Sure, you probably already capture email addresses when people sign up for an account in your app. But how can you follow up with people who have not downloaded your app?
If you look at most mobile app homepages, the primary focus is on getting the app downloaded…and rightfully so. This is where the primary revenue comes from. But you should also consider figuring out ways to get email addresses from people who do not end up downloading your app.
We will refer to this as an "external" email list, even though these email addresses may reside in the same database. This post will show you to build and incorporate an external email list into your overall mobile app marketing strategy.
This almost goes without saying, but some people forget this, so this is just a friendly reminder. You can start building a potential user base even before you launch your app. Building a landing page that gets visitors excited about your new app is great, but you need to let people who are interested know when your app is ready.
Simply add an email opt-in box to your landing page and start collecting email addresses. Here is an example from the Everest app:
It may be tempting to ask for a first name or other information, but the more information you ask people to input, the less likely they will give you their email address. Ask for as little information as possible.
Now when you are ready to launch your app, you will not have to start from scratch. Doing pre-launch marketing in this way can also be a good method of gauging demand for your app and testing your landing page. If you are getting good traffic to your landing page, but nobody is signing up, then either nobody wants your app or your marketing message is not effective.
It is better to find out now, than 6 months down the line, after your app is finished. Figure out which one it is now and fix it before you waste your time later.
If you are launching a second, third or fourth app, then building an external email list is another way to let people know about it. They may not be interested in your first or second app, but if they are still on your list and are interested in your third app, you will be able to reach out to them and possibly get them to download it.
When you have major updates or bug fixes, this is a good time to notify your list. Some of the people on your list may not have downloaded your app because it was missing a feature, or did download it and deleted it because it had had an annoying bug. By notifying them that a feature has been added or a bug has been fixed, you can get people to download your app for the first time, or start using it again.
You do not have to limit your email promotions to your own products. There may be a related app, product or service that would be of value to the people on your list. Since you are not only limited to the people who downloaded your app, you have a chance to market to (and profit from) a larger audience.
If you can arrange a joint venture or affiliate arrangement where you make a commission on every sale of the third party product, you can diversify your income. Just be sure that the offers you send out are a good fit for your list and you do not email them too often. Too much unwanted email can turn them off to your email list and your app.
How do you get people to sign up for your list if they don't want to download your app? Offer them something valuable.
In many cases, you can create useful or entertaining emails that you can send to your list on a one-time or monthly basis. You can use these emails to encourage people to download your app and keep them engaged with your app, after they do.
Consider having an email list opt-in box at the bottom of your homepage to capture these email addresses. This will give you a good shot at getting your app downloaded first since your download button is at the top, but if a visitor to your website does not want to download your app, they can sign up for your email list and get your great information, when they scroll down to the bottom.
The information you provide does not have to be a monthly newsletter. It could be a tutorial, report or just something fun. Think about what your app users would find valuable and give it to them.
There are basically two reasons to use an online email list service: automation and delivery. You want to be able to automate the process of collecting email addresses so that you are free to do other things. You can also automate a series of emails that are sent to people after they sign up for your email list, with an autoresponder.
In addition, email list services help you get past all of the crazy spam filters that big email servers use. If you have ever had a domain that was blacklisted for spamming (accidentally, of course) then you will understand what a hassle it can be to get removed. If you haven't had to go through this, then consider yourself lucky and believe us, you want to have someone else deal with that stuff.
If you are starting to see the benefits of starting an external email list, you are probably wondering about the available service options. There are several different vendors, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Here is a list of just a few of the best email list service providers:
The service you use will depend on your needs and your budget. For example, Aweber allows you send affiliate offers, while many other services do not. MailChimp might be a good option for you if you are on a tight budget. They offer a free account if your email list is less than 2,000 addresses. There are also ways to integrate an email list service with your app or you can use your own solution.
For most services, it is pretty simple. After you setup your email list, they will usually have a visual form designer function on their website. This is what the Aweber designer looks like:
An external email list is a great way to build anticipation for your app, update people with new developments, diversify your income and potentially get people to buy your app who have overlooked it in the past. It does take a little work to setup, but it is another weapon that you can add to your app marketing arsenal.
What is preventing you from starting an email list for your app? Let us know in the comments below.