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Mobile User Acquisition Done Right


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This presentation was delivered at Web Summit 2013 hosted in Dublin, Ireland in affiliation with General Assembly.


Add "Growth Hacking" to the list of buzz words you are hearing far too often when it relates to start ups.

This presentation is a 101 that hopes to bring strategy, tactics and clarity to what growth hacking is all about.

Shout out to Farzana Nasser, Paul Crowe and John Maden for reviewing and additions.

Published in: Technology

Mobile User Acquisition Done Right

  1. 1. Mobile App User Acquisition & Retention Done Right Alkarim Nasser Managing Partner 10.30.13 / Presented by
  2. 2. The app marketplace is increasingly crowded and more competitive than ever before. ?
  3. 3. De-mystifying the “if you build it they will come” mindset.

  4. 4. Brush Up on the Fundamentals of Media Owned Earned Paid
  5. 5. The role of a UA expert UA is a different kind of product manager Building with the App Store Partnerships + Integrations How is your product going to get noticed? Tapping into Organic Growth The role of Paid Media Managing the Economics of UA The Evolving UA Strategy
  6. 6. ! 
 Becoming a UA Jedi
  7. 7. User acquisition is half as strong and more than twice as expensive when operating in a silo.
  8. 8. User acquisition is part marketing and part product DEVELOPER GROWTH HACKER MARKETER DNA of a Growth Hacker • Data-driven • Results focused • Product + Media • Applied user data to enhance growth • Test, learn, optimize
  9. 9. “Our company is massive - we already have product-focused people and my job is just user acquisition.”
  10. 10. “Our company is massive - we already have product-focused people and my job is just user acquisition.”
  11. 11. The most powerful tool in your arsenal is your product itself.
  12. 12. “Growth hacking is a recognition that when you focus on understanding your users and how they discover and adopt your products you can build features that help you acquire and retain more users, rather than just spending marketing dollars” - Josh Elman, Greylock Partners
  13. 13. ge d -> Context le ow on ti a -> Kn rm o ta a -> nf I D Understanding W is om d -> D isi ec ns o
  14. 14. Growth at Every Stage of the Funnel Acquisition Efficiently acquire the most productive users. Engagement Continually engage the right users. Retention Re-engage lapsed & infrequent users. Monetization Endorsement Maximize revenue by understanding and effectively connecting with users. Build the right triggers to encourage sharing and organic growth
  15. 15. Understanding the Lifecycle Returning Returning Paid Search Direct Bounced Landing Page Not Interested Viral Facebook Sign-in Card Creation Shipping Information Abandoned To Me To Friend Payment Payment Delivery Delivery Unsatisfied Open Rate Reminder Email Sharing Call to Action One Time Trial Unsocial Buyer
  16. 16. Tighten Leaky Faucets Returning Returning 3,916 Reduced by 4% since launch day. Last 48 hours is 62%. Paid 13,906 Email 433 Search 131 Direct 4527 Viral 314 FB Post 206 Landing Page - 23,460 totals 14,733 (63%) 8,727 (Total) 2,204 (26%) Facebook Sign-in - 6,523 (Unique) Cards Created: Users - 6,347 (22,650 total) 176 3,133 5,139 1,208 1,749 Shipping Select - 3,390 Billing: 54 Me 1,856 Them 1,534 1,083 20% of selected friends have full privacy settings in place. 65% of people who click purchase card (free or not) abandon at shipping. 895 1,447 “Peeks” 1,412 1,978 Open Rate Reminder Email 1,978 Call to Action One Time Trial Unsocial Buyer 1,978 OGA’s
  17. 17. Tighten Leaky Faucets Returning
  18. 18. ! 
 Operation Growth
  19. 19. The Mobile App Circle of Life ! ! Earned Paid ! Owned
  20. 20. with Hotmail. How Hotmail “Pwned” with Owned Media Hotmail wasn’t growing fast enough. Tim Draper, VC at DFJ, suggested attaching a message at the end of every email asking for the recipient to sign up for a free email account with Hotmail.
  21. 21. How Hotmail “Pwned” with Owned Media Get your free email with Hotmail. Lead to Hotmail, eventually, growing by 150k users a day. And later copied by Blackberry and Apple.
  22. 22. ! Leveraging the App Stores 

  23. 23. You want these folks in your corner!
  24. 24. Just another tool in your toolbox Getting featured is not the end all of user acquisition strategies. It is icing on the cake and is validation you built a good product
  25. 25. How are the App Stores organized? Small centralized team App Store editorial run by independent teams within each country
  26. 26. Getting Featured #protip Study the UI/UX guidelines and platform specific design patterns.
  27. 27. Getting Featured #protip Making them apart of the process
  28. 28. Getting Featured #protip Leverage core hardware and OS-related features in your application.
  29. 29. Getting Featured #protip If the app stores see your product as a case study for how apps get made -they will feature it.
  30. 30. ! Growth Hacking Partnerships + Integrations 

