As the mobile app market has evolved over the years, competition among app developers has increased as well. The life cycle of an app in this frantic mobile world will be very short if app developers don't come up with new ideas, and optimization/marketing strategies.
And the best way you can learn how to effectively market your app is by learning from successful mobile app marketing case studies. Check out our list of 21 of the most epic mobile app marketing case studies to learn how you can take your app to the next level.
1. App Name: KLM Airlines – KLM Airlines
The main objective of KLM airlines was to get their users to book flights on mobile. The second motive was to create a platform for other mobile marketing techniques such as mobile passbook and location-based notifications. And this could only be achieved by encouraging more consumers to use the mobile app.
KLM launched a campaign for three weeks during which they gave free app access to those who used their mobile booking engine.
Customers received their access in the form of mobile coupons, which they received in their passbooks for Apple phones and in their Google Wallets for Android phones. The location-based notification reminded them to redeem their coupons while they were in the vicinity of KLM lounges.
KLM Airlines saw a 17% increase in visits to their mobile site, which generated 34% more bookings and 38% more mobile revenue.
Offers and extra benefits can encourage people to use mobile apps and keep them hooked.
2. App Name: ASDA – British Supermarket Chain
ASDA wanted use technology to develop an app to make grocery shopping easier for people, specifically for busy moms. Their goal was to generate 10% of online grocery shopping transactions through the app.
Before designing the application, they approached their existing customers and asked them what kind of app would make shopping more convenient for them.
Based on customer feedback, they kept the app design simple so that it would be convenient for people from all walks of life.
They included features like “Did you forget?” to show them their frequently purchased items. This reminds users about the items they may have forgotten to order.
It also featured live petrol prices, which allowed customers to check the current petrol prices at their nearest ASDA petrol stations.
ASDA managed to drive more than 2 million downloads for the app. The app even won the IGD Digital innovation award.
Mobile shopping increased to 18% of all grocery home shopping, out of which more than 90% of the sales are contributed by this app. Shopping frequency from mobiles is 1.8 times higher than desktop.
Keep your app simple and user-friendly so that people of all age groups can use it.
3. App Name: HotelTonight
HotelTonight needed to find a better way to introduce new potential users to the app in a way that showcased its functionality and use cases. They wanted to make sure that everyone has an incredible experience using the application.
HotelTonight’s motive was to showcase how it can help travelers plan a little less and live a little more.
They introduced a mobile video campaign in which they displayed videos of the hotels and all of the facilities users can enjoy. They wanted users to download the app and engage with it regularly. Mobile was the right solution because the app focuses on spontaneous and impulsive bookings.
Another important area in which they focused was publicity. They had a clear vision of providing customers with incredible experiences. And after those satisfactory visits to the hotels, they saw that people were eager to tell other people about their HotelTonight experiences.
They gave users an incentive to share their experiences to further encourage them to do so. This provided a catalyst for this viral marketing.
They came up with a “tell a friend” marketing program where users can invite friends right from the app by email or through a Facebook or Twitter post. Users received $25 every time a new friend joined HotelTonight. The friend also received $25 when they booked their first room through the app.
The HotelTonight team also used the power of social media and focused on Facebook and Twitter to build their customer base. Facebook provided HotelTonight with the platform to share their content such as videos and announcement of new hotels added to the app. They used both Facebook and Twitter to announce special deals and offers.
HotelTonight's cost-per-download was $0.20. 60% of customers come in through word-of-mouth or social media; 40% from mobile. They went from 0 to 70,071 Facebook fans in just nine months. They achieved 115% ROAS (return on ad spend) within one month. Their app install rate also increased to 326%.
Incentivize users for referrals to amp up your word-of-mouth marketing. And use social media to promote your app.
4. App Name: BNP Paribas Wealth Management
BNP Paribas Wealth Management wanted to better engage with customers and prospective customers by making valuable financial information available through mobile devices.
The bank developed their mobile-first platform foundation software by creating their application for multiple platforms including Apple, Windows, and tablets.
They also created dynamic user segments, which helped them send out relevant, targeted in-app messages and push notifications.
They used pop-up messages within the app, which asked their frequent and loyal users to give the app a rating in the app stores.
They also began a cross-promotion campaign during which they broadcasted targeted push notifications that promoted a different BNP Paribas app called My Wallet. This helped generate free downloads in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play store.
App store ratings increased from 2.5 to 4 for the app. It also generated significant press coverage for the bank, which ultimately resulted in an increase in customers.
It is essential for businesses to think competitively and come up with solutions that are realistic and advantageous to their customers.
5. App Name: Guidecentral
To increase app visibility and drive more downloads.
