How to get Installs for my App


Lee esta entrada en español: Cómo conseguir instalaciones para mi App.

There are million of Apps, some only for Android, some only for iOS, some for all systems; This is so and it will go far. So, that is the question: if there are so many Apps, how people are gonna know my App?

There are many ways to promote an App. Without any order: self-promotion, cross-promoting, in-app advertising, App Discovery, ASO, Pay per Installation… I’m going to try, before anything, what are everyone and more or less how it works so, at the end, we can’t forget that our focus is to get installs for our App, which is the only way to monetize it in some way.


It is basically that within your own App you launch some kind of promotional message to install another App of yours. In general I saw this in games, before or after, you get a splash that promotes another game. Also you can see it in free Apps that promotes its premium version, which is usually a paid one.


There are several companies in the world to help this method. It’s simple: where an ad appears actually there is no advertising but that are ads for other Apps. If you promote 100 other App impressions, other Apps in the networks will show 100 ads of yours. The secret of this system is to make the best display ads. With this method you don’t earn any money because your display slot is full of other cross-promotion ads.

In-App Advertising

As it could not be otherwise we have the possibility of making advertising within Apps. Mainly through iAd (Apple) and Admob (Google). This is the closest thing to the actual Internet advertising, with banners display ads. In-App Advertising is OK, but in general is more focused to branding than to get installs since, in general, the conversion tends to be between 0% and 1%.

App Discovery

App Discovery may consist of an App that recommends you other Apps, or a web that makes also that.

ASO (App Store Optimization)

It’s the «SEO for Apps» and relies mainly on making changes «on-page» in the app store where improving the title, texts, images and making them more attractive and searchable maks to appear better in searches for Apps and increases the chances of conversion.

CPI (Cost per Installation)

Finally, and I would say that is the most important, CPI or Pay for Installation which is where the Apps market is going. You propose a price for each install that has been achieved (for example 1 dollar) and whenever someone gets an installation is paid that amount. The most interesting thing about this system is that it works by objectives, so you only pay for what you get and you can get performance.

Now that we know the different methods to get installations, there is another important detail: you need a measuring system (also known as tracker). There are two types of trackers that allow «postback» and those who do not. The postback is a system that everytime someone new installs an App the system notifies somewhere saying that installation has been achieved. This allows to create performance-based advertising. I put an example:

Imagine that you launch an App advertising campaign. You promote it in a QR code from a bus stop and in a television ad. Users installs your application but, what are the source from this installations? What ad had worked better, the bus stop or the television one?

At this point we need to make a little stop, as must be taken into account that services like Google Analytics and others are not capable of measuring information in iOS since Apple, when the campaign arrives to iTunes, all the information is blocked to tracking methods. Therefore Google Analytics will be use useless to advertising campaigns because it does not measure correctly. For this you should use any tracking tools that are on the market, as well as read about the functioning of ways to track (in spanish) and attribution methods (in spanish).

Now that we have the ways of promoting Apps and ways of measuring it, appears to us the question about if it’s possible to get installs with thos previously proposed methods.

In the case of self-promotion you can get installs, but you need that your App has many visits, that is not the norm, so it is quite out of the question.

The cross-promotion method can be used when you launch an App, but you also depend that your App have much use, and surely if you have a successfull App what you want is making money with advertising and not promote other Apps through cross-promotion, so for starters is gonna go well, but neither secures installations.

In-app advertising is a way to get installs that works, but you need to put tehm in a bag and check that conversions, that its ITR (Install Through Rate) is reasonable and not lose money investing in advertising and then not getting installations (it’s essential to know the Cost of installation to be able to measure it).

App Discovery is a concept that is anchored in traditional marketing and works based on clicks, which means that ITR do never work since the cost of an installation can be multiplied between 5 and 25 times more than what can be achieved in other ways, and is mainly due to the fact that these platforms do not measure.

ASO can get or not installations, but you should always bear in mind since it’s key to have a better page in app stores, getting or not installations. ASO is a very new profession and would definitely recommend you to speak with the PickASO team.

Finally, the CPI is mainly operating in the sector and part of that is because is focused in objectives, in such a way that you pay for what you get. The only thing is that it will gradually require many services of RTB, because it begins that various agencies want to promote the same App on the same countries and devices so, in such a way that there will be tools that sort these campaigns that advertisers will have to compete. This is the system we use at Geenapp.

Another interesting detail is that many agencies and advertisers are thinking about daily limitations of installations. Today, without a platform that does it or complex integration systems with some complex integrations with postbacks, is very difficult to get.

It’s also very important, before promoting an App, know what the target audience that can be reached, if our App only works in the latest version of the operating system, we have many possibilities that the App does not generate installations and the campaign become a failure, not because is not at successfull promoting, because the App is not compatible with the current market, so it is important to review all types of device and versions existing in each country.

Now that you know the ways to get installations, the need having a tracking installed on the App and to study the market, what are you waiting to launch your campaign? If you need help or would like more information, do not hesitate to get in touch with me.


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