10 Effective Strategies to Acquire Users for Your Mobile App

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Are you seeking ways to enhance your app’s user base? Look no further. Here are our top 10 mobile app user acquisition strategies, drawing inspiration from successful apps in the industry.

Welcome to our extensive guide on mobile app user acquisition strategies! In this blog, we’ll explore 10 remarkable approaches that leading brands and companies have utilized to acquire users for their mobile applications.

Whether you’re a burgeoning startup aiming to launch your debut app or an established enterprise striving to expand your user community, these strategies offer invaluable insights to help you realize your objectives.

Understanding the Fundamentals of User Acquisition

What Constitutes Mobile App User Acquisition? User acquisition pertains to the process of acquiring new users for a mobile application. It stands as a pivotal element in both app development and marketing since acquiring users is fundamental for an app’s success and growth. Without a robust user base, even the most impeccably designed and feature-rich app may encounter challenges in gaining traction within the fiercely competitive app market.

How Can I Gauge the Effectiveness of My User Acquisition Strategy?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) such as app downloads, cost per install (CPI), retention rate, and lifetime value (LTV) of users serve as common metrics for assessing the success of user acquisition endeavors. Tracking these metrics empowers app developers and marketers to evaluate the efficacy of their strategies and make informed decisions aimed at enhancing performance.

What’s the Average Cost of Mobile App User Acquisition? The cost of acquiring users for a mobile app can vary significantly based on factors such as industry, target audience, geographic location, and the specific user acquisition strategy employed. Typically, the cost per acquisition (CPA) of a single user can range from a few cents to several dollars or higher in certain instances.

Now, let’s delve into our top 10 mobile app user acquisition strategies, accompanied by real-world examples and case studies to illustrate each approach.

Our Top 10 Mobile App User Acquisition Strategies

1. App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store Optimization (ASO) entails optimizing various aspects of your app’s listing on app stores to enhance its visibility and ranking in search results. This encompasses optimizing keywords, app title, description, icon, screenshots, and reviews. By fine-tuning these elements, you can heighten the likelihood of your app being discovered by users actively seeking apps akin to yours.

Example: The meditation app “Headspace” leveraged ASO techniques to augment its visibility on the App Store and Google Play Store. Through optimization of its app listing with pertinent keywords and captivating visuals, Headspace witnessed a notable surge in organic downloads.

2. Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms present a potent avenue for promoting your mobile app and reaching prospective users. Through crafting engaging content, executing targeted advertising campaigns, and harnessing influencer partnerships, you can effectively raise awareness about your app and drive downloads among social media users.

Example: TikTok has emerged as a favored platform for app promotion, with numerous apps leveraging viral challenges and influencer collaborations to gain traction. For instance, the fitness app “Peloton” collaborated with fitness influencers on TikTok, yielding heightened app downloads and user engagement.

3. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing entails collaborating with influential personalities on social media platforms to endorse your app to their followers. By leveraging the trust and credibility of influencers, you can effectively engage with your target audience, resulting in increased app downloads and user acquisition.

Example: The mobile game “Fortnite” partnered with prominent gaming influencers like Ninja and PewDiePie to promote its app and drive downloads. These influencers curated gameplay videos and live streams featuring Fortnite, fostering excitement and anticipation among their followers.

4. Content Marketing

Content marketing revolves around creating and disseminating valuable, pertinent content to captivate and engage your target audience. By generating high-quality blog posts, videos, infographics, and other content pertinent to your app’s niche, you can establish your brand as a thought leader and entice users interested in your app.

Example: The language learning app “Duolingo” cultivated a robust online presence through its blog, spotlighting articles on language learning tips, cultural insights, and app updates. By furnishing valuable content to its audience, Duolingo successfully attracted and retained users passionate about language acquisition.

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing remains a potent strategy for promoting your mobile app and nurturing relationships with your users. By cultivating an email list comprising subscribers demonstrating interest in your app, you can disseminate targeted campaigns featuring personalized content, app updates, special offers, and incentives to spur app downloads and engagement.

Example: The travel app “Airbnb” leverages email marketing to engage with users expressing interest in booking accommodations via its platform. Airbnb dispatches personalized emails featuring travel recommendations, exclusive discounts, and user-generated content, driving users to download the app and plan their next getaway.

6. App Referral Programs

App referral programs incentivize existing users to refer friends and acquaintances to download and install your app. By furnishing rewards such as discounts, credits, or exclusive content for successful referrals, you can harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing and stimulate organic expansion of your user base.

Example: The ride-sharing app “Uber” implemented a referral program rewarding both the referrer and the new user with credits toward their next ride. This incentivized existing users to disseminate their referral codes, culminating in a significant uptick in app downloads and rides booked via the platform.

7. Freemium Model with In-App Purchases

The freemium model offers a free version of your app featuring limited features or content, with premium features or additional content available for purchase within the app. By enabling users to experience the core functionality of your app for free and upselling premium features through in-app purchases, you can allure a broader audience and generate revenue from users inclined to pay for added value.

Example: The mobile game “Clash of Clans” adopts the freemium model supplemented by in-app purchases to monetize its app and acquire users. While the game is free to download and play, players have the option to procure virtual currency, upgrades, and other in-game items to enrich their gaming experience and expedite progress.

8. App Store Advertising

App store advertising empowers you to promote your app directly within app stores via sponsored listings, banners, or video ads. By targeting users based on their interests, demographics, and app usage patterns, you can reach potential users perusing app stores and steer them toward downloading your app.

Example: The dating app “Tinder” leveraged app store advertising to elevate its app’s visibility on platforms like the App Store and Google Play Store. By bidding on pertinent keywords and placements, Tinder ensured prominent placement in search results and category listings, resulting in augmented app downloads and user acquisition.

9. Cross-Promotion

Cross-promotion entails promoting your app to users of other apps within your app portfolio or through collaborations with other app developers. By leveraging your existing user base or partnering with complementary apps in your niche, you can access new audiences and drive app downloads via mutual promotion and endorsement.

Example: The mobile game publisher “Supercell” cross-promotes its array of games to users via in-game banners, notifications, and interstitial ads. By promoting new game releases or updates to existing players, Supercell effectively drives traffic and downloads to its other games, harnessing the success and popularity of its established titles.

10. Performance Marketing

Performance marketing involves executing targeted advertising campaigns across diverse digital channels, including search engines, social media platforms, and mobile apps, to prompt specific actions such as app downloads or user registrations. Unlike conventional advertising methods, performance marketing emphasizes measurable outcomes, enabling advertisers to monitor campaign effectiveness in real-time and optimize them for optimal return on investment.

Example: The food delivery app “DoorDash” employs performance marketing tactics to acquire new users and boost app usage. Through targeted ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, DoorDash engages users likely to be interested in its services based on demographics, interests, and online behavior. By continually refining ad creatives, targeting parameters, and bidding strategies, DoorDash maximizes the efficiency of its advertising campaigns, driving substantial growth in app downloads and orders placed through the app. And let’s not forget their impressive Super Bowl commercials!


In the fiercely competitive landscape of mobile apps, acquiring users is a daunting challenge. However, armed with the right strategies and insights from successful brands, you can elevate your app’s visibility, attract new users, and foster meaningful growth. Whether you focus on ASO, social media marketing, influencer partnerships, or a blend of tactics, understanding your audience and iterating based on data and feedback are paramount. With dedication and creativity, your app can achieve long-term success in the dynamic world of mobile applications.