Blog Email marketing for mobile apps: A compr...

Email marketing for mobile apps: A comprehensive guide

Email marketing for mobile apps is a powerful and effective tool that’s crucial for your overall marketing strategy. On average, email marketing can offer an impressive return on investment (ROI) of 3600% or a return of US$36 for every $1 spent. This strategy is particularly effective among modern consumers, especially millennials and Gen Z in the U.S., with 79% and 57% preferring to receive brand communications via email, respectively. These statistics highlight the significant role of email marketing for mobile apps and emphasize its effectiveness in engaging a young, tech-forward audience, which is essential for successful app promotion.

To fully harness the potential of email marketing for mobile apps and avoid common pitfalls, it is essential to grasp and master the nuances. This comprehensive guide takes a deep dive into how to tailor your app's email marketing strategy. In this detailed exploration, we will:

  • Define what email marketing for mobile apps means
  • Explore why email marketing is important for mobile apps
  • Outline how to develop and optimize your email marketing strategy
  • Share industry best practices for effectively marketing your mobile apps via email
  • Provide examples of successful email marketing campaigns designed for mobile apps

What is an email marketing strategy?

Marketing emails can be used to send your users regular newsletters, important updates, and promotional offers. They can successfully improve your mobile app’s retention rates, ROI, and brand awareness.

Why is email marketing for mobile apps important?

Email marketing is a vital tool for brand building and user engagement in today's competitive app marketplace. It is critical in increasing customer retention, especially for small to midsize businesses. In fact, 81% of these businesses rely on email marketing to acquire new users, and 80% utilize it to maintain their existing user base.

Email marketing provides a consistent and direct channel for reaching users, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. By alerting customers to promotional offers, you make them feel valued and ultimately drive higher ROI. Unlike social media platforms, where content visibility is subject to algorithms, email marketing ensures direct delivery to the subscriber's inbox (as long as the content is not flagged as spam). This direct line of communication is invaluable, as subscribers have already expressed interest in your content, making them ideal recipients for your latest app promotions and updates.

How to put together an email marketing campaign

Learn about your audience

Before starting your email marketing campaign for your mobile app, you must thoroughly understand your app users' profiles, desires, and behavior patterns. You can gain valuable insights by using various data collection and analysis techniques, such as user surveys, feedback forms, in-app analytics, and segmentation tools. This understanding allows you to tailor every aspect of your email marketing efforts, including content, design, timing, and frequency, to perfectly align with your users' preferences, requirements, and expectations.

Set your targets

Effective email marketing for mobile apps starts with a thorough pre-launch analysis. It is vital to establish clear goals for your campaign. Each email should be strategically designed with a specific purpose, whether it is to increase app downloads, boost user engagement, drive conversions, or reduce churn rates. You can draw insights from past email marketing examples as it helps identify areas that need improvement.

To effectively monitor the success of your campaign, metrics such as open rates, click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and retention rates are essential. These measures are critical for optimizing your mobile email marketing approach, ensuring each campaign resonates with your audience's preferences.

How to develop your pre-launch email marketing strategy

  • Choose an email service provider: Once you have established clear targets for your mobile app email marketing campaign, the next important step is selecting the appropriate email service provider. This decision should be guided by your specific goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Evaluate providers based on their capability to meet your campaign's creative requirements and performance benchmarks, ensuring they align with your overall strategy.
  • Build a mailing list: Building a comprehensive mailing list is also crucial. This can be achieved by implementing engaging pop-ups on your official website and providing in-app options for users to subscribe. Clearly communicate the benefits they will receive upon signing up, enhancing the value proposition for your target audience.
  • Optimize your emails for desktop and mobile: Optimizing your emails for mobile is a critical step for a successful email marketing campaign. Over 41% of email views occur on mobile devices, and nearly half of smartphone users, 46%, prefer receiving business communications via email. With a significant number of users accessing emails on smartphones and tablets, ensuring that your content is tailored for various mobile screen sizes and operating systems is essential. This includes implementing responsive design, automatically adjusting content to fit any screen, and ensuring optimal readability and engagement. You should craft concise, compelling subject lines and prominently place clear call-to-actions (CTAs) to capture the mobile user's attention quickly. Remember to also incorporate images and videos optimized for mobile.

A/B test your email campaigns

A/B testing plays a pivotal role in improving the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. By experimenting with different elements such as subject lines, email content, and CTA, you can gather empirical data to guide you to make informed decisions and refine your campaigns. This continuous improvement process is essential for achieving your email marketing goals, optimizing your strategy, and maximizing ROI.

