21 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App

Why You Need A Mobile App

Smartphone app 2013 is mobile’s year (finally). As a marketer, it’s critical to understand your audience’s mobile usage to ensure they can find you when, where and how they’re looking for your business on the device of their choice.

Not all mobile entryways are created equal.

1 out of every 3 visitors to the average retail website is mobile only according to comScore. This means that you must provide an optimal mobile experience or you’ve lost a third of your potential audience. To that end, you need to know what device your prospects are using.

  • 78% of smartphone users access a retail site via a mobile app. This makes sense since smartphone users are on-the-go seeking targeted information using less data that a mobile app provides.
  • 56% of tablet users access a retail site via a mobile browser. Known as couch commerce, tablet users are in a shopping mode where they’re researching different options.

ComScore data also shows that 63% of mobile commerce (aka m-commerce) happens on a smartphone, underscoring the need to provide a mobile app as well as a mobile website. (As a point of reference, here’s additional mobile data.) But you  need more. 

When your mobile website is optimized for both smartphones and tablets, your website is findable and the information on it is accessible. This is often referred to as responsive design. It’s the first step to take in getting your information out to mobile users but it doesn’t offer as rich an experience as a mobile app can.

When you offer a mobile app, however, the user must learn about the app, download and install it before they can access your information. So, not only do you have to create the mobile app, but you must actively promote it to your potential users. Mobile App versus Mobile Browser for Smartphone vs tablets

21 ways to promote your mobile app.

There’s no silver bullet to get your audience to download your mobile app. You need to use a variety of tactics to build your audience.

  1. Fill a need. This means know your target audience and what type of information they’re seeking while they’re on-the-go, as Sit or Squat does quite literally. Jay Baer refers to this as Youtility, quality information that helps your audience. If your app is useless, it won’t get used or recommended.
  2. Promote your app on your mobile website. If someone has found your mobile website, they’re a prime candidate for using your app. Make it easy for them.
  3. Feature your mobile app on your website. This doesn’t mean a small link in the footer. You need to promote it prominently where appropriate. Consider using a special offer to get customers to download your app to make it worth their time.
  4. Get your app into the appropriate iOS and Android app stores. This provides more shelf space to get your app seen by potential users. It also facilitates the process of updating app information and functionality later on.
  5. Have your app reviewed on targeted app review sites. Understand that this takes work. Here’s a list of review sites to get you started. (Please note: We do NOT review apps.)
  6. Leverage the power of your email newsletter. Since reading email is a major activity people do on their smartphones, let them know about your mobile app and make it easy for them to get it.
  7. Include a link to your mobile app in your customer service emails. The great part of customer service emails is that they tend to go to customers’ main email address.
  8. Link to your mobile app in your purchase confirmation emails. Like customer service inquiries, customers look for these emails. This is a great place to give a customer an incentive for another related purchase.
  9. Incorporate a link to your mobile app in your email signature file. Go one step further and make everyone in your organization use this link.
  10. Add a link to your mobile app on your business cards. It’s another way of expanding your reach.
  11. Discuss your mobile app in the appropriate forums.  Think Yahoo and LinkedIn Groups, Google+ Hangouts, Twitter chats and other venues.
  12. Incorporate a link to your mobile app in your social media profile. Add this to your business’s key information. Remember people spend at least a fifth of their time on mobile on a social media site!
  13. Promote your mobile app on social media. This means create a special tab on Facebook or a set of regular tweets.
  14. Use social media advertising to support your efforts. These ads are highly targeted and therefore can be effective.
  15. Create a blog post explaining the utility of your app. Include screenshots and other goodies.
  16. Develop a video showing your app in action. This is useful to add to your YouTube page as well as your blog.
  17. Promote your mobile app in your store. Mention your app in your signage and flyers to encourage buyers to download it.
  18. Have a tablet or computer available to collect email addresses. Sending them a link to your mobile app is a great way to encourage prospects interested in your product line. Don’t have an extra device available? Then use an old fashion hand written list.
  19. Post QR codes in your store, on your product and other offline media. Make sure that you include a call-to-action to encourage use.
  20. Leverage other media. Promote your mobile app in other forms of advertising and media. For example, Project Runway encourages viewers to download their app to interact with their broadcast in real time.
  21. Mention your mobile app in your presentations. Include your mobile app in your presentations. Include a special offer on the last slide or on your bio slide.

Remember, your goal is to create an app people want, can easily find, download and install to get more useful information.

What other way of promoting your mobile applications would you recommend?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Heidi CohenHeidi Cohen is the President of Riverside Marketing Strategies. You can find Heidi on , Facebook and .

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  • Gr3en$n@k3

    It’s so cute when a woman tries to do statistics. I don’t see any citations for those demographics, so until you post them I suggest to all who read this that you ignore it.
    Mrs. Cohen doesn’t seem to know her topic, so lets just ignore her.

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    Honestly – the best way to promote your app is through ASO. I’ve never seen anything much outside of the store – unless you’re getting TONS of paid or organic traffic- be effective. Elaine, http://www.thechocolatelabapps.com

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    A great article on how to promote your Application. I previously was working on my app with Teknovate.co.uk. The application was on office management. It was basically made to be used internally, but now i am thinking of promoting it :) I hope it works well.

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