Your mobile app can look amazing and have everything that you’ve imagined the parents of your gymnastics gym, swim school or dance studio could want, but if those parents aren’t using it, how much is it helping you or them?
It’s not like the Field of Dreams.
“Build it and they will come” is far from the truth when it comes to your app. It’s more like the old adage about leading a horse to water. Only you need to lead them to your app and help them understand why it’s beneficial to them to “drink” from it.
To help the parents of your program realize the benefits of actually using your mobile app, we’ve put together a few simple steps to help you market your new app.
7 way to promote your branded app
1. Introduce your app ahead of time
This is not a time that you want to employ any shock tactics. It’s human nature to resist change, and that it exactly what many parents will do. So providing an informative and easy to understand introduction to your app will pave the way for a smooth roll out.
2. Market your app
This includes appealing graphics, slogans, mail-outs, emails, signage, and video loops on your website or on in-studio TVs that entice parents with all of the benefits to them for using the app. Prepare a message leading up to your app release, one for the release day and one to use thereafter. Make sure that your app’s amazingness is exposed in your studio, on your website and on your social media sites. You can even issue a press release to local media sharing the news about this great new service that your studio is providing for parents.
3. Train your staff on your app
Everyone that your parents talk to must know all of the details about your app so that they can not only share how to download the app, but can also explain its features and use. Their enthusiasm about the app will transfer over to parents!
4. Set a release date and stick with it
Be realistic with your release date so that you can stick to it. Parents will lose interest if you build them up for downloading your app and learning it but then disappoint them with delays.
5. Provide plenty of information in a variety of forms
Don’t skimp on items like “Step-By-Step Guides” on your website, in your parent portal and printed out. Provide training in simple online videos and “app nights” when you and your staff will walk parents through the download and use of the app features. Provide this periodically for new parents, new staff members and for anyone who wants to brush up on the app’s features. Always have your “Step-By-Step Guides” available in printed and electronic formats so details can be quickly provided at the moment questions are asked.
6. Reward them
Provide incentives for parents to download your app and even incentives for its use. This can be as simple as free refreshments from your pro shop or as elaborate as points toward a prize. By the way, you have analytics in the app that can help you track use of the app by families.
7. Reinforce your message
Don’t stop marketing your app after your initial release. Keep it going. After all, you will continue to get new parents and there will be some existing parents who will resist your initial marketing efforts. In fact, research shows that for something to become ingrained in our memory, we must see it 6 times. So you really can NOT market your app too much!
Make sure information about your app is included in your new family/student welcome package and that you also verbally introduce them to it. Remind your staff to make the app part of their regular conversation with parents when they are explaining everything that is fabulous about your studio. Include a link to your app download page in the signature of every staff member’s email, make it prominent on your home page, and make it a sticky post on your Facebook page.
If you’d like to read more, there are similar blog topics at these links:
12 Best Practices for Making Your Mobile App a Success
Cal Elite Kids’ Roll-out Plan Helped to Inspire Use of its New Mobile App