The user onboarding is the most difficult element of app development and needs to be addressed from the very beginning of the project.
How to promote a mobile app and to acquire users? This question should not arise when the app development has been completed and the app has been uploaded to the app stores. This questions needs to be addressed already at the initial strategy definition stage and in early product development.
Part of the question should be, how you wish to monetize your service, what is your target audience, and particularly HOW your audience is going to use your service and buy your products. Are you targeting an audience, which is using the smartphone intensively, or are you targeting a conservative audience to which you wish to provide ease, flexibility and added value?
Only after analysing your audience’s expectations you are ready to develop your new service customizing it in a way that it will be convenient and relevant to your audience. When achieving this, your users will give you good ratings in the app stores and recommend your app to their friends – the key driver for any marketing efforts after the service launch. It will serve as basis for a dynamic scaling and significantly lowering user acquisition costs.
Here are some common practices we follow:
It is of highest importance to focus on user experience. Be aware that the screen size is small and that the user is mobile when using your service. Thus: limit the ingredients to the absolute necessary, monitor user behaviour to ease the use of service based on the user’s individual needs and the user’s current context. This means, provide your user exactly what he needs at its current location. Eliminate any potential of frustration; help the user when clicking back to soon or if user loses connection. Such experience needs to be implemented device independent and very well engineered by the developers.
Content is king
Make sure that the user engages with your service and returns frequently. It has shown that valuable content is a key driver encouraging users to return on a daily basis. Such content must be of personal and individual value for each user, which means, customisation is important. The bigger the value, the more a user is ready to pay a fee for a premium service or to purchase your products. In this context it is also essential to trigger purchasing decisions on a regular basis while allowing the user maximum flexibility. Freemium models have proven to generate more revenues than apps with an initial fee, as it is easier to convince usersto purchase once they already engaged. But understanding the threshold points is key to an early return on investment and thus maximum revenues.
It is important to carefully test the app before its launch. The effort and costs to regain a user after having dismissed your app following a bad user experience are very high. Once the app has been launched it is essential to quickly gain users. This is most important in services where the users see other users. When users have the impression that the app is not quickly populated after its launch they will lose interest. Typical user acquisition costs are US$ 10 per user, therefore it is worthwhile offering to existing offline or web clients, offline visitors at a promotion location or target users in an email campaign a free voucher of US$ 10 with a real value. Strategic alliances and partnerships with apps offering a complementing service are highly valuable. But most important is constant monitoring of conversion rates, user behaviour, sensing their purchase points and responsiveness to marketing campaigns.