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Mobile Marketing

6 Ways to Attract Mobile App Usage from your Web Experience

Ashley Sefferman  //  November 2, 2017  //  8 min read

Brands’ omnichannel experiences offer consumers a chance to connect with them wherever they go, through whatever medium they prefer. However, the world has already gone mobile, and brands of every size—especially those who were not built with a mobile-first approach—still feel pressure when it comes to encouraging customers to use their mobile apps versus their web experiences.

Moving traffic away from the web and into an app is no easy feat, especially when you target your legacy customers and try to change their behavior. When the goal is to drive more customers to your app, what can you do to encourage more customers to check out your offerings via mobile?

It can be difficult, but with the right strategy and execution, it’s completely possible. To get you started, here are six ways to attract mobile app usage from your web experience.

1. Perfect your app’s landing page

Building a landing page to help market your mobile app is a crucial part of growing your customer base. There’s no better way to expand your app’s reach by enticing downloads through giving a preview of the product through videos and images; linking to your social channels to better connect with potential customers; listing contact information outside of the app stores so customers can reach out to you directly; and more.

To start, register your domain (e.g., and set up a landing page, complete with your app’s name and description and a form for visitors to sign up for email alerts on your app’s progress. Landing pages can be set up with no cost or hassle with a tool like Instapage or Wix.


Venmo is a great example of how to set a landing page up to drive customers to download an app.

Once your landing page is live, you can start collecting leads, offer a preview of your app press and early adopters, and integrate with an analytics or A/B testing tool to test variations of your messaging strategy.

If you’re to integrate analytics, Instapage is readily equipped for A/B testing and Wix has a number of plug-ins that will do the trick. Third-party tools, like Google Analytics and Optimizely, can also be integrated with most web pages. And if you’re new to A/B testing, Unbounce has a great guide written specifically for landing page optimization.

2. Include a clear call to action

Once people arrive at your app’s landing page, what’s the next step? If you want them to take the next step in downloading your app, make it clear for them. Hidden buttons won’t do the trick; you want to pull your calls to action out front-and-center so there is no guessing involved.

It’s crucial to be straightforward in your messaging so that potential customers don’t get lost along the way. To avoid confusion, stick to large, bright buttons to draw attention to the next step in the download process. Be sure to A/B test your options so you can understand which color/positioning/content works best for your users. If you’re interested in reading more about A/B testing on mobile, check out this great guide from App Samurai.


The Acorns app landing page showcases their CTA extremely well. It’s bright, efficient, and well-placed.

In addition, it’s imperative to limit your CTAs to one per page. The more options people have to take, the more potential there is for activity that detracts from actually downloading your app. Remove any CTAs that don’t lead to “download now” if growing your app’s user base is your primary goal.

3. Leverage Notes to encourage app downloads from mobile web

Encouraging your mobile web-based customers to download your app at the right place and time across your web experience can be extremely effective. Notes are a one-time message that enable you to engage a broad group of your customers. Notes allow you to link to different interactions, specific locations within your app via a deep link, or even to a web page by adding different button options. They’re easy to configure from the Apptentive dashboard, launch in five minutes or less, can be turned on and off as needed, and can be scheduled to launch automatically.

Your Note can include simple content like “Improve your experience by downloading our app.” The more straightforward and brief your Note’s message is, the better. Try not to oversell your app with content before a customer gets to your app store landing page; the app will speak for itself once they get to that point.

You know your customers’ behavior best, so make sure to find the right “mobile moments” to trigger a Note within your experience so you don’t disrupt their flow. To start, think about the in-app message you’re sending to figure out timing and placement. In the instance of driving web customers to download your mobile app, your message will require an action, so it should occur at a time when a customer is not taking a high-value action (like completing a purchase or a level). Trigger your Note during a non-disruptive moment rather than interrupting the action the customer came to you to take in the first place.

For more best practices on how to use Notes, check out our guide.

4. Learn from customers already using your app

To get a sense of how customers feel about your mobile app experience in order to foster a similar emotion in new users, you must start by tracking customer sentiment. Sentiment is the emotion behind customer engagement. Whether a customer completes a purchase, leaves a review, or takes a specific in-app action, there is always an emotional state connected to their action. Customer sentiment can range anywhere from pleased or loving to neutral or angry, and no matter where your customers fall on the sentiment spectrum, it’s imperative you understand not only what their emotional state is, but what’s driving it.

