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Building all the complex features of a Mobile app is not easy particularly when you don’t have an app development team by your side. However, the good news is that there is more to developing a complex mobile app rather than working on each complex features one-by-one. There might be some features such as Analytics dashboard, push notifications etc. that require a developer to spend extra hours implementing them from scratch.

So, is there any alternative way to fix this?

Enter Mobile Software Development Kits (SDKs)...

In this article, we will discuss what is a Software Development Kit (SDK) and how can you use them to accelerate your mobile marketing efforts.

What is a Software Development Kit (SDK) and why do we need it?

A software development kit is a set of 3rd party software development tools that can be integrated within your existing mobile application to enhance its functionality. Let’s suppose you want to implement push-notifications in your app. However, you don’t have enough time to write a different code and make your app sending notifications to different users. This is where a SDK comes into play.

By incorporating ready-made, quality code with a variety of support materials, you can integrate different functionalities in your mobile app thereby making your mobile app robust enough to get you on par with your competition. Furthermore, a mobile SDK will help your app to become more stable and perform better. In any case if it crashes, you will always have an alternative method to right your own code or look for alternative SDK in the market that supports your mobile app.

Seven useful SDKs to help you in Mobile Marketing

Following are the seven best Mobile SDKs that’ll help you out in your marketing effort.

Apptentive to get user reviews

Are you tired of experimenting every damn technique to get user reviews and still not satisfied with the result ? Well, there’s a better way. Apptentive allows app owners to see the user sentiment before asking them to rate and review their app. It also allows you talk in-app with your customers.

Apptentive uses a proprietary parameter ‘Love score’ that allows app developers to see how well their own app is perceived among app users. Love score utilizes the following parameters to tell if a user loves your app:

1) App popularity vs others

2) Analysis of app reviews

3) Reviewer quality

4) Reviewer Bias

5) 5 star ratio

A majority of your app users will remain silent about their experience. Getting them to rate your app with proactive discussions and intelligent prompts will bring a lot of organic downloads in return. Here’s how your app’s user distribution looks like:

bell curve.png

The first 5% in the bell curve, or the product enthusiasts will easily rate and review your app. It is the mid 90% who remain silent about your app.

Apptentive’s proactive and intelligent approach helps developers get those people to rate and review your application on app stores.

The default app review prompt launches with a message “Do you love...”, which is a highly optimized message for app developers to get their biggest fans to rate the app. App publishers can then slowly start optimizing messages for better results. Apptentive allows to change the setting remotely which simply means that you don’t need to push another version of the app to update the app’s settings for ratings and reviews.

Intercom and Zendesk to implement user support and lead generation

These SDK brings the opportunity of providing enterprise level customer service experience to all app developers, no matter how big or small they are. When a developer embeds such SDKs in their app, end users can directly get in touch with the app’s customer support team. And they do it by completely eliminating the need for those ugly webviews and email clients. With Intercom and Zendesk, this user interface can be completely customized to suit the design needs for your user base.

The best thing about using Zendesk is that they automatically fetch relevant user data like OS type, OS version, OS API, device type and Memory statistics. These are vital information that is required while providing customer service to app users. Often users face a lot of difficulties in providing this information, which also  results in a lot of back and forth emailing and waste of time. Zendesk gets this information without bothering them. Providing such contextual information to customer support in this manner also results in faster issue resolution and happier customers.

Zendesk also comes with a companion app for mobile and tablets which customer support teams can use to provide service on the go. With user experience similar to a micro-blogging platform, they help customer support teams resolve issues efficiently. To deal with FAQs that involves repetitive work, an app developer can add macros and automate some of the email responses.

Intercom works in a different way. They connect users and customer support teams via a chat feature. This chat feature also facilitates the sharing of photos and videos. A customer support member can tag the feedback to organize it and search later. Intercom has been designed for developers who do not believe in a wall of tickets.

IMHO, the best possible solution is using an integration of Zendesk and Intercom.

Braze (formerly Appboy) for user segmentation

Not all users of your app will be the same, and they most certainly won’t respond similarly to updates or any marketing initiatives. It is a good idea to identify and group similar users, so that you can understand and better restructure your efforts.

Braze allows you to discover segmentation based upon the user behavior. The segmentation changes automatically with changes in user behavior over time. It provides developers a fine grain control over their marketing efforts and targeting right segmentation in the right way.

Some benefits of these user segmentation benefits include having the ability to predict or forecast future revenue and growth opportunities based upon actionable data.

Braze dashboard facilitates creating custom filters and self defined events for the segmentation. Though they do not bring in usage of algorithms like Apriori, Clustering, etc, but they do allow placing custom segmentation filters that allow creating various user segments. To start with this initially, you can perform your own marketing research, where you will identify the key attributes of different segments from your user base.

Using these key attributes you can then create your own user segments based in Braze. These user segmentations can later be used with their segmentation insights feature to further assess and understand segment behavior on some predefined parameters. These insights can help in reorganising or focusing your app marketing efforts.

