’re responsible for hardware costs, network maintenance, monitoring, and security. These issues should be seriously weighed against the advantages of on-premise deployment.

First, Know Thyself

This important decision truly comes down to you: examine your operational strengths, current pain points, and plans for scale, and compare them against the pros and cons of each approach. This blog can help you start that process, but there’s plenty more to consider before making this complex, nuanced decision.

 

About the author:

Manish Chowdhary is the CEO of Pulse Commerce, the leading cloud platform for order & inventory management. He is a thought leader and speaker for technology innovation and all things ecommerce. In January 2017, Manish was recognized as one of The 30 Most Innovative Business Leaders by Insights Success Magazine. He has been featured in the New York Times, Internet Retailer, and other leading publications. Follow Pulse Commerce on LinkedIn for company updates and industry news.

 

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The biggest mistakes to avoid while developing a mobile app

Mistakes to avoid while developing a mobile app

App development has recently undergone a lot of changes, and it still keeps changing. Nowadays, more and more innovations are introduced to the app development – new coding languages, technologies, etc.

Mobile app developers are always looking for some new ways and means to develop outstanding mobile software meeting the needs of the modern society. Everyone is piquing the interest in how to develop an app bringing huge profits.

Of course, there are a lot of tutorials, coverages, how-to guides, books available both in paper and online, but there is still one thing to consider – you can’t achieve success in the field without outlining the main pitfalls to evade while developing a mobile app.

We’ve analyzed a great many of surveys and shoveled up hundreds of book on app development.

And here are four top mistakes you should circumvent when developing a successful mobile app.

Building an app for all screens

A common issue developer run into is deciding which OS to run first – Android or iOS. When considering the platform, take into account your target audience. This should help you make an informed decision.

For statistic data, you can use the following platforms:

Launching an app for both platforms at once will double(or triple) your expenses since you should develop two different apps making any alterations to design or/and functionality. Note, developing an app for iOS takes less time than for Android because of a limited number of screens.

And this means, it’s somehow cheaper and allows getting an MVP (minimum viable product) as soon as possible to iTunes and see how the market reacts.

Try developing an app for one platform, then fix the bugs and make some iterations before launching for other platforms.

Did you know that Instagram was firstly built for iOS? After its spectacular success – Instagram has got nearly 30 million of active users, it was launched to Google Play.

Packing too many features

Nearly every beginner developer wants to use all built-in features of a cell phone in one app. Most modern smartphones are loaded with a great variety of features such as camera, accelerometer, pedometer, gyroscope, GPS, and so on.

Using them all in your app won’t add more value to the software. You, as a developer, should outline the main do’s of an app. Pack it with unique features designated to serve the customers well.

You’d better load an MVP with the core features focusing on the immediate needs of your target audience. You can add more useful features later in the future app versions.

Adding new features, later on, look like you’re constantly updating the app and think over the users. Hence, the app will gain more and more popularity.

Complicated UIs

Your MVP should have an extremely easy-to-use and highly intuitive user interface. The UI should be such allowing the user to learn quickly how to use it without reading the user manual.

Note, your average user is not a tech geek. Allow the user to experience the basic features of a cell phone to ease the daily routine. Try to create a well-defined User Interface where each screen, button, and function are well-thought-out.

Of course, if you want to develop an app for a real geek with the elaborate UIs, multi-gestures, and virtual reality features, it’ll be great to include a how-to section in an app.

In a nutshell, make your UI consistent and homogeneous in all your upcoming versions, so that the users won’t have to learn how to navigate the updated app.

Marketing after launching app

It’s vital to start your marketing campaign as soon as possible to achieve first visible results within a short period. Waiting until submitting an app to Google Play or App Store to start a press outreach campaign may throw you a wobbly.

It’s better to start contacting media around a month before a planned launch. Before sending outreach emails, look through the Web to find bloggers, journalists or platforms writing about similar apps.

While writing emails, try to keep them short and precise for the bloggers to grasp the main idea of what you want and what your app is capable of. Try to end your email with a call-to-action:

  • Do you want to know more?
  • Find it interesting?

Conclusions

Developing an app is the very first (and the most important) step in your app development career. Due to the fact, the app market is really overloaded with mobile software and without a proper marketing strategy, it may be hard to succeed.

Try to avoid the common mistakes while developing an own app and your chances to develop a fruitful app is going up and up.

Are there any mistakes that I didn’t manage to cover? Leave a comment below.

 

About the author:

Tasha Bronitska

She runs a blog at IDAP Group. Tasha stays tuned for more news regarding app development and other geek stuff. Want to be the first to read her must-use guides and ultimate coverages, follow IDAP on Facebook or Twitter.

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SaaS customer success

Not sure how to prospect effectively for your b2b start-up? You need to see this infographic!

Sales play a crucial role in bringing in cash flow into the business. A business cannot sustain its daily operation without it, and without it, a business would eventually fail. One of its most important and initial steps is called “prospecting” – the process of qualifying the leads who has demonstrated the desire to make a purchase decision.

 

Here is an in-depth definition of ringDNA on what prospecting is, and what it involves:

 

“The definition of sales prospecting is when inside sales reps make outbound calls or send outbound emails to leads in hopes of creating opportunities for account executives. Prospecting can involve cold-calling as well as reaching out to nurture leads that have gone cold. Many inside sales organizations have achieved successful results by hiring dedicated sales prospectors. Prospectors, also known as sales development reps (SDRs) can help achieve predictable ROI by creating a steady stream of opportunities for account executives. This can be highly effective because it frees account executives from having to prospect for their own leads.  Instead, they can spend their time selling to sales-ready prospects that have been qualified by sales development reps.”

 

Prospecting is pivotal in closing deals, which is the reason why it must be executed properly and in the right time. According to statistics, the first viable vendor to reach a decision maker has a 74% chance to win the deal if they manage to set the buying vision.

