How and Why to Build a Mobile App for Your SaaS

Building a mobile app is a great way to add value to your SaaS. By adding value, you incentivize more people to sign up, and existing users to stay subscribed. Thus increasing revenue and decreasing churn.

Yet building a mobile app is probably near the bottom of your list of priorities. You’ve got new features to build, bugs to fix, code refactoring, and staff who haven’t taken leave in two years. No way you want to add such a massive project like developing a mobile app to your plate.

We’re going to explain in this article an easy way for you to create a mobile app for your SaaS, without drastically pivoting your business or taking outside investment. We’ll explain why you should want to launch an app, and give you a clear walkthrough on how to do it.

Interested? Read on for more.

Why Your SaaS Should Have a Mobile App

It’s reasonable to think that your SaaS doesn’t need a mobile app. Yet an app can help you increase usage rates, decrease churn, increase traffic, increase signups and boost trial to paid conversion rate - all of which directly impact revenue.

Here are seven reasons why a mobile app will be beneficial to your business.

Mobile is on the rise

More than half of all internet traffic around the world today comes on mobile devices. Mobile’s market share is increasing with modern audiences’ desire for increased convenience, and to have information at their fingertips wherever they may be.

For your SaaS, mobile may not be as dominant as it is for other industries (e.g. eCommerce or content sites). But the overall consumer trends are unmistakably moving towards mobile and away from being desktop-only.

You can give your users a better user experience by offering the choice of using your app on mobile, in a package that was designed specifically for mobile devices.

More ways to access and use your app

Having an app gives users more ways to access your app, and is more easily and readily accessible than if you're browser-only.

It’s in your best interest to make your app as accessible as possible. More (and easier) ways to access and use the app means a higher usage rate. The more people use your app, the more likely they’ll get value out of it, and the more likely they’ll stay subscribed.

All SaaS businesses are looking for ways to keep users subscribed and decrease churn. Anything that leads to just slightly lower churn will lead to a big difference in your bottom line.

Canva and Notion both boost engagement and accessibility by offering mobile apps.

Add more value

A mobile app is a shiny, flashy feature you can use to attract new customers and retain existing customers.

You could be in the situation a lot of SaaS companies are, where you provide a lot of value to your users, but it’s hard to relay that value in your pricing table.

You struggle to come up with attractive features to show off to prospective customers, or to differentiate yourself from competitors.

A mobile app is a great line to add to your pricing table to give it some more meat. Just the perception of value that it provides can be enough to hook someone in for a trial or get someone to reconsider unsubscribing.

Trello and Buffer are two apps that highlight their mobile app as a key value-add in their pricing table.

Make your app stickier

A lot of churn happens because people sign up for your app, perhaps pay for a little while, then forget about it.

The customer stops using it, and eventually remembers and realizes they don’t need the subscription anymore.

A mobile app is a way to stop people from forgetting you so easily. They’ll see your app’s icon on their mobile device every day, and you won’t slip out of mind so easily.

Push notifications as a communication channel

One of the biggest challenges for SaaS apps is generating engagement, either with new users or re-engaging users who haven’t logged in for a while.

Most use email; which is fine, but with average open rates of 20% and click-through rates of 1%, even a beautifully crafted email campaign is unlikely to deliver amazing results.

Having an app gives you access to native mobile push notifications, which are so much more effective at reaching users than email.

Push notifications have an average open rate of 50%, and click-through rate of 10%, blowing email out of the water.

That gives you a much simpler objective to engage users during onboarding. Just get them to download your mobile app, and you’ll be able to reach them more reliably with push notifications and push them to take the actions you need them to take to become more valuable users.

Push notifications can be used in the onboarding process (via OneSignal)

Boost brand perception and awareness

A mobile app is a great signal of authority for your brand. Small, unreliable brands don’t have mobile apps. Big, trustworthy brands do.

Mobile apps (more precisely, App Store listings) provide social proof. Potential customers trust you a little bit more when they see the badges saying “Available on the App Store” or “Get it on Google Play” on your website.

This infusion of trust may be all it takes to push someone who was on the fence to jump in and sign up for your software.

The App Store listings themselves can also be another acquisition channel, or at least a way for more people to learn about your brand and to grow overall brand awareness.

Image via day-off.app

Boost SEO

App Store listings give you another powerful thing; links from two of the highest-authority websites on the internet.

These aren’t the kind of links anyone can just pay $50 for. They’re a great signal of authority in Google’s eyes, a sign that your website is trustworthy and worth sending traffic to.

You wouldn’t build an app just for the SEO value… would you?

Probably not, but if that increase in domain authority helps you go from number 2 to number 1 for some of your most valuable, bottom of funnel keywords, you would likely consider it a worthwhile investment.

How to Build a Mobile App for Your SaaS (Without a Huge Investment)

Sure, all those benefits sound great, you’re thinking. But the “cost” side of the cost-benefit analysis may not be adding up for you.

You’re likely thinking that you don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on developing a mobile app, and that you don’t see enough value to make a positive return on an investment of this size.

You’re thinking that your development team and tech stack is focused on web frameworks (React, Vue, Laravel, Python, whatever that may be). Your team doesn’t know anything about mobile development, and you’re not ready to hire new developers who do.

Fair - but you don’t need a ton of money or expertise to create a mobile app for your SaaS. You can just convert your SaaS to a mobile app with MobiLoud.

Doing this lets you create and maintain a mobile app for a minimal cost, little effort and time investment, and no need to add to your tech stack or development team.

Read on and we’ll explain how 👇

How It Works

MobiLoud is a service that converts websites to fully-functional, native mobile apps.

