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Top 10 mistakes to avoid in mobile user acquisition

Tamar Hela

August 8, 2023

14 min read


Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Mobile User Acquisition

Mobile user acquisition is crucial to any successful app or mobile platform. However, it’s simple to make errors that could impede your development and harm your general acquisition plan.

Recognizing potential pitfalls and taking advice from others is vital for staying on the correct road.

We’ll delve into the top 10 mistakes to avoid in mobile user acquisition. From targeting the wrong audience to neglecting app store optimization, we’ll cover key areas where many app developers and marketers stumble.

By drawing attention to these errors, we aim to offer insightful knowledge and actionable steps for optimizing mobile user acquisition efforts and driving sustainable app growth.

No matter if you are an established application creator or just starting out. Understanding and avoiding common app development mistakes will save time, resources, and frustration while increasing the odds of success in your chosen mobile marketplace.

Neglecting target audience research

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One of the biggest mistakes to avoid in mobile user acquisition is neglecting target audience research.

Failing to thoroughly understand your target audience can significantly hinder your marketing efforts and lead to ineffective user acquisition strategies.

Without a clear understanding of your ideal users’ demographics, interests, and behavior, creating targeted and personalized marketing campaigns that effectively attract and retain valuable users becomes challenging.

It’s essential to carry out thorough research to determine who your target market is to overcome this mistake.

The following aspects can help you understand your customer market better:

  • Demographics
  • Preferences
  • Pain points
  • Habits

You can research these aspects through surveys and data analysis. Conducting customer interviews will also be beneficial.

Once you gain the information needed, you can tailor messaging, content creation, and acquisition techniques to fit your exact specifications and needs.

Investing time and resources into target audience research will enable you to develop informed user acquisition campaigns, optimize app store listings, and create compelling content that attracts the right users.

Targeted approaches increase your odds of attracting potential customers and enhance user engagement, user retention, and overall user experience. 

Lack of a clear value proposition

Another big mistake in mobile user acquisition is the lack of a clear value proposition. Without a unique selling point that sets your app apart from competitors, attracting and retaining valuable users becomes challenging.

Failing to communicate the benefits and features of your app leads to low user engagement and acquisition. 

Create a convincing value pitch that showcases the main benefits of your software to avoid making this error. Identify what makes your app unique and valuable to users, and communicate it consistently across all marketing channels.

Clearly explain the following:

  • The problem your app solves
  • The benefits it offers
  • Your advantage over competitors

A strong value proposition not only attracts potential users but also helps to retain them. It sets the expectations right from the start, ensuring that users understand the value they will receive from your app.

Effective communication of your value proposition can increase user engagement, foster retention, and ultimately accelerate customer acquisition.

Time spent developing a real value proposition will pay dividends over time. Never undervalue the influence of a compelling reason to purchase when trying to attract mobile users.

Overlooking App Store optimization

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One of the biggest mistakes to avoid in mobile user acquisition is overlooking App Store Optimization (ASO).

ASO plays a crucial role in improving exposure and natural installs of your app. By ignoring ASO, you miss out on potential users searching for relevant keywords in the app stores.

Optimize the following:

  • Your app’s title
  • Description
  • Screenshots
  • Keywords

To find your app’s most pertinent and popular search terms, start by conducting extensive keyword research. To increase its discoverability, incorporate keywords strategically in your app’s metadata, such as the title and description.

In addition, make sure to include captivating and informative screenshots that showcase your app’s best features and functionalities. 

Screenshots are often a potential user’s first visual impression, so they should be compelling and visually appealing. Regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your app’s ASO efforts to optimize further. And track your app’s keyword rankings and metadata changes.

By prioritizing ASO, you can significantly increase your app’s visibility in the app stores and attract more organic traffic. The result may lead to greater enrollment and the potential for more loyal and engaged customer base.

Inadequate user onboarding experience

Users that find your app hard to use or understand could quickly abandon it, preventing it from being installed again in future attempts.

An efficient onboarding experience will guide users through all of your app’s key features and benefits. To improve user onboarding, consider offering:

  • Interactive tutorials
  • Clear instructions with quick results
  • Minimize unnecessary steps
  • Intuitive and user-friendly

An effective onboarding experience not only assists users in learning your app but it sets the scene for their overall user journey.

As a result, this will:

  • Establish trust
  • Reduce confusion
  • Increase user engagement
  • Loyal customer

Regularly gather user feedback to identify pain points and areas for improvement in the onboarding process. Use this feedback to make necessary adjustments and enhancements.

Investing in an effective user onboarding experience can significantly enhance user engagement and retention. Therefore, you set yourself up for long-term success with mobile user acquisition.

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Ignoring user feedback

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Ignoring user feedback is a grave mistake in mobile user acquisition. Failing to listen could have devastating repercussions for its eventual development and expansion.

Your app’s user experience may be improved, and user feedback can help you identify these areas. It allows you to gain a deep insight into what users expect and need from you so that you can choose the appropriate updates or enhancements.

Regularly analyzing user feedback to identify trends and common issues is also very useful for addressing shortcomings and implementing updates to match user preferences. You can build an app with greater user-friendliness that fosters customer retention and engagement.

