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3 strategies to elevate your marketing plan for mobile apps – with zero ad spend

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Danny Huang

Content Writer

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4 May 2022
7 min read

Fantastic mobile app download rates and how to get them  

mobile app user and how to achieve high download rates with zero ad spend

Tap into any app store today and you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are roughly 4.74 million apps on the Apple App Store for iOS and close to 2.59 million apps available for download on the Google Play Store for Android. The list of mobile apps is set to grow longer as global mobile phone ownership trends upwards – in the past year alone, the number of unique mobile phone users expanded by another 91 million.

The boom in mobile phone ownership is fuelling app usage. Companies are not only driven to develop new apps, but they are also motivated to optimise existing ones into lead generation beasts to boost mobile app conversion rates, while working under the hood to improve customer experience and customer engagement. On average, apps are made and pumped into the market at incredible speeds:

For tech-savvy active users who demand quick and easy solutions at their fingertips, the proliferation of mobile apps has brought a touch of magic to everything in daily life. It’s amazing how there’s virtually an app for every aspect of life, from social media apps and online dating apps to mobile games and productivity apps – even contact tracing apps played a vital role in helping public health authorities everywhere fight the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, the user acquisition journey can vary vastly when it comes to convincing users to hit that download button.

Cursed with low app download rates? Break the spell with rich messaging!

Now that your mobile app is up and ready to roll, what’s next? Mobile app user acquisition should be your next milestone. You need to think about how to acquire users for your app and raise app install conversion rates, but that comes with unique challenges.

The bad news is the overwhelming majority of end users aren’t interested in adopting and using new apps, making it challenging to drive user adoption and retention rates, despite your best marketing efforts. Trends in app metrics reveal that:

  • Over 90% of users hate being forced to install apps to do business

  • Nearly 50% of app users abandon an app after one day

  • 25% of apps downloaded by mobile app users worldwide were only accessed once after download

To break barriers, app marketers are splashing vast amounts of marketing spend to acquire users: 

This strategy is neither cost-effective nor sustainable and drives up your cost per acquisition. Fortunately, there’s a better and more effective way. Meet rich messaging, the answer that offers marketers the best of both worlds in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. You can incorporate rich messaging into your integrated marketing communication as you chart your customer journey map, and strategise how you can best nudge end users into downloading your mobile app.

Here are three strategies to get the mojo going.

Strategy 1: Wow audiences with an app-like first impression

  • Download inertia is real. Most smartphone users already have more than 80 apps installed on their phones – with so many apps vying for attention, do they really want to download another app? Your job is to convince them. Ours is to make your job easier with rich messaging, which gives prospective users a “preview” of your mobile app and the user experience they can expect.

  • A rich message is a microsite that provides a realistic app-like example that users can interact with. It essentially emulates an app-like experience to entice audiences. 

  • You can send an SMS to users that takes them to a rich message. Then seamlessly encourage the continued use of your app by directing people to download it or check out new features.

Strategy 2: Drive sign-ups with a frictionless pre-registration experience

  • You probably collect information about your customers through your app. Personal information such as contact details and particulars are usually required during the registration process. However, it’s generally at this crucial stage that prospective users are likely to drop off.

  • You should think about how your app can deliver value before asking for information to mitigate this issue. A simple way is to simplify the process with rich messaging.

  • Already got your contacts’ details? Use rich messaging to pre-fill contact info and send out personalised links – just like magic! Send users to their pre-filled registration form via SMS/WhatsApp, email, or push notifications. This reduces the drop-off rate while nudging users closer to completing the app adoption.

Strategy 3: Promote the benefits of your app without advertising

  • If you’re investing significantly in advertising to acquire users, think again. While the jury is still out on whether advertising is a waste of money, we can be certain that lean marketing budgets limit small-medium businesses.

  • Instead of draining resources with mobile marketing solutions that require hefty ad spend, putting your money behind promotions and incentives might give you greater mileage. You can use rich messaging to promote app benefits across multiple channels, including app-exclusive promotions, discounts, incentives, and more. 

  • Entice users with an incentive via SMS/WhatsApp, email, or push notifications. Then take users to a rich message to redeem the incentive while allowing them to experience what your app has to offer.

Bonus strategy: Schedule social posts to take work off your plate

While you may be focused on driving downloads and engagement to your in-house mobile app, that doesn't mean you should write off other, more established applications that can push users in your direction. This is especially true when it comes to social media apps, like Instagram, which can be incredibly useful when promoting a business, launching a new product, or simply boosting brand recognition.

However, leveraging social apps like Instagram doesn't have to be a drain on resources. By using automation to schedule your posts (with links directing right back to your mobile app), you can make the most out of one - or multiple - touchpoints, just like you would with SMS, rich messages, and in-app notifications. For instance, you could create a single post, then share it with your entire follower base at once, or create a batch of social posts that go out at peak business hours - all without the need for employee intervention. This helps ensure maximum outreach with little to no effort.

RecurPost dives deeper into the power of scheduling Instagram posts to make your marketing efforts more efficient.

To keep these tips handy, we’ve summarised the three main strategies to take mobile app adoption to the next level in a quick guide.

Transforming disinterest into download with Whispir’s digital communications 

With the right strategies and best practices, higher adoption rates can easily be achieved. Beyond user acquisition, we know how to retain users on your app, helping you boost customer retention while keeping churn rates in check as you actively engage users at all stages in the customer journey. 

To help you overcome low adoption, we recommend you take a deep dive and download our eBook on how to increase app adoption rates. You’ll discover how our multi channel communication approach fits into any omnichannel marketing or integrated marketing plans, enabling you to leverage the benefits of bulk SMS marketing while still maintaining streamlined control over your messaging. 

The team at Whispir has helped organisations throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, and the US find major success with their business. We’re passionate about helping our customers transform how they connect and engage with people with our innovative digital communications solutions. 

Our smart reporting capability delivers value by helping you to better understand engagement levels, and measure reach and responses so you can focus on increasing customer lifetime value and tailoring your communications to reach out to high-value users. 

Additionally, our rich messaging capabilities have been designed to help businesses elevate their communications, without the need for technical expertise or coding skills. Because we’ve made digital communications so easy to build and manage from one central platform, you might be surprised by how unbelievably effortless it is to create on-brand and professional-looking content.

Just remember: it’s not magic. It’s Whispir.

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