The mobile app world can feel like a professional sport sometimes: the teams with the strongest players, best coaches, and fanciest training facilities (offices) are always on the podium, right?
These features would be nothing without an effective game plan, though — or for mobile apps, a growth strategy. If you have the best resources at hand but don’t know how to effectively use them, you’re not taking home the gold medals.
This is where a growth strategy comes into play. In fact, it’s often the key to your mobile app’s success.
Growth Strategy Defined
A growth strategy is your plan for the long haul, not just an idea to garner a few quick downloads.
It factors in all facets of your business, from marketing and design to engineering and product and beyond. It’s not just a set of guidelines for success, though: it’s the mindset of your company that will help grow your business over time.1
There’s no magic formula to achieve overall growth, but having a strong team, product, and desire to move forward, paired with that common mindset, will define your growth strategy.
quote with 4 leaf clovers where growth without a strategy is pure luck
Growth Strategy vs. Growth Hacking
If your growth strategy is the overall plan that can take years to unfold, growth hacking is an initial strategy that can jumpstart growth, but it’s not always sustainable. Just because growth hacks are one-off in nature doesn’t mean they can’t support the cause.
Growth hacking is a tool that entails experimentation across your company for finding the most efficient routes to business growth. Constantly tinker, throw things at the wall, and see what sticks — you may end up with a one-time success or a tool for repeatable, sustained growth.
For example: It’s great for initial customer acquisition, but not always conducive to long-term growth and retention. Food delivery apps often offer a free meal or delivery discounts just to get people to sign up, but that’s not sustainable once you have several thousand users.
10 Growth Strategies From Real World Examples
Read on for 10 successful mobile app growth strategies from the real world.
01. WhatsApp: Simple Innovation That Works
WhatsApp’s simple innovation has kept them relevant: they provide a cross-platform communications tool as an alternative to SMS and MMS. WhatsApp provides a lucrative alternative in a world where wireless providers often charge per message.2
Messaging platforms are more than just for talking these days: many promote games, stickers, GIFs, shopping tools, and who knows what else. WhatsApp stands apart, though. Their focus has always been on rock solid core functionality with a simple, user-friendly model — any expansion has been directly aligned with those core tenets in mind.
Don’t be afraid of simplicity. New developments that distract from the core purpose of an app may intrigue some users, but the likelihood of driving others away is too much of a risk. WhatsApp nails it when it comes to methodical expansion and practical tools — cut the fancy bells and whistles if they don’t serve your main purpose.
growth strategy example with pencil eraser on mobile phone example from WhatsApp to simplify the problem and build a solution that matches simplicity.
02. Netflix: Cut Out The Download
Slow and steady wins the race — even when it comes to acquiring over 130 million subscribers across 190 countries. Netflix has methodically executed their expansion, with a focus on working with markets and forging relationships to facilitate growth.
They’ve applied that methodical nature to their app growth. As one of the many apps constantly vying for user attention, they approach it in a unique way. Why not make it easier for users to experience Netflix on their mobile devices?
The Colombia Phone Numbers List company partnered with Verizon to preload their app on Android phones, cutting out the hassle of downloading.3 New Android phone owners have the opportunity to sign in with their existing Netflix account, become a subscriber, or just delete the app altogether — hopefully it’s one of the first two.
It’s a growth strategy that eliminates an initial roadblock many apps face: getting people to hit the download button.
03. Uber: Referrals for Growth
The benefits of well-executed referral programs are widely known. Uber is the referral program champion because it’s tapped into its most valuable resource to fuel growth — its riders.
Frequent riders have the opportunity to give new users a free ride in exchange for a free ride themselves.4 While it may seem pricey on Uber’s end — acquiring a new customer is typically more expensive than keeping one in the boat — ensuring the loyalty of regular customers locks in their commitment.
In a highly competitive transportation market with numerous options available, Uber’s referral program is a win-win scenario. It opens the door for new customers while cementing existing customer relationships. It’s a growth hack for new users as well as a growth st