Deep dive: The ultimate list of A/B testing ideas.

Beta-test your email campaigns

Beta testing is vital for refining your mobile app email marketing campaign. It allows for early identification and resolution of issues, ensuring the campaign's effectiveness and user-friendliness across different devices. By seeking feedback from a specific user group, beta testing provides valuable insights to optimize email design, content, and CTAs. This focused approach enhances user experience and increases engagement.

Deep dive: Essential steps for a well-executed beta test.

What to do after you launch your email marketing campaign

  • Troubleshooting: After launching your email marketing campaign, it is expected to face some challenges. Actively addressing these issues is key to optimizing performance. Utilize the data collected post-launch and gather feedback from email recipients to enhance future campaigns. Negative feedback can also provide insight into user engagement and present opportunities for improvement.
  • Analysis: With the collected data, assess your campaign's performance against your predefined goals. Focus on key metrics and compare them with industry benchmarks to get a clear perspective on your campaign's effectiveness. This analysis is central to understanding user behavior, which informs the strategic direction of subsequent campaigns. The insights gained become benchmarks for continuous improvement, influencing creative aspects and overall strategy.

7 best practices for mobile app email marketing

Here are seven email marketing best practices for mobile apps to help you achieve your targets.

  1. Articulate email value: The success of your email marketing relies on clearly communicating the value of your emails and enticing users to subscribe. Highlight benefits such as exclusive updates on new features and promotions to attract engaged subscribers. Promote subscription opportunities strategically within your app, website, and social media channels, timing the prompts to maximize sign-ups without being intrusive.
  2. Data-driven user targeting: Tailor your emails to meet the specific needs of your audience segments. Use available data to effectively segment your subscribers, ensuring that each email provides value to its intended recipient. This approach will improve open rates and CTRs, ultimately enhancing the overall success of your mobile app email marketing.
  3. Optimize your call-to-action: A well-crafted CTA is essential. Simplify your CTAs to increase effectiveness – studies have shown a significant increase in clicks and sales with a single, clear CTA. Personalized CTAs are much more effective than generic ones, as they can convert 202% better than basic CTAs.
  4. Personalize your emails: Personalization is key in email marketing. Go beyond using the recipient's name and tailor the content to their preferences and behaviors. Marketers who use personalization in their emails see a significant 27% increase in unique click rates and an impressive 11% boost in open rates compared to those who don't.
  5. Interactive email content: Enhance your emails with interactive elements such as GIFs and videos. This increases engagement and sets your emails apart. Studies have shown that interactive content has 52.6% higher engagement than static content.
  6. Maintain a clean email list: Regularly clean your email list to keep it relevant and efficient. Set up reminder campaigns for long-term subscribers to confirm their continued interest and always include an easy unsubscribe option (this is also required under laws like GDPR).
  7. Navigating Gmail’s promotions tab: To ensure that your emails land in the Primary tab in Gmail, avoid using spam-triggering phrases and limit links and images. Direct placement in the Primary tab increases visibility and engagement for your email marketing campaigns.

Examples of successful mobile app email marketing campaigns

Here are three examples of how you can use email marketing to continue engaging with your app users:

Uber Eats

Strategic email marketing can effectively cultivate ongoing user engagement with your app. Uber Eats serves as a prime example of this. They frequently email their app users, offering enticing discount codes and promotions. This approach encourages users to continue using the app and reinforces their loyalty by providing value in each interaction.

An example of email marketing from Uber Eats, offering a discount code.


To provide value for your users, consider using email to share helpful tips and tricks. For example, Grammarly, a well-known writing enhancement tool, excels in this space. They regularly send emails with writing tips and strategies aimed at helping users improve their writing skills. This approach also fosters a stronger connection between the user and the app.

An example of email marketing from Grammarly, providing useful tips for multilingual speakers.


You can also use email as a strategic tool to regularly remind users about your app's unique functionalities and benefits, like Klarna, a leading buy now pay later (BNPL) service. This approach helps keep your app top-of-mind and reinforces the value it offers. You can encourage more frequent and effective usage by highlighting key features, updates, or underutilized tools within your app.

An example of email marketing from Klarna, showcasing the app's functionalities and benefits.

To learn how to measure all of your mobile marketing efforts, including email marketing, check out Adjust’s suite of analytics products or set up a demo today.

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