How to Increase Mobile App Installs: 5 Best Mobile App Marketing Techniques

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In this article, you will find the five main strategies for increasing app installs and learn how other mobile app companies have succeeded in advertising their products.

Your target audience may be overwhelmed by the amount of information they come across every day. It may seem almost impossible to get their attention. And since your goal is to get people to spend a few minutes downloading your application, the task becomes even more difficult.

The key to a successful mobile app is the concept and quality of the app itself. But in the modern world, amazing ideas are often buried due to a poor app promotion strategy.

Strategy #1: Go full-funnel

Mobile apps are used in fashion, education, gaming, and dozens of other industries. Moreover, every application, regardless of its category, has a unique customer journey. While the average user might spend a few minutes selecting and installing a game, the target audience for language learning apps usually takes days or even months to make a decision.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for aligning your advertising strategy with your marketing funnel, the steps a prospect goes through in two minutes or two months are pretty much the same.

Companies with a short path to purchase will take their leads through the sales funnel in one well-thought-out campaign. For other companies, this approach doesn’t work. A common mistake marketers make is only viewing ads as a way to increase conversions. This is why they almost never see impressive results from their ad campaigns.

By building an ad strategy with a full funnel — namely, by launching separate campaigns for people at different stages of the purchase journey — you introduce your app to a whole new audience and effortlessly lead them straight to the conversion stage. This is what a full-cycle advertising strategy for a productivity application will look like:

how to market your mobile application

Strategy #2: Use native advertising

Native advertising is a type of online advertising in which ads fit the context of a web page. Unlike display ads, native ads do not interfere with the user experience and are usually hosted in content recommendation widgets below articles or in the sidebar.

Native advertising is not only a more affordable but also a more effective alternative to some of the famous paid social media channels. For our agency’s clients, native advertising attracts more leads than Facebook ads.

How to do native advertising to boost app installs

Whether you go full-funnel on one channel or build a cross-channel advertising strategy, native advertising can fit into your plans.

When it comes to campaign content, we recommend focusing on the formats that work best for native ads, such as funny stories, quizzes, polls, and videos. These formats will help you reach more people and ensure those who click become your leads and users of your application.

Instead of just promoting landing pages that talk about your app, give your audience a reason to be interested in it. Instead of saying “This is the best weight loss app,” say “Here’s how this mom of a 3-year-old lost weight with our app” and share a real-life story. Of course, you should consider your target audience every time you select new content for your campaign.

how to increase app download numbers

The New York Times / Allbirds

The typical native ad format is sponsored posts on news platforms, and a great example is an article on The New York Times website sponsored by the shoe company Allbirds.

This content was promoted in the regular news feed of The New York Times using a paid post tag. When a user clicks on the article in the news feed, they’re taken to a page on The New York Times website with beautiful graphics and supportive sound effects that are consistent with NYT design elements.

The article discusses the environmental value of birds and how they are at risk from climate change. This is perfect for the Allbirds shoe company, as they are committed to sustainability and living up to the birdie in their name. It’s also a prime example of how native content should be consistent with your brand but not directly about your brand.

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Strategy #3. Reward users

Rewarding users for performing certain actions in your app is great for building brand loyalty based on achievement and competition.

For example, enabling customers to earn points in a branded mobile app promotes loyalty to your product or service. Points can be used as in-app currency and can be collected and used to receive personalized rewards. Now let’s look at some of the more popular examples of successful loyalty programs.


Starbucks uses stars for its points system. When users earn enough stars, they receive a free drink. To earn stars, users must pay with a registered (physical) Starbucks card or with a Starbucks card in the Starbucks mobile app. By rewarding loyal customers and allowing users to send electronic gifts to friends via email, the Starbucks loyalty mobile app offers great customer service.

Starbucks President and CEO Kevin Johnson recently announced the ongoing momentum of the Starbucks mobile app promotion program in the company’s income statement. In the second quarter of 2019, Starbucks expanded its active member base by half a million (up 13 percent since the year before), bringing the number of active members receiving mobile app rewards to 16.8 million.


This American fast food chain offers a membership program that rewards customers with points for every purchase. Customers can redeem these points for rewards such as free food and gifts. To participate in the program, customers need to download the Chick-fil-A mobile app or create an account.

Customers earn points by dining at Chick-fil-A restaurants and ordering through the Chick-fil-A app. Depending on the points earned, there are three levels of membership: member, Silver, and Red. Customers become Red members when they earn 5,000 points within a year, which qualifies them for the best rewards such as tickets to VIP events.

