Last update: November 2021

6 mins to read - 2021/11/12

Multi-Channel Mobile Growth: How Notifications Fit into Your Campaign

2021 has been a watershed year for the mobile industry. Apple’s iOS 14.5 changed the game with its App Tracking Transparency, which will likely steer the industry in a new direction in terms of data privacy. Meanwhile, mobile games revenues are projected to hit $90.7 billion by the end of the year. There is clearly a lot of opportunity for mobile developers who are able to navigate the changing waters to release an app with a great UX and loyal user base. Here are 6 basic steps you should consider if you want to design a killer mobile growth campaign!

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mobile growth chart

Achieve Mobile Growth Organically

The foundation of any mobile growth campaign should always be organic growth. What does this mean? “Organic” refers to users who find your brand or download your app by their own means, whether from an email, referral, or simply searching for your app in the App Store. These users generally have higher retention rates and life-time value (LTV), because they sought out your app with intent, to fulfill a need.

There are methods to maximize your organic app growth. The main one is to build a fantastic app that offers a stellar UX, which people will seek out (obviously!). However, there are other methods to make your app more visible among its competitors. Invest in a solid App Store Optimization (ASO) campaign, as well as browser-based Search Engine Optimization (SEO) content marketing. QR codes displayed in traditional marketing methods are also a way to catch potential users’ attention in the physical world, providing them a fast and easy link to download your app.

Paid/Affiliate Marketing

Building off of your solid foundation of organic marketing, paid or affiliate marketing can spread awareness of your app to a vast user base which might not have encountered it solely through organic means. The widespread leveraging of data to send highly targeted ads means there’s a high likelihood that your ads will be seen by the segment of viewers most likely to benefit from them. However, as we mentioned above, App Transparency Tracking and similar shifts in how advertisers are allowed to leverage user data will likely change the arena in this aspect.

In addition to the standard in-app advertising methods (banner ads, interstitials, and rewarded monetization) there are also more niche methods to help spread the word of your app. You could work with a mobile app influencer, or you could pay for sponsored content about your app in a website or blog that has high traffic among your target user base. Members of your developing team can appear on podcasts or conference panels to talk about the app. Affiliate marketing is another option, in which an affiliate links to your app and receives a commission for every transaction resulting from one of their links.



Having your app go viral is the dream for most developers. However, it’s the mobile growth equivalent of winning the lottery, and is often beyond the control of any developing team. (Could anyone have predicted how popular Animal Crossing would get at the beginning of 2020?) An app going viral is more a human phenomenon than something you can design. However, there are things you can do to get users as excited about your app as possible.

To kickstart the chain reaction, it can help to offer incentives for using your app, whether this is real-world swag or an in-game reward system for referring friends. Studies have shown that incentivizing users can result in a higher conversion curve in the long run. And it can spark the word-of-mouth chain reaction.

Gameification is also a strong factor in sparking a viral run. If you capitalize on a trending hashtag, or inspire in users a sense of competition against their friends with some sort of challenge or leaderboard. And finally, you’re never going to go viral unless your app can inspire some sort of intense emotion in its users. Is your gaming loop fun and addictive? Does your app satisfy your users’ on multiple levels, such as on a social or real-world level? Think of other viral apps in a similar vertical to yours… What did they do right? How can you imitate their journey to success?

Mobile Engagement and Retention

User retention is something app developers should prioritize at all stages of the marketing funnel. Any free-to-play app can acquire users, but providing a high-quality UX to keep them around past the 7-day mark is an entirely different matter.

User retention relies heavily on whether you’re communicating effectively with users. Are you listening to their feedback? Are you sending them notifications at appropriate times and that are relevant to users’ interests? Are you keeping your mobile game UX fresh and and exciting with a robust liveops campaign?

The best way to keep users engaged and built long-term habits of daily app use is to send personalized push notifications. Notifications strengthen the relationship between app and users across the entire customer lifespan. Send a welcome notification after they install the app, with periodic reminders for them to complete the onboarding process. Nudge them at a convenient time every day to click on the app to complete a level of your game, or check out a purchase suggestion. Drum up enthusiasm by informing users of special events in your app, or ask them to get their friends involved. Mitigate churn by asking them to send feedback.

Metrics and Measurement

Finally, no matter how good your mobile growth campaign is, tracking metrics and performing A/B testing will make it better still. With OpenBack’s hybrid mobile engagement platform, developers have access to the KPI dashboard, where they can view visualizations for metrics across the full push notification funnel, on a rolling 30-day basis. With this resource, you can track the performance of your push notification campaign, and assess how it can be optimized. Basic KPIs offered include:

  • Delivered – number of users that received the message
  • Dismissals – number of times the message was dismissed
  • Clicks – number of times the message was clicked
  • Interactions – combination of clicks and dismissals
  • Total Goals – number of times the goal linked to this message was complete
  • Total Direct Goals – number of times a user clicked the message and completed the goal
  • Total Within Timeframe Goals – number of times the goal was completed within the set timeframe
  • Total Goal Value – sum of the completed goal values
  • Total Direct Goal Value – sum of the direct goal values
  • Total Within Timeframe Goal Value – sum of the within timeframe goal values

To learn more about OpenBack’s complete set of metrics that it provides developers, get in touch with one of our experts. Or you can download our Metrics & Measurement Playbook to learn how to optimize your push campaign:


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