I hope you have followed part one and two of the series and gained valuable insights to acquire users for apps across different categories. In this post, I have picked a dating app, a bookmarking/content saving app and a payment app. With this, we have covered a total of 9 types of app till now.
Before starting the post, I believe that you have a sound idea about the entire mechanism of app acquisition, app discovery, and retention. If not, you can go to the first post of the series for a little prep.
Let’s go to the first app-
You can club pocket into a league of news apps. It is because news articles are also stories. Anything that is not ‘current affairs’, can be classified as yet another web article. The ones that are informative and valuable triggers a “save this content” emotion. Bookmarking did not really serve the purpose and this is where Pocket made itself relevant.
Unlike bookmarking, Pocket-ing an article left a clear visual memory of saved content. Thumbnails and images within the articles accelerated that, making people come back to read the content they saved.
Since the touchscreen age, pocket found a lot of importance within the smartphone ecosystem with a more robust internet usage than desktops. Mobile internet meant more searches, articles, and saves.
However, there is a greater thing in this mix. Sharing! I think this is the greatest factor that one needs to alleviate for an app like Pocket. And this is an important prerequisite as well. In fact, a large part of FBs feed now features sponsored news stories from pages liked by your friends and your clicking history. The friends whom you most interact with might have a similar choice as yours. This surely increases the probability of the story to be clicked and shared. This likability factor of stories must be noted and applied while making an app like Pocket. The more relevant content users stumble upon, the more saves and shares will happen.
In fact, Facebook is running a lot of its ad machine on this nowadays. FB is earning both ways- from stories by your friend and clicking habit as well as trending daily news. The ‘Trending’ section on the top-right is a testimony of that.
Once the prerequisites are understood we can proceed for user acquisition
User acquisition tips for apps similar to Pocket
Create a ranking system within the app to rate and categorize articles. Reflect that on a feed within the app. Let users select categories on sign up for their custom feed. Once a critical mass of articles are rated under categories, more user activity can happen. Allow them to share stories on FB, Twitter, Pinterest etc. Redirect users from those stories to the app.
- Make a short video and highlight the app’s utility. Put it up on Play store and send it across via FB and Twitter ads.
- Analyze the web and zero on to sites such http://www.fastcodesign.com/. These sites have a lot of visual appeal. Aggregate these stories on Pinterest. Direct to the users.
- Create an editorial board that periodically handpicks articles across multiple categories. Let people share these articles.
- You can also create an in-app economy based on shares. The more traffic one generates, the more reward they get.
- You can also create an account on Tumblr and share visual stories. Let users follow a link to install the app.
- You can also build a team of people who can create thought leadership, humor, and other emotions followed by indirect suggestions to install the app.
- If you are lucky enough to pull some seed funding, you may also create your own team of story makers. You may create content types such as “people are awesome”, coding tricks, simple guide for government procedure etc. (anything that has reference value) Once these circulate through the web, you can acquire more users.
Fundamental Intent to download the app will be the core utility of the app.
Engagement can be moderate
Retention may be moderate to high
Dwolla is a free web-based platform allowing users to send, receive, and request funds from another user. While Dwolla entered the market before the touchscreen revolution, it is not the case with the payments apps that followed. The generic market is saturated and payment apps these days are mostly focused on specific types of transactions.
This is the most important prerequisite for payment apps to break the clutter today. I would suggest you to look at Splitwise, Dash and various other apps that are based on similar ideas.
The second prerequisite is to understand that your app would need retention. You need retention to vouch for investment. Hence, look for Points of Sale that calls for recurring transactions. This will be one of the major lifelines for your app.
I want to tell you again that the second prerequisite and its execution is extremely important. In fact, banks themselves are on an innovation spree to catch hold of this market.
These are the fundamental prerequisites that I think one must fulfill before diving into this category of app(s)
User Acquisition tips for an app like Dwolla
- Sending money through the internet calls for some level of trust. Hence, an effective app induction or discovery may happen through friends or relatives. This has to be tapped through incentivized app installs. Remember, that Word of mouth marketing will be the best medium for propagation, as the app suggestion along with the demo comes from a trusted source.
- You can tie up with restaurants, bars & pubs, discos and other similar places to promote your app. In return give free entry or meals.
- Incentivized installs can be strategized in a number of ways. You can either give virtual cash rewards to people who install the app or give them coupons etc. of equal monetary value (which can be spent at specific destinations).
- If your app is based more on bill splitting, it will be more popular with bachelor or college goers. Employ FB feed ads to capitalize on the segment. Club it together with an incentivized model to fast-paced the acquisition. The quicker the economy is created, the better it is for you.
- If you are funded, you can afford newspaper ads as well. Ads on Pullouts cost less and are received well during the weekends. Leave a QR code for people to follow the app to install.
- In countries like India, you can tie up with coaching centers that train students for various competitive entrance tests. Let users get some discount if they pay with the app. If your app is good and useful enough, it will go viral in no time.
- You can also write a few informative answers on quora. However, run an AdWord search to understand the intent. They may help you answer the right questions on Quora.
Fundamental Intent to download the app will be the core utility of the app
Engagement can be moderate to high
Retention may be moderate to high
Many of you might be familiar with this application as it took birth during the fiery Tinder days. The app has a substantial user base and most importantly armed with a differentiator in the form of women-only approvals. While this may sound a bit feminazi to some, it is nice to have something like this for initial buzz and fast acquisition of your app.
User Acquisition tips for an app like Bumble
You may understand that dating is not really a necessity as Healthcare or Communication. So, exploratory Google search queries won’t really come your way for you to exploit. People just do not search looking for boyfriend or girlfriend over the web. Also, relational queries connected to dating are not something that can be harvested for app acquisition. Trending knowledge such as relationship tips, do’s and don’t etc. have no coherence with the need of find a mate. They come afterward.
Hence, to trigger a campaign for app discovery, some amount of paid campaigns are unavoidable. Your app will go viral if it is good enough-
- Go for facebook ads. Facebook is the place where you can find people talking about relationships and everything connected to it. Create feed ads for your app and let the app do rest of the work. It is true that dating apps propagate due to the app itself and for that, one needs to create differentiation. It is not a surprise dating apps with substantial user base have a lot of fundamental differentiation in the way they approach dating.
- You can make some creative campaign around love. Dating has a generic appeal and some visual attention can drive a campaign. You can make creatives similar to what Practo did. Use Pinterest and Facebook to share those. You can also put them within the FB feed ads you create. Don’t forget to mention your differentiating factor(s) though.
- There are a lot of online greeting websites. Mostly, these sites have a combination of free as well as paid cards. You can tie up with these sites and pay them for the cards as users install your app to do so. This may seem a bit off the mark, but you can create an app where one can pick one of these and send them across to potential dates. However, this would require a lot of planning and negotiations as well.
- You can also tie up with local cafes and restaurants to drive reward based installs.
- Innovative/Creative campaigns may include BTL marketing campaigns. You need to search for places where youngsters hang out or eat street food. Talk to these street food makers and settle a deal. You may give them those tents, wrappers etc. with your app branding and QR code. Give free meals to users who sign up. You can also buy weekend ingredients for these street food makers or trucks for which they might give out flyers to sign up and win free meals through the app.
Fundamental Intent will be be find potential partners or flirting
Engagement can be high and frequent
Retention may be moderate to high
So here were few tips to drive user acquisition campaigns for specific categories of apps. I would write about more apps picked from different categories in the 4th part of this blog series.