July 28th, 2013 | 3 MIN READ

7 Ways to Promote Your Mobile App from Your Mobile Site

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Developing an ecommerce app is less than half the battle - promoting it is key to getting actual downloads. It's a no-brainer to use your mobile website to do this, but how you promote your mobile app can have a positive or negative impact on your app download conversion and your mobile website KPIs.

Today's post looks at 7 options:

Splash Page

An old usability nightmare of the Web has made a comeback on mobile websites. Splash pages promoting mobile apps are quite common, but risk that the user bails without entering the site.

Remember, a mobile visitor that arrives with a direct browser type-in is looking for your site, not an app. Your app may be a perfect replica of your site, but downloading it takes extra user action, takes them away from your site, and takes up memory on the user's device. A splash page that pushes your app is promoting your goals, not the user's goals for their visit to your site.

If you choose to take an in-your-face approach to your call-to-action, you better back it up with compelling reasons why the user should bother, and provide a clear link / button to proceed to the mobile website.

Note: Be careful not to cause FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) with your callout. Offering discounts to app users only may put off customers that prefer to use your site.

Geolocation tools can improve usability for visitors in geographies that your app can't serve by sending them directly to your site.

Light Box

Light boxes are also risky, they're an extra point of friction in the journey to your site content. They may, however, be perceived as less intrusive -- something to test against a full splash page.

Idea: Use device recognition to serve the appropriate callout

This saves your having to use multiple buttons for different platforms.

App Store Banner

You have the option of placing a banner callout top-of-screen that links directly to the Apple App Store, for example. This banner disappears as the user scrolls down or closes the X. It's a non-intrusive approach, but it doesn't allow room for value proposition text beyond star ratings.

Some sites combine splash page with banner - no need. Pick one or the other.

Custom Banner

If you want more design flexibility, you can always craft your own collapsible banner.

Larger banners stand out more, but also push more content down the screen. Another approach to test.

Hero Shot

Similar to the custom banner, but non-collapsible,

Note: Don't be a tease, if you offer extra features in your app, tell what they are.

CTA Button

Using a simply styled button can be effective, but note it can be overlooked easily (user test).


The most subtle way to promote your app is in your navigation menu. Regardless of your home page approach, it's a good idea to double-up with a nav link that appears site-wide.

To make it stand out, consider styling it in a different color from other menu options.

The app alternative

If you don't have an app, you can alternatively encourage visitors to bookmark your site to their home screen.

Because this requires user action to close, make sure to test this against not using the callout to determine its impact on bounce rate.

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