by Ty McDowell, on Wednesday July 27, 2016

Your mobile app can look amazing and have everything that you’ve imagined your studio’s parents 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.

This will not just “happen” without applying a little strategy and a few marketing activities. And it’s worth the effort. Customers attest to the benefits they’ve experienced since rolling out their own Mobile Apps.

This checklist will help you educate your parents about your Mobile App.

Seven Steps to Whetting Your Parents’ “App”etites

  • 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.

  • “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.

  • 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!

  • 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 and then disappoint them with delays.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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