5 App User Acquisition Tips to Get Your Mobile Game Through the Holidays

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Kevin Ford

September 22nd, 2015

5 App User Acquisition Tips to Get Your Mobile Game Through the Holidays

It’s no secret, app user acquisition has gotten more competitive and more expensive for mobile game developers. With millions of apps fighting for space on new iPhones and other hot devices, this holiday season is going to be more crowded and competitive than ever.

The major upcoming “shopping holidays” in the United States include Thanksgiving (November 27th), Black Friday (November 28th), Hanukkah (December 16th-24th), Christmas (December 25), Kwanzaa (December 26th-January 1st), and New Years (January 1st). To help mobile game developers navigate their way through the App Store this holiday season, we compiled a list of 5 user acquisition tips and tricks.

Holiday Mobile App User Acquisition Tips

1 – Burst.  Bursting is the only user acquisition strategy that will allow you to acquire 24 free organic users for every 1 paid user. Make sure you’ve established tight communication with your partners before you begin your campaigns because you’ll need to make “game time” decisions. You should also make sure you’re using a real-time tracking platform to monitor and measure your campaigns. AppFigures and App Annie’s paid services are both great resources.




2 – Sustain.  Once you reach the top of the App Store charts, the goal becomes about sustaining chart position for the least amount of money. You’ll find that it’s much easier and more economical to maintain chart ranking once you’re at the top of the App Store charts than to buy your way back up, as higher ranking games benefit from greater visibility to consumers on the App Store. This holiday season you should strive to chart on or before Fridays and then maintain your position through Sunday. The majority of app installs occur over the weekend when users have time for longer sessions.

3 – The App Store didn’t freeze last year – plan accordingly.  Advertisers used to be able to take advantage of the App Store freeze by bursting right up until Christmas Eve. The App Store would then freeze and apps that were on the top of the charts would maintain their highly desired positions until it un-froze. If the App Store doesn’t freeze this year, which it probably won’t, you should plan to sustain your burst once you reach your target App Store ranking.

4 – Engaging ads.  Make sure your ads are as engaging as possible. Interstitials, video, and app icons can be optimized for engagement with holiday themed creative. Now that 4G/LTE has become widely available, advertisers are allocating more and more of their ad dollars to video ads. This year, video has become one of the best ways to capture the interest of mobile audiences because they give advertisers the opportunity to showcase gameplay and tell the story of their app.

5 – Don’t discount January.  Everyone talks about driving installs in December because of all of the new mobile devices that are given as gifts; but have you thought about January? It’s one of the best times to get aggressive with user acquisition because January produces over one million more app installs than December. Plus, the cost per install drops in January.

Have more user acquisition tips? Share your suggestions in the comments below. You can also connect with us onTwitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for ongoing advice about mobile app user acquisition and mobile game monetization.

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager


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