Mobile apps

5 Effective Ways to Boost your Mobile App Downloads

There’s around 2.2 million mobile apps on the App Store, and 2.8 million on the Google Play Store. With such a large pool of competition, it’s...

5 Effective Ways to Boost your Mobile App Downloads

There’s around 2.2 million mobile apps on the App Store, and 2.8 million on the Google Play Store. With such a large pool of competition, it’s become more important than ever to stand out from the other mobile apps, and to find effective ways to boost your downloads.

In this article, we’ll cover:

- 5 things that you can do to increase your app downloads

- Why you should do these things and the benefit you’ll gain from doing so

- How to execute each of the 5 tips effectively 

Whether you’re seeking your first hundred users or trying to reach multiple figures of users, these tried and tested methods will help you to increase your mobile app downloads. 

1 - Utilise all of your existing marketing channels

By leveraging your marketing channels, you can expose your mobile app to your existing following and customer base, increasing your app’s visibility among potential users. The benefit of utilising your existing tools is that you’re able to tailor your marketing efforts and deliver your message directly to the people who are most likely to be interested in your app. 

Because what better way is there to boost downloads than to market your app to people who are already invested in your brand? 

Think about it, you already have an audience you would want to use your app, all you need to do is show them that it’s an option! 

A consistent and strategic presence across all of your business’ marketing channels also helps to reinforce your app’s brand identity. 

By sharing engaging content related to your app, such as special offers, promotions, new updates, features, tutorials, or user testimonials, you can build brand recognition and establish yourself as an authority in your app’s niche. Increased brand awareness can also lead to higher app downloads, user retention, and word-of-mouth referrals, because your app will become more recognised, trusted, and established in your industry. 

Here's 3 effective marketing channels you can use to boost your app downloads right now:

Social channels 

Develop engaging and relevant content across your social media channels, such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, that point directly to your mobile app. Use eye-catching visuals, videos, and persuasive copy to grab attention and communicate the value of your app effectively. 

Including a clear, concise, and appealing call-to-action on your social channels is an effective way to direct your audience to the relevant store where they can conveniently download your app. In fact, according to a study by AdRoll, adding a CTA on your Facebook page can increase the click-through rate by 2.85%. 

Email marketing 

The benefit of using email marketing is its cost-effectiveness, ability to reach a wide audience, and the potential for personalised and segmented communication. 

If you have an email list, you can send out targeted campaigns to your subscribers highlighting the benefits of your mobile app and the value that it can add to their lives, encouraging them to download it. 

Many email marketing tools such as Klaviyo and Mailchimp allow you to run segmented campaigns, where you can send different messages for different audiences. This increases customer engagement as your subscribers will be receiving something that appeals to them. You can also personalise the messages to make them more engaging by using a subscribers name. 

Performance Marketing

Performance marketing is a digital marketing channel where you only pay based upon results.

For example, Google uses CPC (cost-per click), so you only pay once someone’s clicked on your ad. 

The two most popular performance marketing channels are Google (CPC) and Facebook (CPM). When advertising on each, you can set it so your ads only appear for mobile devices and then send people directly to download your app. If you use retargeting campaigns, a targeting technique where you aim your ads at people who have already engaged with your store in some way, you know that:

1. They were already searching for your store / have had some engagement with your brand before

2. They’re on mobile right as they see your ad, so they’re in the prime position to download 

Meaning they’re far more likely to download your app and make an immediate purchase.

2 - Offer a good download incentive

Download incentives can significantly increase the conversion rate from potential users, to actual downloads, as you’re offering something perceived as valuable or desirable. 

In fact, a simple ‘15% off your first app order ’ incentive has proven to boost downloads by 300%, and in-app sales by 200%.

Download incentives also create a buzz around your app, as when users receive a valuable offer, they often share what they purchased with it, or the benefit that they gained from using it. This positive experience is shared with others through word-of-mouth, or on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, where it’s become very popular for users to publish posts and videos about their purchases, such as desirable fashion, electronic, or household items. 

This leads to an increased organic reach for your business and app, as well as further downloads as people are more likely to hear about the incentive and app benefits. 

