Club-based mobile apps are the hottest technology trend in health and fitness, according to a recent report from ACE, IHRSA and ClubIntel. And most mobile apps fail, according to anyone in the app business. Sounds like a paradox. Actually, it’s a marketing a problem, a problem that is fixable.
Experience shows us the build-it-and-they-will-come strategy for marketing your mobile app just doesn’t work. The app stores are crowded, home screens are limited, user attention is scarce, and thus apps are quickly deleted and forgotten. Passive introductions to your new app, like burying its features in the seventh article of the company newsletter will not get you downloads – the app market is too fickle, too competitive.
You must take the opposite approach and adopt an aggressive, swing-for-the-fences strategy designed for maximizing downloads of your app.
So let’s take the kid gloves off and talk about the marketing tactics that will get your club app downloaded. Although the real reason for having a mobile app is to drive content and services to your customers across a wildly popular platform, nothing happens until your app gets downloaded.
Steal from your favorite presidential candidate and start microtargeting your members. Microtargeting is the art and science of mining voter databases for potential supporters. The goal is not just to segment voters based on certain attributes, but to get those voters most likely to vote for a particular candidate to the polls on election day.
You have a database full of members and valuable member data. Use it. Create targeted messages for niche markets.
Who is most likely to download my club app? Start by identifying the low-hanging fruit. According to comScore data, those between the ages of 25-34 spend more time on mobile apps than any other age segment, with the 18-24 crowd right on their heels. Maybe these two segments of your club population aren’t high-value customers, and not exactly loyal, but they do like apps.
After gaining traction with your younger members, look for new patterns in the data. Use your analytics chops to attack other segments of your club like heavy Group X and summer program users that would seriously benefit from the search, scheduling and reservations features of your app. Microtargeting gets voters to the polls and mobile users to the app stores.
A short explainer video can do wonders for your mobile app. Video is engaging, it taps emotions, and it provides an alternative learning path. Like fixing your toilet, some things just make more sense on YouTube.
A short walkthrough demo of your app does not have to be a Hollywood production. And video analytics have proven shorter is better, with 30 seconds being the sweet spot for ultimate viewing. In fact, break down each function into individual videos for users with specific questions.
Tapping the right emotions for a health and fitness app is easy. Somewhere between time savings and shameless vanity, making an emotional connection with your video audience shouldn’t be difficult.
Using your website as a hub, direct all of your digital channels toward the same goal: app downloads. Be consistent with your message across Twitter, Facebook, and any other social channel you market in. Use strong call-to-actions (CTAs) and show members exactly how to download the app using an infographic or some type of simple flow chart.
Track where your downloads are coming from and identify the platforms and content choices that are working.
Email, email, email. McKinsey says email is a more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. So not only is email still your best online marketing tool, but guess what the largest percentage of mobile users are actually doing on their phone? Checking email.
According to IDC, checking email is the #1 most popular activity on a smartphone!
Craft and distribute emails dedicated to your mobile app – what it does, why you need it, and exactly how to download it. Make darn sure new members get the message in their welcome package.
Who said you had to earn all of your downloads the hard way? Games, giveaways and great discounts will all get your members moving to Google Play and the Apple’s App Store. You have plenty to offer, including swag, food and beverage, and training sessions.
Remember, these are exclusive offers for mobile users and can be positioned as in-app incentives. The catch is you have to download the app first.
Get to know the app market, the app culture. With over three million apps in the market, and mobile data so easy to acquire, it’s no wonder market researchers have had a field day with mobile. Honestly, some of this stuff (marketing insights) they’ve uncovered is fascinating and can be used (applied analytics) to sharpen your mobile strategies.
Did you know iOS users are four times more likely to download health and fitness apps? So launch an Apple only promotion. Turns out, most app downloads occur at night and on the weekends. So organize a weekend download drive and hit your members when they are most vulnerable.
Follow the mobile market and discover how people actually connect and communicate through their apps. Use this intel to tailor your app marketing and promotion.
80 percent of your members bring their smartphones to your facility so swing for the fences.