Growth Hacking For Mobile Apps

By Milind Pathak, COO, Madhouse

Milind Pathak, COO, Madhouse

In 2016, India was marked as the 4th largest1 mobile app economy in the world and recently has beaten the US in Google App Downloads. The reason for this growth in mobile apps is that usage came with the surge in smartphone usage and the growing mobile internet population. No wonder brands and developers in India are not leaving one marketing channel unturned to create more business opportunities for their apps. Growing an app business is not a science, however, knowing the right thing to do is crucial. Here are a few growth hacking ideas for your mobile app business.

Customer Acquisition –

Start from the basic demographic categorization, then geographic, then psychographic and then finally create campaigns around you’re narrowed down audience profile. When you have your audience sorted it’s time to get your app downloaded. Acquisition is misunderstood by many marketers, it’s not only about downloads i.e. CPD (Cost per download). Brands now work with KPIs that make consumers take an action beyond installing an app, it can be an in-app event or a transaction.

  • Organic Acquisition: When a consumer is actively looking for an app, is referred to an app by someone or reads great reviews about it online and decides to download the help without any brand push.
  • Paid Acquisition: When a brand uses social media, mobile advertising platforms or affiliate channels to push as app to a consumer that results in an app download.
  • ASO Acquisition: App Store Optimization (ASO) is a new concept, it’s like SEO for the app store. Marketers need to be at pace with changing keywords and bit on a keywords mix to keep their app on the top ranking. Moreover, they need to be active on replying to both negative and positive comments about their app, this improves the app ranking tremendously. 

Customer Onboarding and Engagement –

After an app install it is customer onboarding and customer engagement that become crucial steps towards retention. If the onboarding to an app is not smooth and effective, the customer may never login after the initial app launch.

  • Have a one-time registration process either using email or mobile number.
  • Create smooth tutorials and walkthrough of your apps that don't go beyond 3 steps.

After a smooth onboarding, it’s time to engage your audience with your app.

  • Map your customer’s daily digital journey. Use their social media information you get when they register on your app and created targeted campaigns for them.
  • People prefer to open their email campaigns more. Send offer emails with links deep linked into your app.
  • Use video ads. 74 percent of internet traffic comes from video content. Put the links on the end of the video ad that launch directly on your app.
  • For a final push use incentivized campaigns that will push your customer to be a consumer. 

Customer Retention –

Did you know that only 4 percent of the customers continue to use an app they downloaded a year down the line? So, the million dollar question now is how to make them come back again and then again?

  • Track their previous buys, interests and create relevant campaigns.
  • Keep ads on your app to a minimal and also non-intrusive.
  • Giving good customer service in a must. Your app chat bot or CTA button on your app not working will make your customer restless.

Monetization of your app –

With e-commerce app, news app and OTT app users growing by millions; these apps have become a pool of consumer big data. This has created tremendous opportunities for mobile app brands to monetize using this consumer data.

  • Brands like Flipkart took over analytics platform like Adequity and created a Data Management Platform (DMP) that divided their consumer data in consumer profiles after looking at their usage and shopping pattern on the Flipkart app. They now leverage this data to have products advertise on their platform.
  • Apps like Ola and Uber are used by consumers on a regular basis and has become a part of their lifestyle. This is what marketers are leveraging on and pushing ads on their apps as the audience use it daily. Video ads, top banners, interstitials; you name it they have it.   

Tools and Technology –

No marketer can keep up with the changing landscape of mobile apps. The KPIs change daily and the app performance change daily, therefore, using tools to measure all this become a dire need.

  • Attributions tools: Attribution tools like Apsalar, Appsflyer and Tune help marketers to know through which attributions channel their customer downloaded the app or took an in-app action; helping them know which channels worked the best for them.
  • Analytics tools: App analytics tools (like Flurry, Google Analytics, and Localytics) are a daily essential in a marketer’s life. They help in developing, optimizing and marketing apps in the best possible ways to increase user reach and return on investment.

 The opportunity for growth is immense; with only 36 percent mobile internet penetration, Mobile App Economy in India has a long way to go. Hence, more prospects to do something new in the business of app downloads is way complex than other reach related mobile branding. An app download is very personal to a user and s/he only does so if they have a dire need for it or we create a need for it.

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