Not only do app incentives help to boost the number of downloads, they also contribute massively to improved customer engagement and retention. When your customers receive rewards or benefits from one, downloading the app, and two, making repeat purchases, there’s a good chance they’ll keep coming back to your app, becoming loyal customers. 

Here are some popular incentives to boost downloads and maintain customer retention. Be sure to highlight them across your app listing page, social channels, website, and other marketing tools so they gain maximum exposure.

Exclusive discounts 

One of the most effective incentives you can use to drive app downloads is to provide exclusive discounts or discount codes to users who install your app. 

For example, ‘20% off your first app purchase’ or ‘free shipping on your first app order’ would offer value to your customer, enticing them to not only download your app, but purchase from it, too. 

The key is to make sure these discounts are exclusive to app purchases only, can’t be used on the website, and are a reward for taking an action. You should also ensure that the discounts you offer are significant enough to encourage users to take action.

Early access to sales and promotions

Offering app users early access to upcoming sales, new collection launches, or product promotions will give your customers a sense of exclusivity.

You can do this by notifying existing app users through push notifications and in-app pop ups/banners to build anticipation, which will give them an incentive to shop on your app again. Non-app users can also be notified through app listing pages, emailers, social media, and other marketing channels, that they’ll get exclusive access to these sales and promotions if they download the app.

Loyalty rewards program 

To retain existing customers, implement a loyalty program within your app that rewards users for their continued purchases. 

For example, you could offer points for each purchase which could be redeemed for free shipping, discounts, or money off an order. Highlight that the more they engage with your app, the more they benefit. 

App-only collections 

Introduce special collections or limited-edition items that are exclusively available for your app, and highlight that they can’t be purchased anywhere else, not even on your website.

These app-only items can create a sense of urgency and drive downloads as users seek to access unique products that are not available through other channels, especially if it’s a limited time offer.

3 - Promote your mobile app on your website

It’s important that your website attracts a strong customer base, and a steady amount of traffic, as this is crucial for creating a successful mobile app as it serves as a valuable source of potential users for your app. You can learn more about increasing your website’s traffic by reading the StoreLab guide, 3 Tips To Improve Your Shopify Store’s SEO.

By promoting your app on your website, you expose it to a wider audience, increasing its visibility and reaching users who might not have otherwise known about it. 

In addition, your website visitors and existing customers already have an interest in your brand, products and services, so this is a great way to target a more relevant audience who are already engaged with your offerings. This increases the likelihood of attracting users who are more likely to download and actually purchase from your app -  which is especially true if you present something that can’t be found/used on the website, such as a mobile exclusive offer, discount, or benefit. 

Promoting your app on your website also indirectly supports your app store optimisation efforts. By driving traffic to your app’s download page or app store listing through website call-to-actions, you’re more likely to increase the number of downloads and positive reviews, which will improve your app’s ranking in app store search results. This is a great way to attract more organic downloads and enhance your app’s visibility. 

Mobile app banner 

A mobile app banner is a quick, efficient and seamless way for your customers to download your app, and is our favourite tried and tested acquisition method. 

Mobile app banners allow customers to download your app straight from their browser, without ever having to go to the App Store. All they have to do is click a button on the banner, and it’ll download the app straight to their mobile device. Easy-peasy.

This is an invaluable, free, and easy-to-use feature that we offer to all our clients at StoreLab, and we’ve seen that it’s boosted our clients’ app downloads by an incredible 40%. 

Our customers have the option to easily activate our mobile app banner from the StoreLab web app. Once their app is live, within their settings page on the web app, they can choose to activate the banner themselves, simply by clicking the ‘Activate’ button. Once this selection is made, our automated system takes over and the banner promptly appears on their mobile website.

What sets our mobile app banner apart is its seamless integration with various device types, whether it’s an Apple or Android device. This ensures that we are prioritising user-friendliness to provide a smooth, convenient, and positive user experience for our clients and their customers. 

If you’d like to learn more about how our mobile app banner works, as well as how it can boost your app downloads, you can talk to a member of our team today.

