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Having a Mobile App Funnel that converts is similar in some ways to a more traditional Done For You Sales Funnel...  But, there are some notable differences due to App Stores.

According to MarketingLandby the year 2019, 72% of the entire digital ad spending in the US is going to be on mobile advertisements.

Another exciting statistic making waves in the industry is that almost half of customers start their search for a product or service from a search engine while one third go the website directly.

Newer metrics indicate that there are 1 million new Internet users per DAY, due largely to smartphones.

Looking at all these numbers, it becomes quite evident that investing in mobile app marketing is the smartest thing a business can do at the moment. And, when it comes to marketing the first thing that instantly pops up into the head is marketing funnels.

The Mobile App Marketing Funnel

In today’s post, we will share information on mobile app marketing funnels and how they differ from the usual marketing funnels. Plus, we will also touch upon the topic of how marketers can leverage marketing funnels for their business to good effect.

So, let us begin.

Mobile App Marketing Funnels

marketing funnelsA mobile app conversion funnel is similar to a traditional marketing funnel; the entire process is divided into 5 stages in the mobile app marketing funnel, as well.

Stage 1 – Exposure and Discovery: Making the Customer Reach Your Business

The biggest difference between a traditional marketing funnel and the mobile app marketing funnel lies in the first stage. The reason for this is simple.

In mobile app marketing, downloading a paid app is the ultimate purchase decision that the user has to make, whereas in traditional marketing the final purchase decision is buying the product or service. Time taken in the former is much less when compared to the latter, usually.

However, there is no denying that the next stages, i.e. the exposure and discovery stages, hold prominence in the mobile marketing funnel.

Now, the one question that lurks around in the case of the mobile app conversion funnel is: How do the users find the apps? Here’s a graph that gives you all the numbers:

So, you can see that app store searches are the number one way for people to search and find an app they are looking for.

Strategies for Stage 1

Both paid and organic marketing strategies can work great to get your app to reach a greater number of people. Some of the strategies that marketers can use here include:

Organic strategies

  • Word of mouth publicity
  • App store optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Social bookmarking, internet forums and more

Paid strategies

Stage 2 - Consideration: Building Trust Signals

How does a business build trust signals? By showcasing its achievements and customer satisfaction, right?

The same thing rings true for mobile apps, as well.

For a mobile app, app ratings are the best way to showcase how good it is. Ratings build social proof, and studies show that social proofs go a long way in enticing the customer to download the app.

Studies show that more than 85% of customers won’t download an app from the app store if it is rated 2 or below.

Strategies for Stage 2

Build an app page

App stores allow you to add information about your mobile app by creating a dedicated page. You can even add a video. So, use it to your best possible advantage.

Ratings and reviews

As stated above, getting your user rating to 4 stars or above can serve as the biggest trust factor. You need to work towards achieving this goal.

Stage 3 – Conversion: Getting Them to Finally Download the App

Although the primary goal of conversion in mobile app marketing is to get the customer to download the app, its meaning may vary depending on business needs.

For some conversion might be an in-app purchase while for others it could be a subscription to the app.

Based on what the definition of conversion is for your business, you need to work on the strategies for mobile app marketing.

Strategies for Stage 3

Here are some of the tactics you can employ to build a better conversion rate –

Stage 4 –Relationships: Providing Value in the Long Run

Just like traditional marketing, the mobile app conversion funnel also revolves around building relationships. The only thing is that you get a little less opportunity to interact with the customer.

As an app marketer, you need to make the best use of whatever little you get.

Strategies for Stage 4

  • Finding the right moment – whenever and wherever possible, ask for feedback. Focus on customer service and the users' experience with using the app.
  • Personalize communication – use customer data to personalize your mobile app communication, and you can easily win the customer over.
  • In-app messaging – in-app feedback, message center options, and similar other strategies can work great for the success of your app. So, make good use of them!

Stage 5 – Customer Retention: Offering Them a Great Experience

It is an age-old fact that, in the world of marketing, acquiring a new customer can cost a business many times more than retaining a customer.

The same is the case here.

Great customer service and making sure that you are in constant touch with your customers are great ways to achieve this.

Strategies for Stage 5

To master Stage 5, here are some strategies you can try.

Ask for feedback – studies show that 98% of users respond positively when asked for feedback. By asking for feedback, you are staying in constant touch with the customer, and also getting to know how you can improve.

