Bulk SMS Kenya: Should you Choose SMS or Push Notifications for your App?

Bulk SMS Kenya is a service that many app owners do not think about until the last minute. The greatest concern is always the number of downloads. When thousands of people download an app, the owner relaxes and assumes all is well.

The expectation is that the engagement rate will increase with each new download. Here is the reality. Downloads do not lead to engagement. You must give users reasons to open your app every day where possible.

Two ways to do that is through push notifications and SMS. The effectiveness of these methods of communication is the subject of this discussion. Let us start with the definitions.

Definitions of Push Notifications and SMS

Push notifications are messages that an app send from its server to the user’s interface. The user view notifications on the mobile device or desktop depending on the settings. Some apps allow users to choose the type of notifications that an app sends to their interface.

Apple was the first company to introduce the service in 2009 before Google introduced its service in the following year. Since then, companies have been adopting the form of communication for their solutions. The trend has been introduced in mobile apps development as well.

SMS stands for Short Message Service. Text messages have existed throughout the history of mobile phones. However, their popularity increased in the 1990s when companies adopted the service for commercial activities.

Bulk SMS Kenya is a popular service. It has attracted many providers because of the increasing demand. As mobile apps and e-commerce platforms become popular, entrepreneurs realise the need to invest in the service.

Mobile Engagement through Push Notifications

It is important to note that every method of user engagement has its pros and cons. Push notifications offer the option of combining both text and images. The notifications often play a sound and show an icon to alert the user.

You can play around with notifications to include interactive buttons that allow users to respond to the notification. Push notifications are associated with a higher level of user engagement. They do not just remind the user of the app but prompt a specific action.

By clicking on the notification, the user may go directly to the app when a link is provided. Another advantage is that users can opt or out of the notification. Users can either block all notifications from the settings or choose the type of notifications to receive.

The downside of push notifications is that is they can be disruptive and annoying. Think of apps that are highly interactive such as social apps. Notifications for every time a connection takes actions are too much for some users.

Users end up either blocking all notifications or logging out of an app. Such actions mean loss of opportunities to convert for app owners. Hence, the timing and content of notifications must be right.

One advantage of push notifications over SMS is that they are free and unlimited. As a mobile app owner, you can send as many notifications as necessary at no cost. Some companies that offer Bulk SMS Kenya charge after a specific number of messages.

Push notifications are suitable for apps whose functions require constant reminders. For instance, fitness apps need to send constant reminders to users to work out. Users sign up for social apps for engagement with other users and so push notifications are less disruptive.

Bulk SMS Kenya

Travel apps such as airline apps need to send notifications to users to remind them of scheduled flights. In short, if you need to remind users of important activities or actions, push notifications are recommended.

For push notifications to work as intended, avoid sending them in the morning. Nobody wants to wake up to the sound of a notification.  Avoid sticky notifications and ensure that the message is relevant.

You do not need to send a notification every day unless your app requires that. For instance, working out or adopting a new diet requires daily reminders. Make the messages relevant, useful, and engaging at all times.

Engagement through SMS

The alternative to push notifications is SMS. Some apps require that you use both bulk SMS and push notifications. Why send text messages while you can send notifications? One, you may need to confirm the identity of users.

Consider finance apps or delivery services that require user authentication. The mobile phone number is often part of the verification process. You need to send a message to confirm registration or provide a verification code.

Delivery and transport services require SMS services. Think of users that book a service online and then switch off their data. How do you deliver their orders without an alternative communication channel?

Transport companies will often send a message to both the client and courier to confirm an order and delivery time. You can also send alerts or warnings to clients via SMS. For instance, you will find banks sending SMS alters to all clients of new fraudulent activities.

Healthcare services use SMS to reach a wider market with warning or alerts of outbreaks or new services. Text messages are a great way of introducing discounts or offers to clients. Clients are prompted to log into the apps and view the products or services on offer.

The downside of SMS is that they may attract an additional cost.  Bulk SMS Kenya is free to a limited number of messages. Sometimes you may need users to reply to a message, which attracts a cost for them as well.

