Exclusive tips on how to successfully grow your mobile app in 2023

REPLUG Co-founder Luca Mastrorocco offers advice to app developers looking to grow their apps in 2023.

The mobile marketing industry has constantly been evolving over the past decade. A sudden but expected shift toward privacy has challenged the status quo.

It was only in 2019 that marketers could target users in the most sophisticated way. Ad personalization was crucial to success as we could access various data points to create the most precise acquisition campaigns.

However, things changed with the “IDFA-apocalypse” and a cookie-less world. Once sure about everything, app marketers lost control over data and tracking capabilities.

The shift happened two years ago in this new situation, but not everyone has embraced it. App growth is more complex than it used to be and requires a holistic approach that considers a variety of activities marketers need to be aware of and master. For this reason, we put together a list of tips on how to grow your mobile app in 2023.

A holistic app growth approach

Growth Rocket Model by REPLUG

Too often, departments operate in silos when it comes to app growth. It’s either a product- or a growth-focused approach. Nowadays, however, there’s a need to consider app growth as a combination of carefully balanced activities that connect different points in the galaxy of a mobile app.

Failing to consider the whole picture and understand how each customer touchpoint is connected will result in a short-sighted strategy with little chance of success.

At REPLUG, we have been working since day one on a model that would clearly showcase the need for marketers to think holistically rather than in silos.

With the aim of visualizing this holistic approach needed in app marketing, we created the Growth Rocket Model, an effective representation of how each part of the mobile app plays a critical role in achieving success.

The Growth Rocket Model has guided us in identifying the needs of what to look for when considering a carefully crafted app growth strategy for 2023 and helped us in collecting these tips.

1. Align the pre-download communication to maximize conversions
With tracking becoming more complex, main advertising channels have increased the rate at which ads are shown to users even more. If in the pre-IDFA-mess, users could experience some ad relevancy, today, this is not the case. Users are bombarded with all sorts of ads and have developed a natural resistance.

App marketers have seconds to win users attention. Make one mistake in the pre-download journey, and you lose a potential customer. Therefore, aligning the communication between ads and the App Store Pages becomes crucial to ensure conversion.

With Custom Product Pages on Apple and Custom Store Listings on Google, marketers can customize the users’ experience, even before the download happens. Showing a consistent creative experience to the users, with similar call-to-actions, images, and messaging, will facilitate the download and increase the conversion rate.

2. Optimize the onboarding process and focus on the user experience
The app download is just one step of the conversion funnel. When thinking about optimizing the user journey, marketers need to pay extra attention to the onboarding experience. The onboarding process was somewhat smoother in the pre-ATT world, as the permission requests were limited. 

However, with an increasing shift towards privacy, the onboarding process has become more complex and crowded with pop-ups. How many requests should we ask users in the first app open? Is it a good idea to focus on permission requests, or should we help users understand what the app is about?

Depending on the apps complexity, marketers today need to work closely with UX/UI designers, product managers, and developers to maximize the opt-in rate while keeping the user experience smooth. It’s a team effort.

First impressions always matter, in real life, like in the onboarding experience. We have a chance to let users experience something unique while helping us to create a better and more personalized experience.

3. Automate post-install communications for higher engagement
More than ever in 2023, post-install communication with a dedicated mobile CRM and retention strategy will play a role in keeping users engaged and increase their LTV.

Customer loyalty in the mobile app ecosystem is relative to the latest discount users receive. An app is rarely unique in its offering, and users know they can get something similar elsewhere within a few taps. Customer loyalty is built over time through personalized, relevant, and timely communication based on user value.

Marketers will have to adopt various strategies to engage users in the long term. Be personal, be fun, and be unexpected. Users love surprises and love seeing their app using personalized communication to interact with them regularly. Don’t use post-install communication only to chase a purchase.

4. Be Personal, be real, be creative
Marketers need to start engaging with their future customers in new ways. Traditional ads are obsolete (in a way). Speak the language of your users, and let them discover your app through content created by people just like them.

User-generated content will keep being a key driver in user acquisition and engagement across a wide range of app categories. Using content creators (micro- and nano-influencers) on a performance basis will supercharge our activities and drop the cost of acquisition.

Marketers must embrace this new way of talking with their users and not be scared of trying something new. We have seen incredible success when implementing raw, unpolished, and natural video content, unlike traditional video ads for some of our partners in different verticals. UGC works; we just need to understand how this fits into our strategy.

WII.FM – The most famous radio in the world
Potential and existing customers are most of the time interested in what we can do for them and how we can help them solve their problems. Users always have in their mind the most famous radio in the world, WII.FM – What’s In It For Me? 

WII.FM should drive all our activities in the acquisition or retention phase. Forgetting about what’s in it for the users will make us irrelevant very quickly.

Although this is not a new marketing concept, marketers have somehow forgotten about it and started focusing their communication on features rather than values. We drive the communication of our app marketing activities, and we can stir it to put the user at the center of it.

Mobile app marketing is an exciting and always-evolving activity. Moreover, 2023 will bring new and unexpected changes in how we talk with our users. We can’t predict the future, but we can make sure to stay relevant and make use of what we have today.

At REPLUG, we keep an eye on new trends and opportunities while ensuring that our partners grow in the right direction with a long-term vision in mind.

If you want to grow your app effectively in 2023, start by clicking here and getting in touch with our team of experts!