We’re all guilty of turning to our phones when we feel only slightly less than 100% healthy. And though the results sometimes prove to be more fictional that factual, mobile users are still turning to their devices, and more specifically apps, for answers pertaining to their health. Be it anything from counting steps and exceeding daily goals to monitoring glucose levels, heart rate and sleep, our apps are becoming one of the most reliable ways to keep on top of our health.
And we know that the popularity of apps in mHealth are growing consistently; 75% of consumers already state that technology is important to managing their health. And this is not just down to Web MD. In 2018 the number of people using apps in mHealth (mobile health) rose to 47% from just 16% in 2014. And in Fortune magazine, mHealth apps are described as the means to “[...] help overcome the siloed, episodic, reactive nature of US healthcare, whereby patients seek care only after potentially costly health complications occur and physicians are only reimbursed for expensive in-person office visits that may not reflect the day-to-day reality of the patient experience of living with complex chronic conditions.” Meaning that the development of the mHealth industry isn’t going to taper off the further we get into the digital age - it’s going to grow. 79% of patients are already more likely to select a provider that allows them to conduct healthcare interactions either online or on a mobile device, which makes mobile one of the most fertile grounds for marketers in mHealth to grow their brand.
But it’s not just consumers who are excited about mHealth - businesses are seeing some huge opportunities too. At the moment, the Global mHealth market is projected to be valued at $28 billion dollars in 2018, and is expected to expand to $102 billion by 2023. Great news! But with over 318,000 health apps available worldwide right now, brands need to realign themselves and their marketing to ensure they beat out competing brands.
This means that engaging and retaining users is going to be vital for the health of your app (pun very much intended). And while businesses can choose their own way to monetize, customer messaging must be relevant, personal and timely to drive engagement and ultimately revenue to brands.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some best practices for businesses in mHealth to engage and retain customers through multi-channel marketing.
Transactional & Service Messaging
This might come as a surprise, but transactional and service messages are some of the best marketing collateral for those of you in mHealth. For marketers these kinds of messages will be the surest way to reach and actively engage your customers, even when they are not in your app. Think about it. When making an appointment or renewing a prescription is as easy as pressing a button in your app, you’re definitely going to see an uptake in business. And we know that more people want this - 79% of people want to conduct more of their healthcare administration online or through an app.
You could go even further than that and offer your customers the chance to sync their appointments and information through a multitude of channels. Allowing them to keep track of their healthcare service where ever they are, whenever they want, and in whatever channel they please.
Onboarding & Feature Discovery
The first few minutes a user engages with your app are some of the most important in their customer lifecycle. Don’t let those first few interactions slip by - reach out to your user to let them know where certain information is stored, where they can add important documents or medical records and any new updates that your customer will find relevant and useful.
As the old adage goes, if your customer doesn’t know where or what features are on offer, they won’t use them. So let your customers know where the key features are by providing a ‘walk through’ of your app, after an update or after your users has logged a specific event or behavior that shows they’re ready to engage. Don’t be afraid to send a targeted campaign to let users who haven’t discovered certain features on their own, notifying them about these features and two they can use them.
We all talk about how great it would be to reach our customers at the right place and the right time, but by using a geo-targeted campaign you can actually do that. Help your users find healthcare providers near their location, or send them a satisfaction survey as they leave a geofence and capitalize on the fact they have received a good service from their healthcare provider (we hope!).
Customer satisfaction is ultimately what all businesses are chasing. After all a happy customer is a loyal customer, and a loyal customer costs 5 times less than a new customer. Everyone’s happy!
But to grow your business, you need more than just a happy customer - you need them to tell their friends that they are happy. App store ratings and reviews are critical factors when convincing new customers to download your app, and your scores in this area and user reviews will have a direct impact on your entire marketing funnel.
Make sure you’re asking your users to leave a review at the right time and through the right channel. This will increase response rates by up to 70%. A huge margin for all businesses.
The good news is that none of the above mean that you need a complete overhaul of your marketing messages - but it may cause you to start making better use of tools already available. This is mainly because a lot of the messages are required to be useful to your customers, timely to arrive in time for appointments or prescription pick ups, and they use personal information.
In the nicest way possible, marketing messages in mHealth take advantages of their customers ill health to increase engagement, response rates, and ultimately revenue.
And it really does look like that an app a day will start to keep the doctor away…at least in person.
If you'd like to learn how Swrve can boost your app's engagment, arrange a call with us here.