Another downside of using SMS is that some users consider them as spam. It is difficult to personalise every SMS. Hence, companies end up sending the same message to all clients. Sometimes the same message will appear in a day and users dismiss them as spam.

Conclusion

Choosing the right engagement tool is now easy with this information. The first question to ask before contacting any service provider or developer is, does my app need this service? Will it improve communication with clients or annoy them? Consider the type of app you have developed and the kind of alerts that the user needs. Think about the frequency and timing of both SMS and push notifications to maximise on open rates. Remember that Bulk SMS Kenya services may attract a cost. There is no harm in exploring both tools at the same time to optimise user engagement.

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How to Maximise App Downloads Through Social Media (Updated Guide)

As the leading software developers in Kenya, we took you through the process of generating a new app idea. You got an outstanding idea, built an app and made it available on all major stores. The big question now is, how do you maximize downloads?

You probably know that social media is an effective marketing tool. You could be using it for your business but, have you thought of the app? Many app owners miss on potential users by ignoring social media.

In this guide, we will show you how you can use different social media platforms to leverage the usage of your app. Remember that the more social platforms you engage the wider the audience you reach.

Let us know look specific platforms.

Facebook

Do you get tired of scrolling your Facebook timely? Yes? Well, social media users still think Facebook is the best way to connect. Look at the statistics on the figure below.

Figure: Active Social Media Users as of April (2019) in millions

Source: Statista

Facebook has maintained its top position as the most popular social platform. It has over 2 billion users worldwide. Facebook Messenger has over 1 billion users already.

The statistics show the potential reach when using Facebook as a marketing tool. If you target users beyond Kenya, you could reach millions or even billions of users with your app. How do you get there?

Creating an account on the social platform is just the first step. You need to keep your followers engage with relevant content. Choose high-quality images and video content with catchy captions.

Explore Facebook groups in your niche. You can start a group if none exists or engage those in relevant groups. You need not talk about your app all the time. Participating in discussions keeps your business visible.

Even with the best content and activity on the platform, you can only get so many pages likes. Facebook offers opportunities to promote your content and page. The good thing about the ads is that you can customise the audience to reach your target users only.

Instagram

Visual content sells faster than textual content on social media. Instagram is the perfect platform for pictures and images. From the statistics shared above, the platform has more than 1 billion users already.

About 70% of Instagram users are below 35 years. Hence, as you plan your Instagram marketing campaigns, think about this age group. About 60% of all Instagram users check their accounts daily.

For this platform, you need to share catchy images with a short description daily. The story feature gives you an additional platform to market your app. Most users spend time checking recent stories.

The advantage of Instagram is that you can posts several images, videos or a combination of both as your story. The story will disappear after 24 hours but your app will remain visible to users for as long.

You can also promote your content on Instagram to reach a wider audience. Target the younger audience when defining your target market. If your app targets young phone users, you have one strategy to explore.

Encourage your followers on Instagram to post their content for a prize. Contests will always attract new users to your business or brand. For instance, users can share their experience with your app through photos or videos.

You can also request screenshots of your downloaded app for a prize. Remember that users want to increase their followers as well. Hence, posting their content on your account makes them visible to a wider audience as well.

Twitter

Twitter has a relatively lower number of users compared to Facebook and Instagram. However, you cannot ignore the 300 million plus users on the platform. Look at the growth in the number of users since the first quarter of 2010:

Source: Statista

You have less characters and a limited number of pictures to share on Twitter. However, if you can keep up with daily trends, you will keep your app visible all day. Use the relevant hashtags for the day to make your tweets visible.

You can also search Twitter and discover the most relevant conversations in your niche. The conversations may not be trending at the time. However, your participation increases your visibility.

Here is another visibility strategy on Twitter. Follow influencers and participate in their conversations. Reply to their tweets and tag them in new tweets as well. One mention by an influencer with millions of followers makes your brand visible to all the followers.

Twitter has an advertising platform as well where you can promote your brand or tweets. The ads will show in all major hashtags of the day. Choose the content of your ads carefully to attract new followers.

YouTube

The demand for video content has been increasing over time. More than 87% of all marketing professional user video content and so should you. Software developers in Kenya will tell you that social media users cannot get enough of viral videos.

