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38 Ultimate Mobile Growth Hacks – Expert Tips and Tools to Grow your App

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***Check out our 2017 Mobile Growth Handbook: https://www.slideshare.net/branchmetrics/the-2017-mobile-growth-handbook-79579365.

How industry leaders grow their apps and you can, too! A digest from mobile growth hacker meetups around the world. Complied by Daniel Kob (@dan_kob) and Branch Metrics (@branchmetrics) - the leading solution for mobile deep links. Experts from Flipboard, Zynga, Pinterest, Branch Metrics, Yahoo, Box and other tech companies share their best tips and tools on how to increase downloads, optimize performance in app stores, engage your users and drive viral sharing. More Mobile Growth tips on the Branch blog at blog.branch.io.

Publicada em: Celular, Marketing, Tecnologia
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38 Ultimate Mobile Growth Hacks – Expert Tips and Tools to Grow your App

  1. 38 ultimate mobile GROWTH hacks How industry leaders grow their apps and you can, too. Compiled by Daniel Kob (@dan_kob) & Branch Metrics (@branchmetrics)
  2. Who are the mobile growth hackers? We are 6,000 mobile app developers (iOS and Android) interested in growing our apps. We meet in about 30 cities around the world and cover all things related to growth, from organic growth hacking, to paid installs, to how to build referral systems. Be part of the community, come to one of our meetups and learn from the leading mobile developers. Join us now, it’s free! U.S International San Francisco Bay Area, CA Vancouver, Canada San Diego, CA Toronto, Canada Los Angeles, CA Montreal, Canada Santa Monica, CA Calgary, Canada Seattle, WA London, United Kingdom Boston, MA Berlin, Germany Austin, TX Stockholm, Sweden Detroit, MI Helsinki, Finland New York City, NY Reykjavik, Iceland Chicago, IL Tel Aviv, Israel Washington, DC Istanbul, Turkey Denver, CO Hong Kong, China Cincinnati, OH Singapore, Singapore Portland, OR Pune, India Bangalore, India Delhi, India Find our Meetup Groups on meetup.com
  3. What’s inside this eBook? In this eBook we have curated the essential learnings from our recent mobile growth hacker meetups in an easy digestible format. From the generation of your first app downloads to the activation and retention of your user base – we have you covered. If you want to dive in even deeper, you can watch videos of most of our meetups on YouTube.com/BranchIODeeplinks.
  4. Tyler Coffey Product Manager We Heart It The mobile growth hacking experts Zaid Al-Husseini VP of Product Gogobot Robi Ganguly CEO & Cofounder Apptentive Josh Lu Director of Product Zynga Casey Winters Growth Lead Pinterest Bayram Annakov CEO App in the Air Deema Tamimi Head of Product Mktg. Flipboard Morgan Brown COO & Author Inman News Deng-Kai Chen Director of Product Mgmt. Yahoo Billy Shipp CMO Yoshirt Andrew Fernandez EngineeringLead Rent the Runway Wally Nguyen CEO mNectar Ethan Smith VP of Growth Yummly Vanessa Larco Group Product Manager Box Mada Seghete CMO & Cofounder Branch Metrics Josh Elman Partner Greylock Partners
  5. The growth engine of your app – and the structure of this digest Share ActivationDownload Awareness Before diving into what the growth hackers have to say, have a look at this framework for thinking about growth, which we use as the structure of this digest. A growth engine is a cyclical process that results in your existing users inviting their friends to join them. Breaking down the different components of this engine can help create a mental model for optimizations and improvements. The four phases of the growth cycle are awareness, download, activation, and share.
  6. The growth engine of your app – and the structure of this digest Share Activation Download Awareness The first step of the process is driving app awareness. How are people going to get to your app store page in order to press download and install? There are many different ways to drive awareness and the distribution of channels will vary over time. The second step is the download. This download will hopefully come naturally with increased awareness, but there is always a drop-off from awareness to download. Some channels will drive much higher conversion from awareness to download. The third and mostly overlooked step is activation. 20% of downloaded apps are used just once. To avoid this, you want to get your users to take some action to commit to your product. The final step of the cycle is to drive users to share. Sharing can come in many different forms, but the ultimate goal is to leverage your activated users to drive more awareness and therefore feed back into the cycle. Awareness The growth hacks on the following pages follow this four phase structure.
