Why I Became An App & Web Developer

 

In 1999 I took a weekend trip to Las Vegas to have some fun and play golf. Back then, the only way to find a golf course was from the hotel concierge, phone book or the best case was a booklet of all the courses in an area.

Vegas has no shortage of golf courses and from all the sources I had I realize every course was essentially charging the same price to play. So I randomly chose Desert Pines and it was horrible decision. It was target golf and I barely got hit my driver all day.

I thought there had to be a better way so I conceived the idea for Course Cam. If there was a way to take a video tours of golf courses in an area before traveling golfers could pick courses that suit their game. Just like those fancy fly-over videos you see when watching golf on television.

Since I had just bought a new Dell computer and lived paycheck-to-paycheck I figured that I would figure out how to build the website, make videos and put them onto the Internet. Keep in mind it was 1999 and at that point no one was putting videos on the Internet.

Back then there was anyone to call for help. Finding someone that had built a website was impossible. But I had a desire to make my idea a reality so I was at Borders (remember bookstores) everyday reading through every book because I had no idea where or how to start. I forgot to mention that I majored in Political Science in college so I was starting at zero.

Learning to program is not easy if you have an instructor let alone teaching yourself. Luckily for me I had three things going for me. First, I have incredible discipline to follow through on goals I set. Second since I was a kid I was always building things like remote controlled cars and skateboard ramps. And finally I knew what I was building. This meant I did not have to do mundane tutorials. If what I was reading didn’t apply I quickly moved on.

I bought a used video camera and went out and started filming course. Then I had to learn to edit the videos and add music. Options were limited but I somehow found a way to make and edit the videos. That was actually easy compared to how in the hell I was going to get them onto the web. Actually, I had to first figure out just how to get them onto my computer. I had to buy a firewire and a PCI card… long story short it wasn’t easy.

Eventually I had a website with 4 different course videos. On one side of the screen was the video and on the other I had a drawing of the hole. I had marker in the video that would change out each hole slide. I love telling that story because I was one of the first people to put video on the Internet.

I had and idea, a burning desire and that is WHY I became a software engineer. Course Cam was not a success financially but it made me realize that I absolutely love to ideas into reality. Engineering is extremely hard work… but helping companies turn their ideas into products is very rewarding work.

Contact Me!

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

jeremy@jeremycallahan.com

Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is the , Expert Mobile App Developer, App Marketer, Front End Engineer, Motivator who gets shit done and Inspires others!

13 Best Practices For In-App Marketing

Here are 13 proven methods for in-app marketing that will help to retain, engage and encourage re-use of your App.

  1. Combine App data with website data

If you are capturing an email in your App and website you need to a strategy to combine the customer data and gain insights. This will develop richer segmentation and targeting of future campaigns.

  1. Use location as an opportunity for marketing.

Trigger personalized, real-time messages based on a customer’s location. If you have a physical store location you need to take advantage of bacons and geo fencing.

  1. Analyze customer behavior

Heavily track all customer interactions to learn about their customer experience, including preferences, past history, interactions and location. This will allow you to drive more contextual content through all digital channels.

  1. Create a plan to onboard new users and keep existing users engaged

Develop a cadence to communicate with your user over regular intervals you can guide new customers to engage and re-engagement with your App.

  1. Create integrated cross-channel journeys and experiences

While planning your App engagement you need to determine how you can track users across channels. How will you track if App users are visiting your website? If a user follows an email link will that link go to your website or App. You need to develop specific engagement points that you can track across devices.

  1. Mobile Apps/Push Notifications

Ask your users to interact and go deeper into your App. At a minimum you should incorporate asking for reviews and having users follow you on social media. A better practice is to track products users are clicking on and then notifying the customer if that items is on sale. Or better yet, just offer them a discount on a specific product they liked.

  1. Consider App Only Coupons

Offer exclusive coupons for App users only. This is a great tactic for enticing your web customers to install and use your App. App only coupons can also be an effective strategy to re-engage App users.

  1. Offer a preference form to increase content relevancy

Allow users to select what they want to receive and when, what they like and dislike. For instance I might only want to get emails when discounts are above 15%.

  1. Enable an in-app notification inbox

Having a message center is enables you to send messages that can be delivered even if a user hasn’t opted into push.

  1. Implement a strategy for inactive user

Define and identify inactive app users, and develop a plan to re-engage them. This is the same concept as email funnels. If you are in an email funnel and do not open and email they send you a different follow-up email and a person who opened that same email.

  1. Measure your results

You need to plan and track how mobile push notifications impact your marketing results.

  1. Consider the total mobile experience

Optimize SMS campaigns to link to specific pages within your App rather than routing all traffic to the home screen. If you are running email campaigns you should always forward users to specific landing page that has a clear call to action and trip wire.

  1. Offer an incentive to opt-in to SMS

A small discount or even just providing exclusive content can really make the difference in regards to higher opt-in rates.

Contact Me!

 

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

jeremy@jeremycallahan.com

Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is the , Expert Mobile App Developer, App Marketer, Front End Engineer, Motivator who gets shit done and Inspires others!

App Marketers Are Clueless of What Consumers Want From Apps

Jeremy Callahan - Marketer vs. Consumer Needs

While reading the “Fit for Commerce 2016” report one thing really stood out… Marketers, Product Managers, etc. have no clue of what consumers want from a shopping App. If you have read any of my previous posts then you know how strongly I feel about retailers just re-creating their desktop sites and calling them Apps. New Flash! You aren’t even close to delivering what you customers expect.

I’d like you to ask yourself right now “What are your top 3 strategic mobile priorities”?

In the report here were the top answers:

  1. Enable consumers to access content from any device – 82%
  2. Brand awareness/loyalty – 74%
  3. Bridge the gap between online and offline – 62%
  4. Drive traffic to stores – 30%
  5. Encourage consumers to use mobile devices in-store – 18%
  6. Tools for in-store associates – 18%

For your sake I hope your answers are different than all the people who took this survey because they are absolutely clueless about what consumers actually want from a mobile App.

Here is what consumers answered as their top priorities:

  1. Place mobile orders for out-of-stock items while in the store
  2. Lookup information
  3. Compare price
  4. Check reviews
  5. Get advice from friends

The divide is glaring right? Specifically only 18% of marketers have a priority on encouraging customers to shop in-store. What are they worried about? That I will find a better price? This is obviously the case but it is so near sided given that the majority of the shoppers in the store right now want to order items that are out of stock.

The other item with an 18% mark is an App for store associates. Imagine I’m in the store and an item is out of stock or I cannot find the color or size I want. A common problem for any shopper! If I do not have a smart phone the associate (with a hand held device) could immediately look up if that item is available and have it shipped to my home.

So my advice to you is to completely forget about the first four items on this list and to focus on what your customer’s value.   I believe one of the problems with Mobile Commerce is that companies are focused on advertising click thru and conversion rates. The better approach is to view your App as an advertisement.

What I mean by saying this is that your App should add value to your customers. Every retail App out there has a path to purchase but very few actually offer users a unique experience that does something other than mimic your website.

If you are in this boat I want you to pick up your phone right now and text or call me. In addition to strong opinions on m-commerce I have hundreds of ideas that can take your App to a whole new level and help you lead the field!

Contact Me!

Jeremy Callahan The App Man

jeremy@jeremycallahan.com

Twitter: @jeremycallahan

Jeremy Callahan is the , Expert Mobile App Developer, App Marketer, Front End Engineer, Motivator who gets shit done and Inspires others!