How to acquire users through partnerships on your app

How Mature Apps Accelerate User Acquisition Through Mobile Partners. The benefits are as many as co-marketing…

For mobile apps, paid advertising and organic growth have traditionally been the two most effective user acquisition strategies, but as the market continues to grow and for apps that already have a large customer base, relying solely on two forms of user acquisition leads to challenges. A growing number of top apps are seeking partnerships with major brands in an effort to attract more users and build global recognition.

For many mobile app makers, user acquisition strategies roughly fall into two categories: free (traditionally through App Store Optimization or ASO) and paid (channel-focused ads). But for mobile games and social networks that have already gained millions of customers and need to maintain a global presence, these two forms of User Acquisition (UA) can lead to difficulties over time. With increasingly tight schedules, it is imperative for companies to reach their highest possible growth path as quickly as possible in order to achieve faster application implementation, thus expanding the user base.


As a result, a growing number of high-profile apps are seeking partnerships with major brands to attract more users and build global recognition. One category of partnerships is mobile networks (telecom carriers) and smartphone manufacturers who target the same demographic of consumers looking for a new service or device. Mobile operators can attract new customers with unique or exclusive incentives with content for these applications. SensorTower has published a report on the matter that provides an update on some of the partnerships.

Although the examples below are for mature applications from major brands, partnerships are a dynamic new channel for customer acquisition. Simply put, when people or groups with similar audiences or values ​​work together to achieve performance-based goals for their common benefit. This can include goals such as acquiring new customers or conversions for one and increasing revenue for the other. A recent report from Forrester found that brands actively involved in building affiliate programs and partnerships saw their overall revenue share increase to 28% of the company’s total revenue. They also see revenue growth twice as fast as competitors with little or no partnership maturity. For example, Lenovo generates 25% of its revenue through the partnership channel, which is more than the average 20% of revenue that retailers generate from paid search.

Simple enough to set up, partnerships offer what traditional advertising alone can’t: trust, approval, and authenticity, which are key elements to sustaining business growth in times of ups and downs, including your apps.

Explode, Explode

In November 2019, Snap partnered with the US mobile carrier Verizon under the latter’s Innovation Partner Program to provide exclusive content as 5G technology rolls out in US cities. By promoting both Verizon’s 5G capabilities and Snapchat’s augmented reality capabilities, the partnership includes co-marketing as well as pre-installation of the app on select 5G-enabled phones. For both parties, the partnership provides an opportunity to gain new clients. In partnership with Verizon, Snapchat will provide unique filters, which have been at the heart of the social platform’s most popular download engine, that take advantage of the next generation of mobile data to attract new users with Verizon phones and 5G.


Mobile carrier Verizon has also pledged to develop augmented reality, announcing an expansion with Pokémon GO creator Niantic. In October 2021, through this partnership, Niantic held a special event over the weekend at Pokémon GO for Verizon customers featuring new Verizon-themed avatar costumes. The operator is also sponsoring the in-game app with digital assets through brand promotion such as giving away in-game items. According to data from Sensor Tower, Pokémon GO is generating $1 billion in revenue in 2020 in the midst of a pandemic, making it the game’s most profitable year to date. The United States remains the app’s largest source of revenue, accounting for more than a third of all spending. Mobile operators often look for content-focused partnerships that mature applications can offer.

The WhatsApp

Last year, Facebook announced action towards emerging mobile markets by pre-installing its social platform as well as WhatsApp on KaiOS, an operating system for India. The program, which represents more than 100 million mobile users worldwide, is popular applications for users who would not otherwise be able to download it. According to data provided by Facebook, up to 50% of devices in emerging mobile markets are running outdated apps, with versions less than a year old. This partnership is also bringing new users into the Facebook ecosystem at a time when downloading is down, including in emerging markets. According to Sensor Tower data, Facebook mobile installs in India slowed by 13% between 2018 and 2019, while WhatsApp downloads slowed by nearly 30% over the same period. Pre-installation in this market helps Facebook gain new users and remain a leader in the mobile economy.


In 2018, Samsung took advantage of the growing popularity of Fortnite to promote the launch of the Galaxy Note 9, providing exclusive access to the Fortnite Android beta as well as exclusive in-game content for pre-order customers. This partnership has evolved over the past two years, with Fortnite remaining a cornerstone of Samsung’s Galaxy Store, the only storefront where American consumers can download the current season of the hit game on mobile. Epic Games continues to forge its independence with Fortnite, a $1.2 billion market that has now been separated from the Apple and Google Stores.

Leave a Comment