Email may seem boring and old when compared to the latest social marketing widget but make no mistake: Email is a sleeping giant, capable of moving mountains. The almost universal acceptance of email technology is precisely what makes email marketing so powerful. It is projected that there will be 3.8 billion email accounts by 2014, and 44 percent of emails are now opened on mobile devices.
Statistics like that ought to get even the most jaded mobile app marketer excited. Most internet based companies have made enormous investments in email marketing, and considering that so much of that marketing is read on a mobile device, it becomes the perfect avenue to reach your existing audience and get them to download your mobile app.
Email is still cheap when compared to other channels
Email remains the single most cost effective channel marketers can access. This is still true even for app downloads. The great part about using this channel to drive app downloads is the larger and more significant your prior investment in email tools, the more effective you will be. Advertising prices on mobile have started to creep up recently and viral social channels perform inconsistently. Email is essentially free and promises high conversion rates for app downloads. Transitioning your existing PC users to your app through email will help you grow your base of loyal app users who already love your brand.
Here are some practical tips for marketers who want to drive app downloads through email marketing.
Leverage your existing investment in email tools for mobile emails
Most email platforms support some form of responsive design, which allows you to optimize email for both PC and mobile viewing. Measuring and tracking app downloads, however, will require additional measurement tools.
Measure app installs from email
To track app downloads you are generating from email campaigns you can use a conversion tracking tool that matches up each app download to a link from each of your emails. Conversion tracking allows you to test and measure the effectiveness of your marketing messages to drive app downloads.
Place app download links in the footer of all your emails
We recommend marketers place links in the footer of all of their emails with links to the iTunes and Google Play app stores. Use the conversion tracking tags on those logos to easily track and measure your success. This approach allows you to easily turn every email you send into an app promotion tool. A more aggressive approach is to place the links near the header or top of their email template. This makes the links more obvious, but can detract from other offers in the email.
Targeting and segmentation based on your data
For marketing teams with life cycle email programs, you can drive downloads by adding an email into the new user cycle that explains the value of your mobile app. Another simpler option is to segment your users and target only those who signed up through the website.
Generate custom lists and market your app directly to them
There are many email list building services and lead gen programs that marketing teams can leverage and use to market apps. Another approach is to buy placements in email newsletters targeted to your demographic to drive app downloads. This may be easier and more cost effective than building a list on your own.
Gregory Kennedy is VP of marketing at TapSense.
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