· 9 min read

Your 101 guide to email marketing to mobile apps

How can you put together an email marketing strategy that'll actually work for your game? Adjust answer just that.

Email marketing is a critical part of a healthy overall marketing strategy. A study by the UK-based Direct Marketing Association (DMA) found that for every £1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of £42. Additionally, Statista found that 49% of consumers like receiving weekly promotional emails from their favorite brands. But there are some common mistakes to avoid when adopting email marketing. In this guide to email marketing for mobile applications, we are going to:

  • Define what email marketing means for mobile applications
  • Discover why email marketing is important
  • Outline how to build your email marketing strategy
  • Share best practices for marketing your mobile apps via email

What is an email marketing strategy?

Marketing emails can be used to send regular newsletters, essential updates, and promotional offers to your users. You can be hugely successful at improving your mobile app retention rates, return on investment (ROI), and brand awareness.

Why is email marketing for mobile apps important?

As the competition in the app store is greater than ever, marketers are using email marketing to build their brand and retain their users. Email marketing is a critical component for many app marketers and the main driver of customer loyalty in small and medium-sized businesses. 81% rely on email for user acquisition, while 80% use email marketing for retaining valuable users.

Email marketing offers marketers a way to reach users regularly and benefit from a win-win scenario. By informing your customers about promotional offers, you can ensure that your users feel valued for their loyalty while increasing ROI. Compared to social media channels, email marketing is also more direct. While social media channels can use their algorithms to determine whether your content is displayed to users, email marketing reaches your customers’ inboxes — as long as you are not marked as spam. That’s because every user has signed up to receive emails from you, making them the main targets for your latest promotions.

How to put together an email marketing campaign

1. Set your targets

Even if you are an experienced email marketer, it’s important to spot potential issues before launch. The first stage of your strategy should be to define the goals you want to achieve. This could be ROI, more engagements or overall growth. If you have already marketed your app via email campaigns before, you should also identify areas for improvement. This can be used to inform your overall performance once launched and give you actionable insights over time.

2. Pre-launch: How to develop your email marketing strategy

Choose an email service provider: Once your targets have been defined, you need to consider your campaign’s creative and decide which email service provider is best for you. The benefit of knowing your targets prior to choosing an email service provider is that you can now work out which company gives you the best deal according to your performance indicators.

Build a mailing list: This can be done by implementing a pop-up for your newsletter on your official website, as well as giving users the option to join your mailing list in-app. Remember to include an explanation of what users should expect to gain by signing up.

Optimize your emails for desktop and mobile: It’s important to note that your emails should be easy to read on desktop and mobile. This is a critical step that must be included prior to launch: 70% of emails that display incorrectly on mobile will be deleted within three seconds, with 15% of users choosing to unsubscribe as a result.

3. A / B testing your email campaigns

A / B testing is an efficient way to fine-tune your creative and have confidence that your campaign has been optimized for best results. The data you collect from A / B testing can be used to learn more about your users and develop your overall strategy.

4. Beta testing your email campaigns

In addition to A / B testing, you should also beta test your campaign before launch. This gives you an opportunity to fine-tune your creative and avoid any mishaps that could damage your reputation, waste your users’ time, and discourage them from opening your emails in the future. To avoid this, invite a smaller audience group to sign up for beta testing and collect their feedback. Note that for best results you should be testing users that use different devices and platforms when opening their emails.

You should also send a test to one or more of your colleagues beforehand. This is also a great way to gain general feedback from your team and double-check your emails work efficiently for mobile and desktop.

5. Post-launch: troubleshooting and analysis

Troubleshooting: Even with steps 1-4 in place, it’s likely that you will experience some issues with your campaign after launch that need to be solved to achieve the best possible results. The data you collect once launched, along with any requests for support from email recipients, will help you optimize future campaigns.

Don’t be discouraged by negative feedback – this not only means that the user opened your email, but also gives you a chance to gain valuable insights from a valued customer.