How to implement a rewards strategy

To implement a rewards strategy in your application, you first need to choose a reward system. Most of the best loyalty programs fall into one of the following categories:


Loyalty points programs allow customers to accumulate points they can redeem for free products or services. These programs are easy to set up, making them the most common type of loyalty program.


Companies like Sephora use tiers to encourage customer loyalty. Tiers are a great way for businesses to engage customers by gamifying their reward programs and giving customers a feeling of exclusivity. These programs offer different rewards depending on a customer’s level, or tier. To get to the next tier, a customer must pass certain milestones, which can range from spending a certain amount per month to making a certain number of lifetime purchases.

Paid loyalty programs

Customers pay a commission to participate in a paid loyalty program. These programs provide a quick return on membership fees and allow businesses to focus on their most active customers.

Customers who pay for loyalty programs invest from the start and continue to invest in the brand over time.

Once you’ve determined what type of reward system is best for your application, you need to think about what you will reward your users for. Let’s outline specific things you could reward customers for.

Reaching spending targets. For example, when a customer spends a certain amount of money, they may receive 10 percent off their next purchase of $100 or more. Keep in mind that limited time offers can encourage faster purchases.

Reaching a target number of purchases. After a customer has made a certain number of purchases, they might claim a free item as a gift or get discounted membership at, say, a local gym.

Giving feedback. If you ask consumers about a new product before it launches, they will have a sense of belonging, which can increase sales and lead to recommendations.

Recommendations to friends. Offer your customers discounts and gifts in exchange for every new customer they bring you.

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Strategy #4. Use cutting-edge technologies

Technologies like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), cloud computing, and video calling are changing the way brands communicate with their customers.

L’Oreal augmented reality try-on apps

There are several L’Oreal beauty apps. For example, Style My Hair helps users try on different hairstyles. In 2018, L’Oreal acquired Modiface, a company that has been involved in creating many custom augmented reality beauty apps.

This acquisition allowed the L’Oreal makeup empire to promote its huge collection of high-tech brands. By allowing shoppers to try on their products, L’Oreal saves customers from wasting money on unsuitable cosmetics and strengthens their brand loyalty.

Just Eat app and smart chatbot

Just Eat is a food ordering and delivery company that connects customers, restaurants, and partners in 23 countries. To make it easier for customers to find the restaurants and food they want, Just Eat launched an intelligent chatbot feature in the app in 2016.

This in-app chat runs on Facebook Messenger and acts as a bot advisor. The chatbot helps customers choose a restaurant, decide what to order, and track the order status.

How to implement a strategy

Using modern technology may seem like a daunting task. But with the right approach, you can develop an application that meets your functional requirements. Here are a few tips that can simplify the technology adoption process.

Explore your brand’s unique selling proposition

When deciding to integrate technology into your mobile application, you need to determine what task it will perform. For example, Sephora’s augmented reality technology helps customers try on makeup products, make sure they work well, and then buy them. In this way, AR helps customers avoid wasting money on products that don’t suit them and helps Sephora earn a reputation for being honest and loyal.

Before deciding that technology is right for increasing your customer loyalty, we advise you to analyze your business and identify your unique selling proposition, or USP. To do this, analyze your competitors, examine existing applications that are similar to yours, and determine your advantages that can be magnified with technology.

Explore technology options

After you define your USP, you need to better understand the available technologies and understand which are right for you. We’ve mentioned brands that use AR and smart chatbots. But the possibilities don’t end there.

Choose the right development team

If technology is poorly implemented or if users don’t understand how to use it, it won’t benefit your brand. To keep your application running smoothly, you need to select the best specialists. To do this, explore ratings and review platforms such as Clutch and GoodFirms, browse lists of top software development companies, and read testimonials from real clients that development companies have worked with.

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Strategy #5: Personalize your application

Personalization is an amazing way to build brand loyalty and increase app installs. Recently, Forbes Insights together with Arm Treasure Data surveyed 200 marketing executives, and 40 percent confirmed that personalization has a positive effect on sales.

Mobile app personalization can include push notifications, recommendations, tips, discounts, and special offers. Many branded apps offer a personalized experience, and there are many features you can include in your own app.


Spotify is a leader in personalized digital experiences. The music streaming service uses a listener’s behavior and information about templates to provide users with personalized playlists with titles and descriptions. This helps users understand why they’re being offered particular music.

But Spotify has taken it a step further. In January 2021, the company revealed it had bought a patent for a new technology that will take personalized experiences to the next level. This patent will allow the music giant to make observations about a user’s environment and emotions using speech recognition technology. Spotify can then play music that reflects the mood, age, gender, or social environment of its users.


