Tips for Marketing Your Restaurant’s Mobile App

by Nicholas Rubright3 Min Read

You’ve released a mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play as a customer retention acquisition strategy. In mobile marketing, it’s important to get downloads, but it’s equally important to keep customers from uninstalling the app.

Read on for some of the best mobile analytics tools, ways you can get more downloads for your restaurant’s mobile app, and best practices for keeping users coming back.

Track The Important Things

When a new user downloads your app, you want to be able to attribute that download to a source.  This way, you can see which source is providing the most valuable downloads – ones that lead to revenue.  Maybe users coming from Facebook are more valuable than users who come from Twitter.

It’s also important to track actions users take inside your mobile app so you can learn how to improve on design and functionality.  By tracking in-app actions, you can use the data to figure out which actions lead to more valuable results, such as in-app food and drink orders.  It also makes it easier to see where users may be confused about the apps functionality.

Dozmia uses Mixpanel for tracking user actions, and Branch for install attribution and deep linking (links pointing to a specific page inside the app).  The data from these services can work together to allow you to attribute installs from a specific source to actions taken within the app so you can see which source is bringing the most valuable users.

Getting App Store Downloads

To get downloads within the App Store and Google Play, you want to apply proper App Store optimization strategies.  This means that, instead of simply naming your app after your restaurant, include your restaurant’s name along with a keyword that your customers might use to search for an app like yours.  So, if you have a free food offer within your app, include that in your app’s title.  It’s also important to carefully select your keywords.

For the iOS App Store, search rankings come down to the app’s name, keywords, reviews, and download density.  Paid ads can help boost download density, which will improve your rankings in related search terms. Google Play is a bit different. In addition to considering the aforementioned variables, Google takes into consideration the description and other unknown data points.

In-Restaurant Promotion Strategies

It’s important to promote your app within your restaurant. An easy way to get downloads from within your restaurant is to offer free food, but in many cases, new users will take the free food, and then proceed to uninstall the app.

One way you can generate app downloads from within your restaurant that result in long-term users is to allow users to interact directly with your restaurant in an exciting way that turns them into loyal customers. An example of how this can be achieved is to turn your app into a mobile Jukebox. Many services that offer music for business have API’s that can assist with this.

Implement Viral Marketing in Your App

With the social Jukebox feature mentioned above, you can let users share your playlist with friends on social media, pointing more potential users to your app. You can also let your customers give a meal to their friends in exchange for a discount or free meal, which can result in exponential sharing from within your app. However you decide to implement sharing within your app, it’s important to make it extremely easy, and even rewarding if possible.

If you’ve implemented a loyalty program as a part of your app, maybe give your users points towards their next meal for sharing in-app content, liking you on Facebook, following you on Twitter, or inviting friends to download the app. Consider referral-marketing strategies that worked for technology startups like Dropbox and Paypal, and implement those within your app.

Phone Number vs. Email Signup

Most apps that require signup ask for users email address by default, but asking for a phone number instead (or giving them the option to use a phone number or email address) can provide more lasting value.  With email, the average open rate is about 25 percent, with cluck-thru rates averaging three percent.  Alternatively, SMS messages receive a 98 percent read rate, and up to a 36 percent click-thru rate.  With SMS beating email in both stats, it’s definitely something to consider to improve your apps user retention rate.   Services like Twilio offer API’s to assist with automated text-message marketing.

Provide Lasting Value

To keep users from uninstalling your app, you want to provide long-term value. Maybe you send users random discounts or free meals, or implement a loyalty system within your app to keep customers coming back to your restaurant.  Consider what would provide value to your target audience, and provide it as a feature within your app.  However, be careful about annoying users with push notifications, as irrelevant push notifications are one of the top reasons users uninstall apps.

Nicholas Rubright

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Nick Rubright is the founder and CEO of Dozmia, a music streaming service that provides background music for businesses. He has a passion for helping musicians in their careers, as well as helping businesses find their sound.

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