The app switched to a more attractive icon that stood out from other apps in the category.
They also used the keyword “how to” in their app name in the app store because there was a high search volume for the keyword. And they added relevant keywords in the app description and optimized the section by adding their unique selling points and including a call-to-action (CTA).
The icon change along helped them increase their downloads by 700%.
Pay attention to every detail including your icon, description, and images. And make sure that everything is optimized.
6. App Name: Amazon
Need for Change
Until recently, Amazon was struggling to get the top rank under the shopping category. Due to changes in the Google Play store policies, Amazon's app was removed from the Play store and ultimately, Amazon had to rebrand itself.
Amazon needed to relaunch the shopping app and completely rebrand themselves in order to get to the top of the rankings in the app stores.
Keyword optimization played a key role in the success of their new strategy. Simply by adding the keyword “shopping” to the app's name worked wonders for them.
Before adding the word “shopping” to their app name, only 2.12% of the traffic resulting from the keyword went to them. After they added the word “shopping,” that numbers increased to 9.88% of the global traffic, which is almost four times more than before.
Adding the right keywords in the right places can work wonders for your app store ranking.
7. App Name: Omvana
Since people have never heard of the name “Omvana,” they are not searching for it in the app store. So the team needed to ensure that their app gained visibility among people who are interested in an app for personal meditation.
For apps like Omvana, the biggest challenge is to attract people who will download their app. They are targeting people who are looking for an app that will help with their meditation. However, these people have never heard of the app. So the biggest challenge was getting this target audience to discover their app in the first place.
The team discovered that people were searching for terms like “sleep,” “meditation,” “binaural,” etc. So they decided to rename the app in the app store from just “Omvana” to “Omvana – Meditate, Sleep, Focus, Relax, Rest & Nap Better with 1000s of Mindfulness, Hypnosis, Meditation and Binaural Sounds.”
This simple ASO strategy helped them increase their downloads by 125%.
Even the simplest things like keywords in title can make a huge difference
Having your app name alone in the app title may not drive visibility, so you need to work with commonly used and relevant keywords.
8. App Name: Trunk Club
Trunk Club wanted to efficiently convert visitors into paying customers through the app. They also wanted to discover the best customers they could focus their efforts on.
The crucial challenge faced by Trunk Club were that visitors were mostly in the browsing stage and not in the mental state of buying products. Due to this, the stylist’s time was spent even on those users who were not really interested in shopping. As they have a lot of users who sign up, it really created a mess for the stylists.
In order to save their stylist’s time, they tried a couple of app mechanics that would separate the window shoppers from serious buyers. Requiring credit card details was one such potential option.
Getting the credit card info filled in before buying anything from the Trunk helped generate more productive leads for the stylists to pursue. The users would be charged only when they choose to keep something in their trunk.
40% of their traffic now comes through mobile. Requiring credit card information led to fewer overall conversions, but the users that requested a trunk were more qualified and converted into purchases at a much higher rate.
43% of the users are more likely to connect to the stylists and make purchases. Since stylists have qualified leads now, they offer exceptional services and are now 90% more efficient than before.
Separating window shoppers from visitors who have actual interest in making a purchase drives profitability.
9. App Name: MailTime
MailTime wanted to completely overturn the closed mobile messaging industry. They wanted to use localization to ensure that they could make the desired change at different geographic locations.
The app offers an open messaging service and was developed using decentralized email technology. In other words, it is basically an email messenger. They were trying to bring about a disruption to the existing trend of closed mobile messengers. And sometimes, those apps had limitations in terms of geography.
Charlie Sheng, CMO of MailTime has talked about how they aimed for localization from the beginning because it was the only way they could cross borders with their app.
In some languages, the translations would end up being too long. In some cases, the translations didn’t fit the app’s UI design. This happened to the versions in Russian, German, Portuguese, and French.
So the team ended up working with the developer to customize the UI so that it fit the translated phrases. In some cases, the translators had to change the translations so that they fit the UI. This took the team a long time.
MailTime worked extensively to localize their app for different countries. They carefully worked on translations that perfectly fit different cultures. They also had to change the translations so that they fit the UI.
MailTime now supports 12 languages, including Chinese (in which the app is called 简信), Japanese, and Russian. It also supports ten email providers, including all major email services like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and services like Mail.Ru, QQ Mail, and 163 Mail, which are popular in Asia and Russia. They will soon add another seven languages to their service.
MailTime was featured as the Best New App in countries such as Austria, Brunei, China, Cambodia, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Switzerland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
It was also featured on the front page of the Productivity Category in the United States. This coverage lasted over three weeks and drove tens of thousands of downloads every day.
