After deciding to create and launch an app, the concept of hitting 100,000 monthly app users feels a million miles away. It seems like a ‘dream come true’ kind of goal. But, not only is this possible, but it’s easier than you think. Especially now that you’re armed with our Ultimate Growth Strategy, you’ll be hitting the 100K-user milestone in no time.
So, let’s break down how to reach 100,000 monthly app users in 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Use Incentives To Keep People Coming Back To Your App
The best apps offer incentives to get people to download the app and keep coming back.
It’s so easy to forget about your recent application download. That’s why clever marketers and business owners use incentives to keep the brand fresh in the prospect’s minds and encourage frequent use.
There are three main ways to incentivize your app:
If you’re running a business where you’re selling products and have built an app for this e-commerce site, offering a discount is a solid (and easy) place to start.
And they work. HubSpot states that 86% of consumers will download a shopping app at least once a month.
Rewarding your user with a discount if they choose to download your app is a strong strategy.
You could even take it further and offer an additional discount for repeat buyers.
You can promote your discount through email marketing and social media, driving people to the app store to gain the incentivized discount.
2. A Freebie
Whether you’re offering a free product or a free service, this is a fantastic incentive to download and return to your app.
You don’t want to give away too much, though, so carefully consider what shape your free product or service will take.
3. In-App Rewards
There’s a reason video games use collectible coins. It tickles the reward centre in the brain, making the player feel like they’ve genuinely won money.
This strategy can be used within your app.
The Manifest states that 63% of companies offered in-app rewards if the app was downloaded by a user, usually in the form of coins or points. Not only is this enticing for the initial download, but it also encourages returns, boosting engagement throughout time.
Consistent users are what we all aim for when developing an app, so incorporating in-app rewards is a clever strategy that will pay off in both the short and long term.
Step 2: Don’t Underestimate Great Marketing
You’re going to need to define your marketing strategy for each unique stage of the user journey. That comes from knowing your audience in-depth, mapping out their experience, and promoting it in a way that appeals to the specific demographic.
There’s no point in creating a fantastic app if nobody knows about it.
And that’s the beauty of marketing.
Just like every other business model, marketing makes up a massive fraction of your priorities.
Marketing is crucial to convey your app’s benefits, your brand’s values, and relate to your users.
Apps, despite them being technologically advanced, have a life cycle. So, the strategies and the way you deliver your message during the pre-launch stage will be completely different than those at the acquisition and retention stage.
Market smart. Understand each stage of the journey in-depth, and strategize for each phase individually.
The Pre-Launch Stage
This phase is all about creating awareness before you launch your app. You’re aiming to create a buzz. You’ll want to promote the benefits of the app while releasing teasers. Try to build positive suspense surrounding the brand itself.
Some strategies you can use are:
- Dive into influencer marketing. We’re living in a world of social media. Use that to your advantage. Find influencers within your industry that are credible and well-liked. Reach out to influencers with high numbers of followers, as the more followers they have, the more people will hear about your app.
- Use your website. There’s solid evidence to suggest that your website can drive high numbers of app downloads. You’ll also want to consider using paid ad campaigns on search engines and social media to drive visitors to your website. Your website should encourage them to ‘get on the waitlist for your new app’s release date.
- Make use of organic marketing. Social media was created for sharing. Use social platforms to spread the word about your upcoming launch—research into social media marketing strategies, paying attention to hashtags and engagement features.
The Active User Acquisition Stage
During your launch and the weeks following it, your main aim is to encourage downloads.
Remember that, for a visitor, they’re unable to download an app without visiting the Apple iOS or Google Play App Store first.
While that doesn’t impact their ability to download the app itself, it does involve more effort and determination on the user’s part. So, it’s crucial that they feel it’s ‘worth the wait.
You’ll also need to make sure your page is optimized to push it to the top of the search results when people are searching for an app within your industry and field.
Like a solid SEO strategy, make sure you research the keywords relevant to your target audience. Consider the keywords your competitors are using and incorporate them into your app’s title and description.
Your ASO (app store optimization) should carry a large amount of weight when strategizing your app’s promotion and marketing.
Check out our Driving theory test prep app on the app store. Can you work out which keywords we targeted?
The Retention Stage
To reach this stage means you’ve gained a massive number of downloads during the Acquisition phase, so congratulations are in order!
But, don’t get too comfortable. The work only just started.
You’re aiming for consistent growth. So, you’ll need to keep your users returning to the app regularly.
It’s more costly to find new users than keep your current ones interested, so app developers and marketers need to strategize how to hold onto their users.