Consider the following statistics:

Consumers prefer YouTube videos to all other types of videos. Hence, you cannot run a social media campaign for your app without a YouTube channel. You have a potential audience of1.9 billion YouTube users.

Keep your video clips short, enticing, and relevant. The first few seconds should entice viewers to keep watching the video. Give tutorials on how to use your app in the videos.

You can also create slideshows of different features on the app. The videos are not limited to the app or your business. Think about interesting topics that are relevant to your target users.

WhatsApp

In the past, WhatsApp was an alternative way of texting and sharing files. Today, WhatsApp has become a major business tool. About 1.6 billion people have downloaded the app.

One way that businesses have been using the app for marketing is creating groups. You can invite new users to join your group and share content. Keep the content relevant and useful to retain your group members.

WhatsApp is also an excellent way of answering questions from consumers. Many would rather type in a question and get a prompt response rather than call or visit a website. In addition, the channel gives you a platform to collect feedback from actual users.

Additional tips for marketing an app on social media

1. Start marketing your app on all platforms during the development process. Do not wait until the app is launched to talk about it.

2. Gain as many followers as you can on all platforms including less popular platforms such as Snapchat or Pinterest

3. Leverage influencers on all platforms to make your app visible to their followers

4. Share live videos on Facebook, YouTube or IG TV before, during, and after the app launch

5. Use your target keywords on social media to make it easier for target users to find information about your app

Conclusion

Social media is a cost-effective method of promoting any product include a new mobile app. While still working with software developers in Kenya, get the word out about the upcoming app. You already know the features of the app. Hence, you have more than enough information to start social media campaigns before the launch. Sustain the social media campaigns even after the launch to retain acquired users and get new downloads.

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Safaricom Results in the Eyes of Software Developers in Kenya

Why would software developers in Kenya be interested in Safaricom’s financial results? Well, there are enough reasons to keep up with the performance of top companies. Investors anticipate such results for the dividend payout. Software developers see beyond the numbers.

One of the questions that arise every time Safaricom PLC announces its results is the low financial status of its clients. The company has maintained the largest share of the market since it was established 18 years ago. Other mobile services are still trying to catch up with the company’s strategies and increase their market share.

For software developers, the interest is in the products and their contribution to the company’s profits. Developers are also interested in the company’s technology and business strategy, given that many of them are entrepreneurs. Let us first look at the numbers that interest developers.

Safaricom financial year (2019) results at a glance

The telecommunication company gained 63.1b in revenues in the financial year ending 31 March 2019. One of the notable figures in the results is the contribution of Mpesa to the revenue. The platform now contributes 31.2% of the revenue.

Related: The Success Story of Mpesa in Kenya

Safaricom has been improving the Mpesa service. Today, the platform can handle about 1,200 transactions in a second. Think about this level of efficiency and processing capacity. Kenyans are still signing up for Mpesa services include new merchants.

In the reported financial year, the company registered 2.1m new customers. The total number of active Mpesa users is now 22.6m. Safaricom also introduced the Fuliza service that allows customers to overdraw their Mpesa account.

About 8.8m customers had already opted into the services within 3 months of its introduction. The transactions for the Fuliza service in the 3 months were estimated at 29 billion. Safaricom has also been building its global partnership.

Based on the results, more than 11,000 customers transact on the Mpesa-PayPal service per month. Mpesa customers are also using the service to purchase apps. The customers have purchased more than 5,200 app from Google PlayStore and paid via Mpesa.

The recently launched partnership with AliExpress is also taking shape. Money transfer via Western Union is possible to more than 500 agents and over 3 billion bank accounts around the world. Safaricom customers can transfer and receive money from any part of the globe.

Lessons for software developers

Reading the number is interesting, especially if you are a Safaricom customer or shareholder. However, we will go for the lessons and not the numbers for now. What can lessons can software developers in Kenya take home from these results?

1. The contribution of software developers

Safaricom’s largest service to its clients is voice calls. However, the Mpesa platform has grown to become one of its largest contributors to its revenues. In the reported financial year, the service contributed 31.2% of the revenues.