  7. Awareness 1.5 m 1.4 m 360 k 340 k Google Play Apple AppStore Amazon Appstore Windows Phone Store Number of apps available Games 21.8% Business 10.3% Education 9.8% Lifestyle 8.6% Entertainment Utilities Travel Other 33.4% 6.6% 5.1% 4.4% Share of apps in Apple App Store Driving awareness is challenging > 40,000 new apps are released every month Source:Statista
  8. How do you build a user base from zero? Awareness
  9. “Ideas are the currency for growth. Ideate across all areas of the funnel and create a hypothesis behind each idea. Then prioritize ideas across three variables: impact (of the idea), (your) confidence and ease (of implementation. Test constantly, run experiments and then analyze and optimize. Optimization of the product and process is the key to success. This is where internal testing is so important. Most startups, surprisingly, are underinvested in metrics – not only about their product features, but how they are selling, marketing, and growing. The best thing you can do for your ability to grow is to capture the right metrics from the start.” Morgan Brown COO of Inman News, Author of ‘Growth Engines’ Awareness
  10. “If you start from zero you just have to hustle – get very creative and reach out to everyone you know. Figure out whether there is some sort of barter system you can engage in – you promote someone’s app and in turn they promote yours. Once you have a first user base, figure out what it is they love about your app and then take those experiences and make them even better. That’s the perfect time to ask your users to share the app and give you a great rating in the app store. Those first users who love your app are like gold for you.” Deema Tamimi Head of Product Marketing, Flipboard Awareness
  11. “The single most important thing for games early on is the quality of users and building a density of quality users. After getting to a critical mass you can start to focus on the drivers of virality and the target audiences and the themes that are working for performance marketing. But you have to build a quality user base first. Also, the onboarding process is incredibly important. Make it personal and always experiment with it.” Awareness Josh Lu Director of Product, Zynga
  12. “First, App Store Optimization. It’s not only about finding the right keywords, but also explaining what your app is about. You want to make sure that the right person downloads your app otherwise your retention rates will become fairly high and you might draw a wrong conclusion about the quality of app. Second, onboarding. Make sure the user knows what your app is about and customize the onboarding experience.” Awareness Bayram Annakov CEO, App in the Air
  13. “The people that follow us on Social Media are our users already. It’s a common mistake to spend too much time promoting your app to users you are already reaching. As a content platform our best channel for growth is search engine optimization. People discover us by searching for certain images and if we get them to our site looking at a handful of images, it is easy to convert them into app users.” Awareness Tyler Coffey Product Manager, We Heart It
  14. “Launch your app in a small market first that behaves like the large markets you are targeting before launching it worldwide. You can get a lot of valuable feedback that way and it gives you a chance to really refine your app over successive versions and get ready for the big markets.” Awareness Deng-Kai Chen Director of Product Management, Yahoo
  15. How do you get featured in the app store and what is it worth? Awareness
  16. “Networking – both Apple and Google organize meetups where you can talk to representatives who can put you in touch with the right people. Going on LinkedIn and cold emailing people can work as well.” Zaid Al-Husseini VP of Product, Gogobot Awareness
  17. “Building a working relationship with your category manager at the Apple and Google app stores is incredibly important. They talk to us about their future plans and technologies and we try to build features into our products that map onto those, so we are more likely to be featured.” Billy Shipp CMO, Yoshirt Awareness
  18. “As a small developer it’s likely that if you get featured you will be overwhelmed by the masses who download your app and are not ready for the product or have different expectations. As a result you will end up with negative reviews and ratings because you were featured but they didn’t get what they were looking for. Therefore, don’t focus on getting featured, focus on getting so good that if you are getting featured you are ready to onboard many people and give them the best experience possible.” Robi Ganguly CEO & Cofounder, Apptentive Awareness
