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Promoting An App: Tips On Getting Your First 5,000 Users For Your App

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

So you’ve put in hundreds of hours taking your product from its early concept into a fully functioning app that is live on the app or android store. But how do you get your first 5,000 users?

#1 5K in 5 days for Pen Pals App

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Here are some of the things that helped us get 5,000 users in five days with ZERO ad spend or otherwise:

  • User outreach - Turn your most faithful users into ambassadors of your product. 
  • Always test and optimize - Sometimes the smallest changes can output the biggest results. 
  • Stacking - On a zero budget, there are a lot of free (and creative) ways to get coverage for your app. But there's no such thing as one killer growth hack. The results happen when you stack each of them on top of each other. 

Your users will happily tell you what they love and what they don't love about your app. Listen to them.

ContributorsJavier Gutierrez from Pen Pals

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#2 Reddit

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Reddit, subreddit r/android to be precise is the best place to promote your app. There is a weekly self-promo thread every Saturday, called Saturday Appreciation. That sub has over 1M subscribers and you can promote your app every week in that thread.

Contributors: Peter Koch from Selleratheart 

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#3 Get your friends and family to download the app

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Network marketing should not be undervalued. Your friends and family are already fans of you and are much more receptive to your ideas than strangers would be. Tap into your own personal community to get those first few downloads. If even a few people say good things about your app to those in their circles, your app has a chance of catching on by sheer word of mouth. And this type of marketing is free. 

Contributors: Alice Donoghue from TheAppLabb

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#4 Offer an incentive

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It's how ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are doing it. By providing steep discounts to would-be customers, it makes it almost irresistible to at least give the app a try. Once people try it, they'll be able to judge whether your app's interface and flow are in fact better than the apps they've been relying on. It doesn't need to be a cash incentive you offer; not all apps are commerce based. But you should offer something of value that your ideal user would be tempted by.

Contributors: Alice Donoghue from TheAppLabb

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#5 Partner with local joints

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Dating apps are linking up with gyms, restaurants and event venues to give them local relevance and dual promotion. Your unestablished app might not be able to pull a partnership with a five-star steak house, but you could probably link up with a small but well-beloved coffee shop. 

Contributors: Alice Donoghue from TheAppLabb

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#6 Tell people why your app is different

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With so many apps on the market, you need to have an explanation as to why yours is worth spending time and memory on. Is it your beautiful UX design? Is it more optimized than others? Is there some sort of game within your app? Pick something that differentiates your app, and be confident when you proclaim it. If it really is good, people will be glad to know about it. 

Contributors: Alice Donoghue from TheAppLabb

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#7 Influencer Marketing and PR

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Put your app in the spotlight by getting other people to talk about it! Influencer marketing and PR are great ways to get your app out there. Find industry influencers to utilize, whether they mention your app in an article, write a review about it, or create an Instagram post. Build a press kit (app download URL, app logo/icon, screenshots, description, presentation, etc), and start sending out press releases or emails to journalists, influencers, or bloggers that are in your industry. You don’t need to hire a PR firm to do this; create some email templates with catchy subject lines, and blast out a few emails. Consumers trust a brand when they see a powerful person promoting it. 

Contributors: Jenna Erickson from Codal 

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#8 Referral Program Incentives

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Some of the app's that I use the most, have very strong referral programs, that give me an incentive to refer a friend. Uber, Evernote, Ritual and many more use referral program incentives to get more people on the app, by offering extra points, credits or cash back when you refer someone. This is a method that can work for any business, not just mobile apps. At one point, Uber was offering $30 in referral credits, which is enough to cover multiple rides and get the rider hooked on using the app. When attracting a new user, the application's stakeholders need to think about 2 large rivalry factors: a user acquisition cost, and the users lifetime value. 

Contributors: Jenna Erickson from Codal 

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monsterid

Written by Zak Parker

Article Writer, Pianist, Internet Marketing Enthusiast; I delve into a variety of creative mediums and take advantage of what they have to offer. With experience in SEO, Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing and Advertising, I'm a plethora of general marketing knowledge and enjoy helping those new to the game get their foot through the door. I'm always excited to hear of the latest method, or if the chance presents itself, create my own.

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