How to drive app downloads from existing users?

Website visitors come and go, while app users can stay for a long, long time, if you treat them right. So it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that app users are far more valuable than website visitors. But how to convert website visitors into app users?

It comes down to 3 things:

  • Clearly presenting the option to download your app (you have it, don’t hide it!)
  • Create a compelling story for your app
  • Give them some incentive!
Drive those downloads!

Clearly presenting that you have an app

No one will download it, if no one knows you have it. Make it clearly visible that you have an app and that your visitors can download it and enjoy better UX on their mobile phones. Don’t forget to include links to app stores, so your visitors don’t have to search for your app. The easier the process to download, the more downloads you’ll get.

You can notify visitors of your app's existence in a few ways. You can add a popup banner to your website. This makes your app very visible and helps drive downloads. You could also just add download buttons to your homepage. Most people eventually click back to the homepage when visiting a website, so that is where you want to show it. Or you could even add the links to app stores from your website’s main menu. If you’d like it to be very visible (and that is what you should be aiming for), you can also do a mix of all these options.

Luckily apps made with Upsquare already come with a smart banner that shows the option to download your app to visitors that don’t have the app installed. This makes for an effective tool for driving downloads from your visitors and is very easy to install.

That being said, don’t forget your other channels. Your newsletter, your social profiles and pages are a great source of downloads. People who already signed up for your newsletter or liked your Facebook page already showed a large amount of interest in your brand. Make sure you translate that interest into downloads and open up another, more effective, channel that you can reach them on, your app.

Create a story

Humans are emotional beings and we all react to stories. It’s up to you what story you will tell about your app. It all comes down to what fits well with your brand. Maybe you have a shop selling inexpensive trinkets aimed at shoppaholics. Then your story might be emphasizing “Easy, quick shopping on the go through an enhanced mobile shopping experience.”. Maybe you have a niche designer clothing store. Then your story might be “Support my revolutionary designs and never miss new items again, download my app”.

It’s really up to you and your imagination, but always ask yourself what your average customer/reader is like, what will they budge to and what benefits do THEY get from having your app installed. You obviously get a very effective communications channel that can help you drive sales and increase retention, but for the download push it is important to ask yourself what your customers actually get.

Give them some Incentive

Lots of eCommerce sites offer discounts when you sign up for their newsletter and there’s a reason behind it. It works! You can use the same principal to drive app downloads. Offer your visitors a discount on their next purchase, if they download your app.

But the incentive doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary, it can also be in the form of free shipping, a little thoughtful gift with their next purchase or special wrapping for gifting occasions. There are many possibilities, you just have to find the one that fits well with what you are selling.

It makes sense to mention the incentive you decided on everywhere where visitors get familiarized with the option to download your app, but there is one place where you absolutely have to mention the incentive they get. This is the place where your visitor already showed super high interest in you, the “thank you” pages. It can be the “thank you page” after a purchase or after a newsletter signup or after some other meaningful action.

You can also use “thank you” pages to limit who you actually offer the incentive to. Maybe you don’t want to give it to everyone, just the very interested visitors or just to those who are actually your customers. For example, you can add a discount offer for the next purchase made through your app, but only to people that just bought something.    

Don’t forget ASO (App Store Optimization)

Even though driving downloads from website visitors and social followers is great, you still want to use your app to reach completely new potential customers/readers/users as well. You can do that through a mix of organic and paid growth of downloads in the app stores. To read more about the basic ASO principals, click here.

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