  19. What role plays app store optimization? Awareness
  20. “App store optimization is crucial. But it’s not just a quick fix – you can’t just change some keywords and tomorrow you will have more downloads. It’s a lot of listening and learning. It’s important to notice that the app title carries a different weight in the Android and Apple app stores and that the velocity of your ratings over time really matters. One of the best ways to come up with good keywords is to read the reviews. People tell you what features they were looking for, what they like and what they don’t like. The language they use is much more indicative of how they discover you than the language you might think they use.” Robi Ganguly CEO & Cofounder, Apptentive Awareness
  21. “App Store Optimization is critical. Where you appear in the app store is lifeblood. The first thing to do is to see how visible you really are. Mobileaction.co is a great tool to get a rating of how visible you are the way your app is optimized right now. And on bit.ly/ASOcheatsheet you find a great cheat sheet for the iOS store that gives you all the variables you should optimize for.” Awareness Morgan Brown COO of Inman News, Author of ‘Growth Engines’
  22. “You should invest in app store optimization. The app store is the final hurdle before someone installs your app and you want to try different iterations, screenshots and descriptions to maximize the install rate you get. You can measure that with tools like Branch Metrics. Using deep links you can see which sources are sending how much traffic over and how many have opened the app coming from that source. Also, A/B test different versions of your app store landing page.” Awareness Zaid Al-Husseini VP of Product, Gogobot
  23. Want to download a high resolution PDF of this eBook? You are just a tweet away. Download>
  24. What influences app download decisions Download Price Description Reviews Ratings Free Trial 82% 62% 60% 60% 43% Source: Think with Google
  25. How can you improve your app rating and rank in the app stores? Download
  26. “Be intentional about when you show people the prompt to rate your app. At Zynga we make sure that we invite you to rate the app in a good moment, e.g. when you just won a game and feel good about it. When we know that your app crashed recently, we won’t show you a ratings prompt, because your recent experience might not have been as good as we want it to be.” Josh Lu Director of Product, Zynga Download
  27. “One challenge is to get great reviews, but the other one is to get no negative reviews. In the app stores there is no way to contact the reviewers, but many users use the same nickname throughout the web. Try to find these people, contact them and help them understand the product better. Often negative reviews come from users who don’t fully understand your app, so help them with that. A lot of times they will turn their negative rating into a positive one – so I encourage you to fight the negative reviews!” Download Bayram Annakov CEO, App in the Air
  28. Download What are effective ways of converting web users to app users?
  29. “We have used traditional interstitials that you see once you visit our mobile page, prompting you to download the app. However, if SEO is important for your growth, interstitials can increase your bounce rates and drive your SEO results down. Two other and less risky things you can do are upselling over email and using a text-me-the- app feature, which is a little widget integrated in an iframe on your website. Branch Metrics is one of the companies that offer this service.” Download Zaid Al-Husseini VP of Product, Gogobot
  30. “If you transition people from one channel to the next, as much as you can, measure it and understand which community is working early and why, what they care about and what in the app is driving them there. Because if you are a website only and create your first app, you will make assumptions of why people use your app and many of them will be wrong. Deep linking or ad attribution can help to test those assumptions.” Download Robi Ganguly CEO & Cofounder, Apptentive
  31. “Smart App Banners are a great way to gradually onboard mobile web users to the app when they are ready. This banner only consumes a fraction of the screen on a mobile website in order to convince users to click to open the native app if they have it or install it if they don’t. It’s a smart link that includes all the routing logic to automatically open up the app when it’s installed or fallback to an app store page if not.” Mada Seghete CMO & Cofounder, Branch Metrics Download
