From cab booking to healthcare systems, apps play a pivotal role in our daily lives. Because of this presence in our daily life, most people build an app believing that their amazing app idea is enough to make it an immensely popular app.

Certainly, there have been apps that succeeded overnight. But they are far and few. For the rest to be discovered, you need to have a good app marketing strategy and budget.

Why? Because:-

mobile app statistics

So, how much does it cost to market an app? Let’s take a look.

The main challenges through the entire mobile app marketing strategy are:

  • Organic and rapid mobile App discovery
  • Reaching the target users
  • User Engagement and retention
  • Creation of loyal app users
  • Satisfying Conversion and ROI

All these operations involve the question of how much does it cost to market an app. To estimate the cost, we need to consider the essential components that constitute the comprehensive app marketing campaign model. Here is the quick glance at app marketing cost breakdown structure:

  • The Pre-Launch Marketing Components
  • Market Research
  • App beta testing
  • App Store Optimization
  • App PR outreach
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Viral marketing
  • The Cost of Digital App Marketing Assets
  • Post App Marketing Cost

#1. The Pre-Launch Marketing Components

The pre-launch app marketing usually includes the most crucial components such as market research, beta testing, ASO (App Store Optimization), PR and pre-launch media coverage.

The pre-launch phase allows you to anticipate your app’s reach and impact on the users after its launch. Once it launched, they can easily download it from the app/play store

This stage of app marketing revolves around generating interest, excitement and anticipation as well as awareness of the app before it is accessible from the app/play store.

#2. Market Research Costs

Conducting a healthy and in-depth market research is a step that precludes any other action for it lets you know the minutest aspects of the target market.

However, market research is not merely limited to scooping up the facts about your competitors’ success, trending features, user requirements and marketing Technologies and their app marketing cost.

Through this, you can gauge useful customer reviews and expect their behavior throughout the app journey. The viability of your app also gets revealed through effective market research.

It also entails efforts for discovering robust options for social media coverage, viral marketing, good publications and influencers, bloggers and YouTubers. The cost for such thorough research appears between $5000 to $15,000.

#3. Beta Testing

There is a rigorous testing process by developers themselves, which is called alpha testing. Beta testing helps save your mobile app’s reputation when the app is actually being used.

The testing determines the impeccable performance of the app and ensures your app is completely ready for the market and doesn’t contain any pitfall of bugs.

Beta testers also come handy when posting unbiased reviews about app’s look and feel – which is an underlying part of app marketing. It is said that about 100-300 testers can help you realize your app’s working condition before the original launch.

App market research shows that the usual cost estimation for such beta testing hits between $3000 to $5,000.

#4. App Store Optimization (ASO) Cost

The process of App Store Optimization covers all the thoughts and attempts at tuning the mobile app to the rules of discoverability as decided by respective App stores like Google Play Store and Apple App store.

The efforts involved in ASO cleverly deal with optimizing keywords, title, screenshots, video and description to make sure the app is compelling enough to be easily found and downloaded by its potential users.

Since ASO is a tricky subject that needs good level of technical expertise, the in-house app creators must be skilled enough to use the right set of ASO tools whose monthly cost range from $50 to $1000 or more.

If in-house expertise lacks awareness about tools-specific tactics, hiring an app marketing agency would be a great remedy.

#5. PR Activities

Reaching out to PR is still considered effective for mobile app marketing as it is for any product marketing activities. Pitching an app to online publications and being visible through press releases is the integral part of successful app marketing strategy.

Well-planned PR activities is an ideal tool to market  your app towards the right audience at the right time at a reasonable cost.

PR outreach turns out to be a little more time consuming, though, and capitalizes greatly on media relationships. Eventually, it makes the app prominent on leading forums and publications. A good reputed PR agency may charge your company up to $300 per hour.

Read Also : 30 Most Effective Mobile App Ideas For 2020

#6. Influencer Marketing Cost

Mobile app industry can boost its marketing power by tapping into the world of influencer marketing. Online influencers who are actually bloggers and reporters can magnificently endorse the app by developers in the most dignified and honorable way..

Example: If you are planning for a fitness app, you can collaborate with a famous trainer or celebrity with a large number of followers and.