Mpesa is of interest to developer for several reasons. The service started as a software development project in school. Safaricom bought the idea and developed it to a popular means of mobile payments around the globe. How much more would developers achieve if their engaged their creativity right from college?

Software developers in Kenya can create similar solutions that can revolutionize business or any other field. The question is, are developers thinking beyond the current trends? Kenyan developers have the capacity to set new trends instead of copying global trends.

The increasing popularity of Mpesa is of interest to developers. The current demand in the market is for software development and Mpesa integration services in one package. As more clients sign up for Mpesa payments for local and global transactions, the demand for the integration services increases.

2. The rising demand for loans

Developers have introduced many loan apps in the Kenyan market. However, Kenyans are still looking for alternatives. In less than 3 months, more than 8 million Mpesa customers had already tried the Fuliza service.

The tough economic times are pushing mobile phone users to look for quick soft loans. The reality is that most loan app users are subscribed to more than one service. One is never enough because of the low limit at the beginning.

The market for loan apps is still ripe. With the right information on how the financial market works, new entrants will make money through loan apps. Another requirement is choosing the right developers.

Safaricom is already revolutionising the loan market with Fuliza. The company has also signed partnerships with financial institution to enable clients to access soft loans from their accounts. Hence, new entrants must think beyond the available services in the market.

We cannot emphasize the need for differentiating solutions enough. The tendency to copy ideas has moved to the software market as well. Differentiation sets a solution apart in the market, which translates to a higher number of active users.

3. Providing high-capacity solutions

Software developers in Kenya need to learn the art of introducing functional solutions from Safaricom. The Mpesa processes more than a thousand transactions in a second. The challenge here is for developers to create such efficient solutions to their clients.

Phone users have no time to wait for minutes for a page to load. If an app is slow or unreliable in delivering a service, users look for the next best alternative. Such moves are bad news to appreneurs.

If you want to get referrals from your clients, create outstanding solutions. Push every solution to the best performance level possible. Give the right advice to your clients to improve the performance and speed of their solutions.

Software engineering is not a walk in the park. It takes months to create an outstanding solution. However, developers can improve their speed of delivering their services. In addition, developers can learn some business development strategies from Safaricom such as product diversification.

Final thoughts

Software developers in Kenya have a lot to learn from one of the leading companies in Kenya. Safaricom has set the pace in the telecommunication industry. Modern technology including software engineering technology has contributed to its outstanding results over the years. The consistency in offering reliable services in a turbulent economy is a challenge to all entrepreneurs including developers.

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Top 10 Mobile App Categories As Analysed By Android App Designers in Kenya

We recently offered a guide on how to come up with a great app idea. While our core business is developing apps among other solutions, we want you to get your teeth in this industry. You do not need any experience or background in IT or software engineering. You just need the right information from Android app designers in Kenya and other sources.

With millions of apps out there, it sounds okay to assume that the market is flooded. Well, that is not the case. For example, you may look at social media and think Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have it all. But, if you look closely, new social platforms are still coming up.

People are always looking something new, something exciting and different. The question is, do you have it? As we suggest the categories of apps that you can develop, think about the difference that your solution will bring.

Just as it is with physical products, software needs differentiation. Where are the gaps in the category? What are app users looking for but cannot get from the existing apps? Think about these questions as we go through the list of suggested apps.

1. Loan apps

Financial technology has taken Kenya by storm. There is a new loan app anywhere you look. Banks are constantly advertising their mobile banking services and easy loans. That tells you that Kenyans are still looking for quick soft loans.

Get the necessary information on this type of business to get started. Training may be necessary if you do not have a background in finance. Alternatively, gather a team of like-minded people with the necessary skills and knowledge.

2. Taxi Apps

Do you think you can beat Uber and Taxify? Our thoughts: Yes, you can! If you have ever tried to book a ride via these apps during the rush hour, then you know it can be a nightmare. Many Kenyans shun taxi services because of the cost and process of haggling for a cheap ride.

New taxi apps have come up to meet the demand for affordable taxi rides. However, there is room for growth. One secret in this business is balancing the needs of drivers and clients.