  32. Download Should you use paid or incentivized installs and if so, when?
  33. “Use incentivized installs to increase your rank and use non incentivized installs to get quality users that hopefully fit certain targeting. If you time your incentivized installs correctly, e.g. while being featured and releasing updates, these installs can have a good impact on your app store rank. But you need to have some staying power, otherwise you will drop again right away. Facebook ads can be really helpful to seed an audience and get discovered. In general, I would only recommend paid installs if your cost per engaged user is still at a good level, rather than looking at your cost per install. So, model out your Customer Lifetime Value.” Download Casey Winters Growth Lead, Pinterest
  34. “The economical way of doing paid installs is to first launch your app, take what ever users install your app, see who monetizes and who is retained. Understand what your average revenue and value per user is and then make an install purchase decision based on that data.” Download Wally Nguyen CEO, mNectar
  35. “Don’t aggressively acquire users if you can’t retain them. You are also potentially burning some of the most enthusiastic people about your product. Someone sees your ad who thinks that’s the product they have been waiting for, downloads it and it’s not the experience they have been looking for … and then they just leave. The chance that they come back is slim to none.” Download Vanessa Larco Group Product Manager, Box
  36. Activation Downloads alone are not enough 23%of all apps on Apple devices are only used once 36%of all apps on Apple devices are used 11 times or more 26apps average smartphone users use every month Source: Localytics
  37. Activation What role does the onboarding flow play?
  38. Activation “The onboarding experience early on is really critical. Don’t think of all your users in the same way, instead tailor their onboarding experience. Some users will know your product fairly well others don’t know what to expect when they download your app. Maybe don’t ask these people right at front to give you all their information. Let them experience your product first. Branch Metrics for example gives you the possibility to contextualize the onboarding experience based on where the users come from.” Deema Tamimi Head of Product Marketing, Flipboard
  39. Activation “We think about onboarding not just as intro screens but as the whole lifecycle. So you might get a call out two weeks after you installed it to try the shopping list and later one to try another feature. Push notifications are another element of onboarding. We segment users and do targeted email and push campaigns to turn our users into engaged ones.” Ethan Smith VP of Growth, Yummly
  40. Activation “Most services try to make the signup flow as painless as possible. That’s a terrible idea. You have more attention than you ever will have again from that user. So teach them what your product is really about – consider the onboard flow a ‘learn flow’. Slow down, it’s ok to explain your product. But don’t just tell your users how your product works, get them to engage with it right away.” Josh Elman Partner, Greylock Partners
  41. Activation “Creating the right onboarding flow is incredibly important. If you don’t create the right first impression and give the user what he’s looking for he will close the app right away and never open it again. With deep links you can personalize the first app experience and give new users an individual welcome, automatically apply any promotional offers and bring them to the content they came for without any friction.” Mada Seghete CMO & Cofounder, Branch Metrics
  42. Activation What is your notification strategy and what makes a good notification?
  43. Activation “Push Notifications are one of the greatest tool to drive users back into the app. Part of this is maximizing your adoption rate – you want as many of your users as possible to opt into notifications. Best practices include giving your users reasons why you need their permission and what content you would push to them and why this makes their experience better. Give context of when and how many push messages users would receive once they agree. Personalize the notifications and make them highly relevant in order to maximize opening rates.” Zaid Al-Husseini VP of Product, Gogobot
  44. Activation “We make every single notification personal, so they are either about content you posted or it is recommended content based on the stuff you posted on Pinterest. Be careful with general notifications that you send out to thousands of users and make sure every notification is personal, based on the data you have about your users. We treat every notification as an experiment and measure whether they increase the retention of our users or just waste their attention.” Casey Winters Growth Lead, Pinterest
  45. Activation “One of our features is a wish list of products that you might rent and you have to put a date on it. That is the highest intent action that you can take in our app. We just hone in on that – on our website, in our app and email channels to retarget those people about that event.” Andrew Fernandez Engineering Lead – Mobile, Rent the Runway
