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The Funnel Approach to Mobile App Marketing

Originally Posted By Will Seaton  | April 2 , 2015  | 4-min read
Jayraj on September 3, 2020  
Funnel Approach - Appy Pie

When you create your first mobile app, you’re not likely to understand an app’s various nuances. When it comes to mobile app marketing, most marketers are clueless. And if you have a small business, you’re unlikely to be able to hire a professional.

What that means is you might need to do mobile app marketing on your own. Thankfully, there is good news for you. Mobile app marketing is very similar to website marketing. To make it even simpler for you, we’re going to explain mobile app marketing through a sales funnel model. As a small business owner, you are very likely to know the sales funnel model works. The mobile app marketing funnel is an adaptation of that and is quite similar to normal website marketing.

Before we go into that here’s an infographic encapsulating more about web marketing strategies used for mobile marketing.

Web Marketing Strategies to Mobile - Appy Pie

Apps use a slightly different set of analytical tools than websites, however, there are many equivalencies between the two, some obvious, that translate across platforms. Here’s how a current web marketer’s skillset can be easily reapplied to apps.

Looking at Your Funnel

In general, the funnel is how you move a user from recognizing an app, to downloading it, to engaging meaningfully with its contents, to performing a desired action (e.g. making a purchase, reading an article, watching a video, etc.)

As we move from one end of the funnel to the other, many analytical metrics used in web marketing translate literally to the app world. Here are some web marketing buzzwords that define the parts of the funnel, placed alongside their corresponding app jargon:

Top of the Funnel (TOFU)

This part of the funnel focuses on metrics that determine the consumer’s awareness of an app.

  • Site Traffic = Downloads
  • Just as site traffic would aid in evaluating a website’s SEO, downloads help determine an app’s App Store Optimization (ASO) and, at its simplest, the number of people who install an app.

  • Visitors = Users
  • These are the people actively using an app. They demonstrate slightly more commitment than a visitor would to a site (because they have to download the app). This helps you track user segments and find deeper user engagement.

  • Pageviews = Sessions
  • This is counted simply as the time from when a user opens an app and interacts with it to when it’s closed.

Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)

These metrics help to analyze how your users are actually engaging with the app itself.

  • Monthly Unique Site Visitors = Monthly Active Users (MAUs)
  • This allows you to see how many users have accessed your app in the past 30 days and thus analyzes the trends those users display.

  • Target Audience = User Segments
  • This is a set group of users who all share similar characteristics. Groups like these are essential for personalized marketing campaigns and targeted in-app strategies like push notifications.

  • Time on Page = Time on Screen
  • This metric measures how much time users spend on each screen of your app. It allows you to see where users are looking, how much time they’re spending there, and most importantly, where they’re navigating away from too quickly.

Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)

This end of the funnel gives you a window into the all-important conversion, or what meaningful actions users are taking within the app. These should lead, again, to the “ultimate” conversion, the desired action of the user.

  • Conversions = Events
  • Simply put, these are the actions taken by users in an app, which depends on what functionalities your platform offers.

  • Bounce Rate = Funnel Drop-Off Rate
  • This measures the number of users who enter one stage of the conversion process and exit without completing it, a phenomenon called “dropping off.” You’ll want to analyze the rate for each stage of your funnel to get a holistic picture of where your app is most and least effective.

  • Revenue per Visitor = User Lifetime Value (LTV)
  • The LTV provides an assessment of how much a user is worth throughout their total engagement of the app, and should be used as a primary gauge of revenue. This goes beyond revenue generated solely through downloads and incorporates a user’s loyalty to an app over time.

Theory in Practice

In order to really take these ideas for a walk, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty and experiment using actual apps and real analytic data. Fortunately, there are fast and inexpensive ways to develop apps, bring them to market, and test-fire your analytics. Not only that, you can also create your eventual business mobile app. You can start for free now with the no-code development tool Appy Pie AppMakr.

Create Your First App

More on Mobile App Marketing

Once you understand the funnel that your strategy must follow, it is time to move on to the strategies. To help with creating a mobile app marketing strategy, here’s a free video course discussing everything you need to know about mobile app marketing.

Coming to analytics, here’s a guide about the various KPIs/Key Performance Indicators for your mobile app marketing analytics. Following that, I recommend reading a few case studies about various successful app marketing strategies.


The application of a sales funnel to mobile app marketing can help make it easier for every marketer involved. You as a marketer can finally create a marketing workflow that actually works.Talking about creative workflows, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check out Appy Pie Connect. It’s a life changing workflow automation system. What is a workflow automation system, you ask?. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s another blog to help you learn more about workflow automation and its various processes.

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

App Builder

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