Analysis: Once you have that data, you can compare your defined targets against the result. You should also be analyzing how to improve open rates, how to generate more revenue and how many users unsubscribed. You can also compare these to industry averages to see how your campaign performed.

Having gained more information about your users’ behavior, you are now in a better position to succeed with your next campaign. The results you have are now benchmarks on which you need to improve. The data collected during this campaign should also inform your creative and – depending on results – affect your overall offering. You can now repeat these steps for your next campaign.

Email marketing for mobile: 7 best practices

In addition to the step-by-step guide above, here are email marketing best practices to help you achieve your targets.

1. Make the value of your email clear

Your email campaigns are not worth the time and energy it takes to send them unless you have a sufficient number of subscribers. This early step in the process requires that you communicate the value of your emails and encourage them to sign up.

The good news is that by communicating the benefits, you can encourage your most valuable users to subscribe. For example, if you explain that your email is the best way to be notified of new features and limited promotions, you will attract the attention of users who are most likely to convert.

In order to reach the widest possible audience, the ability to subscribe should be promoted in the application, on your official website and on your social media channels. You can also prompt users at optimal times in the user journey. For example, when a user has made a purchase, you should give them the opportunity to subscribe and get the latest deals. However, it is also important to consider when these prompts might be intrusive so as not to frustrate your users.

2. Use data to successfully target users who will benefit from it

Sending out emails that are appropriate for your target users is essential to your email marketing success. That means getting the right message into the inbox of the user who will benefit from your marketing.

To ensure adequate targeting, you need to segment your subscribers into audiences based on the information you have available. It also means that the more information you have about your users, the more useful your email can become. Define how you want to segment users, collect this data and use it for mutual benefit for you and your customers.

If you’ve run email campaigns and have a low open or click-through rate, you should strive to improve your targeting. You could be sending quality updates and offers to the wrong recipients.

3. Perfect your call to action

No matter how successful your open rates are, they don’t mean much if your call to action doesn’t work. This is the single most important component of your email that can increase ROI and increase customer retention rates, which is why it is vital for marketers to master it.

With Your Call-to-Action, Less Can Be More: Apparel and hardware website Toast found that a single call-to-action email increased clicks by 371% and sales by 1617%. A study by Hubspot also found that personalized calls to action can outperform basic CTAs by 202%.

4. Personalize your email

By sending an email to a user’s inbox, you’re asking them to invest their time and energy in your user experience. It is therefore important that your emails are personalized for best results. Not only is this polite, but it’s the best way to help you achieve your email marketing goals. For example, personalizing the subject line of your emails has been shown to lead to 50% higher open rates. As a bare minimum, your emails should target users by name whenever possible, but you should also look for more ways to personalize your emails if you want to succeed.

5. Implement interactive email

Interactive emails are a smart way to increase user engagement and take a step beyond the average newsletter format. To do this, you need to embed interactive content (like GIFs and video) in your emails – a practice that has been shown to increase click-through rates by 300%.

6. Build and maintain a clean list

If you’ve been collecting subscribed email addresses for a while but haven’t started yet, consider setting up a reminder campaign to make sure these users are still interested. This will keep your data clean and make sure you don’t frustrate users. For the same purpose, you must include an unsubscribe link in every email you send.

7. Stay away from the Promotions tab in Gmail

Gmail automatically sorts emails into tabs labeled Primary, Social, and Promotions. This is a useful tool for users, but it can prevent marketing emails from appearing. In order for your email to get into a user’s Primary tab, you need to avoid words that are commonly used in spam email. You should also consider using fewer links and images if you find yourself being placed on Gmail’s Advertising tab.

If you want to learn more about the strategy of mobile marketing, then we would love to have a chat. You can get hold of us through GameAnalytics’ GameDev Toolbox. We also have an offer with these guys: existing GameAnalytics users can claim special terms when signing up with Adjust.

Get in touch to learn more.

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