Mobile App Marketing Tips For Holiday Season

Mobile App Marketing Tips For Holiday Season

Every mobile marketer should take advantage of the holiday season to promote their brand and app. Through effective holiday-themed marketing campaigns, you’ll drive more engagement, downloads and installs, and sales. However, you must know how to approach holiday season marketing to get the most from your efforts.

To succeed with holiday marketing for apps, you must adequately prepare, organize, and strategize ahead of the holidays. In addition, your app should adapt to this unique marketing environment. To give you some app marketing ideas this holiday season, the following are some helpful holiday season marketing tips to get you started on your next big campaign.

Make a List of All Major Holidays to Consider

You may find that your marketing performs better on certain holidays than on others, but you should consider all possibilities during the holiday season. While you may experience more success on a holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving, it may come as a surprise to you to discover that your campaigns perform just as well or even better on other holidays you may not have targeted.

To make sure you cover as many viable opportunities as possible for holiday marketing, create a complete list of all relevant holidays and identify the ones you want to target. Your complete list of holidays could include the following:

  • November 11 (11.11): Chinese Singles’ Day and Veterans Day
  • November 27: Thanksgiving
  • November 26: Black Friday
  • November 27: Small Business Saturday
  • November 29: Cyber Monday
  • November 30: Giving Tuesday
  • November 28: Start of Hanukkah (Ending: December 6)
  • December 13: Green Monday
  • December 14: Free Shipping Day
  • December 24: Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 26: Start of Kwanzaa (Ending: January 1)
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve
  • January 1: New Year’s Day
  • February 14: Valentines Day

Once you’ve crafted a full list of days to target with holiday marketing campaigns, you can narrow down your selection based on what makes the most sense for your app. Also, you can try experimenting with various holidays and determine which holiday mobile marketing campaigns perform the best. For example, if you’re launching a dating app, Valentine’s Day would be ideal to target, while shopping apps typically benefit from marketing around everything from Thanksgiving and Black Friday to the new year.

Start Your Marketing Campaigns Early

To ensure you’re prepared for the holiday season, it’s critical to begin as early as you can. If your audience tends to initiate its search for Christmas gift ideas in the early fall months, you’ll want to market during this time. In some cases, you may even want to start building up anticipation around the holidays as early as late summer.

As you plan ahead for the holidays, you’ll need to adjust your app and make certain structural changes. You’ll also want to make sure all ads and content are ready before launching your campaigns. If you need some help with connecting with your audience in anticipation of the holidays, Storyly can help with customized and personalized in-app story content, including holiday-themed stories that resonate with users.

Check Your ASO Before the Holidays

One of the most crucial holiday mobile app marketing best practices is app store optimization (ASO). Even if you have the best ads for your app and you effectively reach your audiences with email or other marketing efforts, the app store page will be the ultimate stop before people download and install your app. As such, you must make sure your app store pages are all at their best during the holiday season.

There’s a lot that goes into good ASO, whether you have a page on Apple App Store, Google Play, or multiple platforms. Regardless of where your app is located, take the time to update and optimize app descriptions, screenshots, and icons, all of which can go a long way in driving more installs. Good ASO practices will also help increase visibility in app stores, in much the same way search engine optimization boosts rankings in search engines. This way, people will have a better chance of finding you over competing apps in the same category.

In some cases, you may also want to optimize screenshots and descriptions to advertise certain holiday-themed discounts or sales. For example, you could have images that promote deals around New Year’s Eve, which could drive even more downloads and installs ahead of the holidays.

Use Holiday-Themed Push Notifications

To encourage people to take a desired action, app marketers need to push them. This is why one of the most important holiday digital marketing tips for mobile marketers is to use push notifications to your advantage. With so many competing apps likely to grab people’s attention with their own push notifications, you must do the same in a way that’s truly engaging and unique to your brand.

When using push notifications, personalization and direction are both key. Try to speak more directly to users, which could entail promoting specific products or services based on each user’s purchase history or interests. You can also market different promotions for various segments of your audience. Then, when users click on the notification, you can take them to the corresponding location within your app, instead of the homepage.

Using these personalized stories, you can create personalized communication an interaction through interactive stickers. At the same time, you can provide users with details about discounts, including promo codes. CTAs can also make it easy for users swipe up on discounted products and instantly purchase them, bypassing most of the checkout process.

Although push notifications are important to utilize leading up to and over the holiday season, you must avoid annoying audiences with too many of them. There’s a fine line between engaging your audiences and irritating them, as users will be quick to uninstall apps if they find it to be more of a nuisance than a draw.

Promote Holiday-Themed Offers & Campaigns

Keep in mind that thousands of advertisers will be competing for the same users before, during, and after the holiday season. To make sure your app gets ample attention from prospective and current users, develop a unique icon and an attention-grabbing image on your app store pages, along with a video that clearly defines your app and the value it brings to users.