The cost for influencer marketing for connecting an app to the target audience can reach $10,000. The marketing agency may levy up to $15,000 a month – which might strike as a little too expensive for independent developers. The method usually seems affordable for today’s big brands.

#7. Viral marketing

Posting about an upcoming app on Facebook can automatically boost up its reach. It doesn’t involve cost, but some marketers invest in paid ads to make the apps get better reach and usability among the app market.

They try to conduct paid promotional ads via Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites igniting the app launch and its features. The limitation of viral marketing is that it is not sure that every content gains a place among people.

#8. The Cost of Digital App Marketing Assets

To create an unforgettable online presence with glorious visibility, the mobile app of all genre needs a platform to flourish. This platform is better interpreted as a promotional website and social media accounts for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram

Companies or developers can either partner with a professional web design firms which may cost from $5000 to $25000 or alternatively opt for online web building solutions that charge nearly $20 a month.

In the latter case, you still need a competitive, robust service for creating presentable, vivid graphics and images developed professional for branding visuals.

#9. Post-Launch Marketing Cost Estimation

After launching the app comes the real hard work of getting users to install and take actions within the app. The post-launch user acquisition activities will have brands and marketers spending a significant portion of the overall budget. Mobile app life cycle is kept afloat by getting users to install your app.

a) Cost Per Install

However, the cost estimation for making users install app (CPI) is different for both iOS and Android platform since Android smartphone users are many and have different choices and locations than iPhone users in the app market.

It is an essential pricing model for developers as it helps them to calculate ROI obtained through the investments in In-app purchases. One limitation of CPI is that developers cannot recognize how many people are using your app.

It is usual to expect the CPI for iOS to be $6 and $4 for Android.

b) Cost Per Action

CPA(cost per action)is the crucial part of mobile app marketing campaign as it usually revolves around in-app actions excepted of users such as:

  • Registration and account creation
  • Contents participation
  • In-app purchase
  • Product order or service reservation
  • Filling the surveys
  • Subscription of push message or other services

Mobile only becomes profitable if users make purchase decisions. For this very reason, cost for getting users to take an expected action is quite higher than cost per install.

CPA is considered as an ideal monetization strategy. CPA marketing activities involve free subscription for 30 days, free downloadable contents.

Keeping the app monetization mechanism in perspective, we can deduce that the estimated CPA for iOS app could be approximately $120 and $180 for Android app.

Given the higher cost of CPA, it is most important for brands and uptight developers to retain mobile users and get them to subscribe more often.

Both CPI & CPA can vary depending on the location of users and the platforms they use, Majority of Android users are from Latin America, Europe, and India whereas Asia and the US comprise a great number of iPhone users.

Below are the costs per action of Android and iOS platforms

User Action Android iOS
Install $2.9 $4.4
Registration $6.37 $11.79
In-app purchases $145.63 $132.23
Reserve $38.29 $5.96
Purchase $113.79 $71.02
Subscription $187.29 $129.15


c) Push Notifications Cost

Every app nowadays supports push notification marketing to keep the customer interactions alive and business going. Most effective and ubiquitously embraced, push notification solutions such as Beacons are powerful tools to communicate with existing app users about latest offers, special discounts and features to try.

The personalized messages with relevant content can engage users for a long time, helping you stop them from quitting the app. Due to specially designed APIs, the cost of push notification marketing reposes within $30 to $200 a month.

app cost calculator

Hiring a Specialized App Marketing Agency

To execute a perfect app marketing strategy with all the vital points, taking the help from professional veterans in the field is not a bad idea. Brands and mobile app developers will need to open their budget limit up to $25000 for a single app.

The marketers will take over the job of preparing crucial marketing assets such as micro website, graphics and photos, video creation, and social media channels.

They would also strategize and run organic and paid campaigns to help your app grow. These actions will make sure users will be able to discover your app across all marketing channels.

How to Shape Your App Marketing in 2020?

Marketing an app is not an easy task. We can notice that the spectrum of app categories is getting extensive each day. Successful app marketing depends on diverse factors, it is very important to keenly observe the different factors that affect each app category.