Reward programs – another great way to keep your customers using your mobile app for the long haul is by offering special reward programs for mobile users; for instance, encourage them to use mobile apps to make a purchase and, in return, give them a great discount.

Building & Launching a Mobile App Funnel

An app funnel is a kind of like a traditional marketing funnel in a lot of ways.  The main notable difference is your reliance on the app stores to fulfill your app and, in a lot of cases, bring in new users.

Now we've worked with a couple of different mobile app publishers and Android/iOS development organizations that create apps for companies as a service. Because of that, we know that mobile app funnels are very different beasts than a traditional marketing funnel with trigger marketing and marketing automation. One thing is for sure, you'll need a lot of email marketing to pull it off!

At the end of the day, you have a bunch of people who are downloading your app from a marketplace.  Then, you have a smaller subset of people who are buying something through in-app purchases. They are paying money for the app, functionality, or something delivered within the app itself.

So what is the mobile app funnel?

The Mobile App Funnel

The difference with app marketing is that marketplaces are the biggest traffic sources originally.  You can drive your traffic, which we'll talk about, but a lot of app developers are simply hoping that their app takes off in the app store itself.

Here's what I mean.

Most mobile apps are going to be installed on either Google Play or from the iOS app store. That's where the apps are going to physically be located and fulfilled.  When you're promoting your service or product, you are responsible for setting up your fulfillment.  With an app, the platform syncs it with the mobile device.

The marketplace has a LOT of traffic. People go to the marketplace in search of apps. However, I was just reading a study the other day that only 12% of people go and install a new app on their phone every 30 days. So the number of people who are installing apps on their mobile devices is drastically decreasing!

Unless a mobile user is looking for additional functionality a new way of doing something, your app will fall by the wayside if you rely exclusively on the App Store for your users and traffic.  People aren't playing around in the App Store trying to figure out what else they can put on their device, which puts some of the responsibility on the publisher in terms of driving traffic.

Driving Traffic To Your Mobile App

It never used to be that way - where you had to drive your traffic to your mobile app.

It used to be as simple as putting an app in the app store and all of a sudden you were getting downloads and installs!  People were coming through the front door, and you could monetize them through in-app purchases.

Unfortunately, that's no longer the case. You need a mobile app funnel.

Your app funnel is comprised of a couple of things...

You have mobile app advertising. With Facebook and Google, you can drive traffic from those ad platforms specifically to your app marketplace listings. And sometimes that conversion goal can be an app install, which means you are paying per app install.

The bad part though is that now you have real money at stake in promoting your app...  This means that your app needs to start generating cashflow!

Simplify Your Mobile App Onboarding As Much As Possible

There were a few clients that we worked with who was driving good traffic and getting great downloads...  We were spending money to promote their app. They were getting lots of signups (ie. leads), but they had these long terms of service page that needed to be agreed to before they could get in...

Immediately after you put your email address, you were redirected to a page that made you read through the Terms.  It was quite a few scrolls down!  You can guess what happened.  People jump ship, never to open the app again.

All these app downloads were coming in and then these users just never clicked through to even create their first session!

So what we ended up having to do was retool the app to be a single opt-in and a quick TOS checkbox.  From the user setup standpoint, it helped bypass the chokepoint that the terms of service were presenting, and folks were able to download the app and get into it faster!

You, for sure, will see something similar in your app funnel.  When there's a bottleneck, it's up to you and your app development team to optimize the app funnel and the sales process. You want people to download the app, install the app, use the app, love the app, and then ultimately process in-app upgrades that end up generating revenue for you.

And then once you figure that out and you've put together some data, you can go to some of these other app ad platforms to start driving traffic!  With the new traffic and optimization, your app funnel is positioned to take off and a bevy of new users will flood through the platform.

In short, though, don't rely on ONLY the marketplaces anymore!


To sum it up, all we have to say is that an app marketing funnel, whether it be traditional marketing or mobile app marketing, involves a similar set of strategies, yet is different to quite a large extent.

To master the mobile app marketing funnel, you need to think of a mobile app from a user-only perspective. And, that’s where the difference lies.

Everything mentioned above paints a clear picture of how you can master mobile app marketing funnels and bring great results for your business.

So, are you up for it?

The 3-part Sales Funnel Formula

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