AdvertisingApp Marketing

User Acquisition for Mobile Applications: Fail-Proof Strategy

user acquisition strategy for apps

This post is also available in: PT

Winning the audience’s attention has never been easy for app owners. Inventing an app user acquisition strategy is a challenge, especially in the days of growing competition on the app market. 

Your aim is to build a user acquisition strategy that would work effectively and bring you app installs. Easier said than done, huh? But okay, as always, you can rely on PropellerAds and namely – our Optimization team. Today, we are here to give you a fail-proof user acquisition strategy for apps with tested tips and examples. 

Briefly: what is user acquisition?

In simple terms, user acquisition is a process aimed at engaging new users for your product. In the context of mobile applications, user acquisition usually refers to a pack of strategies to increase product awareness and gain more downloads/installations. 

So, basically, user acquisition is a whole story of efficient audience capturing and the most important – turning them into leads. 

User acquisition strategy for mobile apps: flow and why you need a pre-lander

First, here is what Anastasia Khegay, Senior Account Strategist at PropellerAds, has to say:

“When talking about app promotion, no matter which product you offer (be it APK or an application from a store) you need a pre-lander in any case. Whatever flow you have, you need a pre-lander to make everything work efficiently.” 

Now let’s get into details of what Anastasia Khegay recommends. Two scenarios:

App store

Directing traffic right to the app store is not the most efficient strategy. Imagine the user’s reaction when an app offer appears on his screen all of a sudden. It’s not likely that someone will download and install the unknown app, right?

At this point, pre-lander steps on the stage and warms your audience up. Use a pre-lander as a space for product description and appeal – describe what kind of an application you have and why users may need it. Say, if you have a video editor app, you can convince users by describing the fanciest functions and filters, plus – showing the example of an edited video on your pre-lander. This way, users will download more eagerly, since they will have an idea of what they are going to get.   

APK (Android Package Kit)

For APK, a pre-lander is also a must. First of all, if you want to work with PropellerAds to promote your app, please mind that we don’t allow any automatic downloads (this is against our Policies). So you need a landing page for sure, but to tell your readers about the app you offer, you should also prepare a pre-lander. The reason is pretty much the same as in the previous scenario: trying to sell a loot box is not the most efficient strategy. 

What happens next? Hopefully, download. After that, the flow depends on the product: trial version, subscription/purchase, install, usage, etc.   

Ad formats for application user acquisition and testing: how to make it work?

I recommend starting with Popunder and In-Page Push, than – adding more formats, like Classic Push and Interstitial.” – says Anastasia Khegay, Senior Account Strategist at PropellerAds.

As for testing, I would start with the CPA Goal model. After your campaign has been rolling for a while, you can act considering the data received. In a while, CPA Goal will form whitelists of the best-performing zones to work with. Scale to CPC and CPM after you have your whitelists created.” – Anastasia adds.

Top GEOs for mobile app acquisition strategy

Our statistics for the last 30 days show these GEOs to be the most profitable for applications:

  • Crazily successful GEOs right now are: US, ID, NG, BR
  • Also test these: IL, ZA, SA, MX, MY, CA, CI, JP, PK, IT

As always, before choosing your GEO, don’t forget to check the Traffic Estimator and see if the traffic flows are currently intense enough. 

Settings and targeting 

“Narrow your targeting down in the process of testing. Make sure to specify the OS version, browser type, user activity group, white and blacklists – everything. The approach to targeting for your app campaign is pretty much standard and hardly different from any other campaign.” – Anastasia Khegay.

Do you need retargeting for mobile applications user acquisition? 

When talking about PropellerAds’ traffic – no, you don’t really need retargeting at this stage. Retargeting might be efficient within your application – say, you can collect audiences of those who installed the app, but didn’t make a purchase.

Creatives for app user acquisition

We checked our statistics again to see which types of creatives work best for apps. Check the examples of landing pages and push notifications that prove to be the most effective for applications, as our statistics show!

Here is the classical banner with a recommendation to get a VPN and watch content safely: 


And this one is for an iPhone cleaner:


And a landing page with brief instructions on how to use the app: 


Now let’s see which Push notifications proved to perform exceptionally well:

So, straightforward and clear – these are the main traits we can see in all the presented creatives. 

Get inspired and follow the best practices implemented in the examples above, like clarity (what do you offer and how your product can solve visitors’ issues), simplicity (both in visuals and text), and appealing wordings (“free app”, “improve your online safety”, “get access to blocked content easily”, etc.).

Some takeaways on how to promote an app

To sum up, let’s outline the main points briefly. So, for your app promotion, make sure to keep in mind:

  • Whatever app you promote (APK or store) – make sure to have a pre-lander;
  • The best formats for app promotion: Popunder ads and In-Page Push ads + Classic Push ads and Interstitial ads;
  • GEOs: US, ID, NG, BR + IL, ZA, SA, MX, MY, CA, CI, JP, PK, IT;
  • Creatives: get inspired by the examples above and keep your visuals simple and clear.

With all this practical advice, you are pretty much prepared for a campaign launch, aren’t you? Wait no longer and do it now – PropellerAds always has relevant and high-quality traffic for you!

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