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App Promotion Summit – Boosting App Downloads With SMS

The percentage of smartphones in global mobile penetration is rapidly rising, creating an explosion in smartphone application production. These apps are primarily consumed and downloaded over various app stores, such as Apple Store or Google Play. The problem businesses and start-ups often face when offering apps are lower conversion rates as a by-product of crowded marketplaces, which offer an array of apps with similar functionalities.

Three weeks ago, the first ever App Promotion Summit took place in the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London. There, different mobile messaging professionals once again took centre stage showcasing their expertise in mobile, focusing on app engagement and conversion.

There are now 780k active apps in the Apple App Store and 620k in Google Play. Getting noticed is harder than ever and app distribution presents the biggest challenge. App Promotion Summit tackled this major issue, one that a vast majority of key mobile players have a stake in: how can you ensure that as many people as possible know about and use your app? Turning an app into a serious business resource requires engaging a targeted audience, which prompted the gathering of leading industry professionals, such as the Director of Business Development at Distimo, Richard Pidgeon, Meaghan Fitzgerald, Head of Marketing at 23snaps and many more.

We at GONG realise that SMS is crucial for modern app engagement; it’s a unique way to tackle both aforementioned problems. Additionally, SMS is making it easier for potential users to find and install their apps, which results in higher conversion rates. For those that succeed, the rewards are as big as they can get. A growing mobile user base means higher app store placements and a continuous circle of user acquisition.

A presentation was held showcasing the benefits of SMS app download and usage engagement. Here are some of the thoughts of the presenter:

“SMS is often overlooked as a tool to boost app engagement and downloads. Sending a download link via SMS hits the sweet spot where engagement, nurturing and promotion come together, at the same time without being overly or overtly invasive. We can thank the popularity and ubiquity of SMS for that.”

Yes, getting users to install the app is the first and most crucial step. Modern users are anything but patient and businesses get only one chance to grab the attention of their potential customer. On a larger screen, i.e. PC or tablet, where more apps compete for your attention and your wallet, the window to attract the user is even smaller. Fortunately, a business can provide their potential customers a quick and hassle-free way around those potholes.

SMS Offers Instantaneous Delivery And App Delivery Control

When using SMS, delivery is almost instantaneous, which means the user gets the link to download the app in seconds. Compare that to the minutes it takes to get the conversion from a desktop computer or a laptop from the app store, or to download the app to one’s mobile phone, SMS is a definite and noticeable improvement in terms of speed and customer satisfaction. The SMS delivery mechanism ensures that people download a specific app when they get to the app store, and not a similar app from a competitor.

A Ubiquitous Communications Channel

SMS is the only technology that is truly standardised between all mobile operators on a global scale. As a result, SMS connects everyone in the world; it works on all existing mobile phones. SMS does not require an active data connection, so it can be received at any time. Other channels limit app engagement strictly to times when a data connection is available to the mobile user.

While the presenter was giving his presentation to the audience, another industry professional on the discussion panel offered his extensive experience in the mobile industry and many interesting thoughts about the potential pitfalls of initial app releases.

He explains:

“There are 3 stages of an application’s life that are crucial for developers and publishers to get right. Web app discovery – a lot of users are attracted to a site or landing page, where you have a key advantage and a call to action, getting the users to enter their mobile number and receive a download link via SMS. Secondly, SMS can function as a referral tool. Once the app is installed you can use your audience as advocates, helping to spread the word with no associated cost. Offer a small incentive, have people send SMS invitations to their friends containing the download link and experience conversion rates from 30 – 50%. Last but not least, SMS is a great, direct mass marketing channel.”

By all means, feel free to try different promotional channels and analytics, but keep in mind that SMS might get you surprisingly high results with the experience of experts like GONG for support.

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About GONG:

GONG is a global mobile transaction cloud service connecting mobile and IP service providers and enterprises through an in-house developed and operated communication services cloud. Our converged messaging, m-payments, push notifications, voice and unified communication services bring a mobile and IP dimension to any business. Offices in Nigeria and strategic partnerships with major telco groups enable us to provide seamless integration, delivery and user experience. Always looking for innovation and new ideas, fostering a customer-first business philosophy and having the reach to every part of the world makes us the reliable provider for many clients in Nigeria and worldwide.

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