 

Here are the key takeaways from this infographic by Business Coaches Sydney on what it takes to prospect more effectively:

  1. Follow a consistent schedule
  2. Focus, focus, and focus
  3. Implement different techniques
  4. Create prospecting scripts
  5. Be a provider of great solutions
  6. Practice warm calling
  7. Establish yourself as a thought leader
  8. Know that prospecting is not selling

Check out their infographic to find out more.

 

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How to increase SaaS CLTV

The best 15+ tools you need to get more leads for your b2b start-up

The best 15+ tools you need to get more leads for your b2b start-up

Have you just started your B2B business and wondering how to generate more leads? B2b lead generation can be tricky without a proven track record.

 

You may have tried some strategies, but the result isn’t what you expected. And all of it is taking too much work and time.

 

You may also be wondering how some start-ups grow so fast and build their client base in a few months only.

 

Here I’ll share 15+ tools with you which will help you to find new quality leads to your B2B business, and build up your client base quickly.

 

Let’s start.

 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

These days search engines are the map of Internet – especially Google. Search engines have the largest audience to redirect, and you simply can’t ignore them.

 

If you know how these engines work and how you can get your targeted keywords on top in there, your business will skyrocket like you’ve never thought.

 

Here’re some tools to help you with SEO.

 

#1. Google Keyword Planner (free)

 

All the SEO strategy starts with keywords. In fact, your whole strategy, implementation, and its success are hugely dependent on the keywords you want to rank for. So, finding appropriate keywords for your business is a crucial process.

 

Google keyword planner gives you keyword ideas, its monthly search volume, difficulty level, and more important things.

 

#2. Mozbar Extension (freemium)

 

Another important part of SEO is to study your competition. You need to know your competitor’s strength, so you can do your preparation accordingly and beat them.

 

Mozbar tool tells you page authority, domain authority, backlinks, and more information while viewing any page or SERP. With premium, you can see keyword difficulty, page optimization and content suggestions, and more metrics.

 

#3. Yoast (freemium)

 

When your website is up, and you start publishing content, you need to optimize it for search engines. Yoast is your friend there. It’s a plugin that helps you to make your website search engine optimized.

 

You get snippet editor, real time page analysis, optimize your page content, image titles, create XML sitemaps, and much more. With premium, you get redirect manager, multiple focus keywords, internal linking, and premium support.

 

Analyzing Traffic

 

Have you ever thought of analyzing your website traffic and finding leads from there? Imagine if you can find who is visiting your website, and see the visiting pattern.

 

By studying your audience behavior, you can optimize your website for the maximum conversion. And if you do some more research, you can find the contact details of your potential client.

 

This is a great strategy for finding quality leads for your B2B business. Here’re some tools to help:

 

#4. Google Analytics (freemium)

 

Google Analytics is a website monitoring and visitors tracking system. It helps you to find how many people are visiting your website, where are they coming from, what device are they using, what visiting pattern are they following, and much more. Google Analytics is so powerful and has a lot of other useful features. However, it has a little learning curve. You’ve to spend some time and learn how it works to get most out of it.

 

#5. Lead Forensics (free trial)

 

We build our website, attract our audience, and wait for the potential client to contact us. This approach has a flaw because 98% visitors never make a contact. But it doesn’t mean they don’t need your product.

 

Lead Forensics insert a small code (similar to Google Analytics) into your pages and tracks visitors. After tracking, it matches that information with their database and gives you the contact information of your lead.

 

#6. Lead Feeder (free trial)

 

Lead Feeder is another lead capturing tool working on the same concept – tracking your visitors and giving you the contact information. The good part is that it integrates with your Google Analytics account. The process is simple, and the interface is beautiful.

 

The advantage of integration with Google Analytics is that you can get leads from the last months which means you set this up and get your results instantly.

 

Lead Magnet Forms

 

Once you start getting traffic, you must prepare to get a recurring audience. Every visitor is an opportunity to grow your business and his life as well. People must go away with something valuable from your site. It could be an ebook, case-study, cheat sheet, or something else.

 

You may have seen big brands giving out valuable things to their visitors for free. It helps to grow the authority, getting recurring visitors, and quality leads from there.

 

Here’re some tools:

 

#7. Sumo Plugin (freemium)

 

Sumo is a suite of free tools that can be used to grow your website traffic and generating leads. It’s easy to setup and has features like Welcome Mat, Scroll box, Smart bar, social share buttons, and more. You can integrate your list with email service provider such MailChimp, Aweber, Active Campaign, and all other big email service providers.

 

#8. Lead Pages (Premium)

 

Lead Pages is a landing page creator that has an intuitive, drag-n-drop feature which helps you to generate simple and complex forms in minutes. It has hundreds of templates you can choose from and start instantly. It also supports popup box and integrates with your website and email service provider.

 

#9. TypeForm (freemium)

 

Another form generating tool you can use to create multiple types of forms like lead generating forms, survey forms, registration forms, quizzes, and more. The interface is minimal, and its drag-n-drop feature helps to design forms quickly. It provides an embedded code so you can display your forms on your website, social media channels, and other places.

 

Emailing

 

Email marketing is an old, yet the best strategy to get new clients and grow your business. A study says that email marketing has 4400% ROI. It means for every $1 you spend, you get $44 in return.

 

Let’s see some tools to help you in your email game.

 

#10. MailChimp (freemium)

 

As your email list grows, it becomes hard to handle it and sending emails turns into a nerve wrecking process. MailChimp is an email marketing automation tool that helps you to organize your email list, sending automated emails, analyzing conversion reports and more.

 

With a free version, you can have up to 2000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. As you grow, you can upgrade your account.

 

#11. Hunter (freemium)

 

What if you’re having trouble to find an email address of someone in the company? Hunter comes there to rescue in that situation. You enter the domain name, and it tells you the company’s email format and available email address on the Internet.

 

#12. MailMentor (free)

 

The conversion rate of an email is dependent on its subject line and the body. If you’re worried about crafting better emails, use MailMentor as a helping hand. Its algorithm checks your email quality on various parameters and suggests you changes to turn your emails a little better.

