Mobile User Acquisition: 10 Ideas to Acquire New Customers

Vladyslav Pobyva

Building a great mobile app is hardly enough to make it a success. Without a solid marketing strategy, even the most powerful app has little chance of surviving the fierce competition of the growing mobile app market.

Special attention in this strategy should be paid to mobile user acquisition, which is a weak spot, particularly for new apps that have recently entered the market. If you wonder how to get users for your app, this article is for you. Below, we’ve covered the top 10 customer acquisition channels effectively used to attract new app users, from social media and paid ads to organic search and others.

It is important to note that none of these channels is a one-size-fits-all solution, meaning you must build your customer acquisition strategy with the specifics of your product and target audience in mind. A combination of approaches to user acquisition for mobile apps is more likely to attract your ideal client and keep the retention rate high.

Mobile User Acquisition Stats

Global mobile app downloads reached 255 billion in 2022, and it keeps growing as the number of smartphone users increases.

There are around 2 million apps available in the App Store, and nearly 2.7 million are offered in Google Play. These numbers may be rather discouraging when you think of these millions of apps as competitors you must fight with for the attention of your potential users.

In reality, a very small portion of the apps available on the market succeeds in acquiring a significant number of users. So, how do you become one of those successful ones? A great product doesn’t guarantee you millions of users. On the other hand, a great product and a solid marketing strategy will certainly bring you consistent user growth. So, keep reading to find the most effective mobile user acquisition channels you can use to promote your own app.

1. Mobile Ad Networks

Mobile ad networks provide great opportunities to acquire new users for your app. Their main advantage is that they can guarantee you access to a large number of viewers. They also can be extremely cost-effective and offer targeted campaigns that can help you reach the right audience. 

Mobile ad networks make it easy to track user engagement and measure the success of your user acquisition campaign. With their advanced analytics tools, you can get insights into how your campaigns are performing and optimize them accordingly.

By leveraging mobile app networks, you can reach more potential users and quickly increase your user base. The drawback of this user acquisition channel is that it is not free, like some other options on this list.

To straighten your marketing efforts, try Reteno. This solution is a lifesaver for marketers as it enables them to automate marketing campaigns, facilitate user segmentation, and increase user retention for mobile apps. Learn more.

2. App Store Optimization (ASO)

Improving your app’s ranking in an app store is an efficient method of new mobile user acquisition. 

So what can you do to acquire customers via ASO? First, you can improve every element of your app page, such as the title, app description, ratings, and images. The initial two elements need to follow SEO best practices. Apart from being engaging, the title and description must include top keywords.

If your target audience goes beyond one country, localize your app page for every target market by doing keyword research for every location and writing unique texts for the titles and descriptions. Utilize a keyword research tool to identify the specific terms and phrases that resonate with each market, ensuring your app’s discoverability and relevance are maximized.

Authentic user reviews and high-resolution images to illustrate your app functionality also play an important role in bringing your mobile application to the top of the search results.

Finally, do the A/B testing for page elements and stick with what works best for you. 

3. Search Ads

Just like in Google search, you can pay for placing your app among the top results in the App Store. When someone searches for apps using a certain word, you can bid for related keywords to have your app show up first.

With the right keywords and targeting, you can reach out to potential users who are already looking for apps like yours. This helps you get more qualified leads and have your app installed. App Store search ads also allow you to track user engagement, so you can make changes accordingly and optimize your ad campaigns for better results.

The App Store offers a pay-per-tap model (CPT) with prices for tap ranging from $0.40 to $3.50, depending on your app category. In 2022, the average Apple Search Ads conversion rate was around 65%.

4. Influencer Marketing

Paying influencers to tell the world about your app is another way to acquire customers. In order for it to be successful, you need to know your target audience and choose a suitable platform as well as a form of content.

If you offer a fitness app, try to find a person who is perceived by your audience as a fitness guru. Or maybe you promote a personal budgeting app? In this case, finance YouTube influencers might be a good choice. So, make sure you find a person your target audience listens to.

Among successful companies that promoted their services with the help of influencers are Revolut, Audible, Bejeweled, and others.

5. Referral Programs

Referral marketing can be an excellent tool for customer acquisition. What it basically means is encouraging existing users to invite friends to try your app in exchange for some benefits, such as access to premium features, free shipping, cashback, or other incentives.

