Play on the ego of your user to drive the growth of your app: Branch’s Ramsey Pryor at TechSparks 2016


A hard-hitting truth that most of us in aggressive customer-acquisition mode choose to be in denial of is that downloads do not equal 'users'. Once you accept that, your strategy will undergo a paradigm shift.

You cannot approach app marketing as 'emphasising what problem my app is solving'; you must focus on getting out the message about how you are creating the magic that solves that problem,

says Ramsey Pryor, Head of International Expansion at Branch. At TechSparks, he revealed his choicest hacks on how you can tap into human emotion and ego in order to drive the growth of your app.


Left brain vs right brain

Building a solid product, constructing an app to facilitate it, packing it with features, and identifying the MVP are all left-brain activities that must be employed only when you are building. When you are selling, the left brain must take a backseat, and the right brain must kick in to package your fool-proof product with creativity and emotion. What will drive people emotionally to share your app? The way you want to get shares and evangelists is by truly touching your customers with your offerings, their experience while using what you created, and the campaigns you push to bolster the product. “We want to give them an experience that they can tell their friends about,” says Ramsey.

Referrals done right

It’s immensely challenging to create visibility for your app when there is so much clutter, as nearly 50,000 new apps are added to the app store every month. In such cases, you cannot count on advertising media and marketing campaigns to get more downloads and users. In this era, referrals work like a charm. However, they are most effective when the referrer as well as the referree are incentivised. Not only will it engage your existing user and urge him to use your app, it also helps in driving new downloads. Another pro tip from the entrepreneur-developer  make referrals and the incentives in full, rather than offering a percentage off on your service. So, instead of offering 50 percent off on a ride above Rs 700, offer a free ride worth 350. That drastically hikes the chances of having your user to avail your service.

Another trick for referrals: when they are worded informally, creatively, and sent through channels used for direct personal communication like WhatsApp and SMS, the referree might just feel guilty about not accepting the offer that their friend so thoughtfully wished to share with them.


Most of your apps serve a very specific purpose in your users' lives, and play a very specific role. They add value in a certain arena; that is why they were downloaded in the first place. With spunkily worded messaging, remind your users about the exact value-add your app poses in their lives. Does your app have exciting deals? Does it provide cabs at their fingertips? Do you have a treasure of exciting binge-worthy content? Remind your users what they can do with your app, though push notifications, messaging, emails etc.

The ego factor

When you ask your users, who may be influencers in different capacities, to give you their social media realty and promote your company on their social media handles, apart from incentivising them with discounts and free goodies, make sure it is bragworthy, and contributes to inflating their egos in front of friends.

Game of tones

From a study whose inferences they analysed and reconfirmed at Branch, Ramsey shared some revelatory findings; while hoping to create shareworthy content on your social media handles, it was found that the positive, happy sort of stories and developments garnered the most amount of shares, and the sad and angering revelations garnered the most clicks. Stellar inventions, great causes, unconventional facts and trivia, breathtaking discoveries, pertinent problems solved will all cause the people of the internet to want to be the first to break it to their friends. Thus, packaging your messaging in words that induce surprise, pride, and happiness will definitely sell and propagate itself.

A big shoutout to all our sponsors - ZendeskAxis BankSequoia Capital India Advisors , Digital OceanMicrosoftAWSAkamaiTargetVerisignKerala Startup MissionBrand Launch CentreTork and Blink.


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