You built the app. Everyone came, and you were over the moon. But now, months later, no one is opening your app, and you’re pulling out your hair.

What’s an enterprising app developer to do (besides go bald)?

Michele Turner, chief marketing officer of mobile messaging company mBlox, has an idea: a new developer program aimed to bring people back into your app. And she’s giving developers who are willing to give it a try 30,000 free messages to make it happen. More on that — and the coupon code to redeem it — at the bottom of this post.

Above: mBlox Engagement manager

mBlox isn’t a newbie to mobile, having been around for 12 years, and the company’s solutions currently hit six billion mobile devices worldwide.

“Most apps, even if you get 100,000 downloads, lose users really really rapidly,” Turner says. “In fact, 24 percent of apps are only opened once.”

That’s bad news for hard-working developers … but it gets worse.

The fall-off rate after the first month, according to mBlox, is 65 percent. In other words, only 35 percent of users come back to the app, ever. So a developer who wants to make money from his or her app, whether in ads, in-app purchases, or even eventual upgrades, needs to do something to bring users back.

That’s where mBlox comes in. mBlox specializes in mobile messaging, both SMS and on-device push notifications. With the company’s new Engagement Manager web-based software, developers can create messaging campaigns that draw users back into their apps, increasing engagement.

Here’s how it works for location-sensitive apps, such as brand apps:

“Let’s say I’m Nordstrom,” Turn told me. “Between 11AM and 1PM I want to sent this message to shoppers who are close to my stores in these locations: Bring this message in for an additional 5% off your purchase.”

Developers who have built games or social apps have different needs. For those, Turner suggests, on-device notifications might work best. mBlox enables push notifications to signed-up users who might not be using the app regularly anymore.

Above: Monitoring engagement levels

“For example, in Words with Friends … if a user hasn’t been in the app in a month, developers could set up a campaign to send a notification telling the user that their Facebook friend Bob is playing and suggest sending him a word now,” says Turner.

Developers can set those messages based on app activity by integrating their data with mBlox Engagement Manager. Alternatively, they can create campaigns that reward current players with points in their game if they share the app with friends.

The question is probably on the tip of your tongue: But won’t my users be annoyed to get messages like this?

“We surveyed 4,000 consumers, asking them … what are they willing to accept? How do they want to be contacted?” Turner told me. “Almost 70 percent told us that if they’ve downloaded your app, they want you to contact them. In other words, if you give me relevant timely offers, I want them.”

Apps are a big investment, with many costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. This type of post-launch engagement campaign, says Turner, is just a smart way to ensure that investment is a good one.

And the free 30,000 messages? Here’s how to get them:

If you would like to try out the developer program you can sign up for the developer portal at

The coupon code for your readers is VentureBLOX. It is case sensitive and will expire November 30 at midnight. The coupon code gives developers 30,000 push messages free.

photo credit: Incase. via photopin cc

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