On the one hand, there is a Report On TechCrunch which surmises that in 2016, the global app downloads increased by 15 percent and the time spent accessing apps increased by 25 percent.

On the other hand, there is a Report By Deloitte which reveals that 80% of the app developers struggle to generate the first 1000 downloads.

Despite the global smartphone penetration, 68% of the smartphone users access a maximum of five apps in a week. The industry is in flux – we have smart and creative apps in the market, but companies are struggling to get people to use them. In the same vein, the marketing prospect of the apps is cluttered because brand marketers try to implement the same strategies as other marketers, leading to a chasm in the marketing ecosystem.

In this article, we are going to talk about a direct marketing channel which has been successful in generating app downloads. The channel is SMS marketing, and through this, marketers could generate a 36% click-through rate, which is astonishingly high for this industry. Data from Smart Insights reveal that between email marketing and SMS marketing, the latter has eight times higher engagement rate.

With these insights, let us explore how you can effectively use the SMS channel to increase app downloads.

1. Timing and Timezones

Campaigns sent at improper times are known to drastically decrease the click through rate, irrespective of the channel used. In SMS, you are in direct communication with the prospect audience. Since everyone uses a smartphone, the potential of an SMS being seen instantly on the receipt is high. However, a marketer loses this opportune window by sending a campaign at the wrong time.

If the app is for the global audience, schedule the SMS at different Timezones. The time for sending in the USA will be different from the time in Australia. Understand the cultural perspectives of the target audience. For example, if you have a food app and the target market comprises of USA-based working professionals in the 25-35 age group with high spending potential, you can send them an area-based targeted SMS during the lunch hours.

Target, market, convert…rinse and repeat!

2 Ensure Compliance

Like email marketing has spam, unsolicited cold SMS can get the marketer or the brand into trouble if the users do not receive a way to opt out of the SMS Marketing pipeline. In 2014, Information Commissioner Office received 175,000 complaints of SMS spam, and if required, they can take strict actions against the SMS sender. Hence, to avoid all this, give the SMS receivers a way to opt-out of them in future. This can be sent either with the campaign message or as a follow-up message.

3 Personalized CTA

Any experienced marketer will positively suggest that sending personalised messages, through any channel, gets a higher response than generic messages. Ensure that the SMS at least contains the first name of the person. Here is an Interesting Article you can read on the positive impact of personalised messages. The personalised ones receive 75% higher engagement than non-personalized ones. Therefore, ensure that your data source is trustworthy and contains the data pointers to create a stable SMS marketing campaign.

4 Measuring ROI

You need definite analytics on how much ROI are the SMS marketing campaigns generating. Usually, if you are using any SMS management software like BroadNet , you will receive in-house analytics to measure ROI. You can see the number of people clicking on the app links and whether an installation (conversion) happened or not. You can measure which geographical areas perform better than others and reflect on the SMS ad copy to ascertain better response rates. Alternative methods could be using link shortening services like Bitly to measure response and conversions.

5 SMS Ad Copy

You have 160 characters to make an impression.Utilise the space to craft a beautiful message to interest the reader into clicking the app download link. Hire a B2B or B2C copywriter to capitalise on the experience.


You have exactly 24 hours to grab the attention of your prospect. Data quoted initially in the article show than an average app loses 75% of its customer within the first 24 hours of a campaign. It means the receiver either blindly deletes the SMS or reads but chooses not to act. Hence, keep the SMS marketing copy crisp and pursue a logically relevant approach.