 

Social Networks

 

Probably the easiest and quickest way of generating leads. Most businesses use social media for branding only, but social networks can be your great weapon for generating leads. Many growth hackers are already using it. Here’re some tools to help:

 

#13. LinkedIn Pulse (free)

 

As you know, LinkedIn is a platform for making professional connections. It has a publishing platform called “Pulse” where you can post your content and get recognition in the community. The more quality content you publish, the more eyes you get. It’s a great way of enhancing your credibility and reaching out to hundreds of quality leads at once.

 

#14. Buffer (freemium)

 

The most important part of building authority on social networks is consistency. You’ve to provide valuable content to your audience consistently. Only then you may get some recognition and quality leads.

 

Buffer is a tool that helps you to schedule and automate your social messages publishing on your selected platform. You can connect your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus, and Pinterest account there.

 

#15. Facebook Ads (Paid)

 

Some people think that Facebook is just for spreading fake news. Well, it’s much more useful than that. Facebook has billions of users, and if you implement right thing in the right order, you may get dozens of quality leads there. Through Facebook Ads, you can reach to your targeted audience quickly by just spending a few dollars.

 

Another idea to run a contest on Facebook. If you’re giving a good deal, it may go viral, and you’ll get plenty of sign ups.

 

#16. Quora (free)

 

Quora is the most popular Q&A community on earth. It covers a wide range of niches. No matter what industry you belongs to, you’ll find your audience here.

 

You need to find boards and topics related to your niche and start getting engaged there. Ask questions and answer what others are asking. Soon you’ll be known and taken as an expert, which will help you to get quality leads.

 

Starting a business and taking it to the heights isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work, time, and money. You’ve to keep yourself in the searching and learning mode all the time. I hope this post will help you in the journey. Share your experience in the comment box.

 

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5 best apps to earn money with using only your smartphone

Are you using your smartphone on the go? The chances are that you are! This article will show you how you can turn normal use of your smartphone into an effective way to earn more money.

Having an internet connection and downloading apps is probably one of the main reasons for owning a smartphone. However, there are many more features that might be more interesting. While you pay a huge amount of money to buy your new smartphone, it might also pay you a huge amount in return.

 

Want to know how get your smartphone investment back?

There are many Smartphone Apps which allows you to make money just by using it.These apps have

These apps have tied up with a wide variety of brands in a number of different domains. In return, these brands pay them to promote their campaign. The platform aggregators provide users, an easy to use interface, and can contribute their useful time in generating money. Here are some of the best apps that you can have a look and kick start with.

 

  1. Surveys on the Go:

More than a million of surveys available, the Surveys on the Go Application is probably one of the best applications which you might like to use. From the political campaigns to the different jury trials, you might find a lot of survey options available at Surveys on the Go. The regular surveys will offer you $ 0.25 and the high paying surveys will offer you $ 5 each to get out with a hefty income. The Surveys on the Go is definitely a great application to earn money.

You can download this app from the play store if you are an android user or can download from itunes for iphone users. Typically they send out one to two new surveys per week and you will receive notifications as the new one comes in.

 

  1. GigWalk

The GigWalk app usually connects with the businesses that are looking to get local contract work done. There are many job opportunities including testing a beta application, taking photos of a particular store or doing a delivery to a local personal. The app pays you around $6 to $220 which completely depends on the type of work to be done. There are many more things that you can enjoy with the GigWalk and also make it to be one of the best places to enjoy.

The most important thing about Gigwalk app is that they transfer amount through Paypal only. So you must have a linked paypal account to receive money.

 

  1. Ibotta

Available both for iPhone and android versions, the Ibotta is a beautiful app that you can earn from. Generally, the Ibotta application is based out from a brand for shopping with products and in return, you might win cash. The Ibotta app pays you real cash for buying one’s favourite products with an option available from 40 stores in the world. You can also get an additional $10 for joining Ibotta. It also gives out referral benefits.

The best part of ibotta app is that 100% of your earnings can be transferred to PayPal or Venmo as soon as you’ve earned money. If you’d rather convert your earnings into a gift card, you can do that, too.

 

  1. Shopkick

The Shopkick is another great application that offers you incentives to check out the specific stores and also items which are available in those stores. You can even earn more money by making certain purchases and also you can get the best results declared. With the Shopkick application, the earning can be made huge as you can easily earn $10 gift card options and also many other coupon options for you to earn money. So, why wait to join and be the member of 1 lac+ community actively making discounted money every day.

 

  1. CheckPoints

The CheckPoints might be one of the most entertaining apps that will lead you to earn money easily. With the help of this app, you can easily earn points by watching videos that are viral and indeed funny. You cannot win direct cash amounts in your bank account but you might win money through Amazon and Walmart Gift Cards.

Also, there is an option to scan bar decodes for you to use and make money out of it.

 

So, here we have mentioned the 5 best apps that can easily give you the extra income just by sitting at home and using your smartphone. All that you need to do is to find your favorite application and start making good money.

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The Top Business Intelligence Methods for App Developers

Whether you’re an independent app developer or create apps for a company, you need to be up to date with what apps are trending. This is where insights from a business intelligence (BI) solution becomes an invaluable resource. Determine what apps in your industry are trending and what features users are looking for.

 

Why BI Matters

Here’s a jaw-dropping fact: about 200 apps account for 70% of total app usage in the U.S. That is pretty shocking considering that there are roughly 160 million apps, according to a 2015 report.

How do you create a successful app when so few dominate the entire marketplace? This is why big data is so important. It helps you understand the who, what, why, and how of an app and their intended users.

 

Define Your Metrics

Metrics should include performance of previous apps. Get specific to determine what makes a particular app click with demographic users. Avoid broad metrics like overall download rate. Examples of well defined metrics include:

  • download rate of app X according to gender, age group, and geo-location
  • download rate of app X within 24 hours of release, 48 hours, etc.
  • consensus of app according to social media reviews
  • the success rate of native versus hybrid apps, if you have developed both app types in the past

When you evaluate the specific performance parameters of past apps, you gain insight into what resonates with users.

