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Last update: April 2020

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OpenBack Enables Cross-App Installs for Your Mobile Ecosystem

The mobile app industry is a diverse and complex ecosystem. For some companies and mobile app developers, it is rare to have just one app under their belts. In fact, oftentimes the same developer’s network of apps can complement each other, working together to provide a more holistic UX that is greater than the sum of its parts.  This is especially true in gaming, media and entertainment industries. However, it can be difficult, given the supersaturated market, to steer prospective users towards particular apps that are also under your umbrella. Luckily, OpenBack offers cross-app installs, enabling developers to communicate directly with users about what other apps they have to offer, via direct, click-to-install notifications.

cross-app promotion

How Do Cross-App Installs Work?

OpenBack is a mobile engagement platform that enables developers to deliver push and/or in-app notifications to users in real-time. The use of edge computing facilitates leverage of data directly on the individual’s device, meaning our SDK can check whether a user of X app by your company also has Y and Z apps installed as well.

This information remains private and secure, as it never leaves the user’s device. Moreover, it cannot tell when someone opens a particular app, or what they do in another app, just whether they have installed it or not.

With OpenBack, if a user of X app has also installed Y app, but not Z, the developer can use this information to send them a personalized notification inviting them to install Z. This can include a deep link to directly download the app, or it can redirect the user to its listing in Google Play or the Apple App Store.

What Are the Benefits of Cross-App Installs?

Sometimes the full concept of an app is best fulfilled across a wide range of related apps. The cross-app install function can be incredibly useful, both for the developer and the end user. For example, suppose the app for an electricity provider branches out. They may also supply different methods of providing different segments of users with electricity. Supposing a company has an app that supplies at-home electricity for an individual household. They may also have a sister app that enables users to charge their electric vehicles (EV) at different charging stations. OpenBack can then send a notification inviting them to install the sister app to the category of users who

a) don’t already have it installed, and

b) who own an electric vehicle. 

You can lure in prospective new users with discounts or promotions for a sister app. For example, if someone installs a competitor’s app, you can send them vouchers for a trial period. Or you can offer other discounted services for your own app. If you don’t want to be quite so proactive, send an invitation to learn more about the benefits of your app over your competitor’s. This sort of oneupmanship is especially effective for apps in highly competitive markets with a lot of leeway for creative marketing, such as:

How Can Cross-App Installs Benefit the Mobile Gaming Industry?

Mobile games in particular have a wide range of use cases for cross-app install. Even in the wider gaming industry, exposure to one particular game often leads gamers to purchase or download related games. This may be because sequel or spin-off games complete the story of a previously released game. Or the player may enjoy the art or gameplay of one game and seek out similar work by the same developers. Either way, cross-app installs can be a way to get one mobile game to promote the install of others. It’s a way to get your apps to do your viral marketing for you. 

What makes this such an effective marketing tactic is that they have the full personalization capabilities of push notifications. This means you’re not bombarding users with excessive notifications when they either already have the app or don’t fit the segment of users likely to install the target app.

Collaboration Between Partner Businesses

And this doesn’t have to limit itself to apps by one developer either. If an app has strategic partnerships with other businesses, cross-app installs can be mutually beneficial to the both of them. For example, say a financial planning app is partnered with a company that does taxes. Then they can both offer mutual discounts for their users who downloads the other’s app. Similarly, they can raise special offers only available for customers of their partner company, and other referral-type arrangements.

While the rules for sending personalized, effective push notifications deserve their own playbook, a good starting point is to check out users’ hobbies and interests. Then see if you can fill that need across a range of different apps. For example, if someone has a rugby app installed, they may also enjoy a rugby game, or content mentioning rugby, or an eCommerce app that books rugby tickets. 

Inferring User Preferences

Advanced marketers can kick their user segmentation up a notch. Take users’ specific interests or downloaded apps and use them to infer similar preferences. For example, if a person has a rugby app installed, they might be interested in similarly themed events. For example, it’s likely they would respond well to a promotion of Six Nations tickets, or a discount on buying a jersey signed by their favorite player. If 90% of what they watch on streaming apps is horror movies, they are probably your target audience for tickets for the grand opening of your Halloween-themed haunted corn maze. (And so on.)

OpenBack’s hybrid mobile platform lets you do a deep-dive into users’ interests and app installs. Take the personalization and real-time marketing of push notifications to a whole new level. And with the cross-app install functionality, you can ensure that every app in your repertoire expands its reach to your full cache of prospective users. With OpenBack, you can communicate with your users based on their needs and interests, while expanding the reach of your mobile app family tree. To learn more about how cross-app installs can benefit your apps, talk to one of our experts.

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