Localizing your application can help you increase visibility, as you get exposed to a larger audience. And a larger audience implies an increase in the number of downloads.
10. App Name: Marriott
Marriott wanted to drive 500,000 downloads within the first three months of launching their app. They also wanted to make the most of the smartphone as their secret marketing weapon.
A theme was carried out with a very different concept, the concept was that the smartphone, like the smartphone traveler, is overworked and needs a vacation. The smartphone pitches the traveler on the benefits of getting the Marriott app and hence getting them both a vacation.
This concept was popularized across all media. This included mobile, social, display, print, and even hotel properties.
The app was ranked as the number 1 travel app on iTunes on the first day of the campaign. It became the third largest m-commerce sales site of all the time. It was the first travel app to break the top five free apps overall in iTunes. It got 500,000 downloads within the first three months.
Fun and witty messaging helped attract and engage the target audience.
Multi-channel promotions helped ensure that they could reach the audience anywhere.
11. App Name: Presspad
To increase the number of downloads for the app, which would eventually increase revenue.
Presspad didn’t follow a specific strategy other than optimizing their app following the basic principles of app store optimization.
They saw an increase in downloads by 140%, which led to an increase in revenue by 87%.
Sometimes just following the best practices can work for you.
12. App Name: KFC
KFC wanted to find ways to drive foot traffic to their stores by reaching local passerbys on their smartphones.
KFC started a campaign and used mobile location technology so that they could entice nearby customers to visit their restaurants. KFC worked with an ad company to target consumers to identify and reach the relevant target audience. They found that the most receptive demographic to the location-based targeting were busy parents with families.
The company’s target audience was comprised of young adults. They also targeted busy families whose lives are made simpler in many ways by mobile devices. They used the most accurate location technology so they could reach their target audience at the right time while they were at the right place. KFC delivered relevant offers that would entice these customers to visit the restaurant nearby.
The three-month long campaign helped drive foot traffic by engaging customers who were nearby a KFC store. It also drove a click-through rate that was 40% above the industry benchmark.
Accurate location targeting can help you reach the right audience at the right time.
Identifying your most receptive demographic and reaching them where they are most likely to engage with your business can pay off.
13. App Name: Vodafone's Secret Women App
Domestic violence is rampant in Turkey, where almost one in every three women is a victim of domestic abuse. These victims are afraid to speak out and look for help. Vodafone believed that they could provide help to these women with the use of this powerful technology and created a secret app for them. Now the biggest challenge was spreading the message of this app in secret without any men finding out about it.
This app was hidden within a flashlight app. When a victim shakes her phone, the app would send out a message to three people that she trusts. The alert will also send out details of her location. Vodafone placed ads in products only used by women such as on wax strips and in the labels of women's underwear. Some ads also appeared in the middle of makeup vlogs.
According to their estimate, Vodafone believed that the secret would remain only for ten months, so they updated the app again. With the update, the flashlight app became a mirror application, so it remained a secret once again. They then used the same marketing techniques as earlier to spread messages about the update.
The app has been downloaded by 254,000 women in Turkey, which is 24% of all female smartphone users in the country. There has been more than 103,000 activations for the app. Since it became a lifeline for women who are in danger from their spouses, the app received the Grand Prix award under the media category during the Cannes Lions 2015.
Smart placement of ads for your app will ensure that it reaches the desired audience, which is especially important for an app such as this.
14. App Name: Starbucks
Although smartphone owners may not hesitate to make large purchases using their phones, things would be much simpler for them if they could complete their purchases with a mobile wallet-style program. The most important reason behind this logic is that entering credit card information can be inconvenient and unsafe.
Starbucks introduced a digital tipping feature called “Shake to Pay.” Using this feature, the users can just bring up a barcode by shaking their phone. Baristas can then scan this barcode to accept the tip using mobile payment.
They also used a rewarding strategy to incentivize their users. Each time a customer makes a purchase through the company’s popular app, they get a star. After collecting a certain number of stars, they can then collect a reward. Under this program, customers can attain a Gold Status when they earn 30 stars within a year. Once they’ve achieved this status, they further get a free beverage or a food item for every 12 stars they earn.
There were 6 million transactions worth $1.5 billion made weekly in the U.S. Mobile payments accounted for 15% of total transactions made in Starbucks-operated stores in the U.S.
Always give multiple payment options to users.
Offer rewards to users for every purchase they make to encourage them to engage with the app.
15. App Name: CloudOn
To increase downloads and boost store ranking.
CloudOn thoroughly optimized their Play Store listing and placed their main focus on the app title and description. They made changes that would ensure better visibility of the app when people search for relevant keywords. They also used a new set of keywords that they deemed relevant to their target audience.
