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In this video, I share my favorite growth hacking strategy to grow downloads and how you can run it for subscription-based apps. A lot of people have been moving to subscription-based models because you get monthly recurring revenue and it is a model which Apple and Google support as they get the same benefit. This model also allows you to predict how much you will make every month and thereby allows you to reinvest this amount back to growing your business.

My favorite strategy in this model is the paid-to-free campaign or apps-gone-free campaign. As the term goes, you basically turn your paid apps to become a free one for a couple of days and for those which are already free, you make one of your in-app purchases free. For free apps, we have run this campaign for remove ads, virtual characters and weapons, or anything which you can give away.

For paid apps, bots will pick it up, marketing-wise but for free apps, it is imperative that you get press for it or your efforts will go to waste. To do this, you can pitch AppAdvice and BGR. Keep in mind that you need to build connections and maintain relationships to get the coverage you need.

How to Drive Downloads & Increase Subscription Revenue

For subscription apps, there are two ways which you can implement this:

1. Promo Codes
You can have promo codes within the app which will unlock x number of weeks of content without the need to subscribe.

2. Longer Trial Period
The other way that you can do this is running a longer trial period. If your standard is 7 days, make it 14 or 30 days for a limited time. They key benefit is that people would actually subscribe and if they do not unsubscribe on or before the end of free trial date, they automatically renew.

The downside of running this campaign is that the conversion rate may not be as impressive. The upside is that you will get tons of downloads and awareness of your product without giving up anything. This is a great way to drive downloads and your subscription revenue.


  • says:

    Great post. For the promo codes, as you only get 100 per IAP subscription, how does that work? You’re limited to offering 100 free subs. How would you go about putting 100 coupon codes in the app?

    I also have a consumable in the app. I Tried to make it free in ITC, but free wasn’t in the IAP pricing options.

    thanks! Love your podcast. Would join you at the event if it wasn’t half a world away!

    • Steve Young says:

      Hi Elaine! Big fan of yours too.

      So you need to make the subscription trial longer or give away free content. You don’t need to use the promo codes.

      Does that make sense? The way we used promo codes was outside of ITC. It was functionality that the dev built on his own. Sorry I should have been more detailed about that part.

  • Mbuapa chanel says:

    Maju dan sukses

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