Lesson 1

What is App User Acquisition?

Congratulations, you’ve launched your app. Take a moment to celebrate, but with the understanding that your journey has only just started.

No matter how brilliant your app is, without users it will just sit in the app store waiting for attention. And as much as you’d like to sit back and let the downloads pour in, the truth is that app user acquisition is an active, ongoing process.

In Discover and Strategize you analyzed the app economy and mapped out your app. Now we’re going to focus on acquiring new users. There are two stages to the acquisition process:

  1. Increasing visibility in the app stores, also known as app store optimization (ASO).
  2. Setting up and running organic and paid user acquisition (UA) campaigns.

Not Just Users, the Right Users

As is so often the case, acquisition is about quality, not just quantity.

It’s important to remember that downloads simply for the sake of a high download count isn’t valuable if it doesn’t get you closer to meeting your business goals. Your user acquisition efforts must focus on finding users who will stick around and respond to your engagement and monetization efforts (which we’ll cover later). A huge number of downloads that result in a high churn rate wastes time and money —and no one wants that.

Product Madness had several popular casino games to its name, but as the social casino gaming subcategory became increasingly crowded, it became more difficult and expensive to acquire new users.

By tracking, testing and improving its creatives, Product Madness increased click-through rates on its ads by 44%, dramatically improving its ability to acquire more quality users at lower cost.

Because all successful apps are rooted in a clear understanding of the audience they wanted to attract, you should start the acquisition process with research on your audience’s in-app usage. Then, systematically work on finding out where and how you can find that audience. Filling in this information is an ongoing process of measuring and adjusting. Over time, you’ll get closer to the goal of finding and acquiring the most ideal users for your app.

Once you have those fundamentals in place, there are many common (and not-so-common) tactics that will help users discover your app and install it on their mobile device. That’s what we’ll cover here, starting with the critical world of app store optimization (ASO).

Let’s dive in...

Keep Learning

In the next lesson, we'll dig into some app store optimization basics including keyword, category and description selection.

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