A user acquisition strategy is the driving force behind all successful apps. You need to have users to generate revenue and market your game or 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. Successful apps and games don’t just happen by themselves.
This list is ranked and considers both free and paid options for your user acquisition strategy. And you can find out more by visiting the source for each tip, which are taken from sites like Chartboost, Gamasutra, VentureBeat etc,. So read on to discover the best tips and get more users.
The Best Free User Acquisition Tips
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 or game 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 game or app for free?
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 SEO?
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.
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 or game may be successful in untraditional acquisition channels. Success in an untraditional acquisition channel means less competition and increased attention for your app or game.
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 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 UA for you.
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 or game 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.
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.
If you find one user with a high LTV, then you’re likely to find more.
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.
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.
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 or game going forward and make it more attractive to users.
Virality is the online equivalent of word of mouth. Unlike word of mouth, you can use a number of growth hacks to influence people to share your message.
One of the most powerful hacks for going viral is to target an influencer in your field. Have you developed a great game that everyone should play? A mention on twitter by a luminary in your genre will encourage others with a similar interest to play it.
This technique isn’t actually something that you can put in place right now. But it is something to be aware of in the future. Not too far from now, you will be able to use this technique to gain valuable users and not have to waste time on low LTV users.
Play before Pay means letting users demo your app or game on their phone before they have to pay, just like you can with desktop applications. This means that user acquisition will become more of a meritocracy, good news for all mobile developers.
The Best Paid User Acquisition Tips
If you want to get users fast, then you could spend some cash. Putting together a budget for your user acquisition strategy can boost your results in different ways. You can run ad campaigns, gather data on users or produce some multimedia advertising content.
Eric Seufert of Rovio recommends gathering key data and says that a modest budget can help you achieve that. To not have a user acquisition budget after working on a project is ‘silly’ in his books. Why spend so much time developing your app or game if no one is going to get to use it?
Although it’s important to use as many channels as possible when launching an app or game, you should be aware that not all user acquisition channels are created equal. In fact, 4 channels are head and shoulders above the rest in 2015.
Before choosing one of these channels, why not try to do some basic prediction and rank them? If you can find an estimation of how much it will cost to acquire a user on a channel and how much revenue you will get in return, you’re on your way to predicting your best UA channel.
The great thing about this is it could allow you to focus your user acquisition strategy on a specific channel shortly after launch. If your predictions line up well with reality, you could have picked a winner before you even got your first user.
The benefits of a test campaign are numerous. The major one being that you can A/B test different tactics before launching your user acquisition strategy on a wider basis.
If you want to use paid advertising, make sure you’re spending on the best ad formats. When you invest money into advertising, there needs to be a return on investment. Picking the right format will help ensure this.
If you want to receive fewer accidental clicks, interstitial ads are your best bet.
After a while, you might need to decide if you want to target lots of cheaply acquired users that you can make a little money from or a smaller amount of users that are going to spend more money. To find this out, you’ll have to do some testing on a specific platform.
Run two Facebook ad campaigns, one for each type of user, and then measure the ROI to see which type of user is worth pursuing. As we said earlier, not all channels are created equally, and not all user are either. Find out what kind of user gets you the best ROI and then focus your user acquisition strategy on them.
A burst campaign is when you spend a large chunk of your marketing budget in a very short time period. The aim of a burst campaign is to propel your app or game up the rankings by gaining a lot of users and then staying there long enough to gain sustainability.
Of course, this is only a useful technique if your app or game meets certain requirements. If your app or game is aimed at a niche audience, is mass appeal something you should be spending money on? It’s possible that bad reviews from people that don’t belong to your target audience could do your project more harm than good.
Creating a video ad could be a great way to engage potential users. Videos by their nature are engaging. They demand our attention and users expect to encounter them on mobile devices. Of course, you can use a video ad on any number of platforms.
If you’ve made it this far, and you still haven’t found some techniques that you find useful, there’s only one more option. Hire a user acquisition manager to do the work for you. User acquisition is so important that it can require a trained hand at times.
And if you have the budget, why not go with an expert?
Improve Your User Acquisition Strategy
So now that you know what you’re doing, go out and get some users! If you’ve got your own tips, just let us know in the comments section. You can share this post with your friends using the buttons below! Check out the V-Play Blog next week for more mobile development tips and discussion.
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