Your thoughts should not be limited to taxis. Can you provide any other alternative to the chaotic matatu industry? How about a solution for safe solution carpooling?

3. Dating apps

Here is another favourite category that every aspiring apprenuer should consider. Love makes the world go round and Kenyans are looking for it. People try online dating secretly with the hope that it might lead to something serious. Give them that opportunity. Talk to Android app designers in Kenya and get started.

As you consider these apps, beware that users of dating apps are not entirely loyal. Users often download two or more apps to increase their chances. You just need to give them reasons to open your app every day. If you can offer them quick but close matches, you are right on that path.

4. Betting apps

The betting craze is still on in Kenya. You can make some money while it lasts. The thing with gambling is that it can be addictive. When a person plays for a while without winning on one platform, they look for alternatives.

Your alternative should give them better chances of winning and quick payouts. Make the betting process or user experience seamless. It is advisable to design a website as well. Some people prefer to play on websites but check their apps for instant updates.

5. Social apps

Where social apps are mentioned, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Whatsapp come to mind. However, there is more to this category that the popular social platforms. The idea of social apps is to bring together people with common interests and keep them talking.

Here is an example. Think about people who enjoy comics, or “bookworms” looking for an online book club. Many app owners are making money by bringing meme lovers or creators together. You too can think creatively and identify untapped social groups.

6. E-commerce apps

You do not need to have a running business to develop an e-commerce app. You can bring buyers and sellers on one platform. If you have a running business, you should be discussing the idea with top Android app designers in Kenya.

While selling products online is attractive, not every business needs an app. In addition, you need a safe and reliable payment method like Mpesa. Give customers value for their money by offering quality products, fair prices, and timely deliveries.

7. Tools

Web and mobile solutions should solve a problem or meet a pressing need. Tools match this description perfectly. The best place to start is to look at your current unmet needs. Can you find a solution for them? Can the solutions be mobile apps?

The category is quite broad from financial management or budgeting tools to maps, music players, photo editors, notepads, and editing tools. Pick one subcategory and find any gaps in meeting the user’s needs.

8. Music and Entertainment

We live in a generation that is either staring on the television screen or their mobile devices. When television programs prove boring, people turn to their phones for entertainment. Think about the time people spend in traffic bored.

An app that offers affordable entertainment will keep their minds occupied. The trick here is to offer something interesting for all users. If you choose to develop a music app, you must include all genres. It helps to include both local and international tracks on the platform.

9. Video players and editors

Video players follow audio or music players closely. Videos have gained popularity in the recent past. Fortunately for app builders, the old video players have limited functions. Your video player should have better features and functions.

Think of both video players and creators. As video content trends, many app users are looking for easy ways to shoot, edit, and share videos. Hence, your subcategories in this field are not limited to music videos.

10. Lifestyle apps

Mobile apps generally improve the quality of our lifestyle. However, the apps that fit in this category focus on a specific aspect. It is always easier to start with solutions in your niche. For instance, those in the beauty industry can use apps to share beauty tips.

Health and fitness are now a huge part of our lives. You can develop an app that combines the two aspects and offer actionable help. Alternatively, you can focus on food choices and offer recipes, diet tips or even meal plans. The list of possible lifestyle apps is long.

Final thoughts

When you browse your app store and check the listings for each category, you will find tens, hundreds, or even thousands of other apps. Beating the competition may seem impossible at first but it is possible. There is a gap or need that none of your competitors has identified or met fully. Extensive research will help you identify this gap and get a new idea. Get the best iOS or Android app designers in Kenya to actualise your idea and you will be on your way to great success.

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Everything You Need To Know About Mobile App Analytics

Creating a mobile app is not enough! You need mobile app analytics. Many app owners think that as long as they come up with an outstanding idea, everything will be great. The reality hits after the launch when they do not get as many downloads as they expect.

If you are in this journey of creating a new app or considering it, you must have realistic expectations. You also need to track the performance of your app consistently. Mobile app analytics enable you to make quick decisions about your product.

Analytics tell you if your target users agree with your thought that the new app is useful or great. Before you invest more money in updates or even launch another app, track the performance of your app. Compare data at different times and seasons. What kind of data do you need?