In addition, you should also define a separate set of metrics for your demographic consumers. Learn who they are and why they are interested in your industry and products in the first place. You can even flat out ask them what kind of app would they be interested in. It doesn’t get any more straightforward than that.

Through online surveys or social media input, you can get to know your customers at a more personal level. This helps you determine what type of app to create that caters to demographic demands.

Know What Matters Most to Users

What do users hope to get out of an app? What do they value the most? A study by Compuware made these discoveries regarding what people expect out of an app:

  • zero errors and glitches. Users will often abandon an app just after one or two failed attempts.
  • an easy-to-navigate and intuitive interface. Perform a usability testing to determine whether it meets this criteria. Introduce the app to a layperson; if he/she can’t figure the ins and outs within five minutes, then it’s too complex.
  • an app that’s responsive and identifies what device and platform they’re using.

The same study also found that dissatisfied users will likely submit negative reviews. These findings may or may not pertain to app use for your industry. Use online surveys and BI tools to collect data on what they expect out of an app.

 

What About Enterprise Apps?

It’s a different matter altogether if you’re creating an app for workplace or internal department use. In this case, what do employees expect to get out of it? Employees want an app that simplifies their job in some shape or form. Structured and unstructured data can determine many insights about employees and the type of app they want. Data analysis may indicate that workers may prioritize the following:

  • an app that provides 24/7 mobile access to sales sheets, invoices, and other similar data updated in real time
  • apps that send urgent notification alerts, such as a delay in supply delivery, an overcharge in an invoice, or an item needing restocking
  • apps that present big data in an easy-to-read format, such as through charts or bar graphs
  • multi-featured apps with functions that include time tracking, enhanced resource, and project analytics

 

Data-Driven Marketing for Apps

Big data doesn’t just help you produce an app that resonates with users, it also helps you determine an optimal marketing strategy. If the data shows the highest download rate among users who are also the most active on social media, for example, then you can dedicate more resources to social media marketing, as opposed to, say, email or Google Adsense.

Multiple factors must be taken into consideration to create an app that resonates with users. With BI analytics, you can gauge user behavior and predict patterns common of a successful app.

—-

Lucy Boyle (@BoyleLucy2), is a full-time mother, blogger for Allocable and freelance business consultant, interested in finance, business, home gardening and mental health.

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Airbnb acquired Montreal’s Luxury Retreats – What does it mean?

It’s an achievement to Airbnb to acquire Montreal’s Luxury Retreats

Have you ever noticed most of the entrepreneurs and limited partners often ask the same question: what should they do to get the successful exit? The answer is quite simple, it’s optionality.

 

Is optionality time-consuming?

There will be the complex opportunity of identifying the early-stage tech entrepreneurs, with them we feel confident enough to partner with over the long-run so that both the partnering companies will have the good name and they can expand their business as they desire. The opportunity of selecting the entrepreneurs comes with the challenge of identifying the entrepreneurs with whom we have chemistry, affinity, similar values, and the alignment of interest. Nowadays, there are many emerging entrepreneurs, but the size of each fund and the time commitment will make the companies to partner with a limited number of entrepreneurs and thus there will be a finite number of entrepreneurs per fund. Another complexity is that we need to be selected by the entrepreneur as well.

 

Not your usual acquisition deal

Usually, the nascent partnership with the founder will happen after the years of efforts in supporting and enhancing the company’s growth and vision. The VC supporting their entrepreneurs in developing the category-leading companies, sound boarding and focus on the three core elements is mandatory they are attracting talent, attracting capital growth, and helping build corporate relationships.

The exit stage is the most challenging one, in which the whole set of dimensions, comes into play. Some believe that exit is not the best term as an entrepreneur should not have to sell his/ her company, but rather you should up the possibility to get acquired or should have the opportunity to IPO to enable their next chapter.

We understand that it will be difficult for the CEO to get into the mindset of early relationship building that may bring new offers. Building towards the optionality is the time-consuming one because it needs the support of the resources and can divert from the daily operations, but the CEO has the option to say no to the unrequested offer that is quite powerful.

 

Optionality for luxury retreats

The CEO of luxury retreats, Joe Poulin said that they didn’t raise any venture capital in 2010; at that time they have an option of choosing the investors to fund their vision. Now, Airbnb has acquired Luxury Retreats after many successful attempts. Managing partner of iNovia, Chris Arsenault, was an early investor of Luxury Retreats said that their relationship building with Luxury Retreats has resulted in an investment in the first quarter of 2012. With enough capital on hand, Joe started to pull the high-quality board of directors Hugh Crean, Peter Kern, and Bertrand Cesvet. Chris also has the opportunity to join as a member of the board.

The board was in line with the vision that Joe has already set on and he expected the growth challenges ahead.

 

Planning the timing

Subsequently, the actions were implemented to solidify the team in order to enhance the growth. Over the few years, iNovia actively concentrated on the work. Joe and the board were helping to attract a stellar executive team with the deep sector expertise. It was really difficult, it took few rounds to attract the right team members, but they eventually found there.

Luxury Retreats were requested a number of times over the years to be acquired and this made them think ever better. It forced the management to check their growth path, which the company has followed over the years. And take decisions concern to how it will step into the next level. This resulted in accelerating the Luxury Retreats. The second financing round was led by iNovia in 2015. This time the company invented three of their limited partners into the round to invest in the fund and it resulted in financial closing internally.

During this whole journey, Joe never moved aimlessly from his original vision of developing and owning the most elegant luxury travel experience for all his guests. He has the ability to attract the top talent, develop technology-based experiences, and concierge management. And he has the ability to build the strong strategic relationships that proved very valuable. According to Joe, building the strategic partnerships was the second nature. Earlier, Luxury Retreats has partnered with HomeAway, VRBO, and Airbnb for their reach and distribution.