To truly understand what makes customers loyal to your app, gauging sentiment is key. And in order to gauge sentiment, you have to ask! There are three main ways to gauge sentiment in order to understand what current app customers like about the experience:

  • Willingness to recommend. The most effective way to gain new customers is through word-of-mouth recommendations from current customers, even though it’s difficult for marketers to calculate. To understand your customers’ willingness to recommend, the best way is to ask customers yourself. To do so, we recommend leaning on Net Promoter Score.
  • Love Dialog to ask “Do you love this app?” Customer reviews are a great way to track sentiment, and in-app ratings prompts can help inspire customers to leave their thoughts on your mobile experience. Ratings prompts can be placed intelligently throughout your app to help understand customer sentiment, and typically look something like this:
    Love Dialog
    Once your “Do you love X?” question has been answered, you’re able to segment the customers who said “yes” into a survey/open-ended message to learn more (outside of the traditional ask of rating your app, but perhaps more important for your knowledge in this case). You can also get in touch with the customers who answered “no” to understand how their experience can be improved before doubling down on driving new customers to use your app.
  • Direct customer feedback. Most companies with a digital presence have a way for customers to contact them directly (think customer support emails, chat functionality, etc.). However, very few companies leverage these channels as a way of tracking customer sentiment, leaving a huge well of data untapped. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you by providing two-way messaging in your app by using Message Center.

Taking the time to ask customers why their user your app, while they’re in your app, is a sure-fire way to learn more about what makes your app great, what can be improved, and how to market it to future customers.

5. Allow for text and email download options

There is a strong chance potential customers will use their desktop devices when they find out how useful your app can be. Rather than counting the missed download as a loss, close the gap by making it easier for them to download your app when they get back to their mobile device by leveraging the power of SMS text and email.

Text messages can be used to encourage app installs. A button on your web experience with a CTA like “Get link” will allow users to enter their phone number for sending the app’s information to their mobile device. With this option, people can install the app when they get back to their phone and open the SMS. You’re able to solve a visibility issue with your app in this way: if the potential customer can’t easily find the app in the app store when they search for it, the likelihood of installation is extremely low.

Additionally, consider setting up an email that allows customers to download your app. Sending a download link over email is a handy, easy way to remind people to download your app once they’re back on their mobile device. Email is incredibly easy to manage and automate, and people tend to be looser with sharing their email than their phone number.

6. Make sure your app is discoverable in the app stores

The goal of App Store Optimization (ASO) is to boost discoverability to drive more traffic to your app’s landing page in the app stores so that searchers can take a specific action: downloading your app. Of course, ASO is an ongoing process, thanks both to the continually evolving ranking algorithms and to the competitive nature of the app stores. A successful ASO strategy requires a keen eye, a penchant for analytics, and regular check-ins, so keeping up with ASO best practices is imperative to growth.

Finance apps

Apps ranking highly in the “Finance” App Store category.

For a complete list of tips to begin or improve your ASO, strategy, check out our free Guide to App Store Optimization. In the meantime, here are a handful of our favorite ASO tips:

  • Encourage ratings and feedback. A consistent flow of positive reviews serves as the highest possible validation of your app’s quality and one of the highest determinants of rank. Across the board, apps with a large volume of positive ratings dominate the top charts.
  • Understand your customer and your competition. A well-formed ASO strategy hinges on understanding how your customers use your app, along with a deep view of your competitive landscape. It’s equally important to survey your competition to identify which keywords are being targeted by apps similar to yours. You can then determine whether or not it makes sense to target these same keywords or a separate set of keywords unique to your individual value proposition.
  • Maximize your keywords. Many strategies apply across the board when it comes to the different app stores, but the App Store and the Google Play Store have two very different approaches when it comes to ASO keywords. Be sure to understand both world views as you plan your app’s keyword strategy. Most importantly, write for the customer first, and make small edits for keywords next—remember that the ranking algorithms take both keywords and conversion metrics into account.
  • Include screenshots and videos. Like icons, screenshots in your description may not have a direct effect on search rankings, but they do drive downloads. Images convey more about what it actually is and bring your descriptive text to life, allowing potential customers to visualize using your app before they make the download.

Go forth and drive new mobile app usage

Encouraging your web-based customers to download your mobile app isn’t easy; we humans are programmed for habit, and when a customer is used to your web-based experience, they may be resistant to change. Ultimately it’s up to you to build a fantastic app that provides a unique, useful experience, and to communicate how the product can improve your customers’ interactions with your brand if they give it a try.

Lean on the six tips above to get you started, and share your experience with us in the comments below!

About Ashley Sefferman

Ashley Sefferman is Director of Marketing at Apptentive. A digital communication and content strategy enthusiast, she writes about multichannel engagement strategies, customer communication, and making the digital world a better place for people. Follow Ashley on Twitter at @ashseff.
View all posts by Ashley Sefferman >

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