October 10, 2018
The State (and Future) of Digital Marketplaces
In the world of mobile apps, top users are your model citizens. Not only do they demonstrate their value by contributing significantly to your revenue, they can teach friends, family, and neighbors to adopt your brand the way that they have. Cultivate your top users well, and you’ll have a constant source of support and referrals.
Top users are customers who have significant loyalty and enthusiasm for your brand. You’ve won over their hearts and minds with your value proposition, and their passion is measured by their high level of engagement, the key virtuous actions they have taken, and the purchases they have made.
Top users are important because they can help you market your product better than any marketing campaign. They’re the ones who enthusiastically comment on your social media pages and make recommendations to their friends—endorsements that are trusted by far more people than what a brand says about itself. Your goals with top users are 1) to sustain their enthusiasm, 2) to take them to the next level of engagement, and 3) to encourage them to amplify your brand. With top users, it is a careful balancing act between showing your appreciation and making “asks” that will drive them to become more invested in your app and help you spread the word.
The key to sustaining your top users’ enthusiasm is to make them feel important and cared for. Make them feel like their loyalty has not gone unnoticed. People innately have a strong desire for special attention, and mobile, especially, allows brands to talk to users in a personal and intimate way. Brands can take advantage of the intimacy and immediacy of mobile by sending top users special “thank you” messages, rewards, or sneak peeks of special features or promotions before a general release. Make top users feel like insiders with mobile, and you will be able to capitalize on their goodwill toward your brand later on. Below is an example:
Since you know that top users have already bought into your value proposition, getting more value out of them should be your next focus. This means taking a look at the virtuous actions top users have already taken and pinpointing the next logical step, whether that is immediate monetization or completion of another action that correlates with higher lifetime value. For example, if a user has already been viewing content frequently on your media app, the next step might be asking him to subscribe to a monthly service. If your top users have already converted in the past, your focus may be to drive repeat conversions. And if your top users are already repeat purchasers, your goal may be to keep this segment of users happy and deliver them the recommendations and content that will bring higher levels of engagement. Below is an example:
Catch top users at the moments when they’re most excited about your product, and ask them to share their zeal by posting on social networks, referring their friends, or rating your app. After top users have completed a virtuous action, capitalize on their heightened enthusiasm and motivate them to amplify your brand before they lose momentum. For example, if a user has just completed a large order and received a 20% discount, ask him to rate the app shortly after—before he’s lost the positive emotions that go along with scoring a great deal. Below is an example:
Knowing how often to reach out to your top users is extremely important to your success with this valuable segment. Top users are already some of your most engaged users—they don’t need a flurry of promotional messages that try to persuade them to take more actions, and they may be put off by such an effort. Since these users are already highly active in your app, it’s also likely that they are receiving a number of transactional push notifications such as shipment alerts or message notifications. Limit the total number of messages that you send top users in a defined period to show your respect, while always watching the number of push opt-outs and uninstalls to make sure you’re not annoying them with too many messages. Top users may be your most loyal customers today, but that relationship isn’t guaranteed forever. With mobile, relationships that have taken months to build can be lost in an instant, so always make sure your messages to your top users are relevant, personalized, and timely.
In the past few weeks, we’ve covered mobile messaging strategies for many types of users: new, dormant, engaged, and top users. Now that you have the tools to put these strategies in action, we’ll explore how to evaluate their success in our next lesson!