Growth Hacking Mobile: Techniques to Increase Your App Conversions

Do you know if your app is really helping you generate leads and customers? If not, maybe it’s time for you to apply some growth hacking concepts to boost your app conversions.

Even though it is a relatively new term in Brazil, there are already several companies applying the concepts and techniques of Growth Hacking within the actions of Digital Marketing .

Knowing the concept and qualities that a team of growth hackers should have , and taking into account the exponential increase in revenue generated via mobile apps in the last 5 years, there is a great opportunity (and need) to understand where the main conversion bottlenecks are of an application, either to increase the number of downloads (Leads) or even increase the conversions of these Leads into customers.

Obviously, each app has its own revenue model, whether by subscription, offering a premium version of the app, in-app purchases and advertising, etc. However, the opportunity to implement the best practices highlighted in this post is universal.

Start by looking at your funnel’s conversion rates

Calculate your app’s conversion percentage by the number of views your app has received by the number of downloads it receives.

To increase this conversion percentage, the first step is to observe what your consumers are saying about your app, especially the reviews made directly in the app stores.

According to a 2015 survey by Apptentive, only 50% of consumers will consider downloading your app if it averages just 3 stars. This rate increases to 96% if the ratings result in an average of 4 stars.



Set goals to achieve success

To be able to measure whether your efforts are paying off, set goals and track the evolution of your downloads and ratings in the app stores.

It is important that goals are challenging and at the same time achievable, so that they are met from time to time and generate motivation for the growth team. In addition to downloads, also measure the following metrics:

  • Lifetime value (user lifetime within your app);
  • Download acquisition channels (organic or paid);
  • Customer acquisition cost;
  • Retention rate.

Optimization for app stores (ASO)

In addition to Google, don’t forget that app stores also have their own ranking algorithms. Bearing in mind that 63% of apps are found in app stores, it’s important to be especially aware of these factors:

  1. App name : This is the main item that will improve your placement in app stores;
  2. Keywords: When publishing the app, you can define a set of keywords to help search engines find you, as well as Google, for example. To do this, you must research what words users are looking for to find your app.
  3. Ratings and Reviews : Ask users to rate your app in stores whenever they achieve some form of success within the app. Having positive reviews will increase your ranking and furthermore, any feedback is welcome to improve your product. Be sure to respond to users by thanking them regardless of the rating they’ve assigned to your app.
  4. Application description : In this area, it is very important to list all the features and benefits of your app, as well as mention testimonials and outstanding awards. Don’t forget, however, to introduce keywords that are identified as relevant to your segment and business model.
  5. Screenshots : Using screenshots that illustrate the functionality of your app can be a decisive factor in downloading your app. It’s the screenshots that effectively convince the user that the app can help them. So be sure to take advantage of this opportunity on both Google Play and Apple Store.

Main steps for you to practice growth hacking in app stores:

  1. Research

Discover the keywords your potential customers will use to find your app. There are tools that can help you in this process, such as Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends and

  1. Optimization

Optimize your app’s title, keywords, description, screenshots and video preview with these keywords. It is possible to change these keywords from time to time to compare and measure the results.

  1. follow up

Update the required fields in the app stores and monitor the keywords you want to optimize.

The growth hacking process within the app stores turns out to be a search and optimization cycle in which you’ll have to repeat the steps by changing your keywords according to the analytics and insights gained in the last iteration and analyzing different indicators and metrics ( visits, downloads, in-app purchases etc).

Ensure efficient CTAs on your channels

It’s basic, but I constantly see some players in the market neglecting this topic.

It’s not enough just to have a good responsive design, it’s necessary to include call-to-actions that instigate the user’s will to click and that really lead to some relevant action. The user’s destination when clicking the button must be clear for us to guarantee the conversion.

In the cases above, it is possible to perceive a very direct message for the action to be performed by the user when clicking on the calls. In the image on the left, Spotify provides two options: “Enjoy Spotify Free” and “Get Spotify Premium”, and on the 99taxis home page , the CTA is also very clear: “Reduce taxi costs by up to 45%, register up”. Note that both instigate a user’s willingness to click much more than just a “Download from Apple Store or Google play” button. Imperative verbs, which indicate an order and/or order, increase click-through rates considerably.

We’ve had cases here at Resultados Digitais of customers who increased the conversion rate from users to Leads from 2% to 17% just inserting efficient CTAs in their channels, including the website itself and social media.

Practice A/B tests with Email Marketing

Whoever thinks that Email Marketing is dead is wrong. Email continues to be a super important tool to get in touch with the user and impact him in a different channel than just the application itself.

The main tip here is to work with smart segmentations, which can be based both on user behavior within the app (which includes active and recently used modules, time spent in the app, frequency of use and even location) and on data from profile (eg gender, age, field of work and other characteristics that make sense to your audience).

From these targets, you can start doing some A/B testing, with the goal of improving the engagement of your campaigns (basically, increasing open and click rates). In addition to the features and behaviors, you can also change the email content itself, title, description and image.

An example is the case of Airbnb, which performed an A/B test, changing only the product’s value proposition, that is, the way to communicate it. The difference was that the first email offered you $25 to invite a friend, and the other emphasized sharing $25 for your friend to travel with Airbnb.

Evaluate user engagement through push notifications

The push notifications tool is widely used to make the user revisit your app, which may be forgotten in the dozens of apps downloaded inside the smartphone.

The most common mistake when using this device is to send notifications that don’t necessarily make sense to the user’s moment, behavior or interest, and obviously don’t have the expected effect.

Be careful with the frequency of messages too; annoying the user most of the day by sending a nonsense notification can cause them to disable your app’s push notifications .

Check out the examples from Netflix and Google, which take advantage of this technique in a very interesting way.

In the example on the left, it’s a push that Netflix sent to all users who had watched the first season of House of Cards, letting them know that season two was already live.

n the right is a Google notification, alerting the user to leave in 5 minutes if they want to be on time for their appointment at the dentist scheduled in the calendar.

In both cases, the application’s revisit rates (similar to the email click-through rate) were extremely high, after all they are extremely efficient according to the user’s behavior, making sense to him.


In short, for you to work growth hacking with your app, don’t forget these steps: set tangible goals, plan and estimate metrics, measure impact, and refine your product.