Retention is crucial if you want to make your app #1 in the Apple App Store or Google Play App store.
And remember, you can use incentives to keep your users coming back.
Step 3: Provide Heaps Of Value
This is, arguably, the most essential step of the whole article. So, if you take away only one strategy, it should be this one.
You need to consistently prove that your app can make your audience’s life better. It sounds simple, but marketing it and demonstrating this in a way that appeals to your users can be complicated.
If you can’t demonstrate that your app can improve their lives, your users could stop opening your app or, at worse, delete it altogether.
The best way to guarantee heaps of value is by knowing your audience. The only way to solve their problem is to understand and empathize with them.
For example, if you had just turned 17 and wanted to learn how to drive but had no idea where to start, our brand would solve their problem by providing value.
The first thing every wannabe driver needs to do is to get a provisional licence. So, we created an extensive article to walk them through it. Each stage of the driving acquisition process has been catered for, and here at Zutobi, we place a massive amount of emphasis on understanding our audience.
It’s down to our empathy and understanding that we’re about to provide heaps of value that promotes new user downloads and high levels of retention.
Step 4: Create An App You Would Use Yourself
The beauty of creating an app lies within you. You’re not just an app developer, but you’ve also used apps yourself.
According to Web Builder, there were more than 250 million daily app downloads between 2019–2020. Apps genuinely are the future, and using them to build your business is a solid strategy.
Being an app user, be that on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, means that you already understand the features that you find helpful, and you’ll also have your list of bug-bears.
Consider the apps you’ve sent to the bin. What was it that broke the camel’s back? What provoked that final tap that removed the app from your phone? You can learn so much about how to ensure your app doesn’t end up in the deleted file by studying what doesn’t work with others.
And, of course, you can also study the things that do work.
What app do you use frequently?
Open it, explore it, study it. What works? What makes you come back for more?
Every app out there is a lesson waiting to be learned. So, scroll through the app store and get studying.
The apps within your industry are always the best bet but don’t neglect other fields, too. If nothing else, they can teach you about user experience, marketing techniques, and retention strategies.
With 1.85 million apps available on the Apple App Store and an even bigger 2.56 million apps available on the Google Play Store, there’s a whole lot of lessons waiting for you.
Step 5: Keep Updating To Bring New Value
Your user’s needs will develop and evolve over time, and your competitors are already planning their next strategic move to meet those needs. Fundamentally, you can’t fall behind. You need to provide bucket loads of value with your app.
It’s simple: does using your app solve your user’s problem?
Because, remember: when it solves a problem, it needs to progress to solve another.
Our app, for example, helps our users pass their driving theory test.
But, our brand has also published a guide – 12 Driving Test Tips to Pass Your Practical Driving Test In 2021 – which helps our users progress in the next phase of their driving journey.
This is down to the user’s problem evolving, as stated at the start of this section.
Once they have passed their theory test, the next level is the practical test. And we, despite our app being focused on the theory test, meet our user’s needs until they’re on the road independently.
As an app developer, you need to be informed about your users, competitors and track your app’s progress. Use the data that is integrated with your app’s software.
Like any business model, you need to evaluate whether you are meeting goals or underperforming, drawing strategies from the results.
This data can then inform your updates, so you’re consistently providing value for your users.
Keep your customers happy, filling in solid, positive reviews, and word of mouth will do its thing.
As a bonus, it’s worth considering your push notification strategy.
Using push notifications is a great way to tell users who have downloaded the app but have recently lapsed an incentive or award.
You can also use them to notify your users that there’s been an update with new features.
Remember to carefully consider what elements you want to change, develop, or evolve. Listen carefully to your users. Their reviews, for example, can be mined to find gold.
If there’s a consistent theme running throughout the themes – be that positive or negative – consider it in depth.
Push notifications work wonders for incentives with a time limit. For example, if you were promoting a 20% discount on all orders until a specific date, a push notification will drive a sense of urgency.
You’ll need to be cautious about how many push notifications you send out, though. You must strike a delicate balance between creating a drive to take action and producing anxiety or guilt if they don’t take you up on the offer.
Consider personalising the text on your push notifications. This will make the text feel less generated and will encourage the user to feel like you genuinely care about them. Promotional messages can feel cold, but adding specs of personalization can help to melt the ice.
Growing Your App: Worth the Effort
We developed our thriving driver’s education app in 2018, and since then, it’s going from strength to strength. Even three years later, we see sharp increases every month, gaining more and more users who trust, enjoy, and learn from our app.
And we know that by using these tips, you can do the same!
Author: Leo Waldenback
Leo Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Leo founded Zutobi to make world-class driver’s education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.