App top #3 in the Play Store
With new feature to 2x engagement and winning ASO strategy
In 2018 I launched my first app together with my team. It was an app for personal finance called Bittiq. We were bootstrapping so we had no big PR campaign to celebrate the store release. We were competing in the same space of big Dutch players like ING, ABN or Rabobank.
We knew that to be successful there were two things we had to focus on:
- App Store ranking
- App engagement
We managed to do both, ending up with an average cost per download of roughly two-third lower than the big players and an engagement 2x higher. Here’s how we did it.
Problem & research
Our app was a money management app, giving users the chance to have an overview of their expenses and cancel subscription they didn’t need. It worked automatically, as it could connect directly to users’ bank account.
The initial conversion was not stellar. That’s because the initial flow was optimized for the onboarding and the so-called “wow moment”, when users could freely cancel their subscription and save money.
So how to increase engagement?
By interviewing users we noticed that our feature of fixed expense tracking was often used in combination with other tools. Especially, before an important expense, users were both checking their account balance and the upcoming fixed expenses in our app.
So we learned that tracking fixed expenses had also an additional function: it was a way to confidently understand how much users could spend.
So we launched the free space feature: a feature that helped users understand how much they could confidently spend by combining account balance and upcoming fixed expenses. The result was a 2x increase in engagement.
App store ranking
As for the app store ranking, there were 2 things we took into account: downloads and engagement. With engagement covered before, for downloads we focused on:
- App Store presence
- The right mix of marketing channels
Notice that we only focused on downloads the moment we were sure to have a high engagement. The opposite would have penalized us in the store. Also, our first downloads were only from early adopters, people prompted to the fact that the app was in its initial stage. This helped us avoid bad feedback.
💡 We’ve created a 5-steps course for app teams that breaks down each single step of our winning App Store strategy. You can download it here for free.
Higher retention than the average finance app.
Downloads in the first 6 months from the launch.
In the Google Play Store 4 months from the launch
- Qualitative & quantitative research
- Information architecture
- Visual design