With the mobile trend in full swing, and gaining momentum every day, many small businesses have wisely published apps to stay ahead of the competition.
Accordingly, the strategy of offering a bribe to obtain a download has become common. Users are given discounts, freebies, promotional offers, and other enticements by small businesses in order to gain downloads. The hope is that this will allow the business to create a user base that will generate returns as time goes on.
In this post, however, we want to offer an alternative strategy. With the well-known struggles of the daily dealmakers and other hot discounting outfits, offering something for nothing is not by any means a guaranteed win. Small businesses sometimes simply wind up cannibalizing their own profits by offering things that loyal customers might have bought anyway. Instead, we think that small businesses should try something different when it comes to their next app:
Deliver something unique (and cost-effective).
Of course, this is easier said than done, but don’t click that back button just yet. We have some examples of how common businesses can offer something desirable to customers and fans without necessarily cutting into profits:
• Law offices. Offer an invite to a webcast where you chat about practical tips for a situation that occurs often in your practice area.
• Real estate agencies. Offer would-be sellers a free assessment of the sales prospects of their home, including tips for preparing it for sale.
• Restaurants. Allow loyal customers skip-the-line rewards for downloading and using your app.
• Bars. Provide a schedule of live acts scheduled to perform at your location through your app, or perhaps offer users the ability to vote on their favorite next act to be booked.
• Bands. Offer an unreleased track or some other content that fans will be into (even if it isn’t polished).
• Nonprofits. Allow users to submit a thought/reflection about your issue, with the promise that your favorites will appear on your site, or get a social media shout out.
Ultimately, the best strategy is different for each business. If you’re willing to consider what loyal users might be interested in, aside from discounts, and be flexible, you may be able to maximize the returns from your app efforts.
This may even require you to simply ask users what they’d like to get from your app. (In fact, you should ask them anyway!) The more you know about your fans, the better designed your app will be, and the more users it will gain.
Be creative, and your app will reward you as much as it does your customers.