3 Tactics to Acquire New Mobile App Users

Using social buying platforms can work well, but it’s only one acquisition method among many

With an increasingly complex mobile advertising landscape, it’s more important than ever for mobile app marketers to identify new ways to acquire more users. Having a comprehensive user acquisition strategy that maximizes the value of each channel can impact the trajectory of your business and identify untapped customers.

Reaching a global audience was a challenge Fastic faced when taking our fasting consultancy and turning it into an intermittent fasting mobile app. When we first started with the business, we were working with the guests from a fasting hotel, which had helped more than 20,000 people over 25 years. We wanted to quickly expand our reach, and that desire served as early inspiration to bring healthy fasting to everyone in a digital era.  

Our goal with Fastic was to reach more people looking to improve their health. To do that, we focused on getting the app in the hands of more users, as well as to scale our acquisition strategy. Fastic initially found its core audience through media buying on social platforms. While the concept of fasting isn’t new, launching an app dedicated to supporting the practice as a way to help people take control of their health and gain confidence meant finding users in a relatively niche market. 

Social buying platforms, like Facebook, work well and are a good way to acquire new users because of their massive reach and targeting capabilities. Companies can target specific interests and demographics—and in this case, users who are more likely to care about health and wellness. But it is just one method to grow your user base.

For marketers who are ready to scale quickly and efficiently, here are several ways to diversify your marketing strategy:

1. Improve app discovery for new users by testing other platforms

Three years after launching Fastic, we finally decided to test our first media buying platform outside of social. We turned to AppLovin and its machine learning technology to help us profitably acquire high-value users, and as a result, were able to grow our month-over-month profitability by 58%.

After running initial test campaigns, Fastic was able to set ROAS goals that we wanted to achieve. We had a good idea of what we needed to be profitable due to our past buying experience. We were then able to bid accurately and acquire users who were more likely to subscribe to our various packages. That increase enabled us to reinvest the revenue into developing more great content for our users.

2. Optimize for ROAS

Working with social platforms and their strong demographic targeting was a great way to enter user acquisition and will always be a sustainable way to acquire users for us.

However, as we expanded, we learned to look for more and more users, and because we are focused on acquiring users profitability, that ROAS matters, too. By setting ROAS goals upfront, we have full control over our user acquisition (UA) profitability and can achieve the right balance between scale and long-term growth to drive business success.

When campaigns are optimized for a higher ROAS, it means brands can confidently bid for users who are likely to subscribe for a year vs. a month. It also means advertisers can find users that will make more purchases. Plus, we found that by leveraging advanced campaign optimization tools, we ultimately had more control over time by finding users at various price points.

3. Automate whatever you can

As a small team, we were wary of the need for more headcount to support our increased user acquisition campaigns and strategies. But we were relieved to find that good media buying platforms support fully automated campaigns and require minimal time investment. Our team just needed to learn how to use the platforms to create campaigns, and because much of this is now based on machine learning, the campaigns were optimized for our app.

Creating new opportunities

The inspiring stories we hear from our users motivate us to help more people around the world achieve better health. One of our users lost enough weight to safely donate an organ to someone in need. Another user has completely reversed their diabetes to the point of no longer needing the medicine they’ve taken for over 30 years. These are stories we want to continue to hear and share.

Scaling our marketing strategy, evolving our user acquisition partners, and optimizing campaigns for higher ROAS has given us the extra resources we need to make a difference in our business and inspire more consumers, globally, to live healthier lives.

Philip Wayman is co-founder and CMO, Fastic, an AI-powered intermittent fasting and meal tracking app that’s based in Berlin, Germany. Fastic is the world’s largest fasting community and was developed to provide a healthy balance between bodies and eating habits. Wayman began his career co-founding both kräuterladen.com, a health-focused online store that sells specialty foods and sugar alternatives, as well as W&W Ventures.