AMA2: Merchandizing apps and user acquisition

This blog post is part of a recent AMA hosted at Sean Ellis’, with Prabhjot Singh, cofounder + President at We are fans of Sean Ellis and wrote about why Growth Hackers need Growth Intelligence.

Dani Hart: Do you have any advice when it comes to merchandizing apps?  Have you seen any trends in what works and what doesn’t in terms of getting users to download and use the app?  How much attention is paid to the acquisition of users during the development of the app itself?

I’m often surprised seeing new developers neglecting the basics – e.g. strong title, compelling description with the right keywords, screenshots and videos in the app store, clear and inviting icon, etc. Given the amount of apps out there, without basic blocking and tackling, it’s going to be difficult for apps to get noticed.

65% of apps are discovered in the app store. Use app store optimization techniques and also keep up with the changes (for example, recently Apple changes the number of characters you can use in titles). The metadata that you define for apps as part of ASO is also used Search Ads.

That also means 35% of apps are discovered by word of mouth, good old marketing and advertising.

We blogged about new and existing ways to raise awareness here:  New and Existing Ways to get noticed on iOS App Store.

I’ll also highlight that the new-user on-boarding experience is very important, and at Pyze we’ve seen that developers who optimize the first 3-4 screens get better traction with new users. Uninstalls happen a lot faster than you think, especially in younger demographics. On-boarding Tours or custom engagement points via push and in-app to push behavior, and personalizing the user’s experience based on behavior/ profile will really help in getting users to build a relationship with the app.

I am big believer in building in the right viral loop to get your users working for you on the acquisition front. This is not possible for every app but thinking through and designing ways to attract new users, whether it’s via contacts or friends or Pokemon type real world engagement, will go a long way to creating stickiness for existing users and reducing your user acquisition cost substantially.

PokeMon Go has uniquely mastered the viral loop. We blogged about it here: Four ways Pokemon Go Masters the Viral Loop.

Danielle Olivas: Why do you think they’ve been so successful? What are they doing that others are not (or aren’t doing as well)?

The way PokeMon Go has combined augmented reality with gaming to offer personalized experiences is extremely impressive and spurred tremendous growth and revenue.

See my answer to Dani Hart’s question above regarding PokeMon Go’s unique approach to virality.

This app is going to become a good model for others are we move forward.