How to Get Users for Your Mobile App


How to Get Users for Your Mobile App

By Special Guest
Leeyen Rogers, vice president of marketing at JotForm
  |  May 23, 2016

If you’re like the most of us, the first thing that you do when you wake up is reach for your phone. Then you browse your phone for a bit again before going to sleep. That’s not to mention that you rely on our phone throughout the day for everything from work, to organizing your social life, to navigating where you want to go.

The average American spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device, and the worldwide revenue of app stores soars at over 8.3 billion dollars. Accessible at the touch of a button and able to send push notifications to encourage engagement, it’s clear why having a mobile app is a compelling advantage for companies. Here are actionable tips for gaining users for your mobile app.

Market your app prior to the official launch.

When your app is live and available for download on the app store, this is not the time to start your marketing efforts. Have the bases covered long before launch. If you get it right, people will be eagerly anticipating the launch. How do you do that? Get a great landing page for your app up and running.

It can be very simple, just have it communicate the name of the app, what it does, and when it’s available (to be replaced with Available at the App Store or something to that effect). You can start driving traffic to the landing page long before the launch. You can also start signing people up to receive emails about the app.

When it’s ready for download you can then notify people. Start with your network, and try to spread the message through word of mouth. Find relevant Internet forms, websites, events, and go all-in with promoting your app. You can even start a blog to generate interest and help with SEO. Get press by reaching out to relevant journalists, writers, thought leaders, and influencers.

Encourage people to spread the word.

People will help spread the word for you if they are sufficiently motivated and the process allows for seamless follow-through. Give them a reason to share your app with their network, by enticing them with rewards. Depending on your cash flow situation, you can offer freebies right off the bat.

Create a referral program that will give users and their friends a free item (meal, ride, etc.) or discount upon signup. Some companies like Square Cash even give out cold, hard cash to the tune of $5 for every new download that you refer. You can also encourage this word-of-mouth sharing process by offering users something valuable within the app, such as unlocking new features and elevated capabilities.

In any case, inviting friends should be a core process in your app, rather than an afterthought or nice to have. The process should be easy, like being able to sync with your contacts, and one-step social media sign-in options.

Keep up the momentum.

Frequently apps will skyrocket to popularity then be forgotten about soon after. You must keep pushing to build upon the momentum that you already have. Get a journalist to write about your app. Use that to pitch to writers with larger audiences. Never stop seeking out influencers and writers that could help spread your message. Press often leads to better press. Offer to guest post. Get out there and meet people who would be interested in collaborating with you in some way, whether that be covering your app or partnering up for an event.

It’s never too early to conduct more research. Find out what your early users are saying about your app (with an email survey, in-app feedback channel, social media, reviews, etc.), and work on it with their experience in mind. This includes fixing processes that are broken or ineffective, and also adding the features that they’d find useful.  

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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