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Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere

What’s App leverages habits to get loyal customers

Today’s post will be short.

It’s an example on how to make sure you get always high loyalty rates in your business.

I found this example while reading an article in the newspaper about What’s App, this wonderful little mobile application that allows some 400 million people worldwide to communicate free-of-charge with each other.


Free the first year, 0,99$/year afterwards

While other apps exist on the market for the same purpose, What’s app has a rather original business model. Despite pressure it remains without ads and can be used the first year free-of-charge. After one year the user has to pay 0.99$ per year to keep using the service. The real genial part of the business model is here.


A business model leveraging habits

This is a genial business model because it relies on habits. Rather than asking the customer to pay after x uses or after 30 days, What’s app gives you to time (and a lot of time actually) to fully use the service and get addicted to it. When you trial period expires, you are so addicted and so much used to the benefits of the app that you don’t even think about not paying.


Advice for your marketing strategy

The more I think about it, the more I find this strategy absolutely amazing. It’s a marketing strategy that fully understands (and leverage) the consumers’ behaviors and gives the time to develop habits. It remembers me this other example that we gave earlier of a mobile app which was trying to rely on the same kind of strategy.

The best advice I can give you is to think about how you can design your strategy to let people develop habits, recognize the value of your product / service, and then charging them for it. I think that one of the mistakes of all the “Shareware” industry is actually that it didn’t let people develop habits. If you are in the software business too, think about how you can avoid the same mistake.


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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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