MobiLoud turns your web app into a mobile app

It works with any tech stack, whatever framework, CMS, website builder your business uses. It’s a fully-managed service, and unlike no-code app builders, your mobile app will retain all the features of your web app.

Your mobile app will be fully synced with your web app; you only have one codebase to manage, and whenever you want to make a change to the mobile app all you need to do is make that change in your web app, and both platforms update simultaneously.

The MobiLoud team does everything for you; from building the app, to testing it, to updates and maintenance.

The process works like this:

  • We work with you to optimize your mobile web user experience, both improving performance in the browser and making for a smoother transition to the mobile app.
  • We build your apps, using a combination of Swift and Kotlin for the native mobile part of the apps. The actual functionality and core UI of your apps remains the same as what you’ve built for the web.
  • We ship the initial version, test it, and give it to you for your own testing. You can give us any feedback or change requests you’d like made.
  • We’ll build the final version of your app and submit it to the App Stores for publishing (we guarantee approval, or you get a full refund).
  • After your app is live, we handle all technical updates and maintenance for your mobile apps. You don’t need to hire a mobile developer to keep your mobile app clean and bug-free.

The entire process can be completed in less than a month, a far cry from the six months (or more) it will take to develop a mobile app from scratch.

Cost

The cost starts at $350 per month (on a month to month subscription; 15% cheaper on annual) with a $1,500 one-time setup fee. 

If you need to support higher usage rates and get access to advanced mobile features, you’re looking at $650 per month with a $2,500 setup fee. Custom plans are available for those with more complex needs.

For context, mobile apps generally cost mid-five figures at a minimum, more likely to rise into the six figure range. On top of that, you’re looking at 10-20% of the initial cost as a recurring yearly expense for updates and maintenance, plus the cost of you or your team’s time coordinating with developers/agencies you hire.

MobiLoud gives you essentially the same result, far cheaper, with far less management required.

Learn more about our pricing here.

Examples

We’ve helped more than 2,000 businesses launch mobile apps over the 10 years we’ve been operating, facilitating more than 200 million app downloads.

You can see examples of real MobiLoud apps here, and read case studies from MobiLoud users here.

These include:

  • Gear2Go: the “AirBnb for everything in your garage”, a web app built for the web but successfully converted to a mobile app with MobiLoud.
  • Train the Mind: an online “mental performance gym” who wanted to launch an app, but figured they couldn’t afford it until they found MobiLoud.
  • Impeccable Stock Software: a web app for traders, built by a solo founder who was able to expand his offering into a mobile app with MobiLoud, increasing usage and activations and decreasing churn when he did.

Why MobiLoud is the Best Solution for SaaS Mobile Apps

If you want to create an app for your SaaS, MobiLoud is the best way to do it. Here are seven reasons why:

No need to change your tech stack

Introducing new frameworks or technologies to your app can create a ton of problems, from the investment required to learn new frameworks or hire new developers, to the risk of messing with your existing code.

MobiLoud has none of that; you keep using the exact same tech stack you currently use, and we worry about the mobile side of it.

Maintain one codebase

You don’t need to 2x or 3x your workload by adding a new platform to manage. You continue to manage everything from one codebase, making changes, fixes or building new features for the web. You don’t need to go in and duplicate these changes in the mobile apps; they update in unison with your web app, in real time.

No hiring and managing new developers

Don’t worry about starting the arduous process of looking for reliable developers who understand your business and who you can afford. Even better, you don’t need to worry about managing your new developers and checking their code in a language you have no experience with.

MobiLoud becomes your mobile app development partner, handling everything on the mobile side, so you keep your focus on what you’re already comfortable with.

Keep all the features of your SaaS in the mobile app

It’s vital that your mobile app retains all the functionality of your web app. You’re never going to convince someone to download and use the mobile app if it’s a watered-down version of your existing app.

Unlike most no-code or low-code solutions, MobiLoud has little to no limitations, and allows you to keep everything that works on your website and transfer these features into the app. 

It’s affordable

MobiLoud lets you launch a mobile app for less than $2,000 upfront, and low-mid four figures per year afterwards.

That’s under 5% of what it would cost to hire developers or an agency to code your mobile app from the ground up.

MobiLoud is easily the most affordable way to launch an app, without cutting corners and making sacrifices necessary with a DIY no-code tool.

App Store submission, updates and maintenance done for you

MobiLoud handles all the tricky things outside of the initial build that most businesses don’t think about when they consider building mobile apps.

Submitting your apps to the App Stores is a long and tedious process, especially if you have no experience dealing with their strict requirements. We do this for you, and have vast experience to help make sure your apps are approved for publishing.

And once your apps are live, we also do all the technical updates and maintenance needed to keep your mobile apps running smoothly and representing your brand in the best light.

Works out of the box

Finally, MobiLoud works right out of the box - there’s basically no tinkering required, no need to change your web app to make it fit your mobile apps, or drop or alter any features.

We work with your existing tech stack, whatever that may be, and let you go live with mobile apps with as little effort, time and money as possible.

Build a Mobile App for Your SaaS Now

Ready to build a mobile app for your business? Want to learn more about SaaS mobile apps, how a mobile app can help you make more money, and how MobiLoud can help? Get in touch now and let’s talk.

Our team of experts can help you understand the value of a mobile app, give you a look at how our service works, and show you real examples of other businesses who went with MobiLoud and didn’t regret it.

Book a 1:1 demo today and add a huge new feature to your SaaS without changing your current roadmap.

Get a working preview of your app prepared by our team. Your MobiLoud app integrates with your entire tech stack, works with all custom features, and automatically syncs with everything on your site in real time.
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