Mobile Apps for Network Marketing
In recent years Mobile Apps have become all the rage for Direct Sales companies. It’s like they’re the new “4 color brochure” of the 1970’s and 80’s that distributors have simply come to expect. And so unfortunately most companies just look at them as another checkbox on a list of “must haves”, and the industry software vendors do what they do… and have churned out a lot of really boring, arguably useless mobile applications that don’t do anything special or truly help the distributor!
Well it’s time for that to change.
It’s time for the industry to embrace technology that can TRULY connect your home-based business to the palm of your hand. But NOT just another run-of-the-mill mobile app! Most companies have wasted time and money creating Apps that provide you the same tools and materials you can get right off a website. Why do you need an App to show a video? Can’t you do that from a mobile website? Some companies have put Enrollment forms in their Apps, so you can sign someone up that way. WHY? What’s the point? Why not just pull up the enrollment form on your website?
It’s like companies are just trying to think of whatever crap they can to put into their App simply so they can promote the fact they have one! But in reality… what does it do for YOU that you don’t already have… or couldn’t already get on your phone through a website?
In fact… as mobile web technologies (HTML5, jQuery, etc.) have matured there’s been a real debate out there about the purpose of even using Apps, versus just using mobile designed websites. Truth is, virtually ALL of the features currently offered by network marketing companies through their mobile apps could be accomplished (and look and feel the SAME WAY) through a website designed specifically for display on your phone.
So why even bother with Mobile Apps?
Simple. To leverage the integration with your hardware device!
Say what?!? Meaning… the unique value that’s available from mobile apps is the ability for them to uniquely interact with the features on your phone or tablet. For example, interfacing with the Contact list in your phone. The ability to select a contact off your phone to then extend an invitation for them to come check out your product or opportunity has real value (and duplicates well for others).
And after you’ve selected a contact from your phone to contact, now let’s leverage one of the other great features it offers, texting! Statistically we know that SMS Text gets a way better response these days then sending someone an email. By integrating the prospect invitation this way, you can send them a text that is streamlined into the process.
But why not make it FLEXIBLE for how you choose to communicate the invitation to them? Some people use Skype… others WhatsApp or WeChat… and we all know people that you practically can’t communicate with outside of Facebook Messenger! But regardless of the desired platform, effective marketing means communicating with people the way THEY want to be communicated with! The right mobile app will allow you to choose ANY of these delivery methods for your prospect invitation. But regardless of how you do it…
How do you know if your prospect even looked at it?
This is where your back end technology becomes important. Robust, matured systems will allow you to send a custom coded link to each and every prospect so you’ll know if/when they even click the link to check out your video… and then how much of it they watched… and/or if they click any other links after watch it.
For over 21 years now I’ve built systems that handle all of that, but one of the advantages of now pairing that powerful back end with a fully integrated mobile app is that you can be notified in REAL TIME when these events happen through Push Notifications right to your pocket (uh… better watch that vibrate setting!)
Ok so… integration to your phone’s Contact list… interfacing with SMS text and other communication Apps… and Push Notifications to monitor real time results. Do you see a theme developing? It’s all about tapping into things that ONLY your phone can provide.
What about phone calls?
Can’t make a phone call with your website, right? So YES… this is another perfect example where integration makes sense. Adding buttons to call your prospects is easy (and you don’t need a mobile app for that… mobile websites can work just the same way). BUT… one of the KEY steps in network marketing is the 3-way phone call between you, your prospect, and your sponsor or upline leader!
It’s amazed me over the years how the industry has not demanded a better solution to help people with 3-way calls. About a decade ago I created some software to handle the back and forth communication between people via online chat. It included all of the logic for team members to request/approve and facilitate 3-way communications with prospects. But in recent years I’ve moved the concept into the mobile word to help set up and trigger actual 3-way phone calls.
Consider for a minute the normal challenge with 3-way calls… You contact your upline and ask if she’s available this afternoon to help you with a 3-way call. She say yes, but also tells you some time slots where she will not be available. So you set up the call with your prospect. But what happens? When you call your prospect, opps… now you can’t reach them. How rude! So you keep trying… finally you get them, an hour later. Whohoo! But wait… ah nuts… now you’re unable to get a hold of your upline. You text her, but no response. So you tell your prospect you’ll call them back. Then later you get a hold of your upline, but now you can’t reach your prospect again. UGH!!!
The beauty of a Mobile App that integrates 3-way calling WITH your team structure is that you avoid all of these issues! You can see your entire upline right through the App, and who is available to help with calls. Click a button to request their help, they receive the notification instantly and respond to confirm (or indicate how long till available), it notifies you and sets a timer to remind you and triggers the call when everyone’s ready!
And busy upline leaders LOVE this too! Everyone knows investing time in helping with 3-way calls is a top priority. However, when momentum happens for a team it’s easy to get overwhelmed and have calls coming in literally 24-hours a day. A simple toggle settings allows you to turn your status to “unavailable” so you can take an hour off to spend with your family, have dinner, etc. and literally halts all the calls. Then once you’re done, switch it back and you’re back at it again.
The integration of this feature with your organizational structure also makes leadership talent available to the team live NEVER before. You may have a motivated new person 6 levels down who you wouldn’t even know about, but now they have access to request 3-way calls with you. And likewise for the new person… whose sponsor quit and has no real upline support… you now have the ability to reach up further for help from leaders who are there and ready to assist!
But… without a seamless back end, it’s still just a baby toy!
Even by developing a cutting edge Mobile App that leverages integration with your mobile device as described above… it all STILL depends on having proven back end technology as the foundation.
This has been my life’s pursuit for the past 21 years… whether it’s sales funnels, autoresponders, contact management, prospect statistics, lead sharing, dynamically generated custom print materials, training systems, interactive analytics, predictive monitoring and diagnostics, social media marketing, blog systems, campaign management, integrated web conferencing, and so much more…
Without this kind of solid foundation on the back end, your Mobile App is severely handicapped right from the start. But by combining a truly functional Mobile App on the front as the tool to capture new prospects and then pass them into the powerful functions on the back end… NOW you’ve got something that NO ONE else has. A true unfair advantage!
What’s your experience been with Mobile Apps in this industry?
Are you frustrated by their NOT providing you enough value, or more than a simple website?
Post your thoughts below!
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January 9, 2017 Integrated Marketing