Key performance indicators for a mobile app

Understanding the need for mobile app analytics is a good starting point. Your next step is to identify the type of data that you should be looking at every day. The performance indicators will also help you choose the right tools to use for analytics. The key indicators include:

1. Number of downloads

The basic metric tells you if your target market is interested in your mobile app. With the right marketing tactics, the number of downloads should be high after a launch. Mobile phone users are always excited to try a new product if it meets a pressing need. However, the app downloads after the excitement of the launch is over paint a better picture.

2. Active users

How many active users do you have every day, week, and month? Downloading an app from the app store is not good enough. You need users to interact with your app almost every day or several days a week. The analytics tool that you choose should give you real-time reports of the number of active users.

3. Retention rate

The expectation of every app owner is that users will find an app enough useful enough to use in the long-term. Mobile app analytics will tell you if you are achieving this dream. Check the number of uninstalls and the duration between installing and uninstalling. Low retention rates do not necessarily mean your app is not useful. You just need to change your retention strategy.

Related article: 5 Proven Strategies for Mobile Application User Retention

4. Conversion

The most likely reason why you created the app is to make money. Whether you are selling a product or service directly, charging a subscription or earning from ads, conversion rates are critical. Check the trend of revenues, ad clicks, downloads or whichever metric applies to your app.

You can determine if you need to review your prices, products, or marketing agencies based on the conversion rates. The rate will also help you predict and improve future earnings from the app.

5. Open rates

Here is another metric that will give you a clear picture of user engagement. How many times do active users open your app in a day or week? How can you increase the open rates? The data will help you design marketing tactics such as subtle notifications to remind users about the app.

6. User sessions

How long do users take on the app? Which functions or pages do they visit the most? You cannot do without such numbers. Otherwise, you will not know the updates required on the app apart from increasing its responsiveness and performance.

7. Referrals

App developers will always advise you to include the social media sharing function on your app. If users are impressed with the app, they will share it on their social media platform. The app should automatically prompt users to share or refer others to use the app. Tracking the number of shares or referrals including the comments will tell you what users think about your solution.

The best mobile app analytics tools

We have listed the best indicators to follow when analysing the performance of your apps. You can use the list to determine the best analytics tools to use for your app. There is no harm in choosing more than one tool. The good thing about these tools is that they give more than the metrics we shared.

1. Google Analytics

You can use this free tool for both iOS and Android apps. The tool shows in-apps activities including session duration, location of users, revenues, number of users, and number of sessions among other events. You may need a little time to read and understand the analytics but the tool is great for all types of apps.

2. App Analytics (Apple Analytics)

The tool is great but limited to the iOS platform. It gives you useful information on how to make your app attract more users and improve its position in the app store. Some of the metrics you can get with this tool include user sessions, app crashes, sources of downloads and impressions, sales, and active devices.

3. Appsflyer

The tool is tailor-made for marketing analytics. It is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms. The developers have partnered with Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The tool is recommended for app attribution and fraud detection.

4. Amplitude

The tool helps you analyse how users interact with the app. You can tell which features or functions bring users back to the app. The tool designs and sends smart alerts to potential loyal users using machine learning technology. Consider this tool if you are interested in improving your user retention and conversion rates.

5. Crashlytics

The tool works in both Android and iOS platforms. Crashlytics is probably the best tool you will come across for crash solutions. The tool gives comprehensive reports including the trends and factors contributing to app crashes. You will also get a report of unresolved

6. Mixpanel

The analytics tool gives automatic insights using machine learning including user loyalty, engagement, and retention. You can also predict conversion and user behavior with the tool. Mixpanel has inbuilt tools that improve user engagement such as in-app push notifications, messages, and emails.

7. Kumulos

The tool stands out among other tools because of its wide range of functions. Some of the services you can get on the platform include performance reports, funnel analysis, campaign analysis, engagement analysis, and bug tracking. You can also generate cohort analysis, clicks, and visual analytics among other reports.

Conclusion

You will come across tens of mobile app analytics tools in the market with different features. It is advisable to get one or two tools with a wide range of reports that you can generate. Follow the data consistently for weeks or months before making any major changes on the app. 

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