12 Tactics to Get Starting Installs and Traffic to Your Mobile App

Launching a mobile app is a huge affair.

Tons of time, work, and planning has gone into creating the app. You’re undoubtedly proud to show it off. You want to share it with the world.

So, how do you actually get your first bit of traction and generate downloads and users?

These 12 tactics will help you find some initial traction and spread the word about your app so people will take notice and check out what you have worked so hard to create.

Start with these:

1. Ask your friends and family

Start with what you know–and who you know.

If you’re starting from scratch, the best way to get your first few downloads under your belt is to share with your friends and family and ask them to download and try out your app. This won’t make a huge dent, but it will give you a start.

Estimated installs: 5-10

2. Get your friends and family to share it

Now, it’s time to really kick your grassroots marketing into overdrive. Ask your friends and family to share and promote the app. If each one gets another 2-3 people to check it out, you could be nearly halfway to your first 100 users.

Estimated installs: 20-30

3. Beg for reviews

You don’t have to literally beg. But, you should be persistent in asking for your users to review your app. You want high-rating reviews to help boost the credibility and the more of them you can get, the better off you’ll be.

This will help increase your visibility over time in search and help you get additional coverage for the app. So, the payoff may start small but could mean thousands, tens of thousands, or more additional installs over the lifetime of the app.

Estimated installs: 100+++

4. Create a beta page

To attract users to an early iteration of your app, create a beta page and submit to sites such as BetaList.com. This is an easy way to gain exposure to your app and generate user feedback fast.

Estimated downloads: 100+++

5. Pitch it to local media

If you want to get covered in the press (and you do) then you should start small. Most local newspapers and magazines have a business or what’s-happening-around-town section. Try to reach out to local outlets and get picked up–even if it’s just a small article.

That initial boost will give you some visibility and provide some social proof when you pitch bigger opportunities.

Estimated downloads: 100-500

6. Join app developer groups

There are specialized communities all of the internet for app developers and for people who are launching new apps. Ideally, you should join these communities well in advance of your release and become a regular contributor before asking for members to support your app.

Either way, you can you use these groups as part sounding board (getting feedback) and part springboard (getting installs).

Estimated downloads: 500+

7. Optimize your listing

Once your app is starting to get some downloads and reviews, it’s important to consider how well it does in app store search.

You’ll want to spend time carefully optimizing the text, images, titles, and keywords to make sure that you show up for the right searches and get installs from the right people. Remember, you want to generate users, but you don’t want to mislead people about what your app does or you risk receiving negative reviews.

Estimated downloads: Anywhere from 100-10,000+

8. Include a preview video

At this point, preview videos play a huge role in optimizing your app listing. So, create one and use it to drive more installs.

Estimated downloads: Anywhere from 100-10,000+

9. Get your app reviewed

Search for blogs and websites the regularly write up about new and exciting apps (Mashable, The Next Web, etc) and reach out to them about getting a review of your app.

This kind of exposure can be a catapult, sending you hundreds or thousands of users and driving major adoption of your app. Make sure that your other pieces are all in place to handle traffic before you make the pitch.

Estimated downloads: 50-1,000++

10. Participate in an “App of the Day” promotion

Many websites will spotlight or giveaway a free app each day. This can be a great way to get exposure for your app, and you can use your earlier press or reviews as social proof to get your foot in the door.

Estimated downloads: 1,000-5,000+

11. Enter into a bundle or app collection

Depending on your app, you may be able to get included in a collection or bundle or apps that is offered to a specific target market. There are many sites that curate these kinds of collections, so you just have to find the right one for your app–then reach out about being included.

In some cases, they will ask for you to offer a bulk discount or free version for their users–weigh the options carefully when deciding whether it’s worth it to gain additional users.

Estimated downloads: 500-1,000+

12. Get featured in the Apple/Play store

The holy grail of most app marketing is being featured by the Apple App or Google Play story. Either, as a new and noteworthy spotlight or as a must-download app within your category.

There are articles online that explain how to go about the process, and being chosen is not easy. But if you are featured, you can count on thousand or tens of thousands of downloads pouring in. This is where things get really exciting!

Estimated downloads: 5,000-10,000++


The Importance Of Localization For Your App

There’s no doubt that you’d love the ability to wave a magic wand and then send your app careening toward hockey-stick growth.

Who doesn’t want to build the next hot app that everyone’s talking about and using?

In the real world, this usually doesn’t happen. Achieving that kind of growth is rarely simple. It takes tons of time, a rockstar team, or a whole heap of luck.

But there is one change that could have a huge and profound impact on your app’s success. And many app developers simply overlook it.

It’s called localization–making your app accessible to foreign markets and in languages other than English.

This may seem like an afterthought or something you can leave until later, after you’ve hit it big. But without localization, you may never find the traction you’re expecting.

You’re ignoring 90% of the market

Let’s take a look at some of the cold-hard data on why app localization is critical to your success.