Mobile apps can help grow your business. Here’s how.

Not so long ago, only huge corporations and nationally-recognized brands were interested in building their own mobile apps. Nowadays, though, companies of all sizes are using their own mobile apps to keep their customers engaged on the go.

With mobile app revenue slated to hit $189 billion in the next decade, there’s never been a better time to get in on the app-tion (sorry, we had to). Below are just a few ways mobile apps can help your business prosper.

Drive sales and profits

A mobile app allows your customers to make purchases immediately and instantaneously, without any second thoughts. It almost goes without saying that this will increase your sales. The time it takes for a potential buyer to track down a desktop computer, get comfortable, and wait for your website to load is an eternity in marketing time—precious seconds in which another variable could interfere and stop the sale. The easier the purchasing process, the higher your bottom line.

Boost your brand awareness

How often are your customers thinking about your company? The traditional answer is: when they’re a) shopping for your products and services or b) actively standing in your store. A mobile app breaks tradition by giving you the opportunity to engage with your target market anywhere—while they’re at home, on the bus, at work, standing in line, or anywhere else. This creates consistent brand awareness that will ultimately drive your sales even more.

Even closed mobile apps help your brand.

Mobile apps can help your brand even when they’re not in use. Every time a user unlocks, scrolls, and engages with their mobile device, they’ll see your brand name, logo, and colors displayed on the screen next to their other apps. When they eventually do need your products or services, your name will likely be the first to come to mind.

Improve customer service and brand trust

Without sounding creepy, an app means your business is always with your customer, always ready to help, and always the same. Humans are creatures of habit, and when your business is continuously present and available, we start to develop the most powerful marketing driver in existence—trust. A solid mobile presence lets you always present your customers with the same face—an interface designed specifically to provide them with the best browsing experience possible.

Get personal

Thanks to modern phones’ location awareness, businesses can draw a perimeter around a certain area—like a store, a snack aisle, or an entire city—and deliver push notifications to customers within it. The creative possibilities for this are almost endless. A coffee shop could encourage customers to come warm up on a cold day; a real estate company could let passersby know a house is on the market; or a sponsor could message a stadium full of fans with a personalized, hyper-targeted message.

Now’s the time to go mobile with Red Letter Marketing.

If you’re thinking about entering the mobile marketing game, but aren’t sure where to get started, we can help. After all, we’ve seen mobile apps help many clients further their business goals over the years. Here’s what our lead developer, Dan, had to say about mobile apps:

“Our clients use mobile technologies to engage their customers around the world and around the clock. We’ve seen our clients increase sales, customer satisfaction, and brand recognition by taking on mobile strategies.” –Dan Ray, lead Software Developer at Red Letter Marketing

Want to learn more? Just give us a call or drop by for a chat, and we can help you find the path to mobile success.

How People Use Smartphones for Online Shopping

More and more consumers are using smartphones for online shopping. Are you adapting to suit their needs?

With more than half of all internet traffic coming from a mobile device, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is primed for mobile viewing and mobile online shopping. The research below can be used to feed your mobile strategy, and even help you hone in on potential micro-moments that can be a tipping point to either purchase or exit.

online shopping

online shopping

The data is clear. If you want a successful business website, it’s essential to optimize for mobile shopping. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on valuable leads and sales that are happening, increasingly, on the go.

Therefore, you’ll want to be sure to consider mobile optimization when you’re designing your website and optimizing it for search results. If you have already optimized for search, there are only a few additional things to consider when optimizing for mobile devices:

Page speed

Because of hardware and connectivity issues, page speed is even more important for mobile users than desktop users. Beyond optimizing images, you’ll want to minify code, leverage browser caching, and reduce redirects.

Site design

“Above the fold” no longer has meaning in a world where we scroll endlessly. Make sure your website looks just as good on a phone as it does on a desktop.

Optimization

Remember that you’re working with less screen space when a user searches using a mobile device. To show off your best work in SERPS, be as concise as possible when creating titles, URLs, and meta descriptions.

Conclusion

Finally, ask yourself these questions: does your mobile marketing deliver an optimal experience to your customers and prospects? Is it giving them what they are looking for? Is your content helpful, intuitive, and easy to browse on a smaller screen?

If you can follow these marketing strategy tips, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a go-to resource for your customers. That will be bad news for your competitors, and great news for your bottom line.

Smartphones in Bathrooms: The Naked, (Icky) Truth

69% of Americans admit to using their smartphones in bathrooms.

“I can’t live without my phone!” Let’s face it, most of us are guilty of saying this. But maybe we’re taking it a bit too far. A recently conducted study revealed that majority of Americans are guilty of using their smartphones in bathrooms. Check out our infographic to learn more. 

smartphones-in-bathrooms

 

As the infographic above shows, a survey by MiMedia found that 69% of smartphone users bring their phones into the restroom. Broken down even further, the study found that more than 59% of users browse social media websites, 32% participate in online shopping, and 8% check their dating profiles–all from the comfort of the toilet seat.

Possibly the biggest surprise from the study is that 42% of users said they go to the bathroom specifically to use their smartphones. Apparently, strict anti-phone protocols at work and other public spaces drive many smartphone users to seek a more private area to browse.

Smartphones in bathrooms: Is this a big deal?

The answer to that question depends on one’s level of germophobia. However, opinions aside, studies have shown that smartphones are extremely germ-ridden. Scientists at the University of Arizona found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats, and a 2011 study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine found that one out of every six smartphones contained, er, toilet matter.

