What To Do With The 10,000 Email Addresses You Collected With Your App

email marketing for apps

I was reading some posts on an app marketing forum and a developer mentioned that he had collected over 10,000 emails from within his app and he was wondering what to do with them. That is a great problem to have.

So if you have a similar problem, this post will help you maximize your list and keep it as responsive and effective as possible. If you don't have a list yet, this post will show you why you might want to start one and give you some ideas on how to create your first list.

Why You Should Collect Email Addresses

Some people think that email is dead, but it is very much alive my friends. If you have a website for your app, then hopefully are collecting email addresses on your website too.

Email marketing may not work for all apps, but it is certainly a strategy that you should explore. The biggest reason for starting an email list is that it is an asset that you own and can control.

New app store algorithm changes, keyword removal and overzealous app reviewers are all things that could severely impact your downloads. These things are out of your control. Sure, you will do your best to optimize for these things and work around issues, but at the end of the day, you are at the mercy of the app stores.

If you have an email list however, even if your app got banned from an app store, you could still take the emails that you collected from that app and use that list to market other apps. Having their email addresses also makes it more likely that you will be able to communicate with them even if they have turned off your app's notifications.

So now that you understand why it can be important to build an email list, let's take a look at what you need to do to start one. It is very simple. If you already have an email list, skip down to the What You Should Do section.

How To Start Building An Email List

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There are many different email hosting services out there, so do your homework on what makes the most sense to you. Services like Aweber, Ontraport and Infusionsoft are some of the big names in this arena.

They provide varying degrees of features and pricing. Most of them will allow you to integrate their service with your app via an API or a direct link.

What You Should Do

Make Email Collection Part Of Your Registration Process

If you can get them to give you their email address in order to start using their app, that is ideal. They can either give it to you directly or you could get it via a social media login like Facebook. You could also require them to give you their email address to unlock certain features in your app.

How you collect the addresses will really depend on the type of app you have. Experiment with different things and see what works best for you.

Keep Your List Fresh And Engaged

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Just collecting email addresses is not enough. You need to build a relationship with the people on your list. There are many different ways to do this, but at a minimum, be sure to email your list at least once a month.

The content you send them will depend on the type of app you have. If you have a game, you can possibly send them tips on how to get a higher score in your game. You could also highlight new high scores to foster competition.

If you have a camera app, you can give people on your list tips for taking amazing pictures and ways to get the most out of your app. You could also highlight amazing photos from other users.

You are only limited by your imagination. So before you start emailing your list, really think through your content strategy and what you want to achieve with your emails. Remember to use autoresponders if you don't have time to send out emails manually.

Segment Your List

Next, you should segment your list according to the actions they take and how they signed up. This will allow you to send them information related to their situation.

One segment that you could have is a list of people who haven't opened your emails in the last 90 days. You could ask this list how you can help and get them to reengage with your emails.

Another segment could be the people who always open your emails and click on your links. Since this group is highly engaged, you can reward them or ask for feedback on new features.

Segmenting your list is a great way to increase the effectiveness of your email list. It will take some time to dial in, but it can really pay off.

Keep Your Emails Simple

You may be tempted to create super fancy, graphics intensive emails and that may be necessary for some apps. If you have a corporate app, then this type of styling is usually mandatory.

But if you don't have to create a strongly branded email, then it is best to keep it simple. Write your emails like you would write to a friend. Only include text and very short paragraphs.

This is because emails with a lot of graphics are much more likely to be marked as promotions in Gmail. This will put your email on another tab, making it less likely that people will see your email. Also avoid using spammy words like "free" or other words that might be related to spam emails.

Shorter paragraphs also make your emails easier to read. Keep in mind that many people will be reading your emails on their phone. They won't scroll forever, so get to the point quickly.

What You Shouldn't Do

One of the worst things you can do is collect a ton of email addresses and not email them at all. This is a waste of your time because if you do ever end up emailing them, they will wonder who you are and probably ignore your email or mark it as spam. Your list will go cold.

Sending them too much email is almost as bad as not emailing your list regularly. If too many people start marking your emails as spam, then your emails might be blocked by email servers, so don't get too carried away.

Another mistake that you could make is to send your list unrelated emails. For example, if you have a note taking app and you send them information about a game, the people on your list will be confused and delete your email or mark it as spam.

Finally, you should never, ever buy an existing email list. You never know where those leads came from and your response rate, along with your ROI, will be very low.

How To Leverage Your List

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Ultimately, you are promoting your apps and whatever else you do in your business. So don't forget to do a little selling too. The ratio of pure content to sales emails will depend on your market, but one sales email to eight pure content emails is a good place to start.

Your email list can boost user engagement with your app, increase in-app purchases and encourage people to download your other related apps. So gently remind people of the benefits of your apps and other aspects of your business. Asking them to share the email with their friends is also a great way to spread the word about your app.

Having a list also allows you to increase your income by promoting other products related to your app. Think about how you could partner with related products to get an affiliate commission or form a joint venture partnership.

You can also use your email list to get direct feedback on your apps. If you are creating apps that people love, many of them will be willing to help you make your apps even better. Send out a simple survey and find out what they think.


Email marketing is just another way that you can promote your app. As an app marketer, you should not rely on one method to market your app. By diversifying your strategies, you can expand your reach and not worry so much when one strategy isn't working as well.

How do you use the email addresses you collect from your app? Let us know in the comments below...

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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: February 2015

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