Do not underestimate user feedback as an invaluable way of increasing success for your app and user acquisition efforts. Listen and incorporate user feedback into your app development and marketing initiatives.

Inconsistent or ineffective marketing channels

Consistent or effective marketing channels can help your mobile user acquisition efforts. Using the wrong channels or employing inconsistent messaging can lead to resource waste and poor exchange rates.

Understanding the favorite channels of your intended demographic is essential to avoid this error.

Engage using these networks:

  • Social media
  • Mobile ads
  • Influencers
  • Content marketing

Knowing where your potential users are most active will increase the chances of reaching and engaging them effectively. Create an effective marketing plan that uses all available channels to connect and engage your target market.

This may require experimenting with different channels and analyzing their performance to identify which ones yield the best results. Message consistency across various advertising mediums is also crucial.

No matter the channel, make sure your brand’s messaging and value offer are consistent. This regularity fosters trust and recognition among potential users.

By avoiding the mistake of inconsistent or ineffective marketing channels, you can maximize the impact of your user acquisition campaign and increase the chances of attracting valuable users to your mobile app or platform.

Lack of A/B testing


A/B testing is a powerful tool enabling you to test several iterations of your marketing tactics, creatives, and message to optimize customer retention efforts. Not conducting A/B tests can limit your ability to determine the most efficient methods for attracting users.

A/B testing can be done by experimenting with various components, such as:

  • Ad copy
  • Visuals
  • Call-to-action buttons
  • Landing pages

You can refine your approach and maximize user acquisition. Your marketing efforts will be based on genuine user actions and preferences thanks to A/B testing, which assists you in making data-driven decisions.

It enables you to evaluate many iterations of your marketing and determine which ones yield the best results in acquiring users. By paying attention to A/B testing, you are taking advantage of opportunities to improve your user acquisition campaign and increase your chances of success.

Testing different variations and analyzing the data will enable you to make wise choices and maximize your marketing initiatives for better outcomes. It will help you identify the most effective approaches, improve campaign performance, and ultimately attract more valuable users to your mobile platform or app.

Not leveraging referral programs

Referrals can be a powerful tool for acquiring new users because they come from trusted sources. When your existing users refer your app to their friends or networks, it acts as a recommendation, increasing the chances of attracting high-quality users who are more likely to engage and become loyal customers.

To avoid this mistake, implement a referral program that rewards users for successful referrals.

Offer incentives, such as:

  • Discounts
  • In-app credits
  • Exclusive features

They will motivate your current users to tell others about your application. Provide them with referral codes or shareable links to make it simple for them to refer others.

Leverage referrals to tap into the networks of your existing users and attract users who are more likely to be interested in your app. This will assist you in creating a solid and devoted customer base.

Poor retention strategies

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Another shortcoming in mobile user acquisition is focusing solely on acquiring new users while neglecting retention. Not only must your app attract users, but you also must ensure they remain engaged over time.

A high churn rate can offset all the effort and resources invested in acquiring new users.

Develop effective retention strategies, such as:

  • Implement personalized notifications: By sending targeted and relevant messages to users based on their preferences and behavior, you can keep them engaged and interested in your app.
  • Implement loyalty programs: Rewarding your users for their continued engagement and loyalty encourages them to stay active and invested in your app.
  • Regular updates and improvements: By continuously enhancing your app and introducing new features, you can keep users excited and interested, reducing the likelihood of them becoming disengaged.

By focusing on retention as well as acquisition, you can not only attract new users but also keep them loyal and engaged. Creating an engaged user base increases your app or mobile platform’s chances of long-term success.

Failure to analyze and iterate

Data analysis is crucial in understanding the effectiveness of your user acquisition efforts and identifying areas that need improvement. You could miss valuable insights for informed decisions without properly examining the data.

By consistently monitoring and evaluating critical metrics, such as:

  • Customer acquisition costs
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer retention rate

This data can help you by:

  • Identifying bottlenecks
  • Optimize your marketing efforts
  • Make decisions based on facts

Iterating on your strategies is equally important. The smartphone app marketplace is evolving, and user behaviors and preferences constantly grow.

By constantly testing and refining your user acquisition strategies, you can respond to changing circumstances more effectively and increase the odds of success.

Always strive to try out several outlets, messaging, and targeting options. Utilize A/B testing to assess the effectiveness of several initiatives, then refine your strategy in light of the findings.

By being proactive and adaptive, you can stay one step past your rivals and maximize your efforts to acquire mobile users.

App growth solutions

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Avoiding these common mistakes in mobile user acquisition is crucial for the success of your app.

You may improve your odds of bringing in and keeping valuable consumers by knowing your target market, doing extensive research, using efficient marketing techniques, and consistently improving your acquisition efforts.

Remember, acquiring users is just the first step. Providing a seamless and enjoyable user experience is equally important to maximize user retention and, ultimately, the success of your mobile app.

Adapty can help you maximize your user acquisition efforts’ ROI and build a loyal customer base.

With our powerful analytics and optimization tools, you can track key metrics, identify areas for improvement, optimize your campaigns, and measure the success of your user acquisition strategies.

Hopefully, this article has provided insight into the significance and challenges associated with mobile user acquisition and potential pitfalls to be mindful of when doing it yourself.

Schedule a call with Adapty today to maximize your efforts to attract new users.

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