How to build a profitable growth strategy for a mobile app

March 15, 2018 | no responses | 386

Cost per install is a nightmare for app developers with limited resources. Nowadays, launching a pay per download campaign on Facebook, Adwords or through an AdNetwork is very easy. On the other hand, it’s becoming more and more difficult to achieve a positive return on investment, mainly because of high churn rates that affects the industry. The risk of losing a user shortly after he has installed your app is very high. It looks like only top grossing apps can afford this user acquisition strategy.

You know what? There’s a much cheaper way to build a growth strategy around your app and it’s easy to set up. Real growth is the result of consistency, dedication and a continuos product development process.

You should apply growth hacking technics to increase app downloads and active users. What does that mean? A considerable share of your marketing spent should be assigned to experimentation. Instead of breaking down your budget into marketing channels, divide it into small amounts and use it to get more insights on your product, on your customers and trigger an ongoing learning process. Remember that marketing is extremely bounded to product development and having a great product is the only solution for a sustainable and profitable growth.

Brian Balfour, former VP of Product at HubSpot, argued that everyone is “looking for that single thing that unlocked an explosion of growth” but real “growth is the sum of a lot of small parts” instead.


Those small parts refer to little changes that contribute to increase the steepness of a product’s growth curve. Those are no less than implementations of positive experimentations.

To better understand how a profitable growth strategy can support your app downloads, let’s go through a recent experiment we took for an android app.


Analyzing Google Play data, we noticed that we were having a major issue on store listing c

onversion. We were receiving a lot of visitors, but just a few of them were turning into installers. The rate was much lower than

the market benchmark and that meant for our app having less active users and less revenue. We were missing a big opportunity there!


What element of the store listing was discouraging people from downloading our app? Screenshots? Description? Global rate? Reviews? We agreed that one could have been more relevant than the others: reviews. The first

page was showing a lot of old bad reviews, which probably had a negative effect on building a user’s first impression.


We had an hypothesis, now we needed to prove it right or wrong. Would new reviews improve the app’s first impression and the overall install on visitor rate? We chose a middle market single country to run the test and we asked o

ur users to leave a review on the store.


We received 40% more reviews on the sample country in a week and we saw the conversion rate increasing from 17% to 37%. It meant a +117% of improvement and a positive gap of +54% on benchmark. Experiment’s result was positive.


After testing the same on other two countries we scheduled a new app release with reviews request automation and we defined a couple of new experiments.

Focus. Test. Grow…and start again!

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