Home » Mobile Marketing Tips » Monday Mobile Marketing Tip: Download Your Competitor’s Apps (And Use Them)

Every Monday, I write about something new you can try this week to drive more downloads for your mobile app and increase engagement with your existing app users, based on what has worked (and what hasn’t) for 23snaps.


In marketing, it’s always worthwhile knowing what your competitors are up to. Their messaging and ads may inspire, or provide fodder, for yours. Their new channels may prove or disprove an audience. Of course you don’t want to be playing catch up or entering the market late but it’s unlikely you’ll always make the same choices as your competition when it comes to marketing and knowing what they’re up to can be powerful.

You might think that studying the competitor’s app is a job for the product, rather than the marketing team. For the same reasons it’s important to pay attention to your competitor’s marketing strategy, their product strategy can influence and caution yours as well. But there are a number of important reasons why marketers should be fully aware of competitor’s apps, and use them regularly. Here are my three top reasons for downloading and using my competition’s apps:

1. In-app user acquisition

Word of mouth is one of the most important drivers of app downloads. If you think the marketing stops when someone starts using the app, you’re wrong. Inside the application are often clever tricks, features and text to drive the user to invite their friends and share the app or its content with others. Monitoring your competitors, and how they encourage viral sharing of their app, can give you ideas or, in some cases, show you what you really shouldn’t be doing (*cough*Path*cough*).

2. Onboarding / Sign up copy

Just like marketing isn’t finished when a customer starts using the app, as there are plenty of opportunities to turn that user into many; marketing isn’t finished when someone downloads the app. If you require a registration, or if someone never plays your game, it’s as if they never existed in your userbase. How do your competitors convince downloaders to become engaged users? While you never want to directly take their copy, understanding what language they use, where copy is placed and the imagery included can give you some ideas for your own app.

3. What’s New Messages

One the most underrated places to communicate with customers is through the What’s New messages in both the App Store and the Play Store. More and more apps are getting quite creative with their What’s New text – including little asides to their loyal users as well as simple feature updates. If you’re not making full use of this space and your competitors are, you’re missing a trick. Do you competitors do a good job of encouraging their loyal users to upgrade the app? Does their What’s New text work harder than a simple feature list? If not, is this a place where you could overtake them?


My Monday Mobile Marketing Tip for this week: Download your competitor’s apps. Yes, all of them. Even if you don’t use them all, you’ll get to see their ‘What’s New’ text. Now use them. Maybe not all of them – but at least those of your main competition. Look in particular at the messaging that takes a new download to a registered/engaged user, and the messaging that helps users share the app or app content.