Everyone wants their mobile app to have as many downloads as possible and once they do they want high engagement. There are a million ways to achieve this and while having an awesome product is essential it is often a good idea to have another ace or two up your sleeve.
Lately we have seen a couple of pretty clever examples of apps making good use of exclusivity – limited access, to drive both downloads and engagement. The first example is the beautifully engineered and designed app Mailbox with its new approach to email. When you download the app you are assigned a place in a waiting line and you can see how many users are in front of and behind you. This is definitely something that is making people curious and the app downloads are sky rocketing even though most people just end up with a place in a waiting line.
The second example is Candy Crush Saga, the super addictive Bejeweled-style puzzle game that is currently all over people’s phones and Facebook feeds. The game is structured so that you get five lives every hour (one every 20 minutes), hence your game play is limited most of the time and you are required to take a break from it. As an effect of this you don’t get tired of the game right away and users keep coming back once they have new lives. App engagement is usually measured by sessions per day (among other things) and encouraging this user behavior will make the engagement stats look great in the app analytics. It’s also worth noting that the viral loops and payment flows are beautifully engineered and placed. You can get extra lives, more levels, and extra items by sharing or paying inside the app just when you ‘need’ it the most.
Exclusivity as a strategy is nothing new and it’s not the first time its success has been proven. Remember that social media network that was originally limited to Harvard students only? Not too long ago Dribbble used a similar strategy with very limited invites that you had to earn by being an awesome designer. This limitation made it desirable to become a member while sustaining high content quality on the site.
What strategies are you using to drive downloads and engagement in your apps?