Some of the major segmentation methods that you can use to make user segments in Appboy are:

1) Apriori

2) Decile Analysis/ Pareto Analysis

3) Attitudinal research and Cluster Analysis

4) Need based segmentation

More sophisticated methods that you can employ in your app’s segmentation for lifestage and geodemographics are:

1) Experian mosaic

2) CACI’s ACoM classification systems

Most of such SDKs are best when you are segmenting your users based on demographics or based on in-app events. Speaking from a strictly user segmentation point of view, Aprioiri works best within the advertising category. And, Geo-demographics assume that you think the same way as your neighbour, which often isn’t the way.

Upsight for KPI’s

Upsight brings metrics explorer which allows an app developer to understand how different variables affect their core KPI’s. The metric explorer further allows merging different marketing campaigns, user behaviors and user characteristics to understand how they impact the KPIs.

Image source: https://andrewchen.co

Given the graph, a good suggestion is to really understand how to accurately apply these KPIs. Understanding the obvious fall in the DAU as the days after the launch turns into a month will help you tune better. Having the right expectations for DAU/MAU also means that you are focused on improving your engagement.

According to Andrew Chen, there’s a natural range of DAU/MAU, and product category is one of the biggest influencing factors in calculating a natural range of DAU/MAU. For example, a game would naturally have a higher DAU/MAU than a SOS application.

Note that KPI expectations will also vary depending upon:

1) App platform

2) Country

3) Acquisition source

If you are really worried about lasting impacts of acquiring wrong/cheap customers. Upsight will greatly influence your marketing efforts if you are trying for the ‘quick and dirty’ ways to acquire customers, like affiliate marketing, black hat methods, etc where the end result could bring in low ARPU and low LTV users to your apps.

On top of that, Upsight also allows you to build KPI’s specific to each user segment. Using Upsight you can control permissions given to various users within your organization.

“The goal here is finding Mr Right, rather than Mr Average”.

Another great KPI is your app’s NPS(net promoter score). It basically tells you how much percentage of your app’s users are your promoters, and how many are detractors.

Mathematically, NPS= %Promoters - %Detractors

Focusing your app’s product development efforts using NPS helps you to understand what your app’s promoter really think and love about your app, how you can get passive users from liking your app to loving it and understanding what you can really do better to make your detractors happy. Understanding whether your detractors are a great fit or not is another benefit that NPS brings to the table.

Uninstall.io for reducing app uninstalls

Isn’t App uninstalls a big problem already? Your customers leave you without telling why? Well, they often rate you one star on app stores. But that’s too late for you to take any action, as the damage has already been done, with a one star rating and a lost user.

What if there was someone who would whisper ‘Psst… Robert is on the edge to uninstall your app’? Well, you have Uninstall.io, these guys use key signals to understand a user and then predict when the user will uninstall the app. Not only does that help with reducing lost users, Uninstall’s SDK also allow developers to optimize their ad spends by identifying ad-channels which result in maximum app uninstalls.

They also allow app developers to reach out to lost users and provide a channel for retargeting.

Appsflyer as attribution authority and preventing advertising fraud

Most successful app developers rely on more than one kind of SDK for understanding their app’s users. Another good reason for an app developer to use an SDK is using an attribution authority.This attribution authority will ensure that your publishing platform/partner brings high value to advertisers. Appsflyer does that by acting as the unbiased ‘attribution authority’ independent of both advertisers and publishers.

Using an attribution authority has several benefits for app developers, the biggest of them being resolving any issues that may arise with app install campaigns. Imagine a scenario where your  advertisers observes 100,000 installs, but the ad network claims 200,000 installs. How will your network help resolve this issue? The complex thread of attribution and reattribution makes it extremely difficult to diagnose the real culprit. The issue could be as simple as 100,000 were app downloads, and the rest were just app upgrades. Appsflyer’s proprietary algorithms can clearly understand any ad based attribution.

Having an attribution authority like Appsflyer would ensure that your app receives high ad based monetization from your ad network providers.

Optimizely to Optimize app features

Let’s say you have 10 app features that you think will be important for you app’s user. Out of these 10, you have been recommended to only use 6 features inside of your app. Given the lack of extensive market research, what six features would you integrate in your app? How will you make sure that you will not end up making your app’s user frustrated with an unwanted and unusable app feature?

Thanks to Optimizely, you can actually use all of those 10 features. Optimizely allows you to perform phased rollouts, where an app’s feature will only be released to a portion of users to get early feedback/QA before releasing it to 100% of the user base.

Optimizely also allows you to identify bugs in the pre-release stage, ease your UX and identify what works well within your intended target segment.

Conclusion

In this article, we talked about 6 SDKs that have the capability to contribute to the growth of your mobile marketing efforts. However, do take note that an SDK if poorly chosen can crash your app. Therefore, it’s imperative to conduct a proper research to make sure that the SDK will serve its purpose while keeping user data secure.

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