Acquisition & Engagement

Connecting With Your Customer After App Install

Becky Doles

Photo of man holding mobile phone in shadow

This article was originally written for the March print edition of Mobile Marketing Magazine.

Peak App. App-plateau. Appocalypse. Call it what you like, the days of relying on mobile app installs as your primary measure of success are over. Why? Research from TUNE shows that between 5 and 8% of installs you buy are outright fraud. Amazingly, the majority of real users, some 80%, have no motivation to use your app and they churn just as fast as they download.

As most newly acquired users churn in the first couple of months, mobile marketers turn to re-engagement and now the challenge lies in measuring the complete LTV of a user who is being re-engaged multiple times by many campaigns. Add in retention and you have a situation where brands are struggling to connect with their most valuable users.

At the end of the day all good marketers want to know who their best customers are because they want to keep them, reward them and build their loyalty. By measuring the LTV of users, mobile marketers can pinpoint their best users and create offers and promotions that reward them and boost retention.

Also with many established brands, the 80/20 rule kicks in, where you see 80% of revenue coming from 20% of users: So, knowing your most profitable customers means you can reward them and retain them. Plus, ultimately the success of an app depends on LTV.

So the real question is this: How do you turn all those new app users into valuable customers?  

This is where setting up your app for success and folding it in to your customer lifecycle strategy is key. At the end of the day, your app customer is your best customer.

Examining deep funnel analytics and retention or app onboarding are key when it comes to  converting new app users to valued customers. App onboarding requires a product tutorial, CRM push and paid advertising. The goal is to build engagement until the magic moment where customers “can’t live without” your app takes place.

Furthermore, brands can learn a lot from mobile gaming companies who have been the trailblazers of mobile player acquisition and engagement for years. They measure the customer journey with pinpoint accuracy all along the way. The goal is to configure the game in a way that leads the players to micro-transactions (e.g. coins to level up). In a similar manner, brands should be focused on creating affinity for their app through configurations that maximize loyalty.

TUNE recommends some useful steps:

  • Combine your app store optimization with your paid campaigns for a lower effective cost per install. On average, every paid install drives an additional 1.5 organic installs by increasing app store visibility.
  • A/B test push notifications, messaging, features, and navigation flow to determine the best offers, messaging and user experience based on segments you’ve created.
  • Add deep links to push notifications and in-app messages to deliver users to specific locations in your app and trigger automated actions like applying a discount at checkout.

Developing customer loyalty and increasing LTV with your app means going way beyond the install. Plus these recommended steps will take you a long way to fulfilling your app goals … especially now in a post Appocalyptic age!


TUNE helps advertisers resolve 3 key challenges that all brand marketers active on mobile face: ASO, tracking, and retention. Learn more about the TUNE Marketing Console here.

Meet TUNE at Mobile World Congress (MWC) February 26th-March 1st!

Contact me directly at [email protected] should you wish to book a 1:1 meeting with TUNE at MWC.

Becky Doles

Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.

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