10 Strategies to Get Your First 100,000 Monthly App Users

Mobile apps

When you create a brand-new app, you often dream about the day you'll get to 100,000 monthly users. The ability to reach this goal takes a lot of work, planning, and strategy. Marketing is critical to get the degree of brand recognition you need to achieve a six-figure following. Your app weather you have built it yourself or using an AI app builder, will not succeed if you don't actively motivate new user downloads, continually add value to your product, or maintain your existing user base. 

Several proven strategies can help you successfully reach the 100k user milestone:

1. Keep People Interested and Invested with Incentives 

Retention is as important to your success as recruiting new users. Incentives can keep your current user base invested. There are different kinds of incentives available, based on your app type. 

Popular incentive types include: 

  • Time-critical: Time-sensitive incentives make people feel like they will miss out on something important, which keeps them using your app consistently. 
  • Achievement awards: Sometimes, all you need to add are achievement awards like badges, custom avatars, or point-based rewards. Users work toward these achievements, increasing engagement. 
  • Features: Another option is users' ability to earn a premium version or premium features on the app with continued use.  

You should always consider your target audience, including their location, age, and other demographics. Some incentives that work exceptionally well in developing countries, such as adding airtime, don't work in other areas with unlimited data and talk plans. As a brand, you can continually change the incentives you offer so that your users want to keep using the app consistently. 

2. Use Push Notifications to Increase Engagement

Push notifications are a powerful tool used to bring awareness to the incentives you're offering. You must, however, use caution when sending alerts- it's important to avoid crossing the line from providing motivation to being unintentionally annoying. Use push notifications sparingly, averaging once each day or less frequently. If you overstep and start bothering app users rather than informing them, you will see a decline in use. People may even begin to uninstall your app. Be sure to give users the confidence that notifications are useful rather than a pesky occurrence. 

3. Develop an Actionable Marketing Plan

If you want to grow your user base to over 100,000 users, marketing is arguably more important than the app itself. Begin creating and implementing a marketing strategy well before your app's release date. Your marketing strategy should have two parts; the first goal is to cultivate new users, while the second is to increase user engagement. 

Your marketing strategy should have a step-by-step plan with several campaigns for specific goals and platforms that you plan to use. For each campaign, you should include your brand's overall message, look, and precise copy that encourages the desired user behavior. Having all campaigns and action sheets in a single place allows you to create an overall plan that doesn't become repetitive or lack cohesion. If your goal is to quickly generate 100,000 monthly users, your marketing plan must be effective and well thought out. 

4. Let the Outcome Determine Your Action 

When you create a marketing plan, you must have a specific desired reaction from your audience. Every campaign should have an intended outcome that is well planned, like recruiting new users, encouraging engagement, or gathering email addresses or phone numbers. By knowing what result you are trying to achieve, you will be much more effective in your actions. Merely guessing at a marketing strategy wastes both your time and money. 

5. Study Your Competition 

Look to your competitors to gather insightful data. Find out what their users are saying, both good and bad. It can be helpful to create a profile of competitor's price points, market demographics, and marketing plans. You can additionally analyze their advertisements to see what they are putting on different platforms. By making an in-depth report on each competitor, you will have the ability to find the areas where they are lacking and use this information to fulfill your user's needs. Continue to monitor public feedback, which you can consider when creating updates and adding new features. 

6. Understand Your Ideal User

When you evaluate your market research, use both the information you can gather on your competition and any data you have from current or prospective users. Ensure that your app is fulfilling a need so you can provide your ideal users with exactly what they are missing. Tuning into what your target audience says and does will allow you to anticipate their wants, resulting in meaningful updates and incentives. 

7. Create a Personalized User Experience

Users want to feel like your app has been created just for them. Offer them a personalized experience. You can customize the feedback and push notifications, allowing users to get exactly what they want out of your app. Enabling people to customize colors, characters, and other options makes them feel like the app is truly "theirs." 

8. Regularly Add Fresh Content

Allowing your content to become stagnant sends a message to your audience that you are no longer interested in building or maintaining your product. This idleness can cause existing users to stop using your app. New users will also be less interested in downloading a product that is no longer promoted or updated. To maintain your existing users and promote growth, you must consistently add value to your app with new content. At Zutobi, for example, our users are first-time drivers, so we consistently publish new guides on different parts of driving

9. Update Appearance, Features, and System

Many new app developers are so focused on releasing their new product that they often forget to add system updates. Changing your app's overall appearance or adding new perks for existing users can make your users feel like they are getting a new experience. These simple changes typically cost very little for you. Adding options to existing features is another effective method to keep your users engaged. Be sure to pay attention to what is working rather than solely focusing on your app's weak aspects. Building and improving your user's favorite parts of your app will generate excitement around your app while increasing your brand's organic engagement. 

It's important to release updates consistently and quickly. If you wait too long, users may have already decided to stop using your app. It is becoming increasingly easier for people to see how often you update your app, with both the Apple and Google Play store showing an app's update and version history. Should you notice a significant drop in user engagement or a large increase in people uninstalling your app, it could result from a technical app issue. Problems like bugs or other system issues may potentially prohibit users from properly utilizing or accessing your app. 

10. Believe in Your Product 

If you wouldn't use your app, you can't expect others to use it either. Similar to the phrase "write what you know," you should develop what you know as well. If you must create an app to fulfill a need you don't have, do your due diligence to learn about your audience and their experiences. Your main goal is to get users excited about using your app and keep them continually engaged. 

If a six-figure monthly user base is your goal, you will have to put in a great deal of work to reap the rewards. Following your app's creation, you must stay on top of marketing, advertising, maintenance, and updates to retain users while also gaining new ones. With dedication and consistency, your app can achieve 100,000 monthly users. 

About the Author: Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online teen driver education. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver's education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.


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