#1. App categories

90% of the children now study on the go via innovative educational apps. You can start validating your idea using discussion forums like Quora. Educational apps are devoted to students, teachers, and parents.

So, making your brand-new app for them has to provide the best courses for students, management systems for teachers, and bridge the gaps between parents & teachers.

#2. Target audience

A well-defined audience can help the whole app to get its successful outreach. In the case of shopping apps, women comprise a major part of the target audience. They love to shop and you can craft app features in accordance.

The whole app interface can be well designed in accordance. In news apps, the target audience is field experts, intellectuals, and common people. The content has to satisfy these people altogether.

#3. Competitor analysis

Creators can find the potential and current competitors, analyze their strengths and weaknesses to craft your app winning over in some features or the whole app. Ecommerce apps are evolving each day.

Analyzing the competitors can help you leverage the perfect technologies of your e-commerce app. This stage will be effective by comparing the various product filters, contents, combo offers, and more.

#4. Advertisements

It is an unavoidable factor affecting the app cost and marketing efforts. We can see many television ads portraying new educational apps amid pandemic. Such learning apps make students relieved from the tensions of study at home all time.

Advertisements on new video conferencing apps are also increasing each day. Many people working from home need great communication as they are forced to avoid physical work. Many ads on video chat apps are visible on TV, Facebook, and many outlets today.

Google ads app campaign can funnel your users directly to your app. Google Ads help your app to get promoted on YouTube, Google Play, Google search, and more.

Read Also : 12 Ways to Boost your App Downloads 2020

Key Takeaway

If you believe in holistic approach to market your mobile app, you will find the app marketing expenses swaying around the tail end at a cost of $10 to $12K per month in the initial stages.

App marketing is a never ending activity, and your marketing spend will also depend on the strategy you choose. With innovative strategies, you would be able to bring down cost significantly and gain maximum ROI in the app market.

app cost calculator

In an increasingly competitive world, marketing your app is essential to engage and retain your app users. While most app creators focus on development as the primary expense, app marketing is a more important cost in the longer run for business to flourish, and would require a steady inflow.

Regardless of industry niche and complexity, investing in promoting your app across major platforms and channels does involve a lot of hustles and creativity. If done with proper planning and execution, it can get you significant exposure for your app.

In today’s mobile age, both established and emerging brands are busy enhancing their online presence through mobile apps in order to strategically connect and reach users on the go.

However, to retain business growth and get noticed by potential customers, your app must have better rankings. Since people’s opinions drive your app’s visibility in crowded app stores, you need more positive reviews.

But such good reviews don’t happen automatically. In fact, people tend to visit app stores often to share bad reviews. To expect people swarming in the app store for your app, you must optimize it for better rankings. Here are a few good tips to help you improve your mobile app ranking:

1)  Understand the App Stores Thoroughly

First things first, before you set off executing a strategy to increase your app’s visibility, you should know that there is certain difference between iTunes app store and Google Play.

Both have their own set of terms and elements that are vital to app store optimization. For instance, while Google Play puts massive emphasis on the description of the app, iTunes app store relies greatly on keywords to categorize and display your app.

Gaining full insight into how app stores actually work can help you pull off the app optimization.

2) Prefer a Reliable App Review Plug-in

Rankings are highly sensitive to reviews. One of the best ways to draw better rankings is to ask users to consider sharing their experience. For this, there are handy plug-ins that fit in your iOS and Android apps and simplify prompting the users for reviews.

  • Helpshift is one vital option for encouraging customers to drop reviews after they have explored the app for a while
  • Appirater is another popular plug-in that integrates quickly with your mobile app and prompts users to review the app after set time period. Once they choose to rate, users are redirected to the app store to share their views

Make sure you use these plugins wisely while setting prompt timing.

3) Incentives For Reviews

The fact is, even if you try app review popups, users will not appreciate the idea of writing it. You need more than popups to make them take the action. Here is where incentivized encouragement seems to work. You can think of having:

  • Free In-game rewards
  • Virtual gifts
  • Redeemable Bonus points
  • Coupons

Offer them the promise of such rewards as this is the easiest way to have them review your app. People love free stuff and like to be surprised.