Always remember that during the holiday season, creativity is key. Through the use of Storyly, you can use a variety of sources and feeds to produce highly engaging and unique stories in your apps. Storyly enables you to fully customize stories using custom texts, colors, and other features based on your existing branding materials. Using these stories, you can announce special sales, offers, events, and more to attract and hold users’ attention in a user-friendly format. You can also easily convince users to take action with one-click buying that allows for instance purchases.

With holiday-themed campaigns behind your marketing, you’ll get people excited for the holidays while ensuring you stay top of mind among audiences over competitors. When it comes time for people to use an app or make purchases, users will be far more likely to turn to your app.

Automate Customer Service

Ahead of the holidays and the likely influx of users and customers, you need to take steps to automate customer service. The fact is that around 71% of people expect brands to use real-time communications, regardless of the time of day or year. However, this can be expensive if you have to put staff on call every hour of every day. One of the best ways to offer app support and other customer service options is to implement automated chatbots.

Chatbots can handle many customer service inquiries and direct people to the right place. AI-driven chatbots can even collect valuable data about users to help you deliver a better customer experience to them. In the process, you’ll benefit from continuous improvement as you learn what customers want from you and your app.

Test Your Campaigns Before Launching Them

This is one of the most important holiday email marketing tips to follow, along with mobile marketing. It’s not enough to develop comprehensive campaigns with consistent messaging and branding across a myriad of ads and other content—you must test these materials to make sure they work. Otherwise, you might find that your marketing dollars go to waste as the holidays approach and your campaigns don’t yield the results you want.

With every campaign you develop, give yourself up to six to eight weeks before the holiday season begins to test your marketing efforts. Specifically, you should run A/B tests to make sure messaging, visuals, and CTAs resonate with audiences. For example, you might have two ads for your app or two different email pieces to send to audiences, each with a single element changed, such as text or an image. By launching both at the same time, you can gauge which performs the best. From there, you can determine which version to drop and which to use in your actual campaigns.

Spending time testing will give you the ability to fully optimize your campaigns before the holidays begin, keeping you prepared.

Connect With Micro-Influencers to Promote Your App

In addition to social media and other marketing efforts, micro-influencers are some of the best resources for app marketers. Based on your specific audience, identify micro-influencers in your niche who people actively follow and trust. Having one or more of these individuals promote and endorse your app can be the key to winning audiences over, supplementing other advertising and marketing efforts.

Through in-app stories, you can even incorporate interactive shoppable videos featuring your influencer of choice for holiday events, which could help further encourage people to buy. A CTA within the video will then make it easy for those users to make a purchase within the app.

When selecting a micro-influencer, practice due diligence before settling on one. Determine if the influencer’s audience is truly engaged and of sufficient size. While targeting your niche is important, targeting the audience within your niche is even more so.

Skyrocket Your Holiday Marketing with In-App Stories

By incorporating Storyly into your holiday marketing campaigns, you’ll benefit from a solution that attracts new users and customers, engages existing ones, and ultimately increases loyalty. In turn, you’ll be able to get the results you want from your marketing efforts as you meet or exceed your goals over the holidays.

To illustrate the effectiveness of Storyly and its many capabilities, the following are some specific use cases that can apply to your mobile app marketing campaigns.

1. Change the Colors of In-App Story Entry Points

Using Storyly, mobile apps can customize stories’ appearance when it comes to colors and shapes. Specifically, you can change the entry point for these in-app stories, which resembles the “stories row” you might have seen on Instagram.

This is critical as you can change entry points to reflect the colors of the holidays as they change. For example, you can use orange and black on Halloween with a pumpkin-shaped entry point. For Christmas, you might make your entry point red and green and in the shape of a Christmas tree. This helps make sure your app reflects the season and festivities.

2. "The Story of Your Year" With Storyly

You may be familiar with how Spotify sends personal yearly wrap-ups to its users to celebrate a year of using the platform to listen to their favorite artists. Through Spotify’s stories, users can see what songs and artists they’ve listened to most, along with the specific genre they preferred, all of which is both entertaining and occasionally surprising.

This is the kind of interaction and personalization you can achieve with Storyly. For example, if you run an audiobook app, you can use in-app stories to publish yearly summaries for users detailing their favorite authors, genres, narrators, and more. Meanwhile, a health and fitness app can publish stories about the number of minutes or hours each user worked out for, the distances they ran or walked, their average metrics, and other details that make users feel a sense of accomplishment.

For many apps, yearly summaries can help users better determine if they’ve met certain goals. They can indicate users’ performance compared to their goals, which is likely to keep them coming back to you if they believe you’ll help them to continue achieving their goals.

3. Announce Your Limited Christmas Collection With Stories

E-Commerce apps may have limited Christmas collections that they want to advertise to shoppers. Using personalized story elements, you can advertise items in these collections that are likely to appeal to your audiences. You can also incorporate countdowns in your stories to imbue a fear of missing out among users.