Research has varied on just how many germs are crawling on the average cell phone, but another recent study by the European Academy of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases found more than 17,000 bacterial gene copies on the phones of high school students.

The good news, though, is that the vast majority of these germs are harmless. Human skin is naturally covered in certain microbes, and our bodies are used to a certain amount of micro-grime.

Bathroom germs, however, are not harmless. When toilets flush, they spread germs everywhere, which is how phones end up with fecal bacteria like E. coli. And every time you check a text or send an email on your phone, all the bacteria you’ve touched is transmitted straight to your screen.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to avoid these germs. The most obvious strategy is to avoid taking your phone to the bathroom with you in the first place. If you can’t resist the urge to scroll, we suggest touching up your phone with a disinfecting wipe every once in a while.

Mobile App Marketing: Is Your Business App-Savvy?

Apps aren’t just for games and social media any more. Mobile app marketing unlocks a whole new world to drive brand engagement.

Smartphone use should really be called “app-phone” use. In this infographic, we list the most popular apps people are using today. Keep in mind that there are endless opportunities to engage your customers via mobile app marketing. What will your mobile app look like?

infographic-01

Companies are finding all kinds of ways to use mobile app marketing, from customer service and sales, to providing fast access to the team out in the field.

For instance, we recently developed an app that revolutionizes how medical practitioner certifications are maintained.

Mobile apps used to be just a standalone platform. More and more companies are integrating them with their overall business strategies. What is crystal clear is that customers prefer to shop and interact with brands in a mobile environment instead of other channels. A weak mobile strategy will cause your customers will most likely seek a more intuitive mobile shopping experience with one of your competitors.

Thus, we have to move beyond the mentality of having app simply for the sake of having one, and instead push for further understanding of the impact that they can have on driving brand awareness, increasing revenue and even generating traffic in stores.

Why are some apps free?

Some developers distribute their apps for free in the app store. These apps make money in a few ways:

  • By selling advertising space within the app. The app developers can earn money from the ads. They distribute the app for free to reach as many users as possible.
  • By offering the app’s basic versions for free. Their developers hope you’ll like the app enough to upgrade to a paid version with more features.
  • By allowing you to buy more features within the app itself. Usually, the app will bill users for these purchases in the app store. Many devices have settings that allow you to block in-app purchases.
  • The app exists just to interest you in a company’s other products. These apps are a form of advertising.

We’re getting more and more requests from B2B businesses for app advice. How about your company–are you app savvy?

Four Keys to Eye-Popping Mobile App Design

How to create a mobile app design that truly resonates

Today’s technology gives us access to devices with extremely high resolution and amazing display capabilities. However, not all devices (or all users) are created equally. In other words, with great resolution comes great responsibility. Here’s how to create compelling mobile app design despite all the bells and whistles.

Don’t squeeze as much as possible onto the screen

When designing for high-res displays, there may be a desire to push the limits of size and spacing of interactive elements. In other words, you might be tempted to squeeze a ton of functionality into a single screen. But don’t get carried away–fingers aren’t as precise as mouse-based cursors. If users miss a too-tiny touch zone, they may think that it is not actually a control after all. End result: the user exits stage left frustrated and confused. When considering the appropriate size of touch zones for interactive elements, think about who will be using the app. For example, if you are creating a mobile app design for young children, their finger size is much smaller. However, you might need to create a larger target zone for tapping, because their fine motor skills might not be developed.

Don’t use small font sizes and hard-to-see colors

High resolution displays can support small fonts and fine details, but resist. Just because your device can graphically support a clear rendering of a 4-point font does not mean your users want it. The text size, graphic details, and color choices should fit your app audience’s unique needs. Again, it’s really important here to consider who will be using your apps. If you are designing a dating app for seniors, you’ll want to pick different visuals than an app targeting high school baseball players.

Aim to add fine graphic details and extra text only when it adds value. Does the extra detail aid in the users’ understanding of an icon, make navigation clearer, or reduce scan time? If so, congrats! You’ve made an easy-to-use mobile app.

Don’t overwhelm users with information

We all know about brain freeze, right? Eating too much ice cream way too fast – brain freeze!  Well, you can also get a sort of brain freeze when you’re hit with too much information too quickly. With high-res displays, avoid the urge to overwhelm the user with too much information all at once. The thinking may go something like this: More Info on One Screen = Fewer Screens = Better Experience. However, going this route may actually have the opposite effect. Bogging down the user on a content-heavy screen will make the user’s experience less efficient and less enjoyable. Again, the end result is user exiting stage left to find the next app on the list.

Create unique, attractive icons

When you’re designing your mobile app, you want to establish a good sense of the range of devices on which it will likely be used. Make sure that your app display does not get lost in translation when being rendered on a lower resolution device – not everyone is on a Retina display yet. Device canvases vary greatly between high and low resolutions and between mobile phone and tablet platforms. Make sure you are able to appropriately scale your design for the full range of devices that will be used. That way, you will not alienate any segments of your market.

It’s important to get your mobile app design to stand out in the vast wilderness of the app store. To do it, take an extra second to consider the available display capabilities, as well as your users’ unique capabilities and limitations. There are a lot of choices available in the app store, so please design responsibly when going high res!

Get high-quality mobile app design with Red Letter Marketing

Thinking about a new mobile app for your business? We can help. Learn more about our mobile app development team or contact us with any questions you may have about the app design and development process.