13 Places You Should Be Tracking Your App Marketing

When hunting rabbits the more traps you set the better. Your chances at capture increase. Similarly, the more you market your app the more likely you are to gain more users. The question then becomes: which locations are the best for catching rabbits?

When hunting for app users, the holy grail of data is knowing the performance for each of your marketing channels – how many hits each one gets and how many users each one brings in. As soon as you have this performance information you can tweak what you’re doing and improve results immensely. Simple user tracking is how it all starts.

To collect this data you can fingerprint traffic (prospects) in two ways:

1) Shortlinks – redirect your visitors to an app store download page, while recording how many clicks and new users each link generates. 


2) Web widget – place a snippet of JavaScript on each of your website’s pages to see which websites are your biggest referrers of new app users and which of your web pages drive the most app installs. 


Note: both methods use publicly available information to create an identifiable profile for each user, allowing you to know when a user completes a desired behaviour. No harm done. No privacy breached.

So where should you begin setting up these fingerprint check-points? Here’s a few ideas to get you started, along with the best method for tracking each one.

12 Places To Track Your App Marketing

1) Mobile Ad Networks and Exchanges (shortlinks)




Anytime you promote your app on an ad exchange or ad network, place a shortlink in your ad to discover which apps and channels bring you the most new users. Split-test your creative and copy by using unique shortlinks in your ad variants.


2) Mobile Web Ads (shortlinks)



Think banner ads on a mobile web browser. Traffic on the mobile web is under-priced for a hand full of reasons, so take advantage of that. While most people are buying traffic on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click) basis, unaware of their conversions, you can buy the same traffic and measure it on a CPA (cost per action) basis – based on app installs – because, with shortlinks, you know when a click turns into a new user.


3) Mobile Web Splash Pages


Mobile splash pages are a great way to get mobile visitors to download your app instead of using your mobile website. HootSuite offers a perfect example.

4) Smart App Banners (shortlinks)


Place Smart App Banners on your website to encourage non-users to try out your mobile app and view results to see how well they work.

5) Your Website (web widget)


Whether you’re a media publisher like Bleacher Report, an independent dev with a single web page or an app publisher with many, placing the web widget on your site gives you referral information for every visitor and conversion rates, so you can see which of your articles or web pages are best at convincing visitors to try your app.

Note: the web widget works as a great fall-back to shortlinks. If a visitor hasn’t been previously fingerprinted by a shortlink the web widget will take care of that.

6) Your blog (web widget and shortlinks)


Find out how much your blog efforts are really worth. Discover which posts make an impression on your audience and convince them to download your app. Use shortlinks inside your posts if you want to learn which specific links or areas of your blog are most effective at converting new prospects.

7) Guest Posts on Other Blogs (web widget and shortlinks)


Guest posting is how Buffer grew it’s user base from 0 to 100,000. It’s a great way to grow your audience, build awareness of your project and build relationships with influencers online. If you want to place a link to your app in the guest post use a shortlink. Otherwise, the web widget on your site will tell you which blogs are sending you the most new users.

8) Video (shortlinks)


If you’re publishing videos on a network like Youtube add an app download button (with a shortlink) at the end. You can also add them in mid-roll if it makes more sense. Youtube’s analytics allow you to see which device your videos are being viewed on so you can optimize their design, length content and calls to action.

Another video hosting service, Wistia, tells you which parts of your videos people watch and where they drop out, so you can place your app download button at the most-viewed point.

9) All Other Content: Ebooks, Slide decks, Quora comments etc.

Anytime you author something and share your thoughts you’re building trust and familiarity with your audience. Add shortlinks into your writing and content to see how your efforts affect downloads.

10) Social Networks


Social media is like word of mouth on steroids. Try using shortlinks in your:

Bios – send visitors directly to your app download page.

Updates – learn what sort of updates (text, video, pictures) and copy are successful at convincing people to download your app.

Social Referrals (Viral Loop) – measure how well your viral features work. Assign each user a unique shortlink to see who refers the most new users. It’s great for contests.

11) Press Coverage (web widget)


How valuable is press coverage to you? By placing the web widget on your site you can see how many visits your coverage draws in, and how many of those visits convert into app users. Find out which press opportunities are the best fit for your app, and focus on them.

Tip: get more love from journalists with these 10 tips for writing better press releases.

12) Email Marketing


Email marketing isn’t old school. It’s one of the most valuable ways to chat with prospects and customers. It’s direct and you have complete control over it. Use shortlinks in the emails you send out: blog posts, newsletters, support emails.

Tip: add a shortlink to download your app in your email signatures.


13) Demo your app on the web and Facebook with App.io


We recently came across App.io and wrote all about how it can help you stand out and capture more users. It’s a really powerful service that allows you to embed your mobile app in HTML and showcase it to prospective users anywhere on the web, including Facebook pages and the newsfeed. Prospects can download your app directly from the demo, and, with Tapstream, you can track how many new users it drives.

Your Turn

Unsure which 50% of your marketing is working? Start collecting the data behind where your app users come from. It’s incredible what you can accomplish once you have some information to guide your marketing decisions.