 

Closing the big deal

Joe, the CEO, and co-founder of the profitable company has evaluated every acquisition opportunity and the financing offer as if it was the last. He encourages the relationships and he will make sure the competition and deep pocket acquirers should know about Luxury Retreats, its entire performance, and results. He also makes sure the investors and the key industry players should know about the company and he ensures that the key industry players knew about the company and they are inspired by the team’s execution activities and should know that the company had the exit opportunities and also the financial options. All these relationships were developed over long periods of time and basically, they require a working relationship first. This allows both the sides to understand each other better and better and above all, it discovers the strategic value, which you can bring to a potential acquirer. It considers the unique skills to build the feasible options prior to engaging the company into following any of them. Sometimes, the founders may focus on the narrow set of options, but Joe followed them all.

 

Making hard business decisions

Optionality was one of the Luxury’s biggest strengths and when Airbnb approached Luxury Retreats to investigate how much deeper the initial commercial relationship can extend. Joe’s vision for the Luxury tourism services was very much clear and for sure the Co-founder of Airbnb, Brian would have fallen in love with it. Along with the powerful management team, and the high growth potential of combining both the partnering companies. The coincidence of interests and the key assumptions would have made Airbnb acquire Luxury Retreats.

To get acquired by another company doesn’t mean that you should have to put up for sale, but as a CEO it means that having an opportunity to review and decline the uninvited order. And if the company is in the situation of optionality requires the investment in the correct time and it also requires the proper effort towards building the key relationship along the same way. iNovia is proud to work with the highly promising company, Luxury Retreats.

 

The acquisition

With the support of the Luxury Retreats acquisition, Airbnb will gain more than 4,000 best properties in the world. It has the unique technology and the knowledge of 260 main employees with the immense luxury travel and concierge expertise, the vision and clear understanding of the executive team will help to grow this segment like none in the industry have done.

Luxury Retreats, the second transaction iNovia has been involved next to Airbnb. It is an added advantage for the Airbnb to have such a substantial footprint in their history. Great ecosystems happen when this kind of healthy and wise transaction happen. And it is time for the Montreal to raise the bar again. This acquisition will be one of the footpaths in the history of both Luxury Retreats and Airbnb. And it will also help the tech community to grow further. And this acquisition may have the multiplier effect on the Montreal tech ecosystem.

 

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How this Company got 100k People to See their New App on Facebook for Only $100

Gaining visibility for your app is increasingly more difficult

So you’re ready with a new app. But have you thought about what you will do to make a huge number of people see your app in order to make its launch a success? Your app launch can either be all “fire” or “all smoke, no fire”; depending on the number of people it reaches after the launch.

The unfortunate reality is, most apps don’t ever really take off, and the reason is there’s no one there to drive the app marketing engine.

Think of your app as a car that requires a driver behind the steering wheel. It can only reach a destination when the driver actually knows what they are doing and where they are heading. Launching your app is the same. If you’re not driving that process, or if you don’t know what you’re doing, your chances of making a splash in the competitive app market are slim.

The booming competition on the major app stores is also making it increasingly difficult for app developers to get significant organic views and download numbers. As a result, many are turning to paid user acquisition and ‘app install ads’ as solutions to this problem. There can be different campaign goals but there is one thing that everyone wants: minimal advertising costs.

 

How to be a smarter app marketer

Most of the app developers choose Facebook as their favourite advertising platform. The huge user base which is over 700 million daily users on mobile, amazing targeting options, and most importantly, the ability to deliver low-cost app installs and engagement, make it an ideal solution for app developers to make their app successful. On Facebook, if right strategies are used for advertising you app, it is possible to get over 100k people to see your new app within a budget of 100$.

But like anything else, there are learning curves if you want to optimise your Facebook app install ad campaigns.

There are several ways to improve your Facebook ads for apps and your ad campaign can either make it or break it for you when it comes to your app success. In this guide, we will look at the case study of a popular app that gained maximum visibility on Facebook, which can be used to learn the ways to get huge number of people see your new app on Facebook in a limited budget.

Let’s look at the success story of an app that made most of their Facebook ad campaign to find out what can be learnt from them to start a successful ad campaign for an app.

Case study: ServisHero

ServisHero is a mobile app that connects people to service providers for cleaning, air conditioner servicing, moving and more. It was launched in June 2015 and the app operated in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. It provides quotations, profiles and reviews so people can hire with confidence.

Their Goal

As a new start-up, the team at ServisHero wanted to learn more about its customer profile and increase conversions on Facebook. It also wanted to increase app installs.

Their Solution

To identify its target audience, ServisHero team used location and interest targeting, showing ads to people within the Klang Valley in Malaysia. With a partner agency, the team tested a variety of core audience sets, such as young parents and people interested in South-east Asian start-ups, for instance, and used Facebook’s audience retargeting and exclusion capabilities. It found that people aged 25–40 engaged with the ads most. However, most of the job requests came from females aged 30–39.

The campaign used ads and an animated video to promote ServisHero’s key services on Facebook. The ad series demonstrated its variety of services with cartoon visuals that positioned the brand as friendly and accessible. The ads also highlighted ServisHero’s mobile app to encourage downloads.

 

Generating great content for your ad campaign

Their comical 30-second video featured 2 friends in a living room. The clumsy one makes a mess, and the other friend pulls out her phone to call ServisHero. The catchy video, with its upbeat music, demonstrated how easy it is to use the app.

‘Custom Audiences’ (a Facebook tool for app ads) helped ServisHero reach people who had previously requested its services to encourage them to make another booking. The company also used Lookalike Audiences to find potential customers similar to those who had already shown interest.

