Get More Users for your Apps by changing simple things

Author: Evelin Ríos

Your new mobile app is finished, it’s good quality and ready for millions of users to enjoy. You upload it to Google Play and the App Store and wait for it to go viral, because the app really is very good.

Well, unfortunately, it no longer works like this. No app promotes itself, no matter how high-quality it is. With more than 2.5 million applications on Google Play and another 1.8 million on the App Store, it is increasingly difficult to get noticed, so promoting your app is one of the most important things you should focus on once you have uploaded it to the stores.

Although there are very effective paid platforms to promote applications, such as Apple Search Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, among others, the good news is that there are also free and very effective ways to put your application out to thousands of people interested in what your app has to offer. Ways that, while we have to spend time and patience, will work very well to bring traffic to our applications for a long time, even years

This article begins a series of articles that will present different ways to promote an application for free or at a very low cost. Each strategy is designed so that we can achieve visits, downloads and users committed to our apps. If you really are serious about your app, we recommend reading them and putting them into practice. You will certainly see positive changes.

The strategies that you will see below are based on promoting your own app. You will see that, by making small adjustments or improvements, you will be able to direct new users towards it.


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This concept may, at first glance, seem a bit unfair. However, it is far from being like this.

The reviews that users leave in the stores are A GOLD MINE, and knowing how to take advantage of them can work in our favour.

The main objective is to read negative or unfavorable reviews of applications similar to yours and find flaws or limitations that you can develop or do better in your app.

Although there are users with very high expectations, many simply want some small improvement, such as that the app can work well on their device, includes the currency of their country, and many other specific things. If you can include these small requests in your app, you have a good chance that those users and many others with similar needs will start using it.

For example: Uber, a very popular app that allows us to easily get transportation, does not escape having its own faults:

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If we look at the right side of each comment, we can appreciate the number of people who have these same problems; it becomes a recurring point of discontent.

If apps like Lyft, which is one of its competitors, analyzes these errors and finds that it can do better than Uber in this regard, undoubtedly, many users will stop using Uber and start to see alternatives, as can be seen perfectly in this Lyft user comment:

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How to find competitors?

There are several ways to find apps similar to yours. You can search for other apps that are in the same category and subcategory of your app, or you can also do a simple search for the niche to which your app belongs. For example “vegan recipes” or “apps to listen to music”..

What this strategy generates is a healthy competition between developers and a motivation to improve continuously, which, in the end, results in something beneficial for users.


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Word of mouth is a powerful way to promote an app, and other users are much more likely to hear about it from someone they know.

One referral system is to offer users an incentive for their friends to download and use the application. It can be a free service, reward or discount, among others.

The important part of having a referral system is making sure that existing users know about it, preferably from the application itself.


Next, we will analyze the referral system or incentives that some apps have.


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It is considered one of the best referral systems in the world, greatly contributing to this company having a value of 25 billion dollars.

Airbnb offers travel credits to its referral and referring users when the new member completes their first trip. The interesting thing here is that the money is only credited when the new user has completed their first purchase. An additional and higher travel credit is also offered when the referred user brings a guest for the first time.

Something interesting and that has brought excellent results to Airbnb is to make your invitations to obtain incentives seem like gifts and not promotional efforts, always maintaining an altruistic language.

Airbnb is available on Google Play and the App Store. You can also visit their website.


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Dropbox is a giant in the referral marketing game, with a whopping 3900% growth.

They offer a double incentive in which both the sending and the referred user will have more free storage space. This is also called a reciprocal incentive.

Dropbox is available on Google Play, App Store. You can also visit their website.


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With a user base of 100 billion people, Evernote also has a reciprocal inventive referral system. The rewards are attractive to both the referring user and the referred user.

The referring user earns points that can be used to purchase premium subscriptions or increase the limit of their monthly load capacity. In addition, new users are offered the premium version of the application for free for a month.

Evernote is available on Google Play and the App Store. You can also visit their website.


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If your application offers some type of information that can be shared, allow it to be done easily. Users love to share, and when they do, they will spread information about your app and attract other people’s attention to it.

For example: Suppose you have a jokes app called “Crazy Jokes”, where you allow jokes to be shared on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and at the end of each joke you include a phrase like “Find more funny jokes in Crazy Jokes. Download it here ”.

Imagine how viral your app can become if users start sharing these jokes with their friends, and these then with their other friends. And all this by simply allowing content to be shared from your app.

This is an incredibly easy and powerful technique which is well worth the effort to implement.


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Another interesting idea for promoting an application is to associate with applications which are complemetary to yours.

For example: If you have an app to create Surveys, you could partner with a brand that sells a Customer Relationship Management platform and cross-promote with them: they could include your application in the newsletter they send to their customers, and you could do the same or something similar for them.

Another form of cross-promotion that you can take advantage of is that, if you have more than one application, you can link your new application to the others, since users who are already happy with your first apps could download and install your new application because of the quality they already know about the previous ones.

Cross Promotion Example

In the following image we can see how the King company promotes several of its games through Candy Crush Soda Saga:

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Candy Crush Soda Saga is available on Google Play and the App Store.


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If you are not familiar with optimizing your app on the App Store and Google Play, now is the time to do it. Bringing your app to the top of store searches is key because of the fierce competition that exists nowadays.

Every day that you’re not taking steps to rank top of search lists, you’re simply losing ground to your competition.

Each ASO factor counts to ensure that an app has greater visibility in the app stores and that a user decides to download it instead of hundreds of others which pass by; from optimizing the icon of your app, the screenshots, the languagesthat you have available in it, and up to one of the most important the reviews.


The strategies we have seen are very important for our app to start taking off in the downloads metric. While there are some that may take a little longer to implement, the payback we will have is very big.

We recommend starting with the strategy that is most comfortable for you or is easiest for you to carry out. The important thing is that you start to value and implement them right away in your app.

Don’t forget that on our blog you will find other forms of free and very effective promotion so that you can earn even more visits and downloads for your apps.