mobile-appMore and more people are moving away from desktop and laptop computers for online shopping and moving towards their smartphones and tablets. Studies have shown that over half (50.3%) of ecommerce traffic now comes from a mobile device (Shopify), and 60% of mobile consumers worldwide use their mobile device as their primary or exclusive Internet source (Internet Retailer). This is something that marketers need to keep up with.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, many companies are now utilising responsive email templates to ensure that their marketing emails look professional and well designed, whatever device they’re being viewed on. But, do you need to go one step further and create a mobile app for your business?

Why a Mobile App?

If your website’s mobile optimised, do you need a mobile app? A mobile app offers a number of benefits over a mobile site. Unlike a website, it can be used offline, giving you many more opportunities to build brand engagement. An app can also be used to send push notifications to your customers, giving them real-time access to offers and discounts they may be interested in. By using your mobile app to capture insights and data about your customers, the service you provide them could also improve.

Improve Your Mobile Marketing Strategy

Email marketing and apps should not be thought of as autonomous marketing channels. Mobile apps can play a part in your wider mobile marketing strategy, able to integrate seamlessly with email, as well as SMS, QR codes and mobile Internet searches.

Your marketing emails can be used to lead users to your mobile app. The call to action and links included in the email can be configured to open the app (if a user has it installed on their device), rather than the mobile site. The two marketing channels can also integrate. For example, discount codes and vouchers sent in a marketing email could be saved in a mobile app for a customer to use later (even if there is no Internet connection). Location services within the app could also be used to trigger emails, for example when a customer is near one of your retail stores.

Take a look at this example from Groupon:

Groupon Mobile App

When opened on a mobile device, this email links to Groupon’s mobile app, where customers can get 15% off it they use it to make a purchase. They have also included a link to download the mobile app, for customers who don’t already have it (or may have deleted it).

Encouraging Downloads

You can use your email marketing campaigns to encourage people to download your mobile app. Email is the ideal place to show your customers the benefits that your mobile app has to offer, like in this example from Marriott:

Marriot Mobile App
This personalised email clearly explains the features that their mobile app offers. The simple animated GIF also gives their customers an indication of what the app will look like on their device.

You can also offer an incentive in your marketing emails to encourage your customers to download your mobile app. Expedia offer a 10% off code in an email for people who download their app:

Expedia Mobile App
There are many benefits to your business having a mobile app. They can help build on your customer relationships, as well as update and improve your overall marketing strategy.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net