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.

6 Growth Strategies for App Downloads

Where should I send 6 of our favorite growth strategies for app downloads?

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Steve Young

Founder at AppMasters
I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything.

Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 28 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web,, and on my blog