In part two of his three part series for B&T, Logan Merrick (pictured below), director of Buzinga App Development, says it’s no good having a great app if your customers aren’t using it…
Businesses too often prematurely develop and invest in apps, only to be left wondering where all their users are. According to Startup Muster, the most reported internal challenge for Australian start-ups is customer acquisition. Guaranteeing the success of an app’s launch requires either adequate sales skills or knowledge of how the ‘marketing funnel’ works.
Once businesses have undertaken appropriate pre-launch actions to create their app, the next important step is successful customer acquisition through effective marketing. Unfortunately, not all businesses invest their time in effective marketing, despite it being necessary in attracting initial users and helping kick-start the progress and popularity of an app.
With Australian mobile consumers spending 80 per cent of their time on smartphone apps, there’s an evident opportunity for marketers and businesses today to engage with mobile audiences. The key to success here will depend on effective mobile app customer acquisition strategies.
Here are five proven mobile app customer acquisition strategies to help businesses succeed during the launch of an app:
- Email Marketing
The power of email in marketing is boundless, with 44 per cent of email recipients making at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. However, many poorly executed online marketing efforts fail to generate leads.
Identifying the most effective ways to convert leads into actual app downloads and users requires obtaining an accurate idea and deep understanding of the app’s target audience. Some simple tips include:
- Setting up a website or landing page to collect emails
- Use marketing to drive people to the app’s website or landing page three months prior to launch
- Regularly sending value-adding emails that include ‘behind the scenes’ photos, exclusive screenshots, or anything else that poses interest to the audience
- Sealing the deal with an exclusive offer, discount, or access to the beta release just before launch
- Referral / Incentive Marketing
The key for incentive marketing is thorough testing. Businesses should ask themselves: what is the minimum value I can offer that will appeal to the largest audience.
An example of incentive marketing is Maccas Play or McDonald’s Monopoly, which offers Monopoly sweepstakes after purchasing food. McDonald’s found a way to leverage its incentive marketing initiative not just to improve sales, but to energise its brand and customer loyalty.
- Product-Driven Content
The most low-cost and organic customer acquisition strategy available today is giving potential users valuable content for free. This content could include blogs, social media posts, educational or entertaining videos, newsletters – the possibilities are endless.
Creative content can be developed and distributed through email databases and social media accounts, ultimately leading to shares and new leads.
- Paid Online Advertising
Online advertising gives businesses the advantage of easily seeing where their money is going and how that spend can be most effectively optimised to reach specific KPIs.
Online advertising comes in three main forms:
- CPM (cost per thousand impressions) – Paying the advertiser a certain amount per every thousand times the ad is viewed
- CPC (cost per click) – Paying the advertiser a certain amount per click on the ad
- CPA (cost per acquisition) – Paying the advertiser based on a pre-determined definition of ‘acquisition’, such as an app install resulting from someone clicking on the ad, or a registration to service
The launch phase of an ad campaign is one of the few times to use the ‘spray and pray’ approach, which entails throwing the app out into a number of different ad networks and using analytics to track which one works best. From there, tweak and refine the marketing spend and strategy on a regular basis.
Old fashioned PR, such as press releases, app reviews or features on publications and blogs is another highly effective and simple method of customer acquisition.
For new apps, getting press can be a difficult task without the services of a professional media relations company.
Some important points to consider when seeking press are:
- Target smaller, localised and niche interest blogs for a higher chance of being chosen
- Ensure outreach is centralised around demonstrating how featuring the app is beneficial to their publication and its readers
- Leverage contacts and ask for an introduction/ endorsement
- Don’t forget about social media. Reach out to Facebook admins and profiles that are relevant