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How Marketers Overcame 3 of Today’s Top Marketing Challenges: Skeptical customers, not enough budget, and misunderstood customer expectations

28 September 2021

Quick Case Study #1: Software development company’s visual and communication optimizations have kept the app revenue growing 8% to 10% for 12 months – despite not being able to spend a penny on acquisition

“In the app world, there is no shortage of moonshine articles offering silver-bullet solutions for rapid growth or stories of miraculous overnight successes thanks to a single, well-timed social media post,” said Tomas Kvasnovsky, Co-founder, App Toro.

He continued, “The truth is that a vast majority of apps do not get that lucky and are at the mercy of stores’ algorithms that often bury them deep in search results. Without considerable budgets to draw new users in from other channels, it takes months of painstaking work to get a search ranking that actually brings money.”

App Toro is a boutique software development company that designs, develops, and markets its own iOS mobile applications – everything from Babio (for parents of newborns) to Spam Call Blocker (for anyone not in the market for an extended car warranty).

The company was initially a university side-hustle, so the team never had budgets for paid acquisition. This challenge forced them to be very resourceful in persuading users that the company’s apps are worth the money.

Over the years they have built 13 apps and along the way discovered and developed a variety of features and optimizations that drove steady growth. For the past 12 months, the company has been enjoying eight percent to 10 percent organic revenue growth month-over-month without any spending on ads.

“The race to convince a user to choose your app among hundreds of others starts with the first contact in the search results,” Kvasnovsky said. Using standard A/B testing methods, the team has made the following discoveries.

On average, simpler and pictogram-like icons increased the conversion rate from search results

to product pages by 3.25 percent.

Creative Sample #1: Lower-performing app icons

Creative Sample #2: Higher-performing app icons

Clarity trumps persuasion. On average, screenshots directly displaying the app’s features on the first screenshot visible on search results performed 5.5 percent better than those relying on the description of features.

Creative Sample #3: Lower-performing app screenshots

Creative Sample #4: Higher-performing app screenshots

Localization of the screenshots and product page increased the conversion rate in respective countries by three to seven percent compared to purely English versions.

Creative Sample #5: Localized app screenshots

Creative Sample #6: Localized app store product page

After convincing the user to download the app, the team then needed to persuade the user to spend money in the app.

Sensitively worded and well-timed in-app messages or push notifications offering discounts have increased a conversion rate by five to 15 percent, depending on the app. On average, it took three months to identify the behavioral pattern and timeframes in which users make decisions or leave for each given app. However, a fine-tuned funnel proved to be the most effective conversion method.

Apps with pricing adjusted to the local purchasing power performed better in conversion rate, but total revenue remained similar to non-adjusted apps.

And checkout screens that offered higher prices and more significant price differences between various purchase options brought in an average of six percent more revenue despite a lower conversion rate, when compared to checkout screens with lower prices and a narrower price distribution.