A Sure Thing

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Here's a fact that'll make uncomfortable reading for anyone betting on the app business. Research indicates that no less than 4%-8% of messaging app installation attempts fail.Simply because, as part of the verification process, the phone number that the user enters - to receive the code necessary to complete the installation - is invalid. Maybe because it's a landline or possibly an unused number. Either way, that's it. Forget about crossing the finish line. You've just lost yourself a user.

The good news is that you can get back in the races. There are certain measures that need to be taken to ensure that the message is received. Information like phone type, geographic area, and telecom carrier are essential in deciphering if a phone number is valid. Additionally, correcting an improperly formatted phone number, and confirming that you are indeed sending that verification code to an SMS-enabled phone, changes that fail into a success. PhoneID provides all of these important steps that ensure an SMS is delivered.If anything's not as it should be, an alert is issued automatically, and the user gets a chance to enter another phone number, which could be more acceptable.

Once an app is successfully downloaded, that's certainly not the end of the story. It's also worth reminding us that SMS has a major role to play in ensuring your audience continues to engage with your app, and encourages others to participate.

Analysts tell us that the app economy is booming. By 2016 they predict we will see more than 66 billion downloads a year, but a note of caution. Other studies observe that only 30% of apps downloaded are used the next day. Less than 5% are actively using it 20 days later.

Use SMS to start a dialogue with your audience, and you'll be far less likely to end up on the wrong side of those abandonment stats. After all, even with smartphones, SMS is the one messaging system that works for all subscribers, regardless of the platform or operator.

And not only is it the only way to reach five out of six cell phone users, globally, it has a message reading rate of something like 95%. (Compare that with email's open rate of just 20%-25% within 24 hours.) Better still, not only has it been found that 59% of users respond to text messages within the hour, 41% answered within ten minutes. Giddy-up, let's go!

So if your app is a game, say, keep the excitement going with teasers and bonus content. If you're in retail, confirm shipping dates, keep your customers up to speed with new lines, or tempt them special offers and coupons. Social media? Spice up the conversation with news, views and hot topics. Publishing? Spread the word about your latest issue or next project. And do it all with SMS, allowing them to opt-in, encouraging loyalty, the same way as you would send a text to a buddy.

This way, your app will end up a favorite, worth putting a few quid on. You'll be backing a winner, not wasting your cash on an also-ran."

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