How to Court Your Mobile Users

Scott Fried

Content Marketing Manager

Feb 14, 2022

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Happy Valentine’s Day! This time of year, our minds naturally turn to thoughts of love. Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years or you’re currently seeking companionship, you’re likely taking this opportunity to think about how to get the most out of the romantic side of your life.

If you’re in mobile marketing, you might be surprised to hear that you’ve already been thinking about these things, because brands looking for mobile users aren’t too different from people looking for love. Both are trying to figure out how to plant the seed for a long and fulfilling relationship, both are looking to attract attention without coming off as desperate, and both depend on spending a lot of time and energy on an app.

When it comes to both dating and mobile marketing, a long-term relationship is both rare and precious. One in four mobile apps are abandoned after a single use, and within 30 days, the average app will lose around 58% of its users — a startling statistic to anyone who’s ever been ghosted. And just like a text that never gets a response, more than 60% of users turn off push notifications in some categories.

Of course, there are best practices — for both dating and mobile marketing — that can maximize your odds of success. Read on to find out how to grow your app’s user base (and just how far we can take this metaphor)!

Getting the First Date

There are a lot of misconceptions around the ways that romantic relationships start today. TV shows depict chance encounters at bars or clubs that end happily ever after for both parties, but only 9% of people marry someone they met on the bar scene. It’s more common for people to find their partners online (59% of Americans see online dating as a great way to meet people) or in their friend groups (40% of people said they were platonic friends first before dating).

QR code appears in rerun of Friends taking users to Lego's Cyber Monday Sale

Similarly, old ideas about getting an initial install (the mobile marketing equivalent of a first date) need to be reevaluated. For instance, not all of your downloads need to be part of the mobile web-to-app journey — using QR codes, you can engage users in the real world and on desktop computers and get them to download your app.

That said, there’s still room for tradition when it comes to promoting your app. It’s crucial to make sure that you follow best practices for app store optimization, which differ from the Apple App Store to the Google Play Store. Still, some tactics are universal — such as replying to reviews to keep your aggregate score as high as possible. After all, nobody likes an unanswered love letter.

Making a Good First Impression

In both the dating world and the app world, making a good first impression is critical to success. It takes the average person seven seconds to reach their first impression, and in a dating context, that’s enough time for them to form up to eleven different judgments about a person. The mobile landscape is equally unforgiving, with apps that offer unpleasant user experiences getting deleted, or closed and never reopened.

Some app churn is unavoidable, but there are ways to minimize it, especially when it comes to users’ initial reactions. It’s important that a user’s first app experience is a helpful and productive one — that means developers have to make sure that they don’t overwhelm users with onboarding and registration right off the bat. Instead, they have to make sure that the user is immediately presented with what makes the app valuable — whether that’s access to an ordering screen, special deals, or even just data.

It’s also crucial to make sure that data that users have already entered on a website is still present when they’re taken to the app. The process of sending web users to the App Store to download an app and then, once they have, retaining their information and bringing them back to the same page in-app is called deferred deep linking. Branch’s Journeys product consists of web banners and interstitials that deep link customers to brands’ apps, retaining all of their information in the process.

screenshot showing example of smart banner used for deferred deep linking

Making Your Move

In any romantic relationship, the question of taking things to the next level will inevitably come up — whatever that next level is. Whether we’re talking about cohabitation, engagement, or anything else, the timelines will be different for every couple. There are some constants, though — an increased level of urgency when it comes spending time together, more communication when not together, and a level of commitment on the part of both parties.

In mobile marketing, the equivalent of making your move is converting app users to paid customers. With both parties expecting more from one another, the relationship gets a whole lot more serious after that — but it can also get a lot more fulfilling. Like in a relationship, mobile marketers will want to follow certain best practices to get to that next level. In this case, urgency means reminding a customer of the deals they can receive, while communication involves targeted ads and messaging. Finally, you can remind customers of the level of commitment they’ve already shown thus far in order to get them to continue it.

screenshot showing examples of how to communicate urgency to customers

Avoiding the Breakup

It’s sad to say, but many romantic relationships end in breakups. Sometimes this is the best for both parties, but other times, it’s less unanimous. The truth is, people can’t really change other people’s opinions of them, but there are some tactics you can follow — showing your true personality, for instance — to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward when it comes to romantic efforts.

Similarly, mobile marketers might find themselves in a position where their apps are no longer being used, effectively putting them in limbo. Again, this can be avoided by getting personal — in this case, offering your users a personalized experience. An app can leverage customers’ past data (their locations, their past purchases, even their names) to send personalized messages and even offer exclusive rewards. This is a great way to get lapsed customers spending money again.

screenshot exemplifying channels from which marketers can access customer data

The Bottom Line

Finding a romantic partner and gaining app users may seem unrelated on the surface, but the two processes have more in common than one might think. If you put in the effort and follow best practices, both relationships can be sources of lasting joy. This Valentine’s Day and beyond, show your appreciation for the people who make life special — friends, lovers, and customers alike.

For more information on courting your users, make sure to check out Branch’s exclusive webinar on the subject!

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Branch provides the industry's leading mobile linking and measurement platforms, offering solutions that unify user experience and attribution across devices and channels. Branch has been selected by over 100,000 apps since 2014 including Adobe, BuzzFeed, Yelp, and many more, improving experiences for more than 3 billion monthly users across the globe. Learn more about Branch or contact sales today.

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