How to Increase App Downloads: 9 Easy and Proven Strategies

Natalya Ustymenko

With over 3.5 million apps on Google’s Play Store and approximately 1.6 million on the App Store, the mobile application market is booming, with more brands and businesses projected to launch their applications.

However, uploading your app on the app store is one thing; raking in downloads is another. Owing to the growing competition in the industry, some app owners are struggling to get even one thousand downloads months after they launch.

If you’re looking for how to increase app downloads, you’re on the right article. Read on to find proven strategies to help you actualize your knowledge of this topic.

Key Factors That Affect App Downloads

As the heading suggests, we’ll briefly discuss the five crucial factors that affect app downloads:

Number of Downloads

Most app users look at an app’s number of downloads before installing it. They believe that the more app downloads, the better the performance. That's why some brands invest so much money to get those initial downloads to convince new prospects to install their apps.

Application Rating

Ranging from 1 to 5 stars, application ratings measure users' satisfaction with the app’s performance. Low ratings are a turnoff for potential users, while high ratings can significantly increase app installs. Notably, 59% of users will likely check the app rating before installing, and only a four-star rating and above is considered good.

Application Reviews

App ratings and app reviews go hand-in-hand in determining an app download rate. A good number of positive reviews on your app means increased visibility, a good conversion rate,  more downloads, and more revenue.

Detailed Information

It is important to provide detailed information about your app, such as what it does, required OS, in-app purchases, release date, last update, and other key details in the “about this app” section of your application listing. It helps users determine whether the app will address their pain points. 

Marketing Campaign 

Ultimately, your marketing strategy is one of the biggest factors determining whether you will get app downloads. It can significantly enhance your brand visibility before your target audience while affording you the recognition you deserve.

9 Strategies to Increase App Downloads 

Whether you’re looking for your first 1,000 downloads or the next 1 million users, these strategies are surefire and will give you the expected results when implemented properly:

1. Prioritize App Store Optimization (ASO)

App store optimization is to app stores what search engine optimization (SEO) is to search engines. ASO involves using the right target keywords in your app’s description, demo video, images, and app localization techniques to make it easy for potential users to find your app in the app store. 

You must remember that you have several competitors whose apps offer services similar to yours. As such, they are working to ensure theirs shows up first in the search results when users type the right keywords. App store optimization will not only give you a competitive advantage but also help you to increase app installs.

Trending Apps on Google Play
Trending Apps on Google Play

2. Use An Attractive Logo and App Store Display Screenshots or Photos

While it’s easy to scramble up a logo design in minutes, you need to know that you may lose up to 60% of your potential app users if they consider the logo weird or visually unappealing. Similarly, 42% of customers believe your logo reflects your brand values and personality. That's why you must spend sufficient resources and time to get one.

With a well-designed logo, you won't only increase app downloads but will also start a journey toward registering your brand as a household name. Therefore, ensure your logo is catchy enough to grab customers’ attention and convey your Unique Selling Point (USP). Also, add clear and explanatory screenshots of your app in the right section of your app store listing.

3. Review and Re-test Your App

Interestingly, 74% of users will delete a mobile app within 24 hours of installing it. While there are many reasons for this, poor service delivery and the presence of bugs tops the chart. Unfortunately, some unsatisfied users will leave negative reviews and ratings on your app, deterring others from downloading.

So, while a fast go-to-market is important, not testing your app thoroughly for bugs and surprises will severely damage the app’s reputation. Do proper testing and gather enough helpful data insights before launching your app to reduce the chances of negative domino effects.

4. Consider Ad Retargeting

Ad retargeting means dishing out personalized campaigns to people who had previously seen your application’s ad online. It serves as a reminder and encouragement for the user to install the app or complete an abandoned task, such as an incomplete payment or purchase. 

5. Create a Website and Blog

Your website is one of your digital offices where people can visit to learn more about your products and services. It's so critical that 97% of buyers consider it when making buying decisions. A website may not swing the pendulum so much, but it will support your brand awareness efforts.

Besides, some of your app users may learn about you from Google search results. As such, having a search engine-optimized website or blog will give you a higher chance of getting more app downloads. Put the right content there using the target keywords users are searching for, add catchy images, deep linking, and CTAs (calls to actions) to your pages, and enjoy higher organic traffic.

