From launch to ongoing promotion, here are 17 ways to market your mobile commerce app and gain new customer downloads.
- Landing Page
Publish a landing page that briefly explains the benefits of downloading your app (app exclusive offers, flash sales, in-store product map or wayfinding) and includes links to your app in both App Stores. Michaels, Jo-Ann Stores and bebe have great examples.
- Blog Post
If you have a company blog, be sure to promote your app there. This will reach brand fans who are already actively following your content, as well as help your app become more visible by strengthening SEO.
- Social Media Promotion
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ are easy, low-cost channels to drive to downloads. Don’t forget to deep link to the appropriate app stores using simple device detection.
The majority of social media engagement occurs on mobile devices (over 70%!), so don’t forget to deep link to the appropriate app stores using simple device detection.
- Email Campaign
Use e-mail marketing to tout the exclusive benefits that app users receive, enticing your existing customers to convert and receive even more offers. Your e-mail audience opted to receive news, deals and discounts from your brand, and unlike social media channels, you're not limited to a character count to communicate your message.
Similar to social media, the majority of e-mails are read on a mobile device (66%), deep-linking is a smart tactic - you'll see your download numbers soar.
- Facebook and Twitter Install Ads
Run paid Twitter and Facebook Install ads upon launch. Repeat this every 5 weeks or so to drive interest and increase users.
- In-Store Signage
PacSun and Walgreens use in-store signage, handouts and POS promotions to market their mobile app to existing brand fans.
- Receipts with QR Code
Provide a QR code on every printed receipt and a link to the app stores within every online order confirmation. Also consider having your store associates mention the app at checkout.
- Bag Inserts
PacSun includes a bag insert with each in-store purchase, complete with a QR code for easy downloading and a $5 reward promotion for creating a loyalty account within the app.
- Direct Mail
Promote your app’s unique selling points with a postcard campaign to your mailing list. Include a QR code for easy downloading.
- Company Email Signature
Simply placing a link to your landing page (see checklist item #1) in your company email signature is a wonderful and free opportunity to reach an extensive audience. This is most important in email outreach from your Customer Service team.
Some retailers even include a mention of their apps in their company voicemail recordings, or in the hold message for incoming Customer Service calls.
- Mobile Web Smart Banners
Leverage your existing mobile website with Apple Smart Banners (check out cnn.com on your mobile browser or the Lane Bryant example shown here) to convert users. With Android devices, this can be replicated with very simple coding.
- Desktop Banners
Run banners on your e-commerce site’s homepage and contact pages.
- App Store Optimization
ASO is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app (such as an iPhone, iPad or Android) in an app store, such as iTunes for iOS and Google Play for Android). It is extremely important to your app’s discoverability, so be sure to invest time and resources into this prior to launch and on a regular ongoing basis.
- Encourage User Reviews
One of the best ways to stand out is to obtain glowing customer reviews. In fact, mobile app reviews play a large role in app store optimization. So acquiring new users heavily depends on pleasing your existing ones.
- Apply for Awards
Some noteable award programs for mobile applications include The Webbys, The Appys, The Daveys , eTail Best in Class and Cannes Lions. Your mobile commerce platform provider should be able to guide you in this process.
- Case Study
Identify a problem to your overall business that you were able to solve by launching a mobile app or leveraging its features. Share measurable success details for the solved problem (i.e., increased revenue by XX% by using push notifications, increased average order value by XX% by launching a mobile app) and any successes above industry benchmarks (i.e., gained push notification opt-ins from over 80% of app users).
Promote your case study via press outlets and marketing campaigns. Talk to your mobile app developer about including this in your mobile app strategy map.
- Speaking Engagements
Use the results published in your case study, along with your mobile app awards, to secure speaking engagements and panel positions at industry conferences - both tech and retail!