5 App Features That Hook Users

So you’ve made an app. Well done! Now, it’s time to drive traffic to it so you can start making sales and engaging your community.

In the past, simply publishing an app and optimizing it for app stores was enough to get downloads and purchase action. Today, you need updated feature sets if you want to get continued engagement from users.

Below, you’ll find 5 of our favorite app features to inform and inspire you. You’ll also find 5 of the critical insights you can apply to your strategies.

How Starbucks Encouraged Downloads with Gamification 

App marketing doesn’t have to be direct. You don’t have to ask people to download your app to promote it. Instead, you can attract them with a valuable feature or valuable content – and add an inconspicuous CTA asking users to download the app.

That’s what Starbucks did in its campaign, which drove two things every marketer wants: app downloads and user-generated content. Specifically, Starbucks asks users to submit images of their products. The best images get highlighted on Starbucks’ official social feeds.


This user-generated content is valuable and drives lots of shares and views for the brand. 

And when the users who view this content click through to see more photos, what do they see?:

The Starbucks brand bio, which includes a link to download their app.

The takeaway is that app marketing is more than just asking people to download your app. Adding value and gamifying your CTAs like Starbucks is a smart way to improve your app’s popularity.

This is How Nike+ Hooked Users With Shareable Content 

Another way to market socially is to make an app that’s so outstanding users want to share it. For example, Nike+ has such an excellent User Experience design that it’s widely shared and analyzed on sites like Instagram.

And to interest casual users, Nike+ lets you share the progress you made with your recent sports activity with visual imagery:

In both cases, Nike offers enough value inside the app to get users to share on social media. The takeaway is to take the time to create valuable, shareable content – and an app that looks so good people want to share it.


Of course, if you have a small or medium brand, you may say – but I don’t have Nike’s budget. And that’s true. Fortunately for you, Crowd Hub lets you get an app with top-notch UX and visual design regardless of your budget – and in just hours. To learn more, click the banner below.

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Try This Feature On – Warby Parker’s Glass Try-Out Feature 

Eyewear retailer Warby Parker recently launched an app that uses face-mapping technology to recommend eyeglasses that fit your face:

The result makes it easy to choose and buy glasses. It’s also easy to share via social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Because this is a serious value add, rather than an attempt to get something out of the users, it has worked very well so far.

The takeaway here is, again, that you should offer as much value as possible. This way, users will have reasons to download and share your app, driving sales and engagement.


Zolandao Did What? “Download App” Buttons on Social Media 

Most social media platforms give you multiple ways to add an app CTA to your page. For one example, Zalando added a “get app” button on their Facebook page.

This strategy is simple but effective. Users are already checking out your social content. Just guide them to an app that has more content – and many will be happy to download instantly and come back to you regularly.

For even better results, use these CTA buttons and add app links to your bio while publishing quality content. That way, you’ll see lots of app downloads without ever annoying your customers with excessive posts.


Virgin’s Game of Phones 

A few years ago, Virgin invited Australians to participate in an interactive game that used Virgin’s App, mobile website, and physical stores to let users compete against each other for 200,000 Australian dollars.

Without getting into the details of the game too much, here are the end results:

  • 40,000 active users
  • 14,568 users entered a Virgin Mobile store to protect their in-game loot
  • As many of 44% of users were actively engaged 


Clearly, the combination of gamification and a real-life reward works – and well. The takeaway is to use incentives, both digital and physical, to interest users in your game. Remember, people like stuff – especially free stuff – so the more you can trade for in-app actions, the better.


Here are the FIVE key Takeaways:

  1. Gamification works (Starbucks)
  2. Shareable content is valuable (Nike+)
  3. Value-add features get you downloads and sales (Warby Parker)
  4. Use the “get app” buttons that come with Facebook and Instagram (Zalando, ClassPass)
  5. Real-life rewards are always a good idea (Virgin Australia)


The only remaining question is, is your app good enough to attract and retain users that you bring in via social platforms?

In our experience working with hundreds of companies, we found that the answer is usually no. The good news is that Crowd Hub can help you build the features your community will engage with for both iOS and Android platforms. To learn more about how we can help you or see a free demo use the form below. We’d love to know if we’re a good fit for each other and answer all your app creation and marketing questions.

Oh and One Last Thing

Hire someone to do it all for you. Knowing all the ins and outs of developing and marketing your app can be overwhelming for anyone. Crowd Hub wants to do it all for you. We understand the critical role of apps in bringing your community together as well as generating sales. Make sure you invest in an experienced, creative, and resourceful mobile app developer.  For professional advice and guidance on the matter, get in touch with the Crowd Hub team.Check out our reviews!

With years of experience and an average rating of 4.7 stars or higher in both Android and Apple App stores, we can help you create an app that is both easy to use and well-liked.  If you mention that you read this article, we will provide a free customer journey strategy and project scoping for free. And if you eventually sign a letter of intent, we’ll throw in free wireframing for your project.

With years of experience and an average rating of 4.7 stars or higher in both Android and Apple App stores, we can help you create an app that is both easy to use and well-liked.