Mobile user acquisition is a critical component to a thriving mobile app. From paid advertising to owned advertising, it’s important to identify ways you can target users and provide a satisfying user experience that retains them for longer. Marketers need to know every user acquisition channel available to them and how investing these channels can be used to achieve their company goals. In this guide, we cover the most pressing questions marketers need to answer when developing their user acquisition strategy.

1. Which mobile user acquisition channels should I use?

The user acquisition channels you choose to utilize will depend on the nature of your app and your target audience. There are several mobile user acquisition channels every marketer should know, including:

  • Paid ads: Marketers can pay to reach their target audience with display ads. This can be A/B tested for best results.
  • App Store Optimization (ASO): Just like SEO for search engines, ASO is the practice of changing your app store entry to increase visibility and acquire organic users. For example, changes to your app name, description and categories can make your app easier to find in the store.
  • Working with influencers: There are many ways you can work with social media influencers to acquire new users. This ranges from offering freebies to collaborating with influencers on social media takeovers and curated content. You can also provide influencers with discounts that they can offer to their audience, creating a win-win scenario for you and your audience.
  • PR: Press coverage can be used to increase brand awareness and acquire new users. Ensure that you are communicating with the press when you have significant news to share – this is free coverage that can be extremely beneficial to your brand.
  • Email marketing: This is an owned media strategy that utilizes your mailing lists to develop a long-lasting relationship with your users. If you haven’t launched your mobile app yet, you can create a mailing list and feature it on your website, enabling you to alert your audience when your app is available in their region.
  • Loyalty programs: You can work with publishers and influencers to acquire users with unique rewards for their audience. Rewards are also a smart way to incentivize users to keep your app installed for longer.

Learn more with “Everything you need to know about display ads and preinstall deals with alternative app stores”

2. How can I monetize my mobile app?

While all apps need users, generating revenue is a critical component to every mobile app. Developing a robust monetization strategy requires you to learn different models that can be used in conjunction with each other. You should also consider how a monetization model will impact other KPIs such as retention and churn.

User Acquisition

Monetization models for mobile apps include in-app purchases, in-app advertising and user subscriptions. A popular method of monetizing mobile apps is to offer a freemium version of your app – enabling users to try before they buy – with an option to upgrade to a subscription for full access to your app’s tools.

3. How can I lower my mobile app’s churn rate and increase user retention?

You need to know about churn and retention rates to develop a mobile user acquisition strategy that can be optimized over time. The aim is to identify high-value users and acquire more from those channels. You need to know the difference between:

  • Churn: This is the percentage of users who stop using your app after a defined period. For example, you can learn your mobile app’s churn rate on Day 1, Day 7 and Day 30. This is a smart way to identify issues with your app and when your acquired users should be reengaged.
  • Retention rate: This is the percentage of users who have been active with your mobile app after a defined period. It is the opposite of churn but observing both KPIs is important. Users who stay active for longer periods are high-value because there are more opportunities to generate revenue through advertising and in-app purchases. 

4. How can I prolong my user’s Lifetime Value (LTV)?

Lifetime Value (LTV) is a calculation of how much revenue your user will generate before leaving your app for good. You need to track user behavior to optimize LTV and ensure that you are acquiring high-value users that are generating revenue for your company. Methods of prolonging a user’s LTV and increasing the revenue they generate throughout their user lifecycle include optimizing your onboarding, implementing loyalty programs and improving customer support.

5. How can I drive organic traffic to my mobile app?

An organic user is a user that has found your mobile app and installed it without paid marketing. Organic users are often high-value users because they found your mobile app themselves, showing an intent that is not true for paid users. The nature of organic users makes them harder to acquire, but practices that increase brand exposure and increase visibility will help drive organic installs.

ASO is a prime example of a cost effective practice that will help organic users find your app. The aim is to increase visibility by gaining a higher ranking on different app stores.  In addition to changing your app name and description, you should also upload engaging images and videos to give users an impression of what to expect when they install.

6. How can I protect my UA campaigns from mobile ad fraud?

Although the total losses marketers face as a result of mobile ad fraud is debated, an eMarketer study states that the impact is severe even in the best-case scenario: “Fraud detection is difficult enough; estimating the dollar value of losses to fraud involves enough unknowns that estimates vary wildly. But the most optimistic outlooks still suggest advertisers will lose billions this year.”

User Acquisition

The impact of mobile ad fraud goes beyond monetary loss: this can also ruin your data and prevent you from optimizing your user acquisition strategy over time. It is therefore important for marketers to work with mobile measurement partners that offer the highest standard of mobile ad fraud prevention.

7. How can I enhance my reach with OEMs?

OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) – also known as alternative app stores – provide app marketers with a powerful mobile user acquisition strategy that provides untapped audiences at a low Cost per Install (CPI). Alternative app stores such as the Oppo App Market and Xiaomi’s GetApps have huge audiences that you can leverage to achieve better exposure and drive towards your most ambitious user acquisition targets.

Learn more with “Looking beyond ad formats: combining appographic targeting and OEMs”


A comprehensive mobile user acquisition strategy is essential for pushing towards your company goals. Acquisition channels you may want to consider include paid advertising, ASO, influencer marketing, press releases, email marketing and rewards programs. You will need to identify the best monetization models for your mobile app and optimize them over time. 

Marketers should also track user behavior to increase retention rates and decrease churn. A smart way to ensure you are acquiring high-value users and getting the maximum revenue per user is to optimize LTV.

You can enhance your reach with alternative app stores. These OEMs have untapped audiences that can be acquired at a low CPI. Marketers can work with Avow to gain access to alternative app stores and receive guidance from our dedicated team of OEM experts at every stage of the process. If you would like to know more, get in touch with our team.