With these simple tricks, CloudOn made it to the top 10 lists with only changes to keywords and title. CloudOn downloads went up to 201%.
They ranked fifth on the charts with new shiny screenshots.
- • Give much heed to the app title and description.
- • Review your keywords monthly, and change them if need be.
- • The app description should be appealing.
16. App Name: ASDA Price Guarantee App
To simplify the process of saving money for shoppers without burdening internal teams too much.
ASDA came up with the Price Guarantee app, in which customers can enter the details of their shopping receipt to see if they qualify for deals. They will then get money-back vouchers through the app. The app fetches data from a third-party site and outlined eligible discounts according to the customer’s receipt. After developing the app, the team also marketed it online and on television.
There were more than 1,000 downloads a day for the app. ASDA also found that users continued to engage with the app long after their downloaded it.
Creating apps that simplify the lives of customers can ensure long-term engagement with the app.
Marketing the app through multiple channels can give the desired visibility to drive downloads.
17. App Name: 10bis
To get high install volumes without spending a fortune on app marketing.
10bis started out by identifying a broad range of audiences relevant to their services based on interests and demographic. They then created a Facebook ad campaign targeting these audiences, as they are most likely to download the app and use it. This target audience was comprised of people who have an interest in restaurants and food as well as single people and people who belong to younger age groups.
They also created another campaign in which they used the Custom Audiences feature to target people who have already downloaded the app. The ads were designed to encourage them to use the app by offering special promotions for local restaurants.
10bis managed to get 15,000 app installs and 70,000 app interactions between October 2015 and January 2016 alone. Their ongoing campaign manages to deliver thousands of new users every month. The best part is that these users engage with the app since they are highly relevant.
Carefully targeting highly relevant audiences can help deliver the desired results and achieve engaged users.
Running an ongoing campaign can deliver consistent results.
18. App Name: Pokemon Go
To promote their newly-launched video game and achieve installs by highly engaged users.
The team ran a pre-launch promotional campaign using YouTube videos and press releases. They also made announcements about the app’s main features. But these marketing strategies aren’t the only reason for the app’s massive success. The users themselves help spread the news about the app and helped to make it viral.
The app’s design itself is enough reason for many users to download the app. Since the app makes use of location-based services and augmented reality to create a unique gaming experience, it managed to win the hearts of users.
Pokemon Go now has 26 million active users on a daily basis. The average player spends more than 40 minutes a day on the app. In addition to this, the game continues to attract 500 downloads every minute or 700,000 downloads per day.
Offering advanced features can deliver a unique user experience that encourages word of mouth marketing.
Building hype before the launch can help gain traction for your app marketing.
19. App Name: MakeMyTrip
To achieve overall growth of the MakeMyTrip mobile app.
MakeMyTrip worked with AppVirality to create an in-app referral program. The program rewarded new users who downloaded the app through friend’s referrals. It also rewarded users whose friends downloaded the app through their referrals and gave an additional reward when those friends booked a trip using the app.
MakeMyTrip saw a 20% increase in overall downloads. Their conversions increased by 25% and transaction rate went up by 20%.
Referral programs are a great way to motivate users to promote your app.
20. App Name: Paperclip
To increase the number of app users and achieve long-term growth.
Paperclip decided to use AppSamurai, a self-service mobile advertising tool designed mainly for startups. They used the smart ad campaign feature to target highly relevant users and get them to download the app.
They managed to get a 210% increase in user acquisition rate and a 100% increase in daily sessions. The number of daily active users increased by 250% and the app ranking jumped from 100 to top 25 in the shopping category.
Invest in smart ads that will help you target an audience that is highly likely to download and use your app.
21. App Name: Sing2Learn
To increase app visibility and drive downloads as well as increase their app store rating.
Sing2Learn worked with a mobile marketing agency to create a PowerPoint presentation about the app and distribute it through multiple online channels. They created and distributed a highly engaging demo video, which also served as a marketing video. The team created and distributed press releases online to raise more awareness about the app.
Additionally, they did thorough app store optimization to ensure that the app had an accurate description along with screenshots and tags. Sing2Learn created a pay-per-click campaign using relevant keywords to further increase visibility. They amped up their social media marketing strategy to raise more awareness about the app. Journalists helped them gain additional exposure.
The app has since been installed more than 13,000 times and received 480 reviews on Google Play. It has managed to get an app store rating of 4.8.
Promoting your app through multiple channels can help you gain significant exposure.
These mobile app marketing case studies should help you gain a better understanding of the improvement you can see with the right kind of changes in your mobile app marketing strategy. You should now have a clear idea of all of the changes you can make to improve your app growth. Which of these case studies was the most impressive to you? Let us know in the comments.