Mallzee is a marketplace for popular clothing brands. Shoppers can choose products by category and price and buy them as usual. But in order to encourage users to use the Mallzee mobile application, the company has developed an application that works like Tinder. Users swipe left or right across clothing, allowing the app to collect user preference data and recommend a personalized set of products. The app also takes price into account.

How to implement a personalization strategy

Find out what it’s like to be in the customer’s place

Personalization is impossible without knowing who your target user is. To implement a personalized strategy, you need to focus on your customers and identify their pain points.

Create a customer persona. A customer persona represents a key segment of your audience. To create one, you need to conduct both quantitative research (collect information about the demographics, employment, and social status of potential users) and qualitative research (a series of interviews). The data you obtain will help you segment customers and create a customer persona.

Use the jobs to be done approach. The jobs to be done approach is a relatively new method that aims to answer a question: For what purpose will your customers use your application? Field research and interviews are needed to get the answer.

A workflow approach allows you to focus on the personal experiences of your users and helps you create a product that solves your customers’ problems.

Keep users’ data secure

Protect your customers’ data properly. Depending on the audience for which you’re developing your application, you’ll need to comply with different rules and requirements for the collection, storage, and processing of personal data. These rules differ from country to country. For example, to protect the personal data of EU residents, you need to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). There’s no single set of requirements for US residents, so it’s worth studying the rules of each state.

Convince users that sharing personal data with you is beneficial. Over 90% of online users are concerned about their privacy. But this doesn’t mean that users aren’t ready to share information with you.

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Tips to increase app downloads

Here are some tips you can build into your mobile marketing strategy to increase your number of app installs.

Name your app creatively

A memorable name can entice those who visit your app store page to download your app. Your app’s name should be easy to remember and reflect your brand. Think of all the successful apps that have become an integral part of our daily lives.

People don’t say “book a cab,” they say “get an Uber.” Your app’s name should be unique and appropriate to your app’s purpose for it to remain top-of-mind.

Create a unique app icon

Most applications today have similar looking icons, leading users to confuse your app with another app they download, resulting in their removal.

This is the last thing you need when you’re just starting your app business. Choose an app icon that will differentiate you not only from all other apps but in particular from the competition. Make your icon easy to recognize and remember.

Get your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy right

ASO helps improve the discoverability and visibility of your app in app stores. Factors that play an important role in discoverability are the app’s name, description, keywords, screenshots, videos, ratings, and reviews.

In many ways, ASO is similar to SEO and plays an important role in your application’s growth strategy, regardless of the budget you set aside for acquiring users.

Reach out to your target audience on social media

Social media is one of the cheapest and most effective channels for marketing and promoting new apps. It’s ideal for personalizing your application and defining its goals.

Before you decide which social media channels to use to create the image of your application, you need to decide where to start. This means that the tone of your app and your voice on social media must match your app’s personality.

When posting on social media, do it consistently. Don’t tire your fans with polite business language. Try to keep it cool, trendy, and different. Make your voice professional only if your app is for professionals.

It’s very important to pay more attention to engagement early in the marketing phase so it’s easier for your audience to get familiar with the product and start interacting with it on a regular basis.

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Get your users to rate and review your app

According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey, users tend to trust verbal recommendations such as reviews and app ratings more than other forms of advertising. Reviews and ratings play an important role in increasing your app’s downloads. Positive reviews and higher ratings help your app move up the app store listings.

Invest in referral marketing

Referral marketing has proven to be one of the most important channels for increasing downloads for all apps. Also known as word of mouth, the purpose of referral marketing is to drive app installs based on suggestions from friends, family, trusted acquaintances, and influencers.

Convert website users into app users

It’s important to have a dedicated website. Microsites have become a trend for most applications, as they’re the first point of contact for any user searching for your app on a search engine. SEO continues to be the most relevant form of marketing for app marketers.

Choosing the right set of keywords can really help you reach users in an uncluttered space, unlike in the app stores. By using push notifications, you can prompt website visitors to download your app.

Final thoughts

Increasing the number of downloads for your application is not an easy task and is not the only thing you need to do. But if you follow these tips, you’ll see a significant increase in app downloads and ratings in the app stores.

Always keep your user persona in mind when trying these strategies. One size doesn’t fit all. A strategy that works for many app users may not work for your target users, so choose the tips to follow based on.your users’ interests.

Mobile and Web App Development
Are you planning to expand your business online? We will translate your ideas into intelligent and powerful solutions.

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