A user acquisition strategy is the driving force behind all successful apps. You need to have users to generate revenue and market your app. Having users is also the social proof that potential users consider when downloading.
At this moment in time, getting those users is becoming harder and harder. Developers are releasing more and more apps on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store every single day. This increase in competition means you need to have the best user acquisition strategy possible. But developing these strategies can be time consuming and you need all the time you can get.
This list is ranked and considers both free and paid options for your user acquisition strategy. So read on to discover the best tips and get more users.
The best free user acquisition tips
1. Have a message
Have you created an immersive message for your potential users? Why should they listen to it? This is the starting point of any user acquisition strategy. You need a message. More importantly, that message has to resonate with your target audience.
You need to share the experience of using your app with your audience, before they even use it. An immersive message is essential to providing this experience. What better way to bring users on board than to give them a positive experience of your app for free?
2. Optimize your app store pages
App store pages, whether they’re iOS or Google Play, are the new shop windows. It’s one of the first things that potential users will judge you on so your page needs to look good. Does your app have the right name? How does your icon look on mobile devices? Are you using keywords for ASO?
These are all factors that come into play. Users need to be able to find be impressed with your app store page. A good app store page is necessary to drive downloads.
3. Optimize reach
So you’ve developed an app and now you want users. But what market do you want your users to come from? Optimizing reach means picking a market your app or game can be successful in. Is your app going to be one of the top ten most successful apps in the American app market? Or would you be better suited entering an emerging app market like Russia or Brazil?
Once you’ve picked a suitable market, big or small, user acquisition should become easier. Optimizing reach is a powerful free tool for improving your user acquisition strategy.
4. Begin with a wide range of acquisition channels
When launching an app, it’s important to cast the net of your user acquisition strategy far and wide. Promoting your app in as many acquisition channels as possible means you can find out what works best. After a while, you can focus on only the most successful acquisition channels.
The other advantage is that your app may be successful in untraditional acquisition channels. Success in an untraditional acquisition channel means less competition and increased attention for your app.
5. Start a mailing list
Email is still the number one marketing channel for online businesses. It has many advantages over other forms of online marketing and you can do it for free. Services like MailChimp, Benchmark email allow you to maintain a mailing list that you can use to contact your users.
Let them know when there’s an update or else send them targeted messages. Send them emails that they’ll want to share with their friends and your users will take care of for you.
You can also cross-promote other apps that you’ve developed. One of the major benefits of mailing lists is that your users can also contact you. This is a great way to gain feedback and improve your app.
6. Leverage social media
Right behind email you’ll find social media. Social media is a good channel to exploit in your user acquisition strategy because it’s easy for users to share news and information about your app with their friends. There’s also no cost involved and it requires little time investment. You can use Web services like Buffer to schedule a whole day’s worth of social media posts in minutes.
This is also a great channel to share visuals and video about your app. Plus, you can interact with potential and current users in a way they find familiar. Good customer relations on social media might be the indicator that a potential user needs to go with your app.
7. Consider the LTV of users
LTV, or lifetime value, lets you know how much a user is worth to you. Acquiring valuable users is one of the most important aspects of any good user acquisition strategy. You want to have valuable users and lots of them.
The great thing is that you don’t need to spend any money when considering the LTV of a user. You just need to consider the monetization, retention and virality of a user to see how much they are worth to you. How much does a user spend on the app?
How often do they use your app? And most important of all, how likely are they to bring in new users by themselves?
If you find one user with a high LTV, then you’re likely to find more.
8. Avoid cost – per – install
This may seem counter-intuitive but there are hard facts to back-up this point. Cost-Per-Install is by far the most common method of user acquisition for mobile developers. The problem with Cost-Per-Install is that it’s hardly ever worth it.
According to a 2014 study, over 50% of developers use CPI as their go-to user acquisition strategy. The issue with the users it brings in is that they have a low LTV. According to a study by VentureBeat, 1 in 10 users gained by CPI had an LTV of less than $10. Even worse, 1 in 6 had a value of $0.
While it may seem like the easy route, it could be good money down the drain and valuable time wasted. With a host of other options available, you should avoid it for now.
9. Word of mouth
Although this technique mightn’t be the easiest to put in place, it’s effective. According to a global study by consumer experts, the Nielsen Company, word of mouth is the most valuable form of marketing. In 2013, 87% of people surveyed said that they would trust a recommendation from a friend or family number, 6% up from 2007.
So how do you harness the power of Word of Mouth? The only answer is to make something worth talking about. Is there a point in launching an app if it’s not going to excite users? Think about it and then see if you can use word of mouth to boost your user acquisition strategy.
10. Measure metrics
Once you start acquiring users, metrics can show you the best way to continue. Measuring retention rates, ARPU, ARPPU and conversion rates will tell you how to improve your app going forward and make it more attractive to users.
There are a lot of ways for you to measure your metrics. The most important thing is not to become discouraged if the numbers don’t live up to your expectations. Use them to your advantage and update your user acquisition strategy.