How do you inspire people to download your mobile app? It’s a question that everyone faces when planning their mobile strategy. One arts organization has found a particularly successful answer this summer.
The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts in Arlington, Texas presents more than 50 free outdoor concerts each year with a broad-based calendar featuring professional musical artists, from world music to jazz and home-grown Texas country to hot Indie artists.
In April 2016, the pavilion launched a new mobile app for concertgoers. Within its first three months, the Levitt Arlington app acquired nearly 2,800 downloads with 73% of users opting to receive push notifications.
How did Levitt Pavilion Arlington inspire so many concertgoers to download the app? The answer is twofold.
1. Provide a Compelling Reason
As we’ve said before, the first step in getting patrons to download your app is to identify a compelling reason for them to do so. When you think about why a patron should download your app, consider the question from their point of view. What can they do with the app that they cannot do with your website? How will having (and using) your app benefit them?
Levitt Pavilion Arlington identified two compelling reasons for downloading their app:
As an outdoor music venue, the pavilion’s performances can be negatively affected by bad weather – or even the perception of bad weather. Patrons may stay home rather than drive downtown for a performance that might have been cancelled.
To eliminate potential confusion, Levitt Pavilion Arlington provides their app users with weather alerts sent directly to their mobile devices. This is not only compelling, it makes their app indispensable to audiences.
“If there were nights when the weather was iffy, we would ask for a show of hands for how many people knew the concert was still on because they got the alert on the app,” says Communications Director Cathy O’Neal, “There were always lots of them – more than half the audience. We would encourage the rest of the audience to download the app so they would have those notifications, too.”
“Rate the Band”
Another way to compel audiences to download is by giving them something that they can only do within the app. Levitt Pavilion Arlington does this by featuring a “Rate the Band” survey that is only available to patrons who download the Levitt Arlington app.
At every concert, the staff makes this announcement from the stage:
If you haven’t downloaded the Levitt Arlington app for your phone, do that tonight while you’re listening to the concert. It’s absolutely free! Then, after the concert, tap on the Tell Us button to rate tonight’s band and let us know if we should bring them back. This is ONLY available to people with the Levitt Arlington app!
Audiences love to vote and give feedback. By only giving app users access to the survey, the pavilion creates a compelling reason for their patrons to download the app and participate.
2. Use a Holistic Promotional Strategy
Once you have identified the compelling reason for patrons to download your app, you need to communicate that to patrons using all of the tools at your disposal. Levitt Pavilion Arlington uses this type of holistic approach to promote their mobile app. In addition to stage announcements at every concert:
- Levitt Pavilion Arlington distributed a Concert Calendar magnet for the summer season featuring an area promoting their app.
- They sent an e-mail blast to 14,000 people announcing the launch of their mobile app with their compelling reasons for downloading prominently placed in the body text. The email had a 38% open rate.
- They added an app promotion area to their “This Week at the Levitt” weekly e-blast delivered to 14,000 subscribers on Tuesday mornings.
- They promoted the app through their social media accounts.
- They created slides to project onto large screens at the pavilion encouraging concertgoers to download the app and “Rate the Band.”
- They have also spotlighted promotional information about the app in their Fall 2016 Concert Brochure.
One important thing to point out is that Levitt Pavilion Arlington did not have to add new communication tools in order to promote their app and successfully acquire new downloads. They simply identified compelling reasons for patrons to download their app and highlighted those reasons via communication channels they were already using. This is something all of us can do!
Another thing we can all do is strive for consistency in promoting our apps. Look for ways to fold app promotion into your current workflow. When communicating with your patrons, how can you add a message promoting your app’s compelling feature(s) to each of your touch points? Adding consistent app promotion messages to your communications insures that all of your patrons will learn about the great things they can do with your app and what it can do for them.
Check it out!