Improved user engagement on mobile devices creates business value and strategic differentiation. Engaged customers — those who participated in a forum or provided feedback on an enterprise initiative — are three times more likely to recommend or advocate a product or service to a friend.
The caveat to this rosy picture is that it’s harder than ever to engage users. Most customers now ignore targeted marketing campaigns, avoid responding to offers, and provide minimal feedback when asked.
Mobile technology is opening up possibilities in user engagement that didn’t exist beforehand and is enabling a shift in customer engagement strategies.
Seven steps to improved user engagement on mobile devices
1. Make data entry simple
Entering data such as physical addresses or credit card numbers is more difficult and tedious on mobile devices than it is on a desktop. Chances are, the more times your application asks users to enter information fields, the more likely the user will become bored and exit the session before they finish.
Therefore it behooves developers to only ask for information that the app really needs to facilitate the user’s mobile experience.
2. Account for broad fingertips
This minor detail is overlooked by many apps, but it makes a huge difference. Buttons need to be larger to account for the fact that users come in all hand and finger sizes. While a small and sleek CTA may be attractive, it’s also notoriously difficult to click. If a user struggles to press the right button, they could easily become frustrated.
3. Add gamification
To quote Mary Poppins, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, you find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.” Gamification employs the same motivational concepts – the application of game design principles in non-gaming contexts to achieve a desired end. Examples include Top Ten Lists, in app reward points, and ‘User of the Month’ awards can be integrated into your app to incentivize users to become more active.
4. Sync with other social media platforms
Depending on your product, you may want to consider using social media API like Facebook or Twitter plugins to streamline user registration and logins. Syncing with social media platforms has the added benefit of seamlessly integrating social sharing features that give your application visibility online.
5. Use push notifications
Push notifications let your application notify a user of new messages or events even when the user is not actively using your application. This way, we can target aloof users, and spur engagement. Send push notifications including text, video, pictures, or external links that redirect to special landing
pages—based on user segmentation and frequency of mobile app use.
6. User Segmentation
Segment your users to provide them with personalized and contextualized messaging, based on triggers. You can segment your users according to a variety of criteria, like date in which your customer’s contract is about to expire, usage statistics, device type, geographic location etc. With geographic location, for example, you can delight your customers with a coupon code as soon as they walk into your shop or prompt them with a push notification to look up if you have a blimp floating near a famous landmark.
7. Offer real-world rewards
By linking the points that users earn inside their apps to real world rewards (like coupons or gift cards), businesses can give their users more incentive to come back to their apps and spend time earning points. Two companies that are doing this in an interesting way right now are Kiip and Pocket Change. Translating virtual rewards into commercial benefit is a real, meaningful incentive for users to stay engaged.
Leverage all of the new opportunities that mobile technology brings to engage your users in new and exciting ways. It’ll be that much harder for them to ignore you.