You can wait for them to complete specific actions in your app and then prompt them gently for reviews. Remember that original and decent popups are more effective than generic ones.

4) High Density of Active Users and Traffic

Soon after you have launched the app, you will need to see good amount of downloads. As number of active users and traffic volume soars, your app goes towards increasing its rank in app stores.

Too fetch more traffic to your mobile app, you will need to leverage a thoughtful marketing strategy and online campaigns that are trending in the market.

Efforts like SEO, influencer marketing, email campaigns, PPC and social media create great awareness for your app, creating a substantial flow of traffic to your app.

5) Expressive Screenshots

As they rightly say, pictures roar louder than words. Your app screen shots can play epic role in attracting users and boos their curiosity around your mobile app.

Design images best sustains the description content and represents your app’s purpose. Make your images speak to the audience and explain what it actually contains for them.

You should be able to capture the entire essence of your app and its major inner functioning in at least 3 vivid images.

6) Establish an Exemplary Customer Support

Providing an easy, quick support is a key to retaining existing customers in any business. Exceptional customer service also helps earn good reviews for your app.

Instead of guiding users to email communications for customer support, it would be rewarding to have an in-built chat system inside the app.

There are many plug-ins that provide intuitive dashboard to control, manage and conduct two-way interactions with users. Such direct customer assistance via messages can create a huge array of happy customers.

You can ask them to review your app after they are satisfied with your support. This not only minimizes negative feedback but also improves app ranking.

7) Get More Social

Social media channels are the best modern way to interact and engage with your potential customers. Make a solid social media strategy to interest rich active online community. Such platforms play a momentous role as a part of:

  • Sophisticated online marketing
  • Business Presence and promotion
  • High-quality Brand engagement
  • Rich relationship and interactions

It is apparent that famous online platforms offer an undeniable ground and a mighty opportunity to build lasting relationships with users, influencers and stakeholders alike.

Such powered engagements eventually boost your app’s ranking. Some of effective online platforms are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora, Google plus.

8) Create Impactful Content

Be it app description, social media marketing, video or email promotions, whatever you write should have single central purpose: explaining how your app can bring value and create significant difference in the life of customers.

Highlight major benefits and features your app includes. Make your content appear organic and convincing, and avoid pushing it to the extent of looking too promotional.

Your genuine effort will develop trust and consistency among users, contributing to the improved app ranking.

9) App Maintenance and Updates

App users expect newness and innovations as the time progresses and unforeseen trends roll in. To make user experience trendy and engaging, you must maintain your app to the most exceptional standard possible.

Update your apps regularly, which also helps improve its performance and security. Additionally, constant updates go to show your dedication and commitment towards app users and have undeniable part in pushing the ranking.

Remember that app stores prefer to feature those apps that are regularly maintained or frequently updated.

10) Aesthetic Design and Look

User’s idea of your app has much to do with its visual appeal, and it begins with the app icon. Today’s many top ranking apps have eye-catching look and feel.

The icon should represent your app’s real content and its core purpose. With that said, it should not appear too obscure or perplexing.

As user quickly build the perception from the first look at app visuals, it is important to focus on simplicity with convincing use of colours and shape. You can opt for:

  • Bold colours with convincing style
  • Less flashy icon
  • Simple yet attractive in-app visuals
  • Easy-to-use User Interface
  • Fluid navigation
  • Easy-to-understand functionality

11) Description

The first thing you need to incorporate while preparing the app description is the idea of whether or not users will connect with it.

Dig deep into popular trends and understand how your app will complement users before finalizing any description. Any ideal app description should have following attributes:

  • Primary features and core objectives
  • Concise length
  • Integration of most relevant keywords
  • Trendy style of writing
  • Simple, easy-to-understand words

Use precise keywords as used by your target audience when searching for similar apps. Do your thorough research to scoop up right keywords for your app.

Last words

In the world of mobile app development, there is a lot we can do. You can implement almost any idea with the help of strategic use of technology. As for mobile app ranking, you cannot rely on just one single approach.

Increasing the rank of any mobile app is a cohesive process that encompasses a range of efforts. Some of them are discussed here in this blog. Hopefully, it will lead you to push your brand new or existing app to a top spot in app stores.