Parent engagement, how effective can an app be?

Improve parent engagement with an app

Speak to any app company and they will tell you that an app is the best way to engage your parents. And in the internet world this is the generally perceived wisdom. More and more people are spending more and more and more time on their phones and particularly looking at apps.

So I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at a real world example.

I selected one of our schools that regularly communicates with their parents though one of our apps, I also selected a school that has asked parents to register, this means they know who the app users are and that they have a connection to the school. 

I know both these factors probably mean a higher than average engagement rate but these are two things that I would say are crucial to a successful school app.

So let’s look at the data:

I looked at two alerts:

The first was a weekly bulletin sent out to the whole school, the alert text read:

Weekly Bulletin Friday 15th September 2017

Once the user clicked through there was a link to the PDF bulletin. Out of 189 alerts sent, there were 93 opens, so just over half the parents opened the alert.
Let’s compare this to an alert that was sent to specific groups, the next alert was sent out in relation to an athletic event that was already taking place. 

Junior Athletics

When the user clicked through they were given information about the time the students would be arriving back to school.
The alert was sent to 23 people and opened by 19 users and engagement rate of 83%.
An interesting comparison would be how these open rates would compare to SMS messages with similar content, but I think this illustrates how effective an app can be when communicating with your parents.