I’m not saying “don’t ask customers to download your app”, I’m just saying that getting customers to download your app should be less like fishing with dynamite and more like spearfishing. Jump into the ocean, swim around, follow the fish until you see a good one and when the time is right, take your shot. You may miss, but if you don’t you’ll catch a good fish.
In that analogy, dynamite fishing implies that you may get some good fish, you may get some bad fish and you may get no fish. The bad fish are those customers who download your app, never use it and then delete it. There is no point measuring your download rate if you don’t consider your uninstall rate.
To truly increase your app download rates, get to know your customers, follow the ones that survived the blast, look for behaviour that suggests that these customers may benefit in having your app and then when the time is right, take your shot and remind them that you have an app.
I recently ran a test where my hypothesis was “I can increase app download rates by targeting customers who are more engaged”. Once a customer met a given criteria, I showed them the app download banner again. (Engagement can be a number of things, from repeat visits to the site, registration, multiple purchases, community interaction, creating an account etc…) The test was fairly simplistic, I could have used sophisticated models, personalised messaging or other reminders, but I wanted to prove my hypothesis first.
Below are the results. I’ve anonymised the actual results and the criteria to protect the data but you can see that in both of my variations I saw a significant uplift in my download rate. The second variation increased by 31%!