Sticky Adoption: tools for building a sustained mobile readership, Part 3

This is a series on tools and tips for “sticky adoption,” or sustaining the audience that uses your employee app. Make sure to read Part 1 and Part 2 as well.

Our Sticky Adoption series has covered some great mobile tools at your disposal to get users to love and habitually use your employee app. Using push notifications, app badging, email digests and other tools will definitely help get great content the views it deserves. But there’s one more hugely important thing that will keep users reading your content every day. If you read our first post in this series, you’ll recall I claimed there were two key principles to follow when trying to sustain user adoption of your app:

  • Creatively leverage the mobile-unique features, like push notification and app badging, to remain front-and-center in the user’s mobile experience.
  • Thread “nonessential” activities – like perusing a company newsletter or taking a survey – with essential information and tasks within the same stream.

Today we’ll cover that second bullet. There’s a natural pairing of micro-tasks and critical information inside your employee mobile app that makes both tasks easier to complete and gives your other content more views.

Adding function to form: when good content isn’t enough

Here’s a hard truth of internal comms: the pure quality of the communication isn’t enough to get someone to look at it. Solid communications should be the hook that gets people to engage once they’ve arrived at your communications stream; it doesn’t always get people to open your app. This is a fact of life for an overstimulated workforce that is bombarded with communications every day. Your competition is Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other self-selected and self-curated content that the user is already looking at. Let’s be honest: it’s hard for the best company newsletter in the world to compete with all of that.

So how to get eyeballs on your mobile app content? We return to the principle of intermixing essential value to nonessential communications. There are at least two effective ways to do this:

1. Make essential, personalized information accessible via the app.

This can be information like benefits, time off status, payslips, expense status / balances, or anything that is personally relevant to the user’s self-administration. Staff will appreciate that they can access this info faster and easier on their phone – particularly because this information is often in an HR system that is rarely used by the employee and not optimized for fast mobile access. Why not surface this info in the same place as your company news and alerts? Of course, you need to handle this info securely, but your employee app should be able to handle your requirements (more on mobile security here). Now when an employee is on their way to view their self-administration info, you earn an impression on your content.

2. Allow users to complete micro-tasks within the app – faster than they would on a desktop.

Repetitive administrative tasks are part of life. Compliance acknowledgment, time clocking, time off requests, expense requests – all of these are tiny, easy tasks seen as ‘necessary evils’ that workers must complete. If you have an employee app, you’ve got an advantage here. Leverage the mobile platform to make these little tasks easier. Think about it: these tasks are perfect for getting out of the way when you’re commuting on a train, waiting for an elevator, or some other time when you’re staring at your phone killing time and you’re not able to complete your cognition-intensive work. Receiving a push notification for an employee vacation request and being able to quickly view the vital information and approve or decline the request makes the whole process faster and less burdensome for both the manager and the employee.

Managers see approvals pop up in their stream next to their internal communication news.

Providing a high level of value within your app is a surefire way to get users to come back to your app time and time again. Intertwined with the essential information will be your company news and communications – which now have a chance to shine. After repeated exposure to quality content, users will notice the value demonstrated by the nonessential communication. Now  you’ve got sticky adoption and a continuous readership.

Play the long game

Executing on all these techniques can seem daunting. It needn't be. Keep in mind: adoption is a marathon, not a sprint. You might think that the best content will get you the most adoption, but even the best content isn’t enough to win someone’s attention for more than one day. You’re not hunting for clicks, you’re building trust. But with the right mobile platform, you’ve got the tools you need to make users make your app part of their daily habit.With first-class analytics and user reporting, like the dashboard in Sitrion ONE, you can measure your progress each step of the way.

Every app starts with zero readers. Build and nurture your user base and you’ll see that content finally getting the attention it deserves.

James Casagrande


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