Published on Aug 22,2017
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The entire e-commerce space is undergoing a paradigm shift.  What began as retailers trying to woo customers through online portals has moved onto something more personalized and handy – mobile apps. Since going ‘app-only’ seems to be a major trend these days, have you ever wondered how online retailers acquire new customers? A company may have spent humongous time and effort in developing and designing their app but the entire operation can be a failure unless it is substantiated with an equally good or better customer acquisition strategy. It’s also important to keep a tight control on costs and work within a budget, as mobile user acquisition is now more competitive, expensive and complicated than ever before. Here are a few effective and low-cost mobile app user acquisition strategies.

Plan Customer On-boarding: Have your basic plan sorted out in terms of a right-sized team, research on the platforms that you will embrace first, milestones and metrics for measurement. You may not want to be in a situation where customers start signing in and you are not prepared for their on boarding! Also, starting off with an over-sized team will make your finance head very uncomfortable.

Try Out Various Channels: You could adopt any method – be it social, mobile advertising, mobile paid search or in-app advertising to acquire customers. You may not know which technique will work best for your campaign unless you try your hand at all of them. Keep in mind the cost element in terms of effort and payback while selecting what’s best for you.

Track The Performance: Track each channel to see which of them is actually generating new users. Here, tracking only clicks is not enough. You need to track multiple metrics around which the channel is generating real customers.

Estimate CAC: CAC or the cost of customer acquisition is the result of dividing all your sales and marketing costs over a certain period by the number of customers acquired during that period. Having an estimate on your CAC before you start getting customers will prepare you financially.

Pay For Performance: In order to avoid unjustified customer acquisition costs, you should consider paying for a customer based on the customer’s performance. Clicks and sometimes even installs are not great yardsticks of assured customer engagement or revenue.

A Look At Various Channels To Acquire Customers 

Various Channels To Acquire app Customers

Organic Channels: Channels that do not require money to be spent on advertising are called organic channels of customer acquisitions. Acquiring customers through email, SMS and social media are good examples of organic channels.

Paid Advertising: Paid app advertising is a sure shot way of ensuring downloads and acquiring a set number of customers within a stipulated time. Paid app advertising could be through various channels – app stores, social media or even third-party applications promoting the publisher’s app.

Quality Content: Just like online portals, content is critical for apps too. Whilst it is important from an acquisition standpoint, it is most crucial from a sustainability standpoint. It has been researched that 60% of mobile customers get bored with an app after their first month of using it and promptly abandon it (Source: Apptentive). So every time a user opens your app, he should be welcomed with new and fresh content.

Loyalty & Reward Programs: Who doesn’t love being rewarded. Be it a simple discount on the next purchase or a coupon to be redeemed. Apps that provide loyalty and reward programs are sure to attract multiple users very quickly and also score high engagement levels with them.

Referrals: If users have good things to say about your app  and would like to share it with others, make it easier by integrating social sharing capabilities so a user can easily share at the instant that he/she feels like.

Social Media Platforms: Be it any ecommerce business or website, social media has become the biggest platform for marketing and promotion these days. Similarly, your apps can also be promoted on various social media platforms. Many of these platforms have paid promotion options like Twitter’s App Cards and Facebook’s App Install Ads.

According to Apptentive, time spent by users in apps increased 23.6% from 2014, and the average person now spends more time on electronic devices than sleeping. The Google Play Store added 300,000 apps in the last year. Numbers like these are testimony to the fact that this space is here to stay. With the right strategies and channels, app user acquisition can be quite a cakewalk.

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