What’s in a successful mobile user acquisition strategy? Metrics such as app installs, customer acquisition cost, and conversion rates can certainly help you see what’s working for you and what’s not. But are they enough? Apart from this data, there are other factors you need to be aware of that can negatively impact your campaign. Yet, as the stats below indicate, the results can be positive if app developers and marketers attend to these problems.


Take, for instance, the exploding number of mobile app downloads. In 2016, mobile app downloads totaled 140.68 billion mobile apps, whereas last year, that figure had increased to 255 billion. This growth is only expected to increase, making 2023 a great year to launch an app.


What’s more, the potential benefits speak for themselves. In Q3 of 2022, the average customer spend on mobile apps was $4.88 billion. With customer app spending consistently high, businesses that employ the right strategies for mobile acquisition are poised to reap the rewards. 


What is mobile user acquisition?


As it sounds, mobile user acquisition is the process of acquiring new users for mobile apps or applications. It plays a crucial role in increasing downloads, driving app visibility, and influencing the success of a mobile app


With over 2.656 million apps available on the Google Play Store and 2.184 million on the Apple App Store, the challenge new apps face to stand is fierce. 


With this in mind, what follows will explain some common mistakes that can hamper new user acquisition strategies, showing you some pitfalls that marketers and app developers should avoid if they want to optimize their user acquisition efforts



1. Lack of target audience understanding


If you want your user acquisition campaign to succeed, you should understand your target audience. This is the foundation upon which all user acquisition strategies are built. Failure to comprehend your prospects’ preferences, pain points, and needs can lead to lower conversion rates because of ineffective marketing strategies.



2. Poor app store optimization (ASO)


Launching a new app or boosting the performance of an existing one today can be stressful, especially with millions of others already available on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store


A lack of meticulous App Store Optimization (ASO) in this overcrowded marketplace can render even the most ingenious apps invisible. Neglecting keywords, descriptions, and compelling visuals can make good apps effectively seem nonexistent to most consumers. 


Indeed, a recent study revealed that almost 50% of app discoverability happens via app store searches, a figure that emphasizes ASO’s importance. As such, marketers and app owners hoping for optimal results from their user acquisition strategies need their ASO right. 


Customer Acquisition Cost

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3. Inadequate marketing and promotion


Creating an exceptional app is only a single step in a journey to success. To this extent, another common pitfall is assuming that a remarkable app will spontaneously attract users. In reality, this isn’t how acquiring customers works. 


Failing to invest in robust marketing and promotion strategies often renders exceptional apps unnoticeable. Some surveys even suggest that 25% of apps are never used after downloading due to inadequate promotion that fails to impress their value or utility upon the user. If you want your mobile app to be used by many people, then you have to make sure that you set aside some budget for marketing and promotional activities. And to achieve your goals, you need a proper plan, too.



4. Neglecting mobile-friendly user experience (UX)


In the age of swift swipes and taps, user experience (UX) reigns supreme. Ignoring the principles of mobile-friendly UX design can undermine the potential of even the most carefully created app. And on this, the statistics are clear. Studies report that 48% of users feel frustrated when encountering nonmobilefriendly sites. 


Thus, apps that disregard intuitive navigation, responsive design, and optimized performance risk alienating their potential user base. In order to create appealing mobile apps, developers should pay close attention to their mobile app’s UX and UI design. 


Since UX/UI design requires thought and attention, you should discuss them thoroughly before your app development process has even begun. Making major changes becomes difficult once the app is finished, so don’t make this mistake. Instead, pay attention to your user experience design at every stage of your app development process.


Customer Acquisition Cost

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5. Disregarding user onboarding and retention


Any app’s longevity depends on user onboarding and retention. Ignoring them will be disastrous for your user loyalty. Today, research indicates that 80% of users churn within 90 days of downloading, often due to an initial onboarding experience that fails to captivate them.


Put simply, overlooking user feedback, your user’s evolving needs, and consistent updates will result in user flight. As marketers and app owners, it’s vital to implement a successful user onboarding and retention scheme. To do so, devise a plan that will you need to:


  1. Create a system or process enabling you to collect user feedback easily.
  2. Carry out A/B testing to check what is working.
  3. Use analytics to understand user behavior and preferences in the app.
  4. Integrate social sharing features that allow users to share their achievements or experiences within the app. Create a community where users can connect, discuss, and share their thoughts, fostering a sense of belonging.
  5. Offer frequent updates that enhance the app’s functionality and address user feedback, thereby showcasing your dedication to improvement
  6. Implement a rewards system that acknowledges user milestones or actions. Offer virtual rewards, discounts, or exclusive access to incentivize users to stay engaged. For example, gamification techniques like badges or points can create a sense of achievement.
  7. Employ push notifications and in-app messages strategically. Send relevant notifications to inform users about new content, updates, or timesensitive offers. Be cautious to avoid overwhelming users with excessive notifications, as these lead to uninstalls.
  8. Deliver compelling content and features that resonate with your target audience. Remember to regularly update your app with fresh content that will keep users engaged and excited to return. Interactive elements like quizzes, challenges, or exclusive content can enhance engagement.



6. Overlooking data analytics and tracking


Neglecting data analytics and tracking can deprive developers of crucial insights into user behavior and preferences. Remember that data-driven decisions are the bedrock of every successful app. Analytics enable you to understand user interactions, identify bottlenecks, and optimize user experiences. By overlooking data, you forfeit opportunities to refine your app and cater to your audience’s evolving needs.



7. Poor timing and launch strategies


While launching an app without a well-defined strategy and poor timing can spell disaster, a well-planned launch can position your app for optimal visibility and user engagement. Launching during peak times or relevant events will attract attention. On the contrary, a hasty launch can lead to missed opportunities or even obscurity. Failing to generate buzz or garner user interest can hinder initial adoption, making it harder to recover later.


Customer Acquisition Cost

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When it comes to keeping your customer acquisition costs low, and your app downloads and conversion rates high, the best thing you can do is be proactive. So, if things aren’t going right, don’t panic. As this article has discussed, several things could stop you from reaching your target audience, including targeting,  app store optimization, investment, and analytics


In this guide, we covered 7 common mistakes in user acquisition strategies that app owners and marketers should avoid. By dodging these pitfalls and planning ahead, you can help ensure your app is both successful and a revenue generator. 


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