Mobile users have a fever, and the only prescription is more health apps. Every time we think we’ve seen it all, the bar is raised and the envelope is pushed. Everyone knows about the ubiquitous run tracking apps, but did you also know there’s an app that measures your heartbeat using the flash function on your phone? How about the app that records you talking in your sleep? Or even the judgmental weight tracking app?
We can’t make this stuff up. That’s why it’s more important than ever to leverage your app marketing to keep users engaged with your app (not just the one one that yells at them to go play outside).
With the sweeping popularity of inventive workout routines like P90x and Insanity, it’s no wonder that health and fitness app usage is growing 87% faster than the overall app market. With the rise of wearables like FitBit, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that number jump even higher. The key to keeping your health app top-of-mind is to transform it from just an app into a source of motivation and education. And there’s no better way to accomplish this than employing a solid app marketing strategy that utilizes automated push notifications. Your app marketing health kick starts now!
One of the reasons health apps have taken off is that people love to reach goals. I used the Couch-to-5k (C25k) app to to go from a 12-minute walk to a 7-minute mile. Because there was an end goal and I was able to track my progress, I was able to make it through the nine-week progression.
This is where automated push notifications can play a crucial role in retaining (and motivating) your users. When they’re nearing goals like weekly miles run or calories burned, send your users a push notification reminding them of how close they are to reaching their goals. Be that gym buddy that pushes them just a bit further, even when they think they can’t. Your users will start to see you as a central part of improving their health, and that gives them a reason to keep coming back and hopefully telling everyone they know!
Big Win: FitBit
At the forefront of the wearable device movement, FitBit has revolutionized the way people track their daily steps. Its simple and sleek design makes it easy for people to wear it with just about anything. When users close in on their daily stepping goals, FitBit motivates them by sending a push notification to alert their users of how many steps they have left that day. Through this marketing tactic, FitBit doesn’t just perform a function, it helps users achieve their fitness goals.
Whether your app is built for utility (such as the Instant Heart Rate app) or for information (the WebMD app), there is an opportunity to get users more engaged with relevant content. If you can make your app a source of actionable knowledge, you can make it more than just an app. In the health field, your app should be a source of usable knowledge about how to maintain good health. We’re not talking long blogs, but how about a daily tip on a healthy snack to replace their 2:30 bag of chips?
Again, push notifications are your medium of choice here. But you don’t just want to send blanket messages to your entire user base. Target them based on behavioral data. By combining their interests in particular health categories with their behavioral input (miles run, foods eaten, etc) you can create super relevant push notifications. Now instead of your app screaming, “Use my app!” it’s saying with a smile, “I think you’ll benefit from reading this.”
Big Win: Fooducate
There’s really no easier way to track calorie intake and nutritional value than scanning the barcodes of the foods we eat. Fooducate is one of the leaders in this space, and it’s because they’re more than just a scanner. They add value through a scientific food grader (scale of A-D) that offers healthy alternatives to those foods that aren’t so healthy. In addition, they provide educational content and send targeted push notifications based on the foods you’ve scanned and consumed.
When we join support groups, meetups or even book clubs, we’re joining a community of people with similar goals and aspirations. Everyone who uses your health app is also part of a community. They are all interested in improving their health in some way. If we’re able to connect them with each other, app marketers have the power to build a community that people turn to when they’re falling off the bandwagon and need a little motivational boost. You already have the user base, now your job is to facilitate their communication and transform a group of users into a rich connected network.
The best way to accomplish this is through a push message that’s automatically triggered to users who have completed a specific event. For example, when users sign up for an eight-week plyometrics training course, hold them to their training by inviting them to join the 300 other members in the plyometrics community. In this group, users share their stories, struggles and triumphs and receive positive feedback and encouragement throughout their eight-week journey.
Big Win: Cody
Cody is like the fitness-specific version of Instagram. Users post a picture and/or description of their workout and other users can comment on and like the post. In the world of social media, gym selfies can sometimes be taboo, but Cody embraces the gym selfie and uses it to encourage and motivate their user base.
As the health and fitness market continues to dominate app stores, it’s more important than ever to understand your users and the time and dedication they’re putting into improving their health. By embracing the “always-connected” revolution and encouraging users along the way, you’re showing them that they’re valued members of your community.
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