Promoting Your App Using Your Website and SMS Messaging
By 2017 there will be 270 billion app downloads worldwide. And the Google Marketplace and the Apple App Store each have over 1.3 million apps available. You need to help people find your app if you’re to break through all that noise. Your website is a great place to start promoting your app, but maybe not in the way you might think.
Chances are people browsing your website will be using a desktop or laptop computer. That’s because most people using smartphones prefer apps over a mobile browser (but that’s another story and another blog post). So even if they see your app advertised on your website, they can’t just click on the link to install it because they aren’t on their mobile device. But you can make it easy for them to get your app by adding a simple form to your website.
Creating the Form
This form will prompt them for their mobile number. Once they enter it, you will send them a text message with a direct link to your app using the appropriate apps store for their device. For anyone that wants your app, this is a simple way to make sure they can get your app as easily as possible.
And it’s an easy thing for you to do too. For example, using the FastSMS API, you can use the mobile number to immediately send an SMS message directly from your website. The website visitor should receive the text message in the blink of an eye, maybe two. Since our API uses simple protocols like HTTP, integrating it into your website should be a simple task for your web developers. And of course our support team are always there to give them a hand if they need it. We even have a Developer Zone with everything they might need to get the job done.
But not everyone is willing to hand over their mobile number so easily. People tend to be protective of their number. They’re afraid if they give you their number, you will abuse it somehow by calling them or frequently sending them annoying text messages.
In order to overcome that objection, or fear, you can offer an incentive to them for downloading your app. Maybe it’s a free item, or a discount on services, or even bonus content for the app that is usually only available as an “in app purchase”. Often the idea of getting something “free” for the simple act of downloading an app will help people overcome their initial hesitation.
Taking the Next Step
Once someone has given you their mobile number, you know they are interested in what you have to offer. So send them a text message with a link to download the app. Then in the same message, or a second message (depending on the length of each), provide them with the incentive you said they’d receive such as a coupon code.
Then go one step farther. Send them one more message asking them to reply in order to receive future marketing messages. Of course you probably don’t want to use those words. Instead let them know they can become a VIP, or join your loyalty club, or whatever you want to call it. Be sure to tell them what benefits they can receive too, or at least a link to more information about your mobile marketing. And if you can squeeze it in, tell them the maximum number of messages you’ll send. For example “max 5 msgs/mo”. That takes up very few characters, but tells them you won’t be too annoying or texting them every day. This will make them more likely to reply in the positive to stay on your marketing list.
This process is called a double opt in because they give you their number but then you ask them to confirm they want marketing messages. And while you may have some who don’t reply (in effect opting out), the ones that do are even more likely to respond to future offers. Before you know it you’ll have lots of app downloads, and a lot more people on your SMS marketing list.
Have you ever been inside a Walmart or ASDA Supercentre? If you have, you’ll appreciate the possibility of what I’ll share in a moment. If you haven’t, try imagining walking into a store so big you can barely see one end from the other, where the shelves are packed with everything you might ever need, and staff who are often less than helpful (not everywhere mind you, but often). The point is you can get lost or frustrated if you’re trying to find a certain item that you need, or is on sale. Finding the right section is sometimes challenging, and even if you think you’re in the right spot you might not be.
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