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How to grow your app’s email marketing list

Posted by Ben Dickson on May 10, 2016 12:00:00 PM
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You’ll hear a lot about email marketing having become passé, a thing of the past, a tool to ultimately avoid… You’ll also hear a lot about how mobile push notifications are your salvation and can bring you tons of downloads, leads, and customers (which is true by the way).

The truth is, email marketing has been put to so much ill use that it has fallen from grace, like many other things (banner ads anyone?). But anything done wrong can turn into a disaster, including mobile push notifications. Push notifications can become intrusive on their own, especially since smartphones are extremely personal devices, and users can quickly get annoyed when targeted with untimely and irrelevant ads, and subsequently turn off notifications and block you out forever.

Placing your bets on any single medium to reach out to your user makes it easier to lose touch. So you should value every channel you have to connect with, and engage, your potential customers. That includes email lists.

Fact of the matter is, email lists are far from dead, and if used properly, they can turn out to be one of your most effective – and favorite – app marketing tools. In this post, I will show you how to grow your email list and put it to good use.

how to manage your mailing list

One of the common mistakes that failed email marketing strategies share is the lack of a proper email listing service. Creating your own ad-hoc solution or worse, just BCCing everyone in your emails, will definitely set you on the road toward disaster.

Email listing services are tools that help you manage your email lists, and they can save you a lot of time and headache for a minimal expense. They come in different flavors and for different levels of expertise and engagement. Services like Aweber and Constant Contact are good places to start if you’re a beginner and are looking for basic features.

If you’re an advanced seeking more sophisticated features, such as segmentation and automation features, consider migrating to services such as Drip or Ontraport, which offer a more complete solution, albeit at a more expensive rate.

Once you’re set, you can get started on gathering your list. Here are a few tips that can help you achieve that.


Get their attention!:  How To Successfully Pitch Your App To The Media 


use your landing page/website

Your app should definitely have a customized landing page long before it is released in the app stores. In general, landing pages are a great way to convey the message of your app in advance and find people who are interested. There are many ways you can gather email addresses in your landing page, including opt-in features that will allow users to get special offers in exchange for their email address. I’ve talked about the benefits of having a landing page for your app extensively here, and you can see how other apps have successfully created their email lists through the efficient use of landing pages here.

But lading pages aren’t the only web medium that help gather email addresses. The comment section of blog posts work just as fine, especially if the post itself is compelling and well-structured and finishes with a call to action that encourages users to get in touch and find out more.

Pop-ups can work too, but I do admit they aren’t the best of strategies and tend to get intrusive. However, there are some very good platforms like SumoMe that can get you started on popups at a low price and can gather up to 700,000 email addresses for you.

collect emails inside your app

Making email addresses a requirement for running your app is not a productive and user-friendly strategy. But nothing will prevent you from enabling users to opt-in to extra features by entering their email. In fact there are many in-app strategies that can help you gather emails, such as allowing users to make their first use of a paid feature for free, or allowing them to sign up for one-month free-of-charge premium experience. If it’s a game, you can give users the option to get a taste of a bonus level or a preview of an expansion pack. If you think within the context of your app, you can come up with plenty of ideas that can encourage users to give their email address and get something in return.

There are some plug-ins that can help you add opt-in boxes to your app in a few simple steps. But as with pop-ups, make sure that you don’t display the dialog at a critical moment and ruin the user experience, especially if your app is a game. That probably won’t be the best way to encourage users to sign up to your email list.

use survey tools 

Meeting up with people in person is an excellent opportunity to collect emails, especially if it’s at an event where you’re meeting with mobile app developers or enthusiasts. There’s a big chance that many of those people have the potential to become future users of your app.

The problem is, you have to have a good tool and plan to do gather emails without annoying the users, and also being able to do it in a disconnected environment.

Surveys are a great tool in this regard. Some apps like iCapture can help you set up surveys and email list opt-in programs at your events, and merge the results with your CRM or email list service when you later get an internet connection. The app easily syncs with major enterprise tools such as Salesforce.

final thoughts

Email lists are a must-have for any serious app marketer. They have the great benefit of enabling you to communicate with your potential users even before they see and install your app. Do it right, and you’ll reap the rewards. Do it wrong, and you’re in for a nightmare.

I hope these tips will help you avoid the latter and get to the former. If you have anything to ask or add, don’t hesitate to leave a note in the comments section.

Topics: App marketing

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