How to Market Your Mobile App Using Affiliate Marketing

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Posted: August 26, 2016

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Mariame is in charge of the content marketing and public relations at Cloudswave, a great website primarily devoted to software deals and offering the users discounts of up to 80% on a wide selection of software. She loves writing about entrepreneurship and marketing. Always seeking new experiences, she likes traveling and discovering new cultures. 

Mariame of CloudsWave

Just a few years ago, Dropbox was brand new and struggling to gain traction. Today, however, Dropbox is worth over $10 billion and has over 500 million users. In the initial days of the app, when they were still struggling to gain users, Dropbox decided to introduce a referral system that incentivizes existing users to invite new users. The result was impressive. According to Dropbox founder Drew Houston, referrals increased by a massive 60 percent — permanently. Due to the referral strategy, Dropbox went from 100,000 users to 4 million users in 15 months. They now have over 500 million users — and this is thanks to their referral strategy.

If you want to put the growth of your mobile app on steroids, perhaps the most important thing you can do is to leverage the power of referrals – through affiliate marketing.

According to data from Nielsen, a whopping 61 percent of people discover new apps through referrals. Interestingly, pretty much every study done about app discovery agree that referrals are one of the biggest sources of app adoption; when you add up referrals from family and friends as well as third parties, referrals is easily be the biggest way apps are being discovered.

One of the smartest ways to market your app is through affiliate marketing. Not only is this capable of explosive growth for your app, but it will actually boost engagement. According to a recent study by Google/Ipsos, 21 percent of people who have previously stopped using an app will start using it once they see friends, family and people they know use and recommend the app.

App usage incentives 

If you’re considering an effective and basically free approach to give your mobile app explosive growth, you should consider affiliate marketing.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work

Affiliate marketing is basically a system in which a referrer gets paid for referring people to a product or service.

Affiliate marketing is performance-based, which means you only pay when affiliates get results; the result could be in form of number of users referred, number of clicks generated or number of views an affiliate is able to generate for your offer.

If you want to generate a lot of interest in your offers through affiliate marketing, you can either recruit affiliates by yourself or use an affiliate network. There are several benefits to using an affiliate network as we’ll address below.

Benefits Of Using an Affiliate Network

Here are some of the key benefits of using affiliate networks:

  • They make things less stressful for you; most affiliate networks manage all the tracking and payments while making it easy to integrate with your product. This removes a lot of stress you would have to go through setting things up and managing technology to handle affiliates by yourself.
  • They do the tracking and payments; since money is involved, you can trust people to try to manipulate the system and get paid for doing nothing. Robust affiliate networks have evolved to handle manipulations like this, giving you more security.
  • They make it easy to recruit affiliates; depending on how big an affiliate network is, you can tap into their existing network of affiliates to promote your offers. These networks will have several big affiliates, and having one of them join to promote your offer can make a massive difference.
  • They assure your affiliates; affiliates will rarely be fully committed to promoting your offer if they don’t trust that they will be paid. Unfortunately, many businesses — including big ones — have made affiliates promote their products without paying the affiliates their commissions. Most reliable networks will pay affiliates even when an advertiser hasn’t paid them, so the assurance affiliate networks give affiliates about being paid will ensure that they actually promote your offer.

There are many more benefits to using an affiliate network, but the above are the ones that many people are interested in. That said, you only enjoy the above benefits if you go with the right affiliate network.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Network for Your Mobile App

Once you’ve decided to use affiliate marketing to promote your mobile app, it is important that you choose the right affiliate network. Here are some tips to help you choose the right affiliate network for your mobile app:

Mobile-Friendliness: At the end of the day we’re talking about promoting your mobile app. It goes without saying that the affiliate network you choose should be mobile-friendly; this makes it difficult to choose between an old and reliable vs new and edgy affiliate network. At the end of the day, though, usability matters; new affiliate networks like Sourcengo are able to balance usability with reliability.
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Mobile Affiliate Networks

See all mobile affiliate networks to find the best fit for your business.

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Number of Existing Affiliates: Besides saving yourself the headache of having to manage things yourself, if done right, one of the biggest advantages of affiliate networks is that they help you tap into the power of major affiliates on their network that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to recruit.

Reputation: The reputation of an affiliate network is just as important; if an affiliate network doesn’t treat affiliates well, it can have a damaging impact on your brand. It is also important to choose an affiliate network that has a reputation for enforcing the use of ethical promotion techniques by its affiliates; you don’t want to damage your brand by having affiliates promote your app with unethical techniques.

Relevancy to Offer: While there are some big, robust affiliate networks that can provide you with reliable affiliates across multiple industries, some are more niche-focused and offer the best affiliates in a certain niche. Which one you go for depends on your needs; for example, CloudsWave is an example of a platform that is able to successfully span multiple niches, yet they’ve built a reputation for quality. Follow the same principle if you’re to choose a big affiliate network.

Flexibility: At the end of the day you want an affiliate network that is flexible and gives you and affiliates a variety of options to promote your apps. For example, an affiliate network that allows you to reward affiliates based on clicks, views, installs, or even actual sales is much better than an affiliate network that only tracks clicks.

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