Creative Strategies to Increase Mobile App Adoption

There are several well-known methods of increasing adoption and retention for mobile apps. Ensuring the onboarding process is as simple as possible and using push notifications are two well-known techniques to improve engagement. The following are a few of the more creative methods app marketers and developers can use.


Turning an app into a game is a great way to leverage the network effect. People love to be part of a community and people love to compete. If you can create a game within your app, you can reward users for referrals and for information that makes the app more useful. For example, CallerSmart is an app that helps users avoid unwanted calls and messages by providing information on unknown numbers. The information is crowdsourced, and users are rewarded for their info with points and badges. Not all users will want to share information, but many will – and that makes the app more useful and more valuable.

Use a website to complement the app

Some products are just too complex for all the features to be included in an app. In that case, the website and app should complement one another. For instance, brokers have realised that clients like to use the website to do research but use an app to follow the market and trade. For example, IG offers a spread betting demo account to allow prospective clients to get to know the website and app, and focus on what each of the two platforms can do for them. Demo accounts are also a great way to let users get to know a product without committing to a funded account.

When it Comes to Monetisation, One Size Doesn’t fit all

A one-size-fits-all approach can cut out valuable revenue and slow adoption of an app. While some customers will never pay for an app, they may still use a version supported by ads. On the other hand, some customers will happily pay for an app but will uninstall the app if they see one too many ads. Others may be prepared to share information in return for free access to an app.

Broaden Your Horizons

Always be aware that you may be overlooking an important market segment. You may be so focused on the market you are targeting that you forget about other potential users. The digital world has no boundaries and sometimes your biggest market might be on another continent. Or it may be a different age group from the one you are targeting. This often becomes true as an app iterates and morphs into something different.

Focus on the Right Metrics

There are several metrics that can be used to measure engagement, including installs, registered users and daily active users. These are often known as vanity metrics, as they can often be a distraction. The number of installs and registered users is irrelevant if no one actually uses the app. There’s a saying that goes: “Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity and cash is reality.” Work out who your ideal, profitable users are, and then work out which metrics really give you an indication of the engagement of those types of users.

Sometimes app marketing can become a little too formulaic, and it’s worth thinking creatively to grow the user base. These are just a few ideas, and it’s worth looking at case studies of other successful apps to find others.