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5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Increase Your App Downloads

Published March 26, 2016

In this study by Smart Insights, data show that people spend 82% of the time using apps when they are on their mobile phones. It would be great to know if it’s your app that they are using but the big question is “How can you get users to download and install your app?”


Of course it’s a given that you should have a great app, or in this case, you’ve used a high quality source code and turned it into a well-designed reskinned app. There is a plethora of marketing plans that you can do; including our list of 8 effective ways to market your app, to boost downloads. However, remember that marketing comes with a cost. For companies with little to no budget for marketing campaigns, here are 5 ways that you can do to improve your download digits.

  1. Make ASO your friend.

The goal of ASO (App Store Optimization) is to organically make your app rank higher in app store search results. The best part is it’s free!

In this article, we’ve discussed the ways on how you can start with ASO, from researching and using the right keywords, finding the appropriate category, and writing a great app description.

  1. Talk to users in their native language.

This technique is called localization. While you may choose to speak only to users in English, consider that App Store has 28 regions. Take time to localize your app to speak their language.

Experiment with one language. Start with translating your app name and keywords followed by your screenshots, app description, and finally your in-app content. Monitor your stats and if you are getting more downloads, consider getting a translator to manage your content.

  1. Pay attention to screenshots and icons.

Stay away from poorly designed icons. Users are highly visual and a bad icon can turn off a prospective user. There are several online sites where you can get digital design services for a small fee so go and get a professional to design or digitize your logo.

Once you get users to click on your app name, great looking screenshots and additional app videos can lead them to finally downloading your app. Use Adobe Photoshop or other photo editors to make your screenshots look professional. Again, if you are not good with touching up photos, check out freelancing sites for photo editing experts. (like Fiverr – pay $5 for a specific service).

  1. Launch Paid-to-Free App campaigns.

If you are in the business of paid apps, one download growth technique is to make it available for free for a few days. For free apps, make in-app purchases free for a specific number of days. This will enable users to test out your app without the initial fee. Note that it is also important to get the right amount of coverage to make sure that the word about your paid-to-free app goes out.

  1. Get your app reviewed by authority mobile app review sites.

Ride on the traffic of review sites. Getting featured on the big review sites like AppAdvice or The Next Web can get you thousands of visitors within a day. Here’s BuildFire’s list of 113 sites that you can submit your app to for review. Write a good pitch and contact high authority sites.

However, note that asking for reviews on US-based sites and publications can be a bit tough because of market saturation. If you’re unable to make enough noise in the media for your app, start thinking big. Combine option 2 with this: reach out to local media and reviewers/bloggers from other countries. Downloads coming from other regions contribute to App Store rankings and this ranking will help bring the attention to your app in the US.


What are your own budget-friendly techniques when it comes to increasing app downloads? Share your story with us in the comments!

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