Referral programs can be used to drive mobile app user acquisition as well as the engagement of existing users. They can also be used to increase customer loyalty by providing incentives for customers who refer others. By setting up a referral program, you can increase your user base without spending a lot on a user acquisition campaign. With the right user acquisition strategy for apps, developers leverage referral programs to build a strong user base and generate more revenue from their apps. 

Apps that actively acquire users via referral programs are Duolingo, Revolut, Farfetch, and others.

6. Social Media

Another place where your potential customers can find out about your app is social media. If done right, posting helpful content that correlates with your app category will attract the right people first to your social media pages and then to your app. What’s also important, social media can be a great free platform for building a community and increasing customer lifetime value. 

In addition, you can reinforce your organic app promotion efforts by running social media marketing campaigns, which may seem like increasing customer acquisition costs but are still a very efficient way of attracting new users. 

Facebook and Instagram are excellent ad platforms for mobile apps due to their large audiences and segmentation capabilities. Using a caption generator for Facebook canmake the process more efficient and save you valuable time. Other platforms that may be good for promoting your solution are Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr.

Try Reteno to boost the results of your mobile user acquisition campaigns with automated marketing workflows. Read our case studies to discover how Reteno helped mobile app developers increase install rates.

7. Public Relations

Another powerful way to draw app users is through media coverage. You can contact people and companies and ask them to place information about your app. Writing emails to editors and explaining why the information will be useful to their readers is a good start to getting a free publication about your product. 

The platforms that can tell about your app may include online and offline magazines, blogs, and content websites. You don’t have to choose a single one, but pay special attention to those your ideal users read most.

8. Website

If your product has a website, there is so much you can do to promote your app for free.

One thing you can do is to add icons with links to your iOS and Android app in the App Store and Google Play on all pages. This will save the hassle of going to the App Store and searching for your app in it. By clicking the app market icon, your website visitor will land on your app page.

You can add a page dedicated specifically to your application. Finally, you can use storytelling best practices to advertise your app in your website’s blog.

9. Video Content

This may not be the cheapest method of customer acquisition, but it is an efficient one for certain app categories. Creating helpful SEO-friendly video content for YouTube that is related to your app can bring you crowds of customers with time.

For example, fitness app BetterMe has its own YouTube channel with almost 200K subscribers, where people who are looking for workout tutorials will also learn about the fitness app that can help them stay fit.

E-learning platform Busuu offers video lessons for language learners on its YouTube channels Busuu and Busuu Shorts, with over 50K subscribers in total.

10. Offline Marketing

Yes, you read it right. Despite its secondary role in promoting digital products, traditional marketing can still help people find out about your app and become active users.

Though outdoor advertising may not be the first thing you would think of when promoting a digital product, there are great examples out there that prove it can be engaging and efficient. If you are looking for ideas for an outdoor campaign, you can find some inspiration from Spotify’s creative banners and billboards.

However, outdoor advertising is not the only way to tell people about your app. For example, you can participate in mobile conferences, presenting your app in front of potential users. Remember to share an e-business card with links to helpful resources about your app and a link to download your app. Or you can become a sponsor of events yourself, getting an opportunity to advertise your product to your target audience.

Final Thoughts

Acquiring mobile app users is a key challenge for any app developer. Nevertheless, with a good user acquisition strategy, you can increase your user base and ensure that your app keeps getting new users.

There are various ways that can help you acquire mobile app users, from the use of social media and other search engine optimization to paid advertising campaigns. In most cases, app developers go with several acquisition channels that are most appropriate for their target audience. So, part of your success in attracting more users lies in understanding your target audience and having a clear ideal customer profile. You need people who will not only download your app but also actively use it.

Another thing to keep in mind is measuring the results of your user acquisition campaigns. The very minimum you can do in this area is to track the essential metrics, such as the number of installs and conversion rate.

Learning from your competitors is priceless. It may let you avoid the mistakes others made and save time and resources for things that actually work. So, discover more customer acquisition strategy examples for the apps in your category and analyze them to improve your mobile user acquisition strategy.

Finally, you can get a lot of help acquiring new app users with the help of top-notch technological solutions like Reteno. This transformational marketing solution is designed for businesses striving to automate their marketing workflows. Set up personalized marketing campaigns that will be launched automatically based on user interaction events with the app.

Learn more about Reteno features or sign up and streamline your marketing operations today.

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