Zomato Website Example
Zomato Website Example

6. Invest in Content Marketing

Content marketing involves using videos, images, stories, articles, and other forms of content to provide information about your brand and boost user engagement. About 72% of marketers believe that content marketing aids in educating the audience. This means you can use this strategy to enlighten people about your app, what it does, and why it stands out among competitors. When done right, content marketing can help you get app downloads and position your brand as an authority in your industry.

7. Create an Engaging Demo Video

Have you ever wondered why movie industries release movie trailers before the premiere? The answer is simple — promotion! Give your users a sneak peek of what to expect when downloading your app by creating a demo or promo videos. You should highlight the app’s best features, USP, and functionality and upload it alongside the screenshots for more app downloads.

Pizza Hut Demo Video Example
Pizza Hut Demo Video Example

8. Promote Your App on Social Media

About 4.95 billion internet users are on social media, equivalent to 61.4% of the world’s population. This figure indicates that social media is a place to promote your app and register your brand’s digital footprint.

The beautiful thing about this is that social media has endless strategies to increase app downloads. From content marketing to demo videos and app install ads, you can personalize your promotion campaign based on your brand values to generate the right app download numbers. You can also run special campaigns for events like Black Friday deals.

Source: Wordstream

Source: Wordstream

9. Encourage User Reviews and Ratings

Earlier, we discussed how important app reviews and ratings are in users’ decision-making. If you're sure your app is top-notch, you should encourage users to leave honest feedback on the app store about what they think about your app and its user experience

You can achieve this by adding a pop-up prompt for users to rate your app. It is an effective way to enable you to grow your app downloads, as the better the review, the higher your chances of drawing attention to your app.

How to Engage New Users After Installing

How well you engage with app users can be a deciding factor in whether they’ll delete the app almost as soon as they install it, or whether they will become active users. This section of the article will discuss some of the best ways to engage your users and prevent them from deleting your app immediately after downloading. The good news is that you can do all these using one solution — Reteno. Let’s take a look at them.

Onboarding Process

The onboarding process involves the signup process of your app. The first step to make your app engaging is to make your onboarding process as simple, straightforward, and easy as possible. No one likes an app with a tasking or tedious signup process. If you fail to deliver a user-friendly onboarding process, 15.6% of users will uninstall your app even before they use it.

Personalized Welcome Messages

Adding a personalized message to your app is a good way to engage your users and turn them into active ones. Creating or adding a tailored message that connects with the users makes them feel valued and important. This increases their chances of continuing with your app and reduces the likelihood of uninstallation.   

In-app Messages

In-app messages are automated internal messages triggered when users engage with your app. They are powerful communication tools that help improve customer experience. However, the goal of in-app messages is not just to improve users' experience but also to prompt them to take specific actions. 

Reteno offers different types of in-app messaging, including in-app guides and walkthroughs, checklist widgets, tooltips, and in-app surveys. They are a powerful and effective marketing tool to improve user engagement, with an impressive interaction rate.

Push Notifications

While many often confuse in-app messages with push notifications, they are not the same and serve different purposes in your app. While in-app messages communicate internally with your users and are restricted to strictly in-app communications, push notifications communicate with users externally. In simple terms, mobile push notifications show up on your phone’s notification screen. You can use this as a reminder strategy to reach disengaged users or inform them about special deals.

Social Media Integrations

Integrating social media into your application is a good idea as far as marketing strategy is concerned. With many social media platforms at your disposal, such as Facebook, Twitter (X), LinkedIn, WhatsApp, etc., it is a good opportunity to break into the competitive app development world and draw a vast pool of potential customers. 

Adding social media icons or features that allow users to communicate with you across different channels allows them to engage with you and your brand on the go. Check our case studies to see what our clients think of this approach.

Final Thoughts

Increasing app downloads is one task that is not just challenging but requires deep marketing knowledge and correct strategy. While we’ve discussed some strategies above, you may have to use top-tier tools to get started or request the services of marketing professionals for the best results. 

At Reteno, we help brands and businesses retain customers and attract new ones using proven app-based marketing strategies. Contact us now to get started!

Vladyslav Pobyva


November 15, 2022

Natalya Ustymenko


October 9, 2023

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