How to Scale your App to 1 Million Users Within 1 Year
Let’s get down to the brass tacks. To find true success with your business app, you need a lot of users to download your app in as short a time as possible. By a lot of users, I mean one million. By a short time, I mean a minimum of 12 months.
Many companies have managed to achieve this one million user goal in a timely manner. Take a look at social media giant Facebook. The time it took to get to one million users was only 10 months after it launched in 2004. Today, it has over 800 million active users. Moreover, Facebook’s Messenger app was ranked as the number 1 downloaded app in the Google Play Store in the U.S. as of October 2017.
Another example of an app that reached one million users quickly is the file storing and sharing app Dropbox, which reached this number within seven months. It now has well over 25 million users. Other notable brands who hit 1,000,000 users quickly include, Foursquare, Tumblr, Airbnb, Kickstarter, Uber, Spotify, and others.
Of course, achieving this success depends on a number of variables. That said, today’s post focuses on three main points to help you scale your business app to boost your chances of gaining a million users in as little time as possible.
Help your target customers find you in the app stores
When customers come to you, your business is ready to expand. But you can’t launch your app and expect users to fall into your lap. You need to work hard if you want to gain new users as well as keep the ones you have. This is naturally easier said than done, because even if a user downloads your app, research from Quettra revealed that, within the first three days after install, the average Android app loses 77% of its daily active users and a crippling 90% within the first month.
How do you grow and retain your customer base? First, your customers need to be able to find you in the app stores. Considering there are more than 4.5 million apps in both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store combined, getting on the front page of these stores isn’t exactly an easy feat. That’s why you need to optimize your creatives. These include the icons, descriptions, screenshots, etc. of your app. These features are the user’s first look at your product. If they aren’t attractive, it doesn’t matter how much you promote your app, it’ll never get off the ground.
Furthermore, you can increase your app’s organic downloads and users by making your app easier for people to find via the app store or search engines when they search for keywords you’re targeting or their variations.
According to a survey from TUNE, 11% of U.S. iPhone users discovered the last app they downloaded by reading about it on the web. Meanwhile, 47% said they searched for the app directly in the App Store.
The point is that implementing different organic channels as part of your marketing strategy can improve your scalability. Consider targeting long-tail keywords your target audience is searching for, connect with influencers via social media, and pitch guest blog posts. Also, keep in mind that being organic is also important when it comes to monetizing your app. You’ll find that an ad network, such as Appnext, can help you improve the efficiency of your mobile app monetization efforts, through relevance that drives engagement, which can amplify revenue.
Aim for influencer marketing
AdWeek has reported that influencer marketing is presently responsible for producing $6.50 ROI for every $1 spent. Impressive, right? If you’re not already tapping into this potential, you might want to start considering your options.
To implement an influencer marketing strategy, you need to identify and build relationships with individuals who have influence over the market you’re targeting (e.g., Youtubers, Instagrammers, high profile bloggers, etc.).
However, don’t expect influencers to jump on board promoting your app as soon as you launch it. Even after you’ve conducted your research and you know which influencers to target and how to contact them, you’ll need to convince them that you’re worth their time and effort and provide them with the right incentives. Only contact potential influencers when you have a proven strategy.
Can influencer marketing really help you scale your business app? Definitely! Take a look at Prague-based mobile app, Gamee. This mobile-first casual gaming social platform gained attention and users by reaching out to influencers ranging from Instagrammers to Youtubers. One particular influencer of Gamee’s was the Singaporean Youtuber and Instagrammer Ridhwan. The two collaborated and implemented a game, Ridhwan’s Unicorn, which was specifically dedicated to the influencer. This not only lead to his followers downloading the game, but strengthened the relationship between the two parties, leading to Ridhwan promoting the game for free.
Have a superior product
You can’t just have a decent product; you need to have a product that is better than your competition. This is one of the ways in which successful web-based money manager software company Mint grew to 1.5 million users and sold for $170 million in as little as two years.
Mint knew it had to compete in a crowded market. This meant not only giving consumers something that they wanted but doing it by capitalizing on the weak points of their competitors. In the case of Mint, one of the biggest problems their competitors had was the time and effort that was required by their users to setup an account. The process was tedious and could take an hour to complete.
So, Mint placed its focus on making its setup straightforward, easy and fast. They achieved this goal, enabling users to have their account up and running in as little as 10 minutes.
One of the best ways to grow and retain your user base is to show your users how you’re better than the competition. Make sure your app has all the great features your competitors offer and make sure that it can offer consumers something that your competitors can’t. This doesn’t have to be an additional feature. Sometimes, efficiency, convenience, speed and an overall better UX is all that’s need to come out on top.
Have a clear goal in mind
Regardless of whether it takes you six months, 12 months, or 24 months to reach one million users, scaling your business app requires a clear goal and commitment to see this goal through to the end. You need to know who you’re targeting, provide them with an incredible product, make your app searchable to your target audience, and learn who their influencers are.
Making your app relevant, important and obtaining the right support from influencers can significantly boost your content reach and help convince users to install your app and keep it.