Appy Pie - App Marketing Mistakes

Here’s How to Tighten Your App Marketing Strategy (4 Mistakes to Avoid)

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on April 18th, 2024 10:19 am | 10- min read

Mobile apps are everywhere, and they’re here to stay. This year alone, users downloaded apps over 10 billion times.

If you’re not familiar with mobile-first, the process involves adapting your mobile site for desktop, contrary to the standard approach that starts with a desktop site and adapts it for mobile. It’s now more crucial than ever to create exclusive app marketing strategies. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the top 4 app marketing mistakes you need to avoid as we head into 2021.

Mistake #1: Developing Your App Before Creating Your Marketing Strategy

“I think my app is great; I just want to increase my downloads.” This is an everyday issue in the app world. But your assumption that everyone else will love your product mustn’t lead your marketing. The App Store and Google Play Store house over 4 million apps. To succeed, you have to stand out. So, what’s the solution?

  • Fix It: Ask Your Audience and Test the Market
  • Hotjar invested over 3,300 hours and $200,000 in a doomed app, simply because they didn’t collect enough customer data. Validate your idea before investing your resources. In other words, ask your target audience whether they need an app like yours.

    Marketing Strategy Mistake 1 - Appy PieThere are various ways you can gather feedback:
    • Create surveys
    • Run quizzes
    • Ask on social media
    • Seek help
    Jeff Walker, the man behind the famous book, Launch, puts it well: “Opening a dialog with your potential clients is an example of what I call ‘the shot across the bow,’ and it’s a great way to start your prelaunch campaign.” So, here’s what you should do:
    • Spend as little time as possible developing a mini version of your app (not more than 40 hours).
    • Be specific with your target audience and hit them with highly relevant ads on social media.
    • Collect as many emails and insights and as much feedback as possible.
    After a few ad cycles, you should have enough data to inform your next step and plan a strong launch. Get this: Don’t look at your app as a pile of code. It’s a real business. Next, since your key goal as an app startup is downloads, you have to build trust. And to build trust; you have to educate your audience. The best way I know of doing this is using content. Like the article you’re reading right now. Content marketing can do more than you imagine. Just look at this: 62% of companies are increasing their content marketing budget because of the results they achieve. Help them solve their pain points. You already have data on your audience, now you can:
    • Write content around your audience’s key problems.
    • Make sure that it’s in-depth, highly valuable, and easily consumed.
    • Publish the content on your blog.
    • Promote it ruthlessly!
    Apply the 80/20 rule to your strategy: spend 20% of your time creating content, and the rest promoting it. I’ll say it again: Don’t stop at just publishing the content, promote it. Run ads for it, post it on social media, reach out to influencers, and use SEO. In a nutshell, content marketing for app startups is mostly about creating solid content and promoting it to the right audience.

Mistake #2: Neglecting ASO And Leaving Downloads On The Table

“Let’s focus on app marketing; ASO isn’t that important.” That's a terrible myth to fall for, as a founder. Fix it. App store optimization is critical because 70% of mobile users use in-store search to find their downloads.

Marketing Strategy Mistake 2 - Appy Pie

  • Fix It: Add ASO To Your Marketing Arsenal
  • ASO is much like SEO in how you apply it. The good news is that while there are over 200 factors that each play a role in ranking websites using SEO, the number of ASO factors is much smaller. Before diving in, understand that there’s also a slight difference in the way you optimize an app for the App Store and for Google Play.

    App store ranking - Appy PieHere are 5 tips to get more visibility and downloads for your app: Tip #1: Select your keywords. Focus on determining your audience’s key problems, then mix them with your app’s features and use cases to find the exact keywords to target. Stick to a maximum of 3 keywords. Don’t over-optimize and risk penalties. You will definitely have to invest in a powerful keyword research tool to gain insights. Appfigures is a good one. Try it. Tip #2: Add your keywords to your app’s name. Although we’ve seen that the App Store and Google Play have different ranking algorithms, having your keywords beside your app name gives them more strength. Tip #3: Optimize your app description and use your primary keyword. This helps rank your app and gives your target users a clear idea of what you offer. Tip #3: Encourage your users to write reviews and rate your app. Honestly, reviews are a growth driver; you probably recommend the good stuff you find to your friends, and vice-versa, your users will do the same. Make sure to average at least a 4.5 rating. Tip #4: Design beautiful icons. The first thing your user sees is your app’s icon. If it’s ugly or boring, they’ll leave. Invest time and money into creating an icon that powerfully illustrates how your app is unique. You can try Appy Pie Design for the for making the beautiful icons. Tip #5: Create the best visual material. Once you’ve ranked higher and grabbed attention, potential users still won’t have a clue how to use your app. Give them very detailed instructions and tutorials to win them over. You can use screenshots, videos, or both. And that’s it for the essentials. However, if you want a complete walkthrough on how to drive more leads and sales to your app using ASO, we've written a detailed guide here.

