Omega Mobile: Mobile Experience Design Blog
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One of the questions I get asked most frequently is what are the best ways to promote a mobile app. In my last post, Good Mobile User Interface Design Leads to App Love, I cited a recent statistic regarding user recommendations. The article stated that 53% of app users discover their apps through recommendations from friends. Because the percentage is so high, I couldn’t stop thinking about ways companies might take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing by making it possible to recommend apps from within an app.

blog post user recomendations

Ways to attract user recommendations:

Tell a Friend

Tell a Friend functionality allows a user to spread information about your mobile branded app via email. App stores frequently make use of this functionality to promote mobile apps, but you rarely see it integrated into an app itself. Doing so is advantageous because you make it easy for app users to recommend your app and deliver your crafted marketing messages to their friends.

Tell a friend works by initiating a pre-populated email on a user’s mobile device. Plus when you incorporate Tell A Friend into an app’s home or about screen, or as infrequent popups, users enjoying an app can share it instantly. This increases the chances that users will recommend your app, and with 53% of app users getting their apps from recommendations, Tell a Friend may be the only marketing program you need.

blog post promoting apps sharing facebook

Just Ask

A simple request to share an app can go a long way toward meeting your marketing goals. For it to be a success, the request should be direct, polite and give the user the ability to opt out forever or be reminded later. The last thing you want to do when advertising a mobile app is to annoy the user. Note the screenshot I took of a desktop app that does this very well. The app makes a request, explains why it’s making a request, and then thanks the user. At no point does the request feel like a sales pitch. Just Asking works especially well with freemium versions of mobile apps.

Use Social Networks

Leverage your app users’ existing relationships by allowing them to forward info about your app to a social network like Facebook or Twitter. You can specify the exact message you want spread along with a graphic. That message could be about the app, a hi-score with the user’s name, a coupon or discount, etc.

The great advantage here is that rather than recommend your app to one friend at a time, social network sharing functionalities let users recommend your app or messaging to all their friends at the same time. With each user who forwards to Facebook or Twitter, you reach hundreds of potential users with messages about the value of your app.

Reward Users

Don’t forget to reward users for spreading information about your app or message. When you give users a reason to share, they will. If your app is a game, offer extra levels, special characters or additional graphics they can’t get elsewhere. If you’re a retail store, provide them with a discount. Your reward for offering a reward will be worthwhile.

Make Recommendations Part of Your Mobile Strategy

Ensure your apps success by making recommendations a part of your marketing mobile app strategy. During planning, require the integration of promotions. When designing the mobile user interface, create a user-friendly flow with integrated sharing functions.

Lastly, create the best user experience possible. No one shares a bad app, so make yours the best possible and watch the word spread. With built-in features for recommendations, sharing a mobile app with friends becomes infinitely easier—which makes marketing mobile apps easier as well.

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