How to Gain and Engage Mobile Users


Is paid user acquisition the only way to get substantial users in this mobile ecosystem? Why even pay for downloads if those users don’t stick around? What are the best ways to create virality?

Apptimize CEO, Nancy Hua, speaking at Apps World

According to the experts at Apps World last week, here are some of the top trends that are impacting mobile user acquisition in 2014 (and 2015):

1) Look beyond the download

What are your most important KPIs? Looking primarily at downloads oversimplifies the situation. While it’s important to see how many downloads your app is getting, it’s a dangerous core metric by which to measure the success of your marketing campaigns and spend. Downloads are just the top of the funnel.

More important is how your users are engaging. What are your app’s KPIs for an acquired user? Just because someone downloads does not mean you’ve acquired them. Defining that acquisition metric (e.g. users who come back the next day, users who register, etc.) will in turn give you a better sense of what you’re actually paying for a user.

2) Iterate, iterate, iterate

Iteration is everything. As the Lean Startup advocates, create a minimum viable product and then iterate on it. There is no way that you’ll be able to make a perfect product the first time (and this applies to new features of existing products as well), so you shouldn’t try. Get the MVP out there, see what parts of it land with users, and then build out from there.

The hard part is often iterating fast enough. With the App Store and Play Store approvals, iteration can often times be slow. This is in part due to the waiting period of getting your app approved, but also because of the extensive QA periods that are often involved when app managers know that a bug fix could take days to reach users. Finding the right software that lets you do this will make a world of difference in how fast you can get new ideas to market.

3) Double down on Android

There are several reasons to focus on Android:

  • You can iterate much faster on Android and try out more things with less risk. Because iOS resets your ratings each time a new app version is released in the App Store, more app developers are cautious to release only great versions to safeguard a good average rating. You don’t have to worry about this on Anrdoid, on top of the fact that Play Store approvals are much faster.
  • Android is growing faster and now have more users in most markets.
  • Cost of acquisition is often lower on Android but for many of Android’s high cost devices, the users can produce just as much revenue for your app as an iOS user.

4) Focus on the first 60 seconds of the user experience

“If you don’t nail onboarding your developers may as well have been drinking beers instead of building those features that no one saw.” — Nancy Hua, CEO, Apptimize

This statement may sound harsh, but it’s true. If your guests are not getting through the door, you’re wasting your time creating a great meal for them. And in going back to our first point about downloads versus acquisition KPIs, you’ve also wasted your money on invites if you’re guests can’t get in the door.

Of the mobile product managers Apptimize has surveyed, 4 out of 5 said that onboarding was their number one focus at the moment. This is should be everyone’s top priority.

About Apptimize

Apptimize is an innovation engine that provides A/B testing and feature release management for native mobile, web, mobile web, hybrid mobile, OTT, and server. Industry leaders like HotelTonight, The Wall Street Journal, and Glassdoor have created amazing user experiences with Apptimize.

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