Leveraging In-App Marketing for Business Growth

What does it really mean to ‘activate’ users after they’ve signed up for your SaaS application?

Acquiring MQLs and SQLs takes a lot of hard work. But apart from categorizing these leads, you will also need to engage your PQLs so you don’t lose them faster than you’ve acquired them. This is in-app marketing’s real essence — to vastly improve customer retention while getting your product out there to other potential users.

Read on for strategies in jumpstarting or boosting your in-app marketing campaign.

1. Make app integrations your USP.

The world’s biggest SaaS companies have one thing in common: they are trusted by millions of users everywhere. And surely, that trust wasn’t built overnight. It first took a great deal of integration with established platforms for customers to find tangible value in their products.

When applied correctly, app integrations can also be powerful enough to be your USP. Displaying your partner platforms on your homepage showcases your good relationships with other brands, regardless whether they’re big or small. You’re fortunate if you’re integrated with the solutions of brands like Salesforce and HubSpot — you almost automatically get a seal of approval from customers simply by being associated with these giants. 

But don’t fret if you haven’t made it that far! You can still highlight the specific results you deliver to each one of your partner platforms, so customers can better see how your solutions could be relevant to their needs. As you build trust over time, that proposal for a big-brand integration could land onto your inbox soon.

2. Guide the user experience.

Users want to be directed, not instructed. Whether they’re first-timers in your app or returning ones, the way you walk them through your app impacts the entire user experience.

In fact, UX matters so much that 90% of customers will stop using your app if it’s too difficult to navigate.

These people often already know what to do once they’re inside your app, but guiding the user experience amplifies the value your service provides. According to Inside Intercom, a good UX includes the following:

  • A seamless onboarding experience
  • Re-onboarding for previously inactive users
  • Tutorials for new features
  • Easy-access knowledge-based content and customer support
  • App usage recommendations for a high-value UX

The key is giving customers the freedom to explore your app while still keeping important sections handy. The Discord app is a perfect example of this — new users have the option to view interactive tips or skip them entirely if they prefer a more self-serve experience. The aptly named “Slack for Gamers” app also provides tooltips and modal windows, which enable users to initiate in-channel conversations once they’re ready to begin. And as Vidyard explains, creating top-notch video tutorials has never been easier!

3. Be present in app marketplaces.

Going back to our point regarding app integrations, you don’t always need to share integrations on your own site. The opposite also works: get featured on your integration partner’s website. If you’re partnered with the likes of Zendesk, AWS, and Shopify, the apps within their thriving digital ecosystems will help drive more audiences to your platform. 

For instance, HubSpot’s App Partner Program has an existing partner base of over 900 companies, each with the goal of reaching HubSpot’s massive clientele. The program requires at least 3 active and unique app installs before they accept your app listing submission. 

Aim to be listed in your partner’s marketplace if they have one — becoming one of the featured and recommended apps will further amp up your marketing game.

4. Deliver unique in-app messaging.

If you aren’t yet one of the 33% of app marketers who use in-app messaging, we don’t think you have as much FOMO as they do.

An in-app message comes to users mainly as a banner notification or full-page display that informs them of discounts, new features, and basically anything that concerns their experience while using your app. 

These tiny chunks of information hold enormous value — they support customer engagement and retention by keeping key product features on top of users’ minds. They can exist in the form of a ‘rate us’ popup, quick in-app surveys, or a CTA for incentivized referrals. You could even use in-app messaging to check in on users who are on the verge of churning.

Beware of over-messaging, though — no one wants a notification popping up every 10 seconds. Synthesize your messaging and keep it concise.

5. Gather and utilize user feedback.

User feedback can also become an integral part of your messaging. 

You can’t always assume that all is going well with a user’s experience while using your app. There will always be instances where they’ll get frustrated over a feature that doesn’t work, or a page that takes too long to load.

In-app prompts allow you to instantly gather user feedback. Behavioral analytics enable you to measure micro-interaction data so you can better identify users’ frustrations or usual inconveniences encountered. Timing is also key — you may activate in-app prompts to ask for a review based on how frequently a user visits your app.

Final Thoughts

A robust in-app marketing strategy can help you engage, retain, and keep customers satisfied from onboarding all the way through feedback time. And at a time when competition in the SaaS space is incredibly fierce, you will need to utilize every tool available in your arsenal — in-app marketing included.

READ NEXT: Toppling the Giants: Building a Challenger Brand

Apps alone can’t drive your marketing strategy; they are just one part of a robust multimedia engagement strategy. Learn how to fill out your strategy by watching our exclusive On Demand content from the Ascent Annual Conference: Creating Favorite Content: Stealable Ideas For Better Video Marketing, featuring Marcy Dobozy, VP of Marketing at Vidyard.

Photo by Walling on Unsplash

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