“Facebook Ads helped us know our customers better, increase awareness and drive transactions. Collaborating with our social agency, we have improved our business performance while reducing transaction costs. Given our success, we will be allocating a higher proportion of our digital marketing budget to our Facebook campaigns.”- Siddhant Hiremath, Digital Marketing Associate, ServisHero

Products Used

  • Video Ads
  • Carousel
  • Audience Insights
  • Conversion Tracking
  • Custom Audiences
  • Lookalike Audiences
  • App Installs Ad

Goals

  • Increase views and Raise Brand Awareness
  • Drive Online Sales
  • Promote Your App

Their Success

Using Facebook to identify its key audience, ServisHero saw a large increase in job requests and app downloads. The campaign, which ran from early February to the end of June 2016, achieved:

  • 56% lower cost per job request
  • 32X more mobile app installs
  • 10% more job requests than from other ad platforms

“Facebook provides effective ways to reach, influence and convert audiences who need the professional services available on ServisHero. Using our prospect-to-conversion marketing recipe, we accelerated business growth, improved return on investment and moved the brand from zero to hero”-Oliver Cheah, Managing Director.

So, now the question that comes to mind is what can be done in order to be as successful as ServisHero with the help of Facebook? Read below to know:

Facebook Ads

Targeting is what makes Facebook Ads so powerful compared to other advertising platforms. Targeting is all about putting your ads in front of the right people.  The right people are the ones who will download, and use your apps.

Facebook offers a huge range of targeting options that was utilised by the ServisHero team. Let’s look at each type of targeting that’s available and what you can do with them.

  • Demographics – Target people by location, age, gender, relationship status, the level of education, work, financial income and net worth, generation, whether or not they are parents, political preference, or certain life events.
  • Interests – This is where it starts to get really interesting. You can target people based on what they are interested in. This data isn’t just guesswork, Facebook knows because people share this information openly. Use it to your advantage while targeting the audience for your ad campaign.
  • Behaviours – In case that’s not enough for you, Facebook also allows you to target audiences based on behaviours. Here are just a few examples of some user behaviour you can target:
  • People who often look up for services online
  • People who have made a purchase at a high-end luxury store
  • or young  parents who live in a household

Yep, all of those are actual targeting options taken straight from Facebook which turns out to be great for app developers and advertisers.

Tips To Help App Developers Improve Facebook App Install Ad Targeting:

  • Determine who your perfect user is– Whether it’s through analytics or market research, you need to really get specific about what your most valuable app users look like. That will make targeting much easier and more effective for you. Once you know who the ideal users are, use demographic targeting to find them. Narrow down the demographic targeting as much as you can.
  • Be specific with interest targeting- For example, let’s say you have got a running app. You could target people interested in ‘Fitness.’ But health & fitness is a broad topic, right? This means you probably wouldn’t want to show your ads to people who are interested in yoga. The good news is you don’t have to! You can get really granular and target people interested only in running, and that’s exactly what is recommended.
  • Target users who are interested in your competitors- Interest targeting also allows you to target people based on products or services that they like. That means that you can often target people based on them being interested in a particular app.

For example, many game app developers used this to target an audience interested in the app ‘Subway Surfers’.  They knew people who liked that game would also enjoy other similar game. And it worked really well for them. With that campaign, they achieved installs from tier 1 countries (The USA, UK, Australia & Canada) for less than $0.40 each.

  • Gain Attention with a Stunning Image or Video – Once you’ve got your targeting set up, it’s time to create the app install ad. The image or video that you use is going to be the first thing people see, so you have to make it count.

The role of the image or video is to get the attention of your ideal user and the video made by ServisHome worked for them. By ideal user, we do not just mean anyone. You could use a picture of a pink gorilla dancing in the street that will get the attention of a broad audience, but if 99% of those people aren’t interested in your app, it won’t be effective for your app install ad campaign.

How to create effective image and video ads for Facebook app marketing campaigns

  • Observe your competitors to get an idea of what’s working. Leverage the work already done by big marketing departments by studying the images and videos they use for their ad. See what techniques they are using and apply them to your own images or videos.
  • Don’t apply the same strategies to all apps. Once you start looking at competitors you will notice that particular techniques work better for particular app categories. Find what works for your category.
  • Use something that is bright, eye-catching, and interesting. There is a lot going on in the Facebook feed, so you will have to make something that stands out from the crowd.
  • Make it relevant. For example, if your app is a running app, it would be appropriate to show a fit person running than someone sitting on the couch watching TV.
  • Don’t use low-quality images or videos. This is going to set the first impression of your app. If you use a blurry, poor quality image or video, people will assume a similarly low level of quality from your app.
  • Capture The Click With Great Text

After looking at your app install ad’s image or video, the next thing people do is read the ad title and body text. After the image does its job of capturing attention, it comes up to the text to convince a person to click on the download option.

Writing sales copy for your app ads

You need to communicate the most appealing features of your app in as few words as possible. Here are the tips:

  • Think about what features appeal to your audience most and tell them about those features as briefly as possible.
  • Always include a call to action. When you create the call to action, use something they enjoy doing instead of just “download now!”

If you’re advertising a multiplayer racing game, think -what your ideal user like doing? It can be racing with their friends. So as a call to action, you can put “Click here to race your friends now!” as that would be much more appealing to your audience than just a boring “Download Now”.

 

Make Sure Your Non-Keyword ASO Is Amazing

This is something that is often overlooked, but it is crucial for your app success. ASO (App Store Optimization) means managing everything that a person sees on the app store page for your app.

This can include the icon, title, app description, and average rating.

When a user clicks on an App Install ad on Facebook, they are taken to the App Store page for your app. They will then see all of these things before deciding whether or not to take the final step and download it.

It’s great to have an effective Facebook ad, but all the efforts will be in vain if people get to your app store page and don’t download because you haven’t optimised your non-keyword ASO. Don’t let a bad icon or app description ruin an otherwise great ad campaign.

 

Final recommendations

Another thing here is the importance of your app’s average rating. The average rating is displayed in both the App Store page and Facebook ad.

Having a 4 or 5-star average rating will have a positive effect on your ad campaigns because people love social proof. If someone sees an ad for your app with a 5-star rating shown below, they are much more likely to click.

