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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2018-07-11

It’s no secret that the app market is exploding: according to App Annie, in Q1 of 2018 the app economy was responsible for $18.4 billion in revenue, representing a significant opportunity for marketers to get their piece of the proverbial app pie.


A new study by Leanplum concludes that email is the ideal driver for getting users to become aware of, try, download, engage with and return to apps. Using data from the report, here are seven ways marketers can use email to promote their apps:


  1. Send engaging welcome emails: When welcoming new users, make your welcome emails action oriented by promoting a cool feature with a goal of nurturing app adoption and use. For free trial users, encourage users to become paying customers with a promotional offer or discount code.


  1. Reach out to app users weekly: Leanplum reports that 21% of app users never return after the first open, which means keeping your app top of mind is important for retaining their interest. Sending one email per week can get about half of your users to open your app. Furthermore, those who open your emails will engage in 40% more weekly app sessions compared to those who do not open them.


  1. Don’t send more than one email per week: Don’t be tempted to send more than one email per week: the average open rate for apps that send one email per week is 13.4% but it falls to 1.67% when two are sent. Sending three emails a week may keep your unsubscribe rate within acceptable ranges, but this will spike up after sending four emails or more.


  1. Combine email with push notifications: The Leanplum study shows that mobile app engagement increases three times when marketers coordinate email messages with push notifications. In addition, overall app retention rises by 21%. But, like with email or other marketing messages, push messages should not be overdone or they can become an annoyance and be disabled by your users.


  1. Ask for feedback: Send emails to your users asking them for a review of your app. Use this input to make changes or improvements and tell them (via email) about the actions you have taken as a result of their input.


  1. Segment your audience: By getting your targeting right, you’ll ensure high email open and click rates. Segmenting users based on different profile fields can ensure your emails aren’t off base. For example, if you capture user location or country data, sending a 4th of July promotion probably won’t go over well internationally. In addition, track in-app activity such as the features they use or actions they take to segment and personalize your email messaging and campaigns.


  1. Use email to re-engage with dormant users: Over a third (35%) of app users who receive email fall into the category of “dormant” users. They may be busy, or perhaps they simply forgot about your app. According to the Leanplum report, dormant users are 50 percent more likely to re-engage with your app as the result of an email message.


Once app creators have conquered the smartphone with their amazing app, they also have the opportunity to own their users’ email inboxes with timely, creative and helpful messages. Indeed, email can be key for app makers to not only promote their apps, but also to engage and retain their users, and build deeper, more longer-lasting relationships.



Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including millennials and other generations -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.

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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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