How to Get Users to Download Your App

February 5th, 2016

How to Get Users to Download Your App
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Mobile user acquisition is critical for new apps - as new apps need enough data to see how users are using the app and optimize in-app items, loops, gamification elements and notifications. For established apps, acquiring users helps app store rankings which results in more downloads. From games to shopping apps and everything in between - we all want more users for our mobile apps. Here are five simple and cost-effective ways you can increase your app downloads:


Localizing your app (making it relevant to varying locales) is a great way to help increase downloads. There are several ways you can localize your app, increase downloads, and acquire users worldwide. One of the easiest and most effective ways to do just that is to make the app listing accessible in a variety of languages. You can do so by translating your app title, keywords and description into a variety of popular languages such as Simplified Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Combine this with: - using locally-relevant keywords in your description - declaring required permissions Localization of an app listing is one of the proven ways for many mobile apps to increase app downloads and improve their mobile user acquisition in non-English speaking countries.

Free for a day app promotion sites

With 1.5 million apps available in both Apple and Google app stores, any opportunity to stand out can pay huge dividends. News flash - consumers love free stuff. That could be paid apps that are free for a day, or even a free in-app item like a special virtual good or removing ads. Capitalize on this opportunity and spike app installs by promoting to your list of customers and prospects, or partner with one of the many app promotion sites. Managing your own promotion is as simple as changing the cost of an in-app item or your app and sending an email. Bonus points if you use deep links to send clicks to an in-app landing page. If you don't have a list to promote to, services like AppsGoneFree, AppGratis and can drive 10k's if not 100k's of new users to your app. The giveaways will boost your download numbers and organic app store rankings, and is likely to work well in conjunction with the other tips in this article to help make your app more popular in the long run.

A/B test your creatives (Icon and Screenshots)

Apps that have well designed and distinct icons, as well as informative, relevant screenshots are more likely to be downloaded than those that are confusing or complicated App users want to see what it is they are installing - even if free - and rightly so. To ensure that the app listing creative elements of your app are as strong as the app itself, and communicate the correct message (features/benefits), consider a focus group and running A/B tests on a portion of live traffic. Simply - your app icon is the first thing a user sees, the more appeal it has, the higher the likelihood that it will be download. A/B testing allows you to decide which designs resonate best with users and aid in your mobile user acquisition. For more on focus groups and A/B testing - check out our resources here.

Guest post/Partner with niche influencers

While not every blog will write articles about your app that convert into app downloads, a guest spot on a relevant blog or other social channel can provide a spike in users without any spend (other than time on outreach and content). With costs per install exceeding $2, and relevant coverage providing a long-term asset, activating a influencer network is a growing component of app marketing. Seek out niche influential blogs or social channels (think Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest) relevant to your app and offer to write a post on how your app solves a problem for their audience, or whatever angle makes sense for your app and the channel. A common strategy for building a social channel is partnering with others with similar audiences and audience sizes to share and cross-promote content - resulting in a building of both audiences. It may make sense to develop your own channel when reaching out to relevant influencers so that you are offering content that is interesting to their audience, while building your own direct path to communicating to those via a larger audience on your own channels.

Run a Cost-Per-Install (CPI)


Of course we know buying installs is always an option, but the real goal is the acquire mobile users that have a high lifetime value (LTV) compared to the cost per install. Goal = LTV > CPI. Simple in theory, harder to achieve. By combining an ongoing investment in app store optimization with a CPI campaign, the organic lift as a result of the ASO can essentially subsidize the cost of paid installs. Not only do mobile users acquired via organic app store search produce higher LTVs, but rankings achieved organically provide a long-term advantage over apps that burst their way to a short-lived top. Dave Bell goes into more in this guest post for Venture Beat. acquisition_cost To get your CPI campaign going, consider running a campaign on Facebook and other networks that provide tools for advanced targeting by user. All 5 of these strategies for acquiring new mobile users starts with a solid foundation, an optimized app store listing for better visibility and maximum conversion. Learn more about how Gummicube can help you build your app store presence here.

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