Use homepage banners and pop-ups 

Implement homepage banners and pop-ups on your website to promote your mobile app, as these can be strategically placed to catch visitors’ attention and encourage them to download your app.

These banners and pop-ups on your online store should be simple and clear, featuring visuals and call-to-actions, also highlighting an app incentive, such as a discount or special promotion received when you download or purchase from your mobile app. 

4 - Create an exciting and engaging app listing page 

Creating a great app listing page is crucial for attracting users and encouraging them to download your app. 

Here’s how to create a great app listing page:

Pick a clear and compelling app title 

By choosing a concise and memorable title that reflects the purpose and features of your app, you’re ensuring it’s simple to understand and relevant to your target audience. You can do this by keeping the title short and to the point, as it’ll be easier to remember and stand out among other app names. To highlight the main functionality or benefit of your app within its title, you should clearly communicate the core benefit that sets your app apart from others, identifying your unique selling point to potential users. 

When looking to create a clear and compelling app title, you should always keep in mind how you can best appeal to your target audience. Think about what kind of people you would like to download your app, and how you can tailor the title to specifically resonate with them. By using language, words and phrases, and a tone of voice that aligns with your target audience’s preferences and interests, they’ll be more likely to look into, and download your app.

Create a high-quality app icon

There are millions of apps available for download on the App Store and Google Play Store. In this cut-throat battlefield, where every app is fighting for its space, you must ensure that your mobile app icon not only stands out from the crowd, but is also compelling enough for users to be moved to download. The very least it should do is get people to form an interest in your mobile app.

Designing an eye-catching and visually appealing app icon is important because it serves as the representation of both your app and brand's core functionality. It also acts as the first point of contact for potential users. 

A memorable app icon increases brand recognition and helps users locate and engage with your app easily. Moreover, it generates interest and improves user engagement by creating a unique identity for your business. Think about it, how's it possible to swiftly navigate through all of the apps on your mobile device? It’s because they each stand out due to their own unique colours, design elements, and illustrations. 

Your app icon should align with your brand identity and be instantly recognisable to your target audience. Consider incorporating elements such as colours, typography, or visual cues that are consistent with your current branding.

Simplicity is key when it comes to app icons, as a cluttered or complex design may not look good or scale well across different device types and sizes. Aim for a clean and straightforward design such as a small illustration or graphic that conveys your app’s essence in a single glance. Once completed, test your icon across different resolutions and devices to ensure that it remains clear and visually appealing at all times to maintain a good user experience. 

Have an engaging app description 

Having an engaging app description is important as it’s proven to influence user downloads through persuasive language, addressing pain points, and providing social proof. Crafting a concise, clear, and compelling app description is crucial for attracting and retaining users in the competitive app market, because your mobile app needs to stand out from the ever-growing pool of competition.

App descriptions give you the opportunity to highlight the key features, benefits, and unique selling points of your app from the offset. By focusing on highlighting what your app’s purpose is, and how it can solve a problem or improve users’ lives, you can be sure that you’re appealing to your target audience and creating a connection between what you offer and your customers' needs. 

To improve the readability of your app description, you should use bullet points or small paragraphs which will help key information to stand out, and will make it easy to read. No one has time to read a lengthy essay on the purpose of your mobile app, instead, a brief, persuasive but informative description would be much more effective for increasing app downloads. 

Use strong, engaging, and enticing images and videos

Images and videos enhance the visual appeal of your app listing, making it more eye-catching and enticing to potential users. With countless apps competing for attention, strong images and visuals help create a positive first impression and quickly convey the essence of your mobile app.

This is because they’ve got the ability to showcase the app’s key features, benefits, user interface, and functionality first-hand in a visually engaging way. By providing a glimpse into the user interface and functionality, these images improve user understanding, illustrate app expectations, and can even show a demonstration of how the app is navigated. 

Moreover, compelling visuals can significantly boost conversion rates by instilling trust in your offerings, generating excitement, and prompting users to download your app. Strong images and videos also give you a competitive advantage, allowing your app to stand out among the competition and attract a larger user base, which will increase its overall success. 

Add keywords to optimise your app listing description

Using keywords in mobile app listings is crucial for app success, as it significantly improves its discoverability and visibility in app store search results. 