As an example, you could segment your audiences and promote specific products within your collections to each segment both in-app and through push notifications. You can include in your stories a countdown sticker that’s accurate down to the second, with a bell icon that users can tap on to enable push notifications relating to the countdown. Push notifications can then appear to remind people when the countdown ends. For instance, you might have a sales period that begins on December 20, in which case you might begin the countdown in your app on the 15th, followed by sending out push notifications on the 20th letting users know when the campaign has started.

4. Cart Reminders Mention the Stocks Are Running Out

During the holiday season, many people are likely to abandon their carts, but you can set reminders for users to come back. This is especially helpful in getting people to return if shoppers become aware that those items in their cart are about to run out.

Imagine a customer has added those items from your Christmas collection to their cart but neglected to purchase those limited-edition products. Through personalized stories, you can let those users know that the clock is ticking for those items and that they need to act fast to secure their purchases. This can further create a sense of urgency among many shoppers.

5. Advent Calendar

Apps can also use Storyly to create stories in the form of advent calendars that count down the days to Christmas. Through these advent calendars, apps can create a sense of community among users that makes them even more loyal to the app. In addition, apps can unlock or provide special coupons or small gifts to users for every day of the calendar, which incentivizes users to keep coming back and following the calendar through the holiday season.

6. New Years Resolutions

Beyond Christmas and leading up to the new year, you can use stories to engage users around New Year’s resolutions. There’s a big audience for New Year’s resolutions as well, seeing as 31% of people plan on setting them this year.

In anticipation of the new year, you can build hype around resolutions and encourage users to set them through polls or quizzes. For example, apps could ask users if they’re going to exercise more in the next year, which audiobooks they’ll plan on listening to in 2022, what dietary changes they want to make, or other means of self-improvement.

Keep in mind that, over time, users are likely to begin neglecting their resolutions: Following one week, 75% tend to remain successful in keeping them, but that number drops to 64% by one month, and a mere 4% are successful halfway through the year at six months. Based on these numbers, you can work to keep users engaged not just with your app, but with their resolutions. Stories can indicate progress based on goals set at the beginning of the year, enticing users to keep up with their goals. In turn, they’re likely to use your app more frequently while achieving their resolutions.

7. Gift Ideas

Shopping apps and many others can use stories to give people gift ideas. While an eCommerce app can promote certain items that customers would like to gift based on their own preferences, other apps can encourage people to gift the app or certain in-app subscriptions to friends and family.

One example would be a newspaper app, which offers a subscription. Around the holidays, the app could encourage users through stories to purchase a subscription for their loved ones. Additionally, the same app could benefit from monetization through the promotion of sponsorships and delivery of certain sponsored gift ideas, which can help with increasing app revenue.

This would further drive people to make purchases and generate revenue when buying for other people. If the recipients of their gifts enjoy them enough, these shoppers may even want to purchase certain items for themselves if they haven’t already, leading to even more revenue generation after the holidays end.

8. Gamification

As the holiday season approaches, you should use stories to gamify marketing campaigns. Gamification can significantly boost engagement among users along with conversions via exciting in-app stories. You can essentially turn promotions into a game that keeps users returning to you and may lead them toward a purchase.

There are a few different ways you can use gamification in your app. One way is to publish promo codes that consist of multiple letters and/or numbers that the public doesn’t initially see. As a designated holiday approaches, such as Black Friday or Christmas, you can reveal each letter in the days or hours leading up to the day. To ensure that people engage with your app during these promotions, you can require users to access the app within certain intervals to unlock each letter of the promotion. A countdown can get people to engage with your app even more as you unveil the promotion. Finally, users will be able to apply the promo code to their purchases when it comes time to shop.

Prepare for the Holidays With Stories and Many Other Strategies

As you plan your holiday mobile app marketing strategy, taking all of these elements into consideration can help you connect with audiences at every level. Whether your goal this season is to attract new customers, boost sales, engage existing users, or increase loyalty, the right campaigns will achieve those goals.

One of the best ways to get the most from your holiday marketing efforts this year and beyond is to integrate in-app stories. Using the Storyly platform, you can harness the power of stories of all types, providing users with engaging, personalized, and interactive unique experiences that help you stand apart. Unlike other apps that rely on more traditional methods of reaching users, yours will have the ability to truly appeal to and hold the attention of your audience. Subsequently, you’ll be able to maximize ROI and trump the competition with an unbeatable user experience.

Ultimately, if you want to experience long-term success throughout and around the holidays, stories are the key. Using Storyly, you’ll be able to develop highly successful holiday mobile marketing campaigns that resonate with audiences and increase revenue during these festive times.


Deniz Tasyürek

Content & Brand Marketing Strategist at Storyly. Writes about mobile user behavior, user engagement, and retention. A genuine Potterhead. She also loves succulents, cats, and aerial yoga.

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