Mistake #3: Forgetting That Mobile and Desktop Are Different

There was a 50.81% increase in mobile usage in Q3 of 2020. That’s a compelling statistic. And it proves that you have to treat your mobile app’s design and content differently from your desktop version. Sounds hard. What’s the simplest approach?

  • Fix It: Build Your App and Your Website Separately
  • Let’s take Calm as an example. Here’s how their desktop site looks:

    Calm - Appy Pie

    And this is their app:

    Canva - Appy PieWhat do you notice? Both versions give you a smooth experience, but they’re totally different. You can use your desktop’s expansive real estate to list more details; anything you could ever want to tell the world about you and your product can go on your website. There’s always enough space. Your app demands focus. Niche down. Throw away the idea of recreating your desktop in your app. Minimize and provide just the one thing your app says it does. Here are 4 tips to build a smooth experience for your mobile users:
    • Remember that your user is on a tiny screen. Get your idea across quickly. Revise all your mobile content and make it succinct.
    • Test all your CTAs; make sure all your links work.
    • Make sure that your app menu has clear buttons, smooth colors, and recognizable icons.
    • Add a customer support email or phone number to show your seriousness in helping your users get the best experience possible.
    Hint: You can build a killer mobile app with no coding experience using Appy Pie AppMakr. Create your own app now.

Mistake #4: Forgetting Customer Retention

In 2019, 25% of apps were only used once. That’s a quarter of everyone who used your app never coming back. Combined with the knowledge that acquiring new users is secondary to retaining the old ones, this could be the death of your app. Because without retention, growth doesn't really matter. You have a leaky bucket.Customer retention has to be the lifeblood of your 2021 marketing strategy. Let’s fix that with these three proven ways to increase retention rates.

  • Fix It: 3 Foolproof Strategies to Increase Customer Retention
  • First things first: you have to know your numbers. I mean, what does your current customer retention rate look like? Don’t know? No biggie. Use this calculator. Now that you know the big picture, we can get into the nitty-gritty.Strategy #1: Onboard your users seamlessly. You’ve poured a ton of effort and time into acquiring a new user. They have to feel that they’ve made the right decision. In the app world, we can classify onboarding into three main categories, depending on the ease or complexity of using your product:
    1. Benefit-oriented onboarding: Think of this as demos. Essentially, the goal here is to prepare a deck or video that showcases how to use your app in a few slides.
    2. Function-oriented onboarding: When you’ve got a big app with tons of features, this is the best approach. Your role here is to teach users how to use those features.
    3. Progressive onboarding: Best for the more complex apps. Use this approach to walk your users through your top-end features and how to use them.
    As a whole, this strategy focuses on educating your users so that you build trust and therefore, keep them forever.Strategy #2: Use push notifications. This strategy, if executed right, can do wonders. To do it right, convince your users to enable notifications, then analyze their in-app behavior to get a ton of accurate data on them. Then follow these steps:
    1. Send notifications to your users at the right time. Don’t send pointless, annoying notifications to your entire global user base at the same time. They are in different time zones. Keep that in mind.
    2. Customize your notifications. Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach. Your users have different interests, so customize accordingly.
    3. Balance your notifications. Don’t annoy them, and don’t be infrequent. Find a solution in the middle.
    Again, use your behavioral data to formulate your notification strategy for best results.Strategy #3: Use email marketing. Email is an asset that you own. Invest in it and use it as your primary way of communication with your users.
    • Send welcome emails to your newest users to introduce yourself and teach them about your app. And most importantly, let them know that you are here to help.
    • Send reminder emails. Users may abandon your cart or forget to renew their subscriptions. An email can act as a simple yet effective reminder.
    • Send exclusive offers and gifts. Gifting your users goes a long way; with email you can reward them. Give them exclusive offers and more to make them feel special. And that’s it. Not so hard, right?
    To make your email marketing game stronger, you can integrate email marketing app like MailChimp with 150+apps. This would help in automating several workflows while making the whole process efficient. Try Appy Pie Connect for the best possible integrations!


    With the unstoppable growth of the app market all around the world - remember those 10 billion app downloads we mentioned back at the start - it is clearer than ever that you have to avoid every marketing mistake you can. You have to stand out, or you’re out of the race. If there’s one piece of advice I want you to walk away with, it’s this: never, ever use your assumptions as a leading factor in your marketing strategy. They’re a success killer. The top 4 app marketing mistakes right now are:
    1. Not using marketing to test your app idea and not informing your next steps based on real data.
    2. Neglecting ASO. It’s an incredible marketing strategy, so make sure it’s in your toolbox.
    3. Forgetting that mobile and desktop are different things. Don’t treat them the same way.
    4. Ignoring customer retention. It’s the only growth-driver. Keep your old and new clients happy.
    Now that you’re here:Of course, app marketing is only of relevance after you have created an app for your business. Though app development is considered to be a complicated process, no code app development has presented itself as a viable solution for businesses of all scale, size, and potential. Appy Pie’s no code app development platform makes the process of developing an app as easy as pie. You can leave the hassle of coding to us, and launch your dream app now.

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie