4 Insanely Effective Mobile App Growth Hacks

Growth hacks can do wonders for your mobile application. It’s true. Covering every aspect including customer acquisition, onboarding, retention and engagement.

But, to engage or retain your customer, you need to get to them as the first step. And for most part, getting the first set of customers or traction is always the challenging part.

This initial traction is by far the most crucial bit for the success of your mobile app. Why, you ask?

Simply because early traction will determine a product-market/fit for your mobile app. Because, early traction will also get you that early feedback to improve your customer experience.

Because, early traction will help you understand what parts of your mobile app are your customers engaging with and how you can leverage those to bring more users to download the app.

So this article focuses on purely early traction and some tested growth hacks that will help you to get to the early adopters of your mobile app.

#1 Leverage YouTube

YouTube can be leveraged in more ways than one. I’m definitely not suggesting you make a video or a series of videos and upload to YouTube.

It already has an established base of content creators that have massive following. This growth hack is about identifying and getting in touch with them with a proposition that is mutually beneficial. If they feature your mobile app, you could set yourself up for a massive early traction.

Think about ‘what would be cool to show’ instead of ‘what my mobile app does’.

Pairing up with a so-called YouTube Star (someone with millions of subscribers on his or her channel) is the Holy Grail. If your content is compelling and a right fit for their audience, you can enter a time-limited revenue share deal.

#2 Leverage Directories

Create an associated advertisement about your mobile app and submit to directories such as Yelp, Craigslist, etc. or classifieds section of some of the most popular mainstream and industry publications.

Find out more such popular directories in your industry. Say, if you’re in the travel industry, Tripadvisor can be a good choice.

These sites have great rankings for keywords that people are already looking for and can send them your way.

AirBnB generated initial traction by posting on Craigslist.

Be innovative in identifying the category and the solution to a specific problem within that category that your mobile app solves. Create a compelling story and copy and link back to your landing page or the app store page.

#3 Leverage Community

This growth hack can get you well over 2,000 downloads pretty much within a day!

There are many avenues for you to share the link to your app or Beta-signup landing page and get feedback from the community of developers and entrepreneurs.

Take for instance Tyler Hayes, CEO of Prime who submitted a link to his landing page on Product Hunt, which got him over 900 unique visitors, five comments and over 50 signups.

A similar post in Hacker News got his company over 2,000 unique visitors. A similar story with Belle Beth Cooper’s Exist on Product Hunt got them 823 unique visitors with 4.53% conversion rate and Hacker News got them over 27,500 unique visitors with 0.26% conversion rate.

Submit your mobile app to these websites for guaranteed traction. Of course, assuming your product interests the community.

  1. Betalist
  2. Product Hunt
  3. Hacker News
  4. LayerVault
  5. Reddit iPhone

Here’s a detailed list of websites to submit your startup to.

#4 Leverage Email

I’m sure you do not have some ready email list to send a newsletter to (you’d rather give away all your money than purchase a mailing list).

Email today drives the highest conversions and having a ready email list of influential people can drive significant downloads almost instantly.

So here’s the best growth hack to get you started:

  • Open LinkedIn website. Click on Connections in the top menu.
  • Click the gear icon that appears in the top right corner of your connections page.
  • On the right hand column under Advanced Settings, click on Export LinkedIn Connections.
  • Choose the format you want it in and your download begins.
  • You now have a spreadsheet with the email addresses of all your LinkedIn connections.

There you go, your very first email list to get started with generating installs for your mobile app!