Lessons From App Experts: How Drync's Brian Carr Retains Users


brian_carrIn this new series, we chat with leading app owners, creators and marketers to get their insights into what app success looks like and how they're engaging users. Plus: what do they see working when it comes to app messaging tactics, and how do they use analytics to inform marketing? If you want to participate, please email badler@localytics.com

For our first installment we asked Brian Carr, the COO of Drync, about how the optimize their app to drive business. 

Where did you get the idea for the Drync app? 

Our founder, Brad Rosen, came up with the idea for the app while he was traveling with in Tuscany. He was enjoying a bottle of wine, but realized how challenging it would be to remember that particular bottle. Moreover, since most retailers stock about 1,000 on their shelves, about 3% ​of the wines available in a given market, finding a specific bottle can be nearly impossible. So, he wanted to create a solution that would allow consumers to not only learn more about the wines they are drinking but allow them to purchase in seconds. 

How do you acquire new users?

Brian_Carr_call_out_quote_2We acquire new users through searches and features in the App Store or Google Play; partnerships with events like the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and the Boston Wine Expo, social media, and good old word-of-mouth from our existing users. We also have advertising campaigns that are fully trackable using Localytics; so for example, we can tell which campaigns have the best ROI and bring in the most engaged users, with one simple dashboard in the tool.

How important is push and in-app messaging to your marketing efforts?

Not only do we use both on a daily basis, but what's most important is we test and optimize both.

For push notifications, we use personalized (only seen by you) and segmented (seen by all cabernet lovers) pushes daily to remind users of wines they have in their cart, or to let them know we've located that hard-to-find wine they took a snapshot of a few minutes ago. In general, we'd expect a 7%+ click-through rate (CTR) on personalized push notifications and a 3%+ on segmented ones. 

We recently launched in-store pickup in Massachusetts. We couldn't do an in-app messaging campaign to the whole nation, it wouldn't make sense and would only frustrate users. Instead, we targeted just our Massachusetts customers and automated an in-app messaged for when they opened the app. 

They key is to use both in tandem where it makes sense. We do push campaigns to Massachusetts users such as: "Update: We have new pickup locations nearby." That loads the app and then the in-app message appears, reinforces the in-store pickup and prompts a click to see more.  

I should note that we build and A/B/N test all of our in-app and push campaigns to assess the best click and action rates. You'd be amazed what a difference language and color changes can make. For example, we posed these questions for our campaigns:

1)   Push notification: Should you use "Tap" or "Swipe" in your call to action?

2)   In-App: Should your call to action button be red, green, or black?

And found that:

1)  Our campaigns ​saw 26​% higher CTR on “swipe” than “tap”

2)  For us, click-through-rate on buttons is higher in this order: red, green, black




What's the most popular feature in your app?

The most popular feature in the app is scanning: users can snap a picture of the label of the wine in front of them and Drync populates the bottle information including producer, region, grape variety, and other users' ratings and tasting notes. They can then add their own ratings and tasting notes and even share on their social networks. 

How do you garner and respond to user feedback?

We constantly acquire user feedback through a variety of channels: replies to marketing emails, the in-app feedback tab, social media, surveys, phone calls and even in-person events. We pride ourselves on Brian_Carr_call_out_quoteprompt turn-around time and great customer service regardless of the channel. We also regularly track our Net Promoter Score for purchasers by talking to them about 10 days after purchase to see how it went. 

How do you use app analytics in your marketing? 

Mobile marketing does not differ from conventional digital marketing in this way: data is key. We set goals for every marketing, push, in-app campaign, and even social posts. Whether or not these campaigns meet, exceed, or fall short of expectations, will determine next steps for upcoming campaigns. 

Where do you see as the future of apps?

It’s all going personal. We’re constantly competing for attention and usability at the right time and the right place. So timing, content and messaging all are going to be as personalized as ever. 

Think about it, the phone is by far the most personal thing we have. It “knows” more about us than our closest friends. Ever see a teenager lose their phone? It’s Armageddon. We put our own screen savers and wallpapers on our phones. Then we change them depending on our mood. We spend hours finding just the right case for it. Then we arrange our home screen with the apps we use most, in a certain order.  Dunkin Donuts here, mail at the top, etc.

So as app marketers, we have to constantly be aware of the context of how the app is being used – as one of more than 50 other apps on a mobile phone. Blasting a “Deal” notification for something a person will never buy is a big negative – they’ll delete your app in a heartbeat and you’ll lose that customer forever. For us, we’ll think twice about sending an obvious Chardonnay lover a notification that’s about Cabernets.

We ultimately see the app functioning as the premier mobile commerce platform for wine and spirits. We have a number of really cool features in the pipeline to make it even easier for consumers to buy the wine they love - stay tuned!

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