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Jan 8, 2019 | 5 min read


Acquire users for your mobile application

Louis Heron

Marketing & Development Manager

Our investigation to build applications like a rockstar is coming to an end with this last opus. At this point, your application is available for your users. It performs well thanks to the particular care you put in its design and implementation, and you can improve it and deploy continuous updates. You now have one last thing to do: acquire more users and keep the ones you already have!

Win new users

Before launching an app to the app stores, it is necessary to anticipate the two main challenges you will face:

  1. Bring users to the app store page
  2. Entice users to download the app by making it appealing enough

1. Bring users to the app store page

In today’s mobile ecosystem, it’s critical to make your app available on the Apple Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. To override this without hacking is possible only on Android and only major publishers can take this risk in order to get rid of the 30% fee on in-store purchases. Like recently Epic Games with its flagship game Fortnite.

It is more and more difficult to make room on these app stores, which today have more than 2 million apps each (1). Several possible actions are available to generate visits to your store page:

  • Improve ranking in application categories and search results  :
    When you publish an app, you have to add information in order to fill in your « store page »: a title, a description, keywords, an app category, visuals, etc.The goal is to make your app stand out in the top results when a user explores the app categories or searches through keywords. Apple’s and Google’s algorithms, which manage search results and categorization, are black boxes where it’s hard to know which factor has the greatest impact on the app ranking. But we know the most visible ones: Title, Keywords, Description. It is possible to test them to see which ones have the best result, and it’s called “App Store Optimization” (ASO).  Other factors are less easy to master but more influential:

    • The popularity of the moment, meaning the number of recent downloads of your app
    • News about your application: updates, new OS use (ARKit, SiriKit, CoreML on iOS for example)
    • The rating given by your users

The only way to improve these last factors is to listen to your users, respond to their comments and regularly update your application with relevant optimizations or new features!

  • Perform a paid search campaign on the stores:
    Available in France since 2017 on the App Store, app ads in search results allow you to position your application on a number of keywords. As for paid search (SEA) on Google, it’s a good way to make yourself known to potential users. You’ll be able to reach users who are doing a specific search on your competitors or a vague search on your market. (2)
  • 1 Index your application on Google:
    The principle of App Indexing is to indicate to Google that your web pages have equivalents in the « App » format. Then, if the user doesn’t have the app on its phone yet, it will be suggested to install it before opening the web page. Instead, if it has already been installed, and one of its content appears in the Google search results, the user can choose to view the content in the app. It also allows you to re-engage your user with your app.

    • 2 Do a mobile-oriented media campaign:
      60% of users discover their apps via other ways than browsing on Stores: Google search, social media ads, banners, videos, etc. Advertising for apps has become commonplace, mainly in mobile formats. It is about reaching the user while he is 2 clicks away from your app: already on his smartphone!
    • 3 Think of all your communication channels:
      This may seem like common sense, and yet it may be worth remembering: it’s important to interconnect all of your communication channels!
      You could use printed publication or TV to promote your app. For example, end a commercial on a call-to-action to download your app or display a QR code on a printed ad.
      Set up of universal links for your app allows you to guide users to the right place depending on which device they use and whether they already have the app or not.

2. Make users want to download your app

Once users have arrived on your page, a second challenge begins: making sure they click on « Install »!

On an app page, users:

  1. take 1 to 5 seconds to decide between leaving the page, download the application directly or continue to explore the info on the page. During this time, the title, the visual of the icon, the first two visible screenshots, the price and most importantly the rating of the app will be the factors that influence their decision.
  2. If they continue the exploration, they will spend about 8 more seconds (3) to explore the elements before deciding to download the app. During this time, the following screenshots, the video preview (if you have one) and the first reviews of other users will influence their decision. In the store, if your page has a preview video, time spent and your chances of being downloaded increase by 25%.

As for your ranking, you have the ability to edit and test the effectiveness of some elements (visual and text) but the only way to truly optimize your conversion rate is to work on your application’s rating and the reviews left by your existing users. This is both the least controllable and the most decisive factor, as evidenced by the percentage of users likely to download an app based on its rating:

To improve this rating and the reviews left by users there is no miracle solution: invest in the quality and relevance of your product for your users and improve it continuously. Top apps performances and ratings is what dreams are made of, but the price to pay is a big investment in quality and organization required to make frequent updates to their product:

Keep those new users

Congrats, you have now cleared two key points and new users have downloaded your app! You may think that you can stop here but the hardest part starts now: to keep these users and transform them into active users.

Henri Jeanson said: « The first feeling is often the right one, especially when it is bad » and it could not be more true than for mobile apps.

There is no quick solution to keep your users but if your application is useful by design, simply remind users of its benefit. Some techniques allow you not to end up in the app graveyard like  push notifications, retargeting in-App and Cross-device, App indexing etc.

Indeed, if an app does not simplify the user’s life, it has no reason to exist. Your app must be useful and usable for it to be downloaded, designed calmly for it to be launched and improved continuously, to impress upon first use.


(1) statista.com/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores ;
(2) apple.com/A74-dr-a-learnmore ;
(3) storemaven.com/how-to-design-the-perfect-app-store-product-page ;
storemaven.com/app-store-optimization-aso-screenshot-tests ;
(4) lsa-conso.fr/2016-annee-du-mobile-et-des-applications-mobiles.
(5) adjust.com/unmasking-uninstalls.

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