14 Smart Marketing Tactics to Encourage App Downloads

In the mobile-first era, it seems that every business has its own app to enhance the customer experience. While there may be legitimate value in offering your customers an app, you may face some stiff competition: When there’s an app for everything, how can you convince people to download yet another one to their smart devices?

We asked fourteen entrepreneurs for the best ways to promote your brand’s mobile app and encourage downloads. Check out their answers below:

Market Your App Up Front

Sometimes customers don’t even know a mobile app is available. By informing new users of all the services available to them upon registration, you can increase the number of people signing up for additional apps. Include information about the web app in their welcome email with a link to the App Store for easy access.

– Dave Nevogt of Hubstaff.com 

Make Your App Vitally Important 

Your app should be more than just a conduit to your brand message; it should offer something that’s vitally important to your prospects and customers. If they see your app as providing something of value they can’t get anywhere else, they’ll be more motivated to download. Too many apps are being designed just for the sake of having an app; make yours count.

– Nicole Munoz of Start Ranking Now 

Send Them a Text Message About It

Bring the app to your customers by sending them a text message or email with a direct link to the mobile app so that downloads are easy and efficient.

– Murray Newlands of Sighted 

Offer an Insightful Look at Your Brand

There are plenty of creative ways that you can make your brand accessible to your customers through social media, without resorting to building your own app. But if you’ve already built one and prefer to have it as a base platform, make it a place where they can get a more insightful idea of your brand. Think about celebrities who’ve built apps: Fans receive a more intimate look into their lives.

– Cody McLain of SupportNinja 

Give Incentives for Downloading

Why should customers download your app? Of course, they’ll enjoy the benefits it offers, but only after they start using the app. How are you paying back for the effort of downloading? Give them incentives. Offer a coupon/gift card/trial service on every download. Introduce referral discounts. This will encourage consumers to share the app in their network and you’ll get more downloads.

– Pratham Mittal of Outgrow 

Prioritize the Mobile Experience

If you think of your mobile app as secondary to the desktop or web experience, so will your customers. Make mobile the heart of your business: The app should be the primary focus of development and marketing. This can be a difficult perspective change for many companies, but mobile is now the dominant computing platform, and it makes sense to put the mobile experience front-and-center.

– Vik Patel of Future Hosting 

Write a Blog Post About It

Write a post about the app with features, benefits and high-quality screenshots that showcase it in the best light. Even better, include a demo video. The more informed users are and what’s in it for them, the more interested they will be. Just remember to add a call-to-action so they can download it directly.

– Humberto Farias of Concepta 

Make It Well-Designed and User-Friendly

When you make the decision to develop a mobile app for your company, always remember the two golden rules: 1) Design your app so that it will work on almost any mobile device, and 2) Strive to make the app as user friendly as possible for your customers.

– Luigi Wewege of Vivier Group 

Provide a Trial Run with Tutorial

Give customers a trial membership to try the app out and a tutorial that explains what they can do. Follow that up with an introductory rate if you plan on charging a subscription or other type of pricing model.

– Cynthia Johnson of Ipseity Media 

Try Paid Campaigns That Encourage App Downloads

Facebook and Instagram advertising offers a campaign objective to encourage mobile downloads. This is a great way to get your app out there in front of the target audience and allows them to download it with just a couple of taps.

– Duran Inci of Optimum7 

Make Good Use of Welcome Emails and Thank You Pages

For many entrepreneurs and businesses, this is “throwaway content.” But if you aren’t using it right, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities! When someone subscribes to your email list, they should get an email right away, and that email should tell them where they can get your app. When they are brought to your “thank you” page, you should remind them again.

– Ismael Wrixen of FE International 

Show the Pain Point You’re Solving

The overwhelming majority of apps are downloaded once and never used again. It’s better to build something that people actually need – an app that actually solves a pain point – than just building an app to build an app. If you can do that successfully, you won’t have to encourage customers to download it: they’ll do it themselves.

– Kevin Yamazaki of Sidebench 

Provide Pop-Up Links for Potential Users

We launched our app at the beginning of 2016, and for a year we’ve included a link to it in every email sent. We also have a pop-up on our website that invites visitors to download the app for a 15 percent discount. Finally, our app has exclusive offers for users, and we send push notifications to encourage more customer interaction. The incentives within the app along with access to the app work well.

– Ashley Ferraro of Dona Jo, Inc. 

Talk to People Directly

The best way to encourage new people to download your app is to do things that don’t scale, like knocking on your neighbors’ doors and asking them to download your app. When you get started, direct feedback like working directly with your customers, and going up to everyone you see and know is the best way to get started.

– Eden Chen of Fishermen Labs 

The answers above are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
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