Ask yourself: who’s using my app? No marketing campaign will get the results you’re looking for if it’s not targeting the right user.

Here’s how you can be sure you’re attracting high-value users to your app.

Is your messaging created with your ideal user in mind?

The messaging you use to promote your app must be clear and concise. It sounds obvious, but double check (with testing, multiple internal reviews) whether two things are clear:

1. What your app is.

1. What your app is:

When you’re creating copy for either of the major app stores, make sure your messaging is doing the work it’s supposed to do. That way, you can be confident that it’ll attract the type of users that you’re looking for.


Hulu makes it clear what users are getting by signing up. And using a recent still from a popular show is a great way to increase user anticipation.

2. Why your audience should care

When engaging with your users, it’s imperative to tap into the vast amount of data you’re capturing about them to serve them up content that keeps them coming back. If you’re Netflix and you know that a user loves Orange Is The New Black, sending them the below push notification if the perfect way to engage with them:


Netflix's OITB push notification is the perfect example of knowing your audience, and hitting them with a timely and engaging message that makes them want to swipe through.

On the other hand of the equation, sending users who have never watched or have no similar content interests to Orange Is The New Black is a surefire way to piss off your mobile user base and cause some to churn.


And that takes us into...

What are your high-value acquisition channels?

Which channels are bringing in users with strong engagement and lifetime value (LTV)? App downloads used to be every mobile marketer’s favorite thing to track, but times have changed; Nowadays, marketing aren’t focusing on app downloads as a key metric.

You’re not winning if an acquisition channel attracts thousands of users who churn days later. Instead, monitor the Lifetime Value (LTV) to make sure you’re attracting and retaining high-value users.


The Skimm's Instagram ad gets straight to the point with their value proposition and has a clear CTA.


Wait, how do I attract high-value users?

Invest in a mobile marketing platform that gives you insight into attribution. This way, you’ll know where high-value users are coming from since you’ll probably be advertising in several different places, like social media and paid search. Understand each channel’s true impact by tracking the sessions and LTV of the average user these channels bring in. Reconsider channels that attract a higher rate of users who churn, and invest the additional spend in places where you’re obtaining high-value users.

If there are groups of users that are particularly relevant to your app, take advantage of services like Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences. Lookalike Audiences lets you send Facebook a list of valuable customers--the customers you wish you had more of. Facebook will show your ads to Facebook users similar to your high-value customers.



Create user funnels (if you haven’t yet).

Once you’re attracting the right audience to your travel app, you can create funnels that give you insights into how your users behave, and how your app drives results.

Understanding the app user lifecycle is crucial to this part of your mobile marketing strategy. Where your users are in the lifecycle helps determine the best way to engage with them. Different marketing channels work at different points; for example, with a solid mobile engagement platform, you can set up different funnels to evaluate user flows, conversion paths, and in-app actions.

Let’s look at the funnels you can create to help you optimize your in-app experience:


Onboarding is crucial to user retention. Users don’t waste much time deciding whether they like an app or not, so make your app’s value clear from the get-go. It typically starts the first time the user opens the app, and progresses through several subsequent user actions.

How do you know if your onboarding works?

Create an onboarding completion funnel. This funnel shows how many users progress through each step of your onboarding. If a significant number of fall off between certain steps, it indicates that something about the app or the onboarding process isn’t working. For example, if allowing location services during onboarding contributes to user LTV but only a small number of users actually do so, that’d be a great place to start.

(We’re going to dive much deeper into onboarding in the next chapter.)


Apple Music uses onboarding to ask new users about their musical tastes, so they can make better recommendations for playlists, new music, and more.

To figure out what that is, you can do some user testing, whether that’s getting input from members of other teams in your company, or running some user testing.

You may need to reevaluate your onboarding process to ensure you’re delivering clear, concise instructions that highlight key app features and promote engagement.

Conversion. Conversion funnels are straight-forward, and also a must. You’ll see how many users start the path to taking the primary action your app is built around. Depending on what your app offers, it could be fairly complex.

Here's what a path through a fantasy sports app’s acquisition funnel could look like:

  1. User searches in one of the app store’s using the term “fantasy league.” (Here’s where your App Store Optimization--or ASO--is super important.)
  2. They evaluate the results. Factors like ratings and user reviews come into play here.
  3. User makes a selection--time to download!
  4. User starts checkout if the app is paid, or goes straight to download if it’s free.
  5. Post-download, the user opens their new app, and is directed into the account creation flow.
  6. User finishes creating their account, and enters their app.

Conversion funnels make it easier for you to discover areas where you can improve your app’s user experience and identify potential bugs.

When you review your conversion funnel, look for any significant drop-offs in the number of users proceeding from one step to the next. This will help you pinpoint what’s keeping your user from progressing to the next step, and ultimately converting.

Whew. Now that we’ve covered funnels, channels, and messaging, let’s get into marketing campaigns.