  46. Activation How do you turn newly acquired users into retained and engaged users?
  47. Activation “Look at your user data and find out what features make your users stay longer and come back. Once you identified those, start educating your users and help them understand the main value you are creating. This can increase retention a lot. In addition, emails and notifications can be effective to increase retention. One thing that we found is when we emailed users that hadn’t been in the app for 28 days it’s because they had forgotten about it since there’s so many things on their phone. This reminder can be a very powerful tool.” Deema Tamimi Head of Product Marketing, Flipboard
  48. Activation “We realized that users who have a promo code are three times more likely to convert into paying users. As a consequence, we were giving out a promo code to every user who installed the app, so they could try out all the premium features and understand the value we were creating before we even asked them to pay.” Bayram Annakov CEO, App in the Air
  49. Activation “It’s easy to assume your customers are using your product the way you intended. Data can inform you of the value your product brings to each demographic which is gold when optimizing user acquisition channels.” Vanessa Larco Group Product Manager, Box
  50. Want to download a high resolution PDF of this eBook? You are just a tweet away. Download>
  51. Share How viral is your app? activated downloaded shared activated new downloads shared _____________ __________ __________ x k-factor of an app = x
  52. Share How do you drive sharing?
  53. Share “It’s not only about sharing your app but more about letting users share what content they like or have created inside the app. At Flipboard this could be an interesting article they read or a magazine they have created. Think about their motivations and tie it back to what makes your product unique. This is where Branch Metrics can be really powerful by letting users share contextual links to one specific piece of content they like inside your app.” Deema Tamimi Head of Product Marketing, Flipboard
  54. Share “Text messages have the highest conversion rate. While the volume of shares on Facebook is higher, the eventual conversion of a text invitation to install the app is much higher.” Bayram Annakov CEO, App in the Air
  55. Share “Remove friction. Make it really easy for a user to use the method of sharing they want to use. And make sure that the content they share is really compelling.” Tyler Coffey Product Manager, We Heart It
  56. Share What are good practices to drive organic or viral growth of apps?
  57. Share “Know what segments of users really love what you are building. When you find these groups then you can analyze what kind of blogs these users read, whom they follow on Twitter, what they read on Facebook and you can put together a whole messaging plan. Also, try to find out who the contact at the app store is for the product you are making, because if you make it into even a minor feature you will have this recurring install stream that drives organic growth.” Deng-Kai Chen Director of Product Management, Yahoo
  58. Share “At a certain scale contests and promotions can drive virality. For us having customers share their custom designs or selfies with their t-shirts is extremely valuable. When a friend sees a friend’s creation they are very likely to want to participate as well.” Billy Shipp CMO, Yoshirt
  59. Share “Most companies get caught up in what I call ‘infectious virality’ – the kind of virality where you encourage your users to bring their friends so the experience is better for both. But there’s two other types of virality that let your core users be your evangelists: 1. ‘Word-of-mouth Virality’ – having your users describe their great experience to their friends. Be careful which words you use in the product or when talking to the press because these words will impact how your users will describe it. 2. ‘Demonstration Virality’ – having your core users share content from your product. These shares only happen if they are authentic and naturally happen in your product.” Josh Elman Partner, Greylock Partners
  60. Share “Users have to get addicted to your app – not to the entire experience but to something in your app. Some feature, something to hook on to that they do over and over again. When you don’t take away every single barrier that lets them exactly do that, you will end up chasing the next feature that is going to create growth – and that never works. Having tons of features usually doesn’t create growth.” Andrew Fernandez Engineering Lead – Mobile, Rent the Runway
  61. Share “Use your influencers that are already loving your app – they are your megaphone. All you need to do is to empower them. We started to develop a set of tools that helps us identify our most engaged power users and help them make us more successful and spread the word. We found that a lot of these users are very receptive if the app they love reaches out to them.” Tyler Coffey Product Manager, We Heart It
  62. Ready to grow your app? Try Branch Metrics Deep Links. Free. Forever. Branch Metrics is the sponsor of the Mobile Growth Hacking Meetups and this digest. Branch is the best way to connect your app with the world. We host growth-focused, cross channel, cross platform, free, open-source deep links for thousands of apps everywhere. Our deep links power referral systems, sharing links, invites and marketing links with full attribution and analytics. Learn More> Read Our Blog>