January 31 2017

2017 has started and the number of new apps in the app stores just keeps going up! We’re pretty sure app marketers share the same sentiment and are searching for viral ways to promote their app in the rising competition. Well, search no more because we have the hack you have been looking for!

The viral user acquisition tool: GetSocial Smart Invites

We have discussed GetSocial Smart Invites at length and how apps can make use of them for viral growth. This time we’re back with some appealing statistics to prove how this growth channel is a lot more effective than any social media platform that your app is using for user acquisition.

You might assume your users are on social media most times of the day. Correction, they are actually more active on chat apps than on social media as such. Their need to remain connected with friends, family and colleagues, often has them switching between apps – out of which at least 2 of them are for chatting through the day.

Case in point being, WhatsApp.

According to Statista, 58% of active users of WhatsApp stated that they used it a lot more than once a day. If you don’t see a marketing opportunity here as an app marketer, you’re going to continue to struggle with acquisition.

whastapp usage

PikPok implemented Smart Invites in their game “Doomsday Clicker” and our study suggests that a whopping 61% of its users chose WhatsApp to invite friends to the app.


The study proves that mobile users prefer chat apps over social media when it comes to making recommendations. Chat app recommendations have a whopping 19% conversion rate, which is higher than any other channel.

conversionpikpokDevelopers have noticed that recommended users coming from chat apps fit better into their ideal user demographics, have a higher engagement and retention rate, and have a improved user lifetime value in the app.

But getting recommendations depends a lot on how easy you make it for the user to do so. PikPok uses GetSocial Smart Invites to make inviting friends as intuitive and easy as possible, achieving a higher participation rate.


Why did referrals work for PikPok?

In a previous post, we discussed how apps can make use of user relationships to keep them actively engaged and reduce their churn rate.

The more engaged they are with your app, the more likely they will be to recommend it to anyone who’s looking for something similar in their circles. Then why not turn the same into your app growth strategy?

According to a study by Nielsen, recommendations from friends and family are still considered the most credible form of advertising. Recommendations get 7X more interaction than advertisements on any social channel or any other form of outbound marketing.

Another study by Nielsen shared insights on what form of advertising do consumers trust. It only reinforces how recommendations from their friends and family should be your first app growth strategy.


Now you may wonder if your users would even be willing to recommend your app to their friends? The answer is simple – 83% of users are willing to refer after a positive in-app experience.

When they see a higher value in what your app has to offer to them, you remain at the top of their minds and definitely in their conversations.

But the same report also suggests that only 23% of users who have had a positive experience, actually end up recommending the app.

Two of the biggest reasons behind their hesitance being – a complex process to invite their friends and not seeing any value behind it.

PikPok solved both the challenges with GetSocial Smart Invites. They made the process of inviting friends via chat apps so simplified, that their users just couldn’t say no!  

Happy users. Easy invite process. More engagement. Viral Growth. Simple right?

Why not just digital advertising?  

Let’s face it, what happens when you search for a particular type of app in the app store? You’re literally bombarded with at least 10 competing options to choose from. All the apps seem to offer more or less the same features, but you only need one!

Your app marketing strategy could include running interesting advertisements on popular social channels. But then again, isn’t everyone doing exactly that?

Case in point 1:

Your ideal app users are being targeted by various advertisements across different digital channels every day.

As an end consumer, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to decide on what they want. People are so overwhelmed by the options available to them, that they end up making hasty decisions or no decision at all.

Case in point 2:

There are apps that are backed by publishers or a good funding round, and then there are indie apps. The latter could have some of the best features to offer to a user, but a limited marketing budget restricts them to having only a handful of users on the app.

How can you compete with a limited marketing budget that gets surpassed by the publisher apps every time?

Yes, user acquisition is listed as one of the biggest challenges for indie app developers and advertising isn’t the only solution you should bank on.


All we’re trying to say here is while other app marketers are focusing on how to allocate their marketing budgets towards advertising and competing with others, give your strategy a viral twist with Smart Invites.

Your ideal users are definitely active on WhatsApp through the day. Use the opportunity and encourage them to talk more about your app with friends and family. After all, what works better than word of mouth marketing?

But before you implement a referral campaign in your app, make sure you understand an average user’s journey. Identify instances where a user will be willing to invite his friends and make sure it is easy for him to do so.

With a little strategy and a smart tool in your kit, we’re pretty sure your app’s going to growth hack user acquisition just like PikPok!