Spend some time creating different ad combinations and always run at least three per campaign. On top of testing different ads, you should also test different targeting strategies for your Facebook Ad Campaigns. Like the ads themselves, it’s unlikely that you will create the perfect targeting strategy on the first attempt.

Therefore, take the time to tweak and test your targeting based on the data that you get from the reports. The more you can optimise your targeting, the cheaper those installs or engagements will become.

 

Conclusion

And there you have it. Use these key components of a Facebook Ad campaign for your app to get better results.

There’s a lot to take in and try out, but remember not to get intimidated. You can always start small until you get confident or use an agency to help.

Campaigns can be run for just a few dollars per day, so why not start experimenting.

There are higher chances that with proper planning and effective implementation of Facebook ad strategies, your app will get enough views to be added to the list of most popular apps in the world.

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How to Come Up With a Killer Name For Your New App

how to name your app

 

Coming Up With a Killer App Name

Naming anything can be difficult, but if you’re working on building up your brand, you need to make sure that everything you name is going to work together to create an even better brand. That includes not only the products that you sell or the services that you offer, but also the website that you run and most definitely the apps that you’re going to create.

 

Setting Up Your App

There are plenty of things that you want to consider when it comes to naming your app, and it’s all going to start with your company and your brand. After all, you’re expecting your app to be an extension of both of those things. There are plenty of different strategies you can use when creating your app name.One great technique is to pick a name that is related to your current company name or brand name, but not entirely new, of course. Aligning all your brands, products, and other assets is a great strategy, but it’s certainly not required.

 

You can create a name that’s entirely different from what you already have, as many different companies have done; but you can also work with what you’ve got to get something fun and similar enough that people are definitely going to know the two are related. That’s going to help you build your brand.

 

Learn From The Best

One way to be similar without being exactly the same is to use part of your company name in the new name. We all know about Apple and their many different products. It started off with the iPod and iPhone. Creating products and services that sounded similar and instantly made people think of the brand. Now it’s branched into Apple Pay and Apple Music. It’s another way of using part of the brand in the product name so that they can draw even more people in and make it easier for them to know who is behind the product.

 

Of course, you could go only slightly similar to your current names and product descriptions by going with a similar sound or a specific aspect to the name that’s unique to you. It doesn’t have to be the same name, but starting with the same letter can give you just enough to make things sound alike and get people to consider getting more of your products (and make sure that they know that all of those things are actually your products in the first place). That’s going to be important for your bottom line, after all.

 

The crucial aspects of naming an app

Of course, to go along with your app name, you’re going to need some other things. You’ll want a domain that goes with your app. This doesn’t have to be the same as your website because you’ll want people to have the experience of what your app can provide without actually having to be on a mobile device. With a separate domain that can give them that experience, you’re definitely going to have some additional benefits and you’re going to draw a lot of people in as well. But you have to make sure that the domain name is available to you.

 

Making sure the app name is available is also going to be important. You want to make sure that you can have the name that you want and it’s not already taken. Even if it is taken most app stores will still let you have it, you’re just going to have to compete with a whole bunch of other people who have the same name, and that’s not going to be fun for you or the people who come to that app store looking for you. Try to be a little more unique and go with something different from what’s already there.

 

Bring It All Together

Finally, make sure that you check all of the guidelines and rules related to the app stores that you’re going to use. You don’t want to find yourself in conflict with something that you’re supposed to be doing (or not supposed to be doing). Instead, you want to make sure that your app, once posted, is going to stay that way and that you’re not going to have any problems keeping your app going for all the people who want to use it. Make sure you don’t violate any of the rules, which could cause problems for this.

 

No matter what you do, getting your app a great name is going to be important and it’s definitely going to be one way of getting yourself and your brand out there to not only your current clients and customers, but to new ones as well.

 

About the Author

Grant Polachek is the Director of Marketing at Squadhelp–transforming the way names, logos, and taglines are developed by combining an affordable agency-level brainstorming process with the unmatched creativity of “the crowd.”

 

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Top 7 reasons why your business needs a mobile friendly website

Top 7 Reasons Your Business Needs a Mobile-Friendly Website Right Now

As more and more business enters the market, the need to adapt to the new technologies is increasingly becoming more imperative nowadays. As our society is rapidly becoming purely digital, companies must be quick in using new tools and platforms to protect their position in the market and not be buried by the stiff competition.

In the online age, what are tools that your business is currently using to stand out from the crowd?

One of the musts, in order to rock in the digital plane, is having a website for your business. However, a website that only runs on desktop PCs and laptops won’t be enough to resonate in the online world, but why? Because of mobile devices.

With 80% of internet users owning a smartphone today, there can be no doubt that most of the organic reach today are coming from mobile users. In fact, over a billion people across the globe are using their mobile devices to access the internet nowadays! That’s a huge number that any business can’t afford to ignore, especially that are aiming to further increase their market reach.

Wondering how mobile-friendly website can improve your business? Here are the key takeaways from the infographic from Harris Myers that reveals the top reasons why mobile-friend.

 

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1. Most Customers Are Now on Mobile

As of 2013, mobile devices have surpassed desktop PCs and laptops in terms of time spent on online shopping. According to comScore, 55% of all time spent with online retail in June 2013 occurred on a mobile device, while 45% occurred on desktops. Specifically, smartphones accounted for 44% of retail internet minutes while tablets accounted for 11%

This trend is rapidly rising. Last year, smartphones now account for 78% of digital media time spent.

That said, most of the companies today are implementing the “mobile-first” approach to website design to ensure that their site works seamlessly on mobile devices, while its appearance and functionality automatically adjust to other platforms that the user may have access with, such as desktop and laptops.

For small and medium-sized businesses, this is approach is more cost-effective than creating a second site that is parallel to your desktop-oriented site. Though it’s more work-intensive to build a mobile-responsive website, its benefits are extremely significant in the long run.

