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Use Text to Download to Boost Your App Downloads

Published: Jun 5, 2020

The payoff to developing a great app comes based on how well you market it. But that’s not the only factor contributing to the success of your app. Another is making it as easy as possible for your audience to find it and install it on their phones.

Let’s look at the steps it takes to download your app if your audience comes to know of it through their desktop or offline, for example, through print media.

They would need to:

  • Open the app marketplace on their phones
  • Type in the name of your app and look through the results
  • Download and install the app

With text to download, you can reduce the effort it takes potential users to install your app.

What is text to download and how does it work?

Text to download involves sending a text message with a link to download your app to your audience’s phones.

This is typically done after they text a keyword to a shortcode that you set up with a text messaging service.

Here’s an example of a message you can send to your audience once they text in:

You’re just a step away! Download the app on Android: or on iOS: 

Once your audience clicks on the link, your app listing page is opened directly on their Google Play Store or Apple App Store app.

Benefits of text to download

48% of web traffic still comes from desktop devices. That means a significant portion of your audience is going to learn of your app when they’re not on their phone. So it makes sense to have a convenient way for them to download your app.

The text to download option caters to the part of your audience that learns of your app on devices other than mobile.

Another advantage is that once they text to your numbers, your audience details are saved in a contact list. That means you can send them follow up messages and promote more engagement with your brand.

Interested in trying out text to download? Sign up with CallHub.

Once your audience clicks on the link in your SMS, the respective marketplace app should open up to your app page.

To make sure that happens your link needs to be formatted correctly.

For Google Play Store, the following format lets you link directly to your app listing:<package_name>

Your package name will be present in your apps manifest file. You can also view it in the Google Play Console.

For the Apple iOS App Store, the format is:<appname>  or<companyname>/<appname>

Setting up text to download with a keyword and shortcode

Here’s a step by step overview of how you can set up text to download for your app using CallHub.

Create a CallHub account

Your CallHub account comes with free credits that you can use to test out your text to download the campaign.

Rent a number

In order to be able to run a text to download the campaign, you need to rent a number for your audience to text in to. This number can be a Short Code (5-6 digits) or a long code (10 digits).

Shortcodes are more memorable and make it easier for your audience to text in.


Once you rent your shortcode, choose a keyword for your campaign. With CallHub, you can rent a shared short code, which is cheaper than a dedicated number.


Make sure the keyword is relevant to your app to make it memorable.

Set up an SMS opt-in campaign

In the campaign set up, select the shortcode or long code you want to use. If you’re using a long code, you will need to specify your keyword here.


In the next section, you can add the text you want to send to your audience and include the link to your app.


Once you hit start on your campaign, all that’s left is to make your text to download options as visible as possible.

Promoting text to download

You have multiple options to promote your shortcode and keyword. Make it prominent across:

  • Your social media platforms
  • Your website
  • Print ads

Here’s how Polaris Industries uses text to download to promote its Snow Trails app with a banner.

Note that the text instructions are prominently displayed in the image. They also make sure to mention that they will be sending more messages in the form of “offers and info”.


Sending followup messages to users

Once your audience texts into your campaign, their details are automatically added to your contact list, giving you the option to keep them engaged with mass text messages. Here are just a few ways you can reach out to your app users.

  • App reviews

Soon after they download the app, you can send a followup text asking users to leave a review on their respective app marketplace.

Thanks for downloading the app! We would love it if you could give us a quick review in the app store:

  • Update alerts

You can send a text to alert to contacts whenever there is an update available for your app.

There’s a new update! Install it now:

  • Promote other products or services

Use texts to keep your audience up to date on your other offerings. As a best practice, try to keep your followup messages as relevant as possible to your audience.

It’s finally here! We’ve launched a companion app. Try it out here: 

Why use CallHub for text to download?

CallHub is a pay as you go software. That means you only pay a) to rent a number or shortcode and b) whenever someone texts to that number. That keeps costs minimal for you, which is especially great if you are just getting traction for your app.

Try out text to download by signing up for a CallHub account.


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