App development is great. Having come up with a great idea, understood how to build an app to serve it, and launched that product on the market is a huge achievement. Once it’s out there, of course, is when the real work starts: because for an app to be worth all that work, it needs to have users. And that user base needs to grow.

There is a range of ways to increase app engagement, and we’ve covered several of them before on this very blog. You can think about social media and in-app rewards, referral schemes and loyalty bonuses. How you can enhance engagement effectively often depends on the exact stripe of app you have built: think carefully about your audience before committing to any one channel.

That said, one method that is perhaps surprisingly effective in enhancing engagement is email. Surprising, maybe, because it feels so “old-school”: apps are of the now, and in the age of COVID-19 have never been more urgent; can the best way to market them and increase your user base really be a technology from the dawn of online life?

Put simply, yes. Email is an improbably effective tool to increase your app engagement as it remains as one of the most popular marketing strategies. People still open their emails. If they are already signed up to your app, website or service they are even more likely to do so. Critically, emails arrive in personal inboxes and can be specifically tailored to ensure an instant, individual connection. And this is powerful.

Identify your goals

An email alone, however, won’t increase your app engagement. There needs to be a well-thought-out strategy in place as this will affect all the decisions you will need to make in regards to the campaign.

To do that, the first thing you need to identify is the goal. Increased app engagement is obvious in this case but it needs to be more specific than that – something measurable and specific. A campaign with a specific goal in mind will provide an easy way of tracking your progress and identifying the success of your campaign later down the line.

Segment your audience

Once you’ve got your goal, you need to think quite carefully about your audience and how it uses your application. What is the user journey through your app, and more importantly, what is their relationship with your business? Do you get many downloads but few long-term users? Do you have a loyal user base which isn’t referring your app to their friends? These are different problems and will need to be dealt with individually.

Most of the time, you will have more than one target audience and you will need to adjust your email campaign accordingly. For example, an email to a brand new customer – to one you’re seeking simply to bring on board – will be very different from a long-term user who has fallen dormant. So first, divide up your user base into segments: for example, non-users, new users, retained users, profitable users, dormant users. Now you can communicate more usefully with each, and tailor each email version in a way that will make the most impact on each segment.

What is the problem your email marketing is trying to solve? If you don’t have enough users, you may want to aim a campaign at people with whom your business has contacts who are yet to download your app. If you have a lot of users who aren’t active, you’ll want to target your dormant users. In either case, you’ll be offering a different value proposition: non-users will need to be convinced to download your app; dormant users will need to incentivised to start using it.

Whatever your segmentation, be aware that not all of your users or prospects are the same. Email allows very granular communication – so make use of that. Once you understand how a given user interacts with your app, you can use a well-written email to get them back on track, seamlessly bringing them back into your ideal user journey.

Track and measure your results

Critically, you also need to monitor the results of each of your campaigns: which worked best, which had less of an impact than you’d hoped? Once you understand these metrics, you can drill down and create better campaigns for next time: tighter messaging, better segmentation, and ultimately, therefore, greater ROI.

Know your goals; understand your user;  monitor your campaigns closely. That’s how to increase app engagement using email marketing.

Contact ImagePlus for Mobile App Marketing

At ImagePlus, we provide mobile app design and development for all project requirements, both consumer and business apps. But our team at Image Plus – our sister company – can help with all your marketing needs including the deployment of email marketing campaigns for your app. 

Call us on 024 7683 4780 or email us at

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