Whether you realize it or not, mobile app marketing should be your top priority not only when you have your app ready for the market, but way before its official launch. It should be something that you put as much time and effort into it as you did with the design and development of your product. If you don't, then you can rest assured that no matter how great your product is no one is going to know about it. It is simply going to be lost in the crowd.
Yet, some people continue to ignore marketing. They think that if they simply place their app in the Apple App Store or on Google Play, then people will magically find their app and they will become overnight successes. If there ever was a time when that was possible—and I don't there ever was—then it is now long over. In reality, most successful developers begin their marketing efforts long before launch. Some even before they have finished with the design of their app.
Of course, there are about a million different ways a person can market their app. There is social media, using review sites and tech blogs to get the word out and building microsites. All good ways to get attention where you want it—on your app. However, what we are going to be discussing today is an often overlooked strategy to promote an app. Today, we are going to be discussing email marketing and its importance in a consolidated mobile app marketing campaign.
Why Should I Use Email Marketing?
Mobile app marketing through email has shown great conversion rates and has allowed app marketers to have full control of their message at the same time. It has been shown to be a great way to reach mobile users because reading emails is one of the major activities people do on their smart phones. Email marketing allows one to reach their number one demographic and it can also increase downloads and/or sales.
When you are busy designing a mobile app, it can be quite difficult to change gears and to start to think of marketing. Especially when you haven't even worked out all of the bugs on your app yet or have decided on its final form. It can just seem tedious to set up and optimize social media accounts, design your app's website home and develop an email marketing campaign, all while you are working out the bugs in your mobile apps coding. Yet, marketing has to be done and should be done as early as possible.
However, as difficult as it may be, it doesn't have to be complex. Below are the basic steps for getting started:
Pre-launching your mobile app marketing involves choosing an email provider, creating a subscription list and building a pre-launch page with an email sign up form. Once that has been done, then you can encourage people to visit this page and subscribe to your list to get email updates on your app and its release. As you are coding the app, you can also build an email subscription form into the app. This will help future email marketing campaigns down the road.
The Beta Launch
Once you have finished the pre-launch prerequisites, and have a finished app, then you can move on to the beta testing phase of your email marketing campaign, as well of your app. The week before you beta test, create an email campaign that invites subscribers to take a first look at your app in beta. Be sure to make it easy for them to not only download the app but also to leave feedback.
Then, about three weeks after your beta launch, email your beta testers and ask them for their feedback. This feedback not only serves to improve the app by pointing out flaws you may have overlooked, but if the feedback is good it can also be used during the marketing campaign.
Approximately one week before the official launch of your app, you should email subscribers to inform them that the app is close to being launched. In this pre-launch email, be sure to post examples of the positive reviews your app has received and give them gentle encouragement to spread the word about your app. Once your app has launched, you can then email subscribers to inform them of this fact. Be sure to include a link to your app's download page.
The Post Launch
About a week or two after you have officially launched your app, it is now time for the post-launch activities of your email campaign. This is the time to thank all of your subscribers and leave them a gentle reminder that they can leave feedback on the app's download page—and should do so if they like the app.
Now, it's quite understandable to believe that your mobile app marketing email campaign is done and that you can move on to something else. However, that isn't necessarily the case. You want to be sure to keep your users in the loop. After all, you didn't spend all of this time and effort creating an email marketing campaign to use it and forget it. It's far too valuable a commodity for you to let that happen. It is not only a valuable launch pad for future apps, but is an engine that can keep delivering good feedback for your current app—if you take care of the list and its users. Therefore, it's important to keep the people on your list in the loop. You can do this by emailing them a summary of new improvements in the app every time the app is improved, or by sharing the success of your app with them, letting them know how it has been a valuable tool for other users.
Of course, you can always set your email campaign on autopilot by using an auto responder—and you might want to do that at some point. However, that shouldn't be done in the beginning. A personal touch is not only more effective but gives you more control over the process. Which in the end, means your app is in more hands. Good luck on your email campaign, as well as all of the other mobile app marketing campaigns you have in play.