Mobile App Optimisation

Why use Email Marketing for Mobile Apps?

10th February 2016

Email Marketing is not dead. Your mobile app developers have created an amazing app! You know it’s unique and you know it has great user benefits. But, are you having difficulty acquiring app users? Or, even more worrying, are you having problems engaging current app users? If so, you’re not alone, many app owners tend to neglect their marketing strategy after having put all of their thoughts into the app development itself.

The good news is that marketing your app and driving app growth doesn’t have to be hard. You’re no doubt well aware of how effective push notifications can be and if you read the previous Waracle blog post you’ll know about at least four essentials for mobile app digital marketing including mobile advertising and AdWords display, content marketing, social media marketing and email marketing. For now, let’s focus on how you can successfully use email marketing as an important part of your app marketing mix.

Why Email Marketing?

You might hear some people say email is dead. I guess it’s because email isn’t new. But, developments in segmentation, personalisation and automation have made email a great mobile app marketing technique for mobile apps across the whole app life-cycle. Email campaign automation itself could be an entire additional blog post when it comes to techniques to engage and nurture your app users – especially those ones who have disabled push notifications!

So, whether your marketing goal is to launch your app and increase the rate of user acquisition or increase in-app messaging to engage with current users or reactivate infrequent users – email is a great way to ensure continual app improvement. To excel at email marketing make sure you think about these 6 areas:

  1. Define an email strategy and segment your list
  2. Think mobile friendly template and design
  3. Leave nothing untracked – track everything!
  4. Monthly newsletters or perfectly timed nudges?
  5. Love reporting your data and adopt data-driven decision making
  6. Test, learn, adapt then repeat!

Define an email strategy and segment your list

Look at your database and think how many emails you’re going to send, how often and if you’re likely to set-up automation workflows. This will help you select an email service provider (MailChimp is a popular choice). If your strategy is to improve app engagement then make email automation work for you and set-up a series of email campaigns that are automatically sent when certain triggers occur e.g. 2 weeks after an app user signs up, send them an email inviting them to leave a review. Take time to analyse your email address data and segment your list accordingly. Look at the quality of the data fields and see if personalisation is going to work. If you personalise your subject line, you’re bound to increase open rate, and did you know personalised email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%?

Overall, really think about your content and it’s format e.g. images or video and make sure it’s relevant and will deliver value. We all know what it’s like to receive inconsistent marketing messages that we immediately delete! Don’t let that happen to your messages – give your users something that they want to read and think about the timing of sending…send the email when people are most likely to see it. A good tip is to look at behaviour patterns in your analytics to see what time your audience are mostly engaging with your web content or app.

Think mobile friendly template and design

Mobile itself is breathing new life into email marketing with statistics floating around like 70% of people now check their in-boxes on their mobile devices. If your email template isn’t mobile responsive and you don’t support mobile users then you’re giving people the worst customer experience – especially if you’re marketing a mobile app! So, make sure your emails are suitable for reading on mobiles.

Since most people will read your message on a mobile think about scan-ability. Think about the action you want your reader to take and provide short, scannable chunks of text with one strong call to action (CTA). Yes, just one CTA, don’t have multiple CTAs – let’s face it – people are more likely to be multitasking when they get your message on a mobile so you need to engage the user as efficiently as possible. Don’t forget to include an unsubscribe link and footer with your company details.

Leave nothing untracked – track everything!

At Waracle, we’re data obsessed and we can’t emphasise enough the importance of tracking code. Make sure your emails contain tracking so that when you go into your analytics you can identify this acquisition source and view the behaviour flow of email traffic. You need to be able to tell if your email marketing efforts lead to more downloads or not. And, as marketers, we love actionable data that we can use to optimise and improve marketing efforts. With conversion tracking in place, there is no more guesswork when planning, budgeting and optimising your mobile app marketing.

Monthly newsletters or perfectly timed nudges?

Want to send a monthly newsletter to all of your app users with app updates and a summary of what’s new and improved? Or, want to send perfectly timed nudges to encourage them to try new features, thank users and encourage them to leave a review? The great thing about having a template is that you can easily adapt it to suit your content.

Love reporting your data and adopt data-driven decision making

As an app marketer you already have a huge advantage when it comes to email marketing. You’ve got access to a whole load of user data, allowing you to create relevant targeted campaigns. When you start your email marketing, analyse your open and click rates, keep an eye on unsubscribes and get familiar with reporting on your campaigns. A data-driven approach is going to be much more successful than making subjective decisions.

Test, learn, adapt then repeat!

One of the best things about email marketing is the ability to split test campaign versions – trying different subject lines, different call to action text, different layouts and all sorts of tests to see what works best. The hardest part will be to decide what to test! It’s important to only test one thing at a time and it’s best to test your entire list to ensure you get enough data to make an informed decision.

So, start thinking about your app marketing strategy today and make sure you include email. If you want to learn more about making your newsletters mobile-friendly, contact the Waracle Digital Marketing Optimisation team. We can help you create a mobile-friendly email template and manage your email campaigns as part of our App Grow service.

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