  31. 31. Winning by Partnership Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours
  32. 32. Winning by Partnership Find complimentary products understand their objectives and collaborate
  33. 33. Vu and Partnerships A personalized content recommendation service.
  34. 34. Vu and Partnerships +
  35. 35. Vu worked with 500px to offer up contextual background images based on the user’s location, time of day and weather. ! They paid attribution to 500px and drive user’s to their app. 500px used their owned media channels to drive awareness to their millions of users. ! Win. Win.
  36. 36. Paypal Piggybacking eBay PayPal started off with a $20 signup bonus to all who signed up and $20 to anyone who referred someone else (eventually went to $10 and then $50) ! Paypal Piggyback on eBay’s rapid growth in the late 90’s by having sellers advertise PayPal as their preferred method of payment. Major benefit to sellers was the referral bonus which greatly added to their margins. Buyers and sellers preference to PayPal greatly increased it’s growth (PayPal Wars) ! As eBay opened their own payment platform, PayPal countered with immediate emails once the auction closed allowing the buyer to complete the transaction through the email.
  37. 37. Best Growth Hacks of All Time
  38. 38. Great Partnerships Yield… - shared press opportunities - mutual awareness of app to both user bases - greater validation of the product in the market place - types of symbiotic relationships you traditionally would only find in the valley - acquisition opportunities ! ! and much much more….
  39. 39. ! Giving users fishing rods 

  40. 40. You don’t have to be alone Build Something Your Users Will be Proud to Share. ! 1. We share to craft our identities 2. We share to build relationships 3. We share to make our lives easier/better 4. We share to help others ! !
  41. 41. Facebook Integration Facebook log-in provides a simple and easy way to sign into apps without creating new usernames and passwords.
  42. 42. What Makes Excellent Social Integration Social integration is about allowing your user base to share and incite conversation Sharing Inviting Friends Creating open graph and wall post actions around favoriting items creates conversation Encourage your user base to share the app with their friends Community/Social Integration Integrating friends into the in-app experience drives engagement
  43. 43. A Brilliant Users Gets Users Strategy
  44. 44. ! 
  45. 45. Core Paid Media Pricing Models CPM - Cost per Mile User sees a banner add for your campaign ! CPC - Cost per Click User clicks on a banner ad within a campaign ! CPI - Cost per Install User successfully installs an application through a campaign ! CPA - Cost Per Action User successfully performs an action through a campaign (liking a FB page) !
  46. 46. The Tough Truth About Paid Media Not all media is made equally
  47. 47. Be Prepared to Spend You can spend anywhere between a few cents to several dollars to get your message in front of users ! Drivers Type Industry Targeting Quality Demographic Network
  48. 48. The Tough Truth About Paid Media 1. Grow Awareness

  49. 49. The Tough Truth About Paid Media 1. Grow Awareness
 2. Grow Users
  50. 50. Paid Media Drives App Store Rankings Downloads per day required to reach top rankings in US app store: ! Top 10: 70,000 downloads per day Top 50: 23,000 downloads per day
  51. 51. Media Effectiveness 40% of the Top 100 grossing apps used Facebook Mobile Ads A Division of
  52. 52. Win with Intelligent Targeting A Division of
  53. 53. Growing the Right Types of Users Reach your audience at the right time with the right message. Precise targeting (90% accuracy vs 50% cookies on the web): • Based on a user’s real identity • Device specific: iPhone, iPad & Android • Broad & precise targeting: Gaming (social/online), competitive users, early adopters etc. Target specific users and look-alikes of those users: • Use email lists & app ids to target via custom & look-alike audiences • Target friends of current users Performance driven: • Assess the impact of advertising by tying spend to conversion (cost-per-install) & ROI !
  54. 54. Win with Fresh Content • Refresh Creative 2-3 times per week • Average Facebook ad has a peak CTR in the first 72 hours • 37% of advertisers refresh creative once every 5-14 days A Division of
  55. 55. Win with Compelling Creative ! • Impactful imagery: Lifestyle and/or app screen shots • Visual: Images with less than 20% text • Action-oriented: Powerful call-to-action at the end of the ad A Division of
  56. 56. ! The economics of media 

  57. 57. Optimizing for Growth by Focusing on Sustainability Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) How much you spent to acquire a user ! Life Time Value (LTV) What is the average revenue accumulated over a user’s lifetime
  58. 58. Optimizing for Growth by Focusing on Sustainability ! K-Factor For each user you have how many news ones they create
  59. 59. Optimizing for Growth by Focusing on Sustainability
  60. 60. Optimizing for Growth by Focusing on Sustainability
  61. 61. Optimizing for Growth by Focusing on Sustainability CAC = spend paid + (paid*k)
  62. 62. Optimizing for Growth by Focusing on Sustainability sustainability: CAC <= LTV
  63. 63. Growth Hacking Success and Paul Graham’s Start Up Curve Pre Launch Build Channels Customer Generation Prototype Validation FB Group Launch Rock Kickstarter Build Momentum Social Media Owned Channels Word of Mouth PR App Store 1+1 = 2 Paid Media (acquisition) Partnerships/Integrations Focus on Sustainable Spend Optimize Viral Loop World Domination Paid Media Optimize Viral Loop Cross Platform Optimization
  64. 64. Thank You Alkarim Nasser Managing Partner, BNOTIONS @alkarim A Division of