By targeting specific keywords related to your app’s features, functionality, and purpose, you can attract users who are actively searching for apps like yours, resulting in higher-quality traffic and better user engagement. 

Additionally, keywords help differentiate your app from competitors, highlighting its unique attributes and attracting users with specific needs or preferences. Clear keyword usage in app descriptions helps set accurate user expectations of how your mobile app works, leading to increased user satisfaction and positive reviews. 

Display positive user reviews and ratings

Displaying customer reviews on an app listing page serves as social proof, establishing trust and confidence in potential users by showcasing positive experiences from other customers. It also enables valuable feedback and transparency, allowing users to see genuine opinions about customers’ experiences using the app. 

Featuring reviews also generates user engagement as customers seek information and insights from real experiences, leading to increased app downloads and active users. Additionally, reviews assist potential users in making informed download decisions by highlighting the app’s performance, usability, and overall satisfaction. 

Encourage your existing users to leave positive reviews and ratings for your app, as social proof plays a significant role in attracting new users. You can do this through reward programs, pop ups, notifications, and banners on your mobile app. To show that you value this user feedback, and care about your customers, respond to feedback and reviews promptly and professionally.

Once you’ve created your initial listing page, it’s also important to ensure that you’re continually analysing and optimising your app listing page over time based on user feedback, analytics, and performance data. This will allow you to make any adjustments, changes and updates to improve the performance of your app listing, and keep your page fresh, exciting, and engaging. 

5 - Partnering with influencers

Join forces with influencers or cool individuals who vibe with your brand! They’ll help to spread the word about your app to their following, giving your app the boost it deserves. Why do we recommend partnering with influencers?

Well, influencers have a dedicated following on social media platforms, which allows them to reach a large number of people. Those of us who use social media follow at least one influencer. When they promote your business, offerings, products, collections, and your mobile app, their followers, who trust and value their opinions, are likely to form an interest in your brand and try out your app. 

In fact, a recent study by Digital Marketing Institute found that not only do 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, but that 40% of them had purchased something after seeing it advertised by an influencer on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or YouTube.

By partnering with influencers, you also have the opportunity to reach a target audience, as each one often has a specific niche that they cater to. By collaborating with someone whose audience aligns with your target demographic, you can effectively reach the right audience for your offerings, and attract users who would be genuinely interested in your app’s features or benefits. 

So we’ve explained the effectiveness of collaborating with an influencer, but now you may ask, ‘I’d like to find an influencer for my brand, but how do I do this?’ 

- Start by clearly identifying your target audience and understanding their demographics, interests, and online behaviour through the analytics tool on your mobile app. You should also try to identify the social media platforms that are most popular among your desired customer base, then, you can focus your search on the platforms where this audience spends the most time. 

- There’s many online influencer discovery tools that can help you to find people based on your specific criteria. Some popular tools include Upfluence, BuzzSumo, and Captiv8, which allow you to search for influencers by niche, location, follower count, engagement rate, and other relevant factors. 

- Once you’ve found an influencer who sparks your interest, reach out to them and build a relationship. You can do this via email, direct messages, or through an agent. When reaching out to a potential influencer, be clear about your goals, objectives, and ideas, and share with them why you believe they are a good fit for your brand, and what you can offer them in return. Remember, building a genuine relationship is very important for a successful collaboration! 

After partnering with an influencer, just like with your other marketing efforts, be sure to track the performance of your campaigns. By monitoring metrics such as the reach, engagement, conversions, and feedback from your campaign, you’ll be able to effectively evaluate the success of the collaboration and come up with new ideas, improvements, and informed decisions based on your results. 

Creating a Successful Mobile App

Increasing downloads for your mobile app is not always the easiest thing to accomplish. But, if you make use of our top 5, straightforward tips and best practices for app marketing, you’ll see a considerable boost in downloads and app store rankings. This is one of the key steps towards creating a successful mobile app!

You can find more information on creating successful mobile apps throughout StoreLab's Research Room, including the article, 'How to Create the Perfect Push Notification', which provides you with knowledge on how to utilise the most powerful marketing tool in app commerce.

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