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We have met many app entrepreneurs who made it big in the app world without spending a single penny on advertising. Some are growing with decent speed, while some have managed to enter the million dollar game without spending on advertising. While some employed social media, some made use of press publicity. Many recruited customers manually, while others won the game by excellent word of mouth publicity.

In our opinion, if you use the different, available mediums as they should be, you’ll not have to spend thousands of dollars on customer acquisition. Because at the end of the day, customer acquisition costs almost as much as you earn from the customers. So, here are 21 of your most creative options:

1. Build a microsite

Luring customers from the web is a no brainier. And to do so, you don’t need a heavy website.  Just build a microsite showing your app’s USP and you’re done. Snapchat & Path employ the same strategy.

2. Create hype via a website

Take a cue from Apple. Every product launch of theirs becomes a world event because of the hype that they create before actually launching the product. You can also employ the same strategy. Build a website and show some of the best features of your app while keeping the other features a secret. If done right, you will see bulk downloading the day you launch your app.

3. Start a blog

Writing interesting articles related to your app is a great way to entice the audience. It literally compels them to hit the download button. You can attach the blog to your microsite and reap mammoth benefits from this. You can take a note or two from the Buffer app, as they’re really nailing this strategy.

4. Share your content

Using social media wisely, is the key to success. If you post an update about your app just for the sake of posting, be assured that it will not do the trick. You need to understand each and every format in depth and plan your strategy accordingly.

A) Twitter – You only have 140 characters to explain, provoke, sell or bore. So your copy must be powerful enough to arouse curiosity in customers’ minds. Make use of proper hashtags & links.

B) Facebook – This giant lures the most traffic on the web and can be a boon to your app. Use the most compelling and attractive images you can find and combine them with the most powerful copy you can write. Remember, your copy and image must compliment each other.

C) LinkedIn – Many marketers underestimate LinkedIn, despite the fact that it’s an invaluable asset for B2B apps. Here you get the level of attention one needs, to explain things precisely! People come here with a serious mindset & you can take advantage of that.

D) Google+ – Well, you can do whatever you want to, because no one really comes to a Google+ party anymore!

5. Video content

Creative, funny, emotional or personal videos work wonders! Make them thought provoking & use storytelling, in a way that people can relate to.

6. Press!

Press is one of the best ways to head start your startup. Just reach out to the journalists & spread the word about your product.

7. Contact app review websites

Review websites can generate a lot of buzz for your app, if they agree to mention it. However, make sure that your product is flawless before going for this option, because it can do just the opposite too!

8. Get in touch with Bloggers of your niche

Search out for bloggers who write for your niche. Either you can ask them to mention your app in their articles or you can promote your app via clever comments on their blogs.

9. Participate in Awards

If you win an award then you can enjoy tons of press along with the winner’s booty.

10. Email Marketing

People often overlook the power of email marketing. Be informed that email is still the best medium to reach out potential customers on a personal level. So try to gather as many email ids as you can through Facebook, Twitter or our websites. After getting the list of email ids ready, you can start sending personalized messages to boost your click through rate.

11. Vine

Vine has emerged as a powerful medium to promote your brand. #howto is one of the top trending tags in Vine. So you can try making a 6 second how-to series to engage the audience and promote your app.

12. Pin it on Pinterest

There are many ways in which you can promote your app on Pinterest. It could be by posting happy images of your existing customers, uploading infographics, images or other visual content.

13. Reach out to your customers

Identify your audience, find them and promote your app. For instance: If your app offers group texting then you can reach out to college & school students, clubs, etc.

14. Run a contest

If your app is a paid one, then you can run a contest where people can share content of your app and one lucky person gets a chance to win a one-year subscription for free. You will be surprised by the number of customers and the level of exposure you will get by waiving off fee for just a single user.

15. Create a Facebook group

Create a group related to your niche. For example, if you’re selling or promoting a hiking game, then create a hiking group and promote your app there.

16. Speak up at conferences, summits, etc.

Getting recognized as an authority in your space will take you a long way.

17. Voicemail

Not a single medium should be left out! Add a creative mention of your app in your voicemail.

18. Pay attention to negative reviews

You may have seen that many users get distracted due to bad reviews. However, no matter how good your product is, you will always find someone complaining. So don’t get frustrated and ignore them, in fact promptly address to their problems, as that creates a good impression amongst others.  A happy customer is a brand ambassador for your app.

19. Contact admins of related Facebook pages

Find Facebook pages with 100k+ likes and are somehow related to your app. Contact their admins and give them a compelling reason to mention your app in their posts.

20. Optimize your email signature

Use a witty one-liner about your app in your email signature. It will not only promote your app, but also demonstrate your dedication & your sense of humor.

21. Consider offering a promotional price

Everyone loves sales! So at the initial stage, offer them a promotional price and watch your App download grow.

For more info, write to us at

About The Author

Dave Thompson works at, a White Label Software + Services provider for online marketing agencies.