2. It is Good For SEO

Since Google’s algorithm update in April 2015, Responsive Design is now favored in Google’s Rankings over having a separate mobile website, or not having a mobile-friendly website at all. This major update also imposes significant penalties in terms of search results on websites that fail to meet its standards for mobile usability.

Matt Cutts of Google said that using a separate website for mobile and desktop might work just fine, but if not handled properly, “might, in theory, divide the page rank between those two pages”. Having a responsive design, on the other hand, “means that everything is handled in one URL and so the page rank doesn’t get divided”

Search ranking is critical for many businesses nowadays, so if you do not want to lose it to your competition, you better create a mobile-friendly website today.

 

3. It Provides Better User Experience

Another reason why your business will benefit from having a mobile-friendly website is that it provides your audience with better mobile experience.

Mobile user experience is such a great deal nowadays that in fact, 52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company!

Imagine this: A visitor to your website is very much interested in your product, to the point he already told ten of his friends to check out your website. Now, they used their mobile devices to access your site, but unfortunately, it took thirty seconds to load, and worst, the page content were not displayed properly.

Will they still buy from your website? Most probably not.

A bad user experience can immensely affect the reputation of your brand. If the user has to spend time scrupulously zooming and scrolling around a desktop website on their mobile, they are more likely to leave your site within the first few seconds.

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4. It Enhances Your Social Media Marketing

The rise of mobile devices also has a direct impact on the explosion of social media networks these days. In fact, 91% of mobile internet access is used for social activities.

If your business is utilizing social media marketing, then probably most of your followings are using their mobile devices to access your website. If you want to maximize your social media marketing efforts, you need to design a website that is responsive and can make your products and services more shareable.

 

5. It is Cost-Effective

The “mobile-first” approach ensures that the appearance and functionalities of a desktop website, such as comprehensive menu navigation, are rescaled based on the device or equipment being used by the user.

In doing so, you no longer need to create and manage separate websites for mobile devices and desktop PCs, allowing you to save a lot of money on design, development, and maintenance cost!

 

6. Better Conversions and Sales

On top of all the benefits of having a mobile-friendly website, it will also help you improve your online conversions and sales.

If your target market can access your website conveniently on their mobile devices, then they are more likely to complete contact forms, make purchases, and become a loyal customer of your brand!

 

7. It Prepares for the Future

As the global commerce and technology continue to intersect and develop, it can be a real challenge for businesses to see what is coming up next.

One of the main benefits to having a mobile-friendly, responsive website is that even for technology platforms that are dynamic – such as wearable devices and smartphones- your website will still run very well and be optimized.  This means that mobile-friendly website will serve your business for years to come.

These are just of the compelling reasons why your business needs a mobile-friendly website today. If you want to survive in the competitive market, you either join the bandwagon and make your online presence much stronger or be left out by your competitors. It’ s your call.

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The best 7 tips for retaining app users with a great onboarding experience

How to retain users with the right onboarding strategy?

It is critical to have a great mobile application with even better onboarding experience. If the user onboarding experience is great, then the churn rates get lowered along with the boost in long-term success factors like user retention and user life-time value. In order to increase retention, your apps must offer consistent and smooth user experience which includes design, customer delight and a great deal of value. This article is going to explore the best ways that will turn the guest users or initial downloads into highly engaged users.

 

1. Create a path of minimal resistance:

The harder for people to sign up or sign in in the app, the more will be the abandonment rates. The single log-in screen is the best and preferred by the social media and entertainment apps. After all, user onboarding with mobile (or any other) apps is basically about making it easy for the users to log in and to start using the app. Hence, you must choose the path which is least resistant and difficult for people. But this route is not always the right choice made. The utility of the app and the concept of the app; both are the deciding factors for the different method of onboarding.

  • Usefulness-oriented:- transmits information about the value of the app.
  • Performance -oriented:- demonstrates the vital functions of the app.
  • Progressive:- enlightening the customers through ushered instructions.
  • Hybrid:- combination of two or all of the abovementioned points.

Apart from the fact that which method of user onboarding is the best, the primary motive is to make it as easy as possible for the users to start using the app.

 

2. Keep the amount of sign up or log-in fields to a minimum:

We often face trouble while filling long forms on phone or mobile where the screen size is small. So, it is ideal to allow only a single screen log in process like the social media apps do but some apps might require more information than that. Like an app based on service has user base of existing customers. In such circumstances, where you need a lot of information, you might break the one screen rule. Given below is a demonstration of an application of a large home services company, the sign-up process of which is divided into various steps.

In such circumstances, where you need a lot of information, you might break the one screen rule. Given below is a demonstration of an application of a large home services company, the sign-up process of which is divided into various steps.

 

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3. Stick to ‘one screen’ and ‘one concept’ principle:

People often pay more attention if something is defined into key points rather than beating about the bush. Onboarding screens must collocate information in single screen and should avoid surcharging the user with useless information. This should be followed especially in the usefulness and performance oriented app onboarding where the basic motive is to educate the users about functions and commune values.

 

4. Give feedback quickly:

Feedback is very important in an app onboarding process as it reflects the faults and successes in a validation process. Feedbacks can also be used through animations which stimulate the interactions positively.

 

5. Utilization of ushered interactions to achieve development:

There are also some apps which are complex and not easy to understand and use. Such apps provide a tutorial or guide to make the user familiar with the use of the application. Those apps which provide the most successful app user onboarding experience also give provide the excitement and fun of using and learning something new. This method is mostly preferred in video games where the user just play the game for a while to become familiar with the control and tricks of the game.

 

6. Make a use of animation:

Subtle animation should be used to draw the attention of the user to something which is undiscovered or to indicate progress or development etc. It should only grab the attention of the user but should not irritate him.

 

7. Keep testing consistently:

The feedback and reviews given by the users will help you in improving your application. Mobile app development service should never stop listening to the views of the users as it will help them in removing friction and making the app more user-friendly. Try new things if you have sufficient data to discern patterns and test to see if the users love the new idea or hate it.

 

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