It doesn’t matter if you’re a project manager or a large corporation, these are the 9 steps that everyone will need to take to develop an App, website or digital product. In this episode, I thoroughly walk you through each step so you can be on the right track to a successful App or product launch
Journey with me from when I awake, go to work, have an panic attack, code Apps and show you what a day in my life looks like. I always post filtered photos and videos on the Internet but today I show you what my life is really like from start to finish. It just so happens that I had a full anxiety attack mid-day and decided to post it so you can see that I have struggles just like everyone else.
Here I am in action doing a strategy session to guide my clients into thinking about how to position their idea into an App and create a user experience from launch to payment. This is edited down from an hour session.
In todays market you must post videos online to get noticed. If you want to get more leads, proposals and new clients you have to tell people what you do. Social Media allows everyone to get their message out to others. You need to take advantage of the fact that you have a camera in your pocket and can instantly reach and tell people what you do
This is the story of how I thought of and App idea and then learned to program Apps in 2011. The App is called Ball Park Waiter and it allows you to order food and drinks at sporting events and have it delivered to you seat. The App was built but we were never able to convince a stadium or arena to let us use their F&B. To this day (May 2017) no stadium has this even though the idea is 7 years old now
The most important architectural decision on any App project is choosing between Native or Hybrid. In this video I cover the major points of consideration when choosing a mobile development architecture. Native applications are Apps in the native to the device (iPhone or Android). This means that iPhones are programmed in Swift/Object C and that Android are programmed in Java. Thus you have to have two development teams to program your App.
There are tradeoffs to each approach that need to be considered when architecting your App.
Here are 13 proven methods for in-app marketing that will help to retain, engage and encourage re-use of your App.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
Measure your results
You need to plan and track how mobile push notifications impact your marketing results.
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.
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.
Jeremy Callahan is the #AppMan, Expert Mobile App Developer, App Marketer, Front End Engineer, Motivator who gets shit done and Inspires others!
The steps to App building are similar to building a home. If you were building a home the first thing you’d consider is how much home can I build with my budget. In the startup world, we call this the MVP
Minimum Viable Product: So when we talk about product development, I want you to think what are the minimum features that are needed to get this to market so we can get user feedback. Our goal is to get this in front of people and find out how well it works. Then we can make additions and adjustments in the next version.
There are two parts to the foundation
One is the Name, logo, design and URL. At this point I’m sure you at least have a name in mind. Make sure to search the iStore and Android Marketplace to verify that the name is available. If you do not find an app with that name, it is available. For the web URL you can go to Godaddy and run a search.
To reserve the name you will need to create a developer account in the iStore and Android market place and register a new App with that name. This does not mean you have to publish an App. It just means that you have created the initial App landing page. This is the page people see when they search for you in iTunes. Once you have the App registered you have 180 days to publish your App or the name will be lost.
Choosing a Keyword Friendly Name
Names in iTunes can be 255 characters and making the most of this is important for keyword purposes. For instance your app might be to find dog walkers in your neighborhood and called: Dog Walkers
But you have 255 characters so a better name would be: Dog Walkers – Find licensed pet sitters, walkers and trainers in your neighborhood. Now when people search for ‘pet sitters’ your App comes up in the search.
The second step to the foundation is design!
The first step is to create a style guide. The style guide is simply a logo, headings, colors, buttons, icons, etc that will be in the App. You can do a Google image search for “Mobile App Style Guide” and see examples of what you are looking to build. It is similar to the image below:
To create the guide I recommend going on Fivrr and searching for “App Style Guides”. This will return a list of people who will create them for you for as little as $5.
Fivrr is a site where people work for $5 per project. Well actually $5 is just the starting point. For a decent style guide you are looking at around $30 – $50 per request. Fivrr is great for design because you can get several designs for a small investment
The best way to use Fivrr is to find three to four people and then purchase their services. Once you have the results you can pick and choose elements you like and combine those into a final style guide.
People always seem to get paranoid here thinking the designers will steal their idea. If you fall into that category I’d suggest working with us or a designer you feel you can trust. Use a designer you know or someone who you can meet with in person before they start working.
Keep in mind that the reason for the style guide is so you have something to hand off to the developers you hire. This guide will be used for the App and your website (assuming you also need a website).
And it is important that you have a brand identity that you can use from business cards, email templates or anything else with your brand on it. So take some action right now and find a good designer and have them create a style guide for you.
My final thought on design is a visualization exercise. Once you have your style guide I want you to print it out in high quality and as large as possible. Then pin that on your office or bedroom wall… Somewhere you will see it everyday
This will get emotionally involved in your App and seeing a design daily will keep you moving towards your goal!
Jeremy Callahan is a Mobile Commerce Expert, App Developer and Founder at Flip Shop Marketing
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