Growth is painful especially when you have smart and powerful competitors in the market. This shouldn't make you scared because we believe there is always a way to hack the growth like the AARRR funnel.

AARRR (Growth) funnel is a powerful way to visualize all your marketing activities and see what’s good or bad about your app. That also helps to analyze the whole user journey. We mean the journey that firstly starts with seeing your app name, continues as downloading, using your product, and paying for it. AARRR funnel makes this whole journey meaningful.

What is the Growth (AARRR) funnel?

AARRR framework is originally launched by Dave McClure who is a successful entrepreneur and investor. Since then, the growth funnel is used by marketers and growth hackers to understand customers better so they can shape their marketing activities according to it. Let's see how it works.

AARRR funnel comprises of;

  • Acquisition
  • Activation
  • Retention
  • Referral
  • Revenue


The first stage of the growth funnel starts with Acquisition. This is where you attract potential customers to download your app. The metrics that you can consider in the Acquisition stage usually are; App Units/Downloads numbers.

App units are mostly boosted with App Store Optimization which is the most powerful organic method to grow your app. Almost 70% of App discoveries come from organic search. As search algorithm is the key factor affecting the Acquisition stage, you can also try other methods if you’re suffering from low customer acquisition rates.

Paid Marketing on different channels is also a powerful way to drive more app units into your mobile app. Search the best platforms for your target audience and start acquiring new customers. Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Unity are the major paid marketing platforms for games and mobile apps.


This is where you should start thinking about how to catch users' interest in your product. The activation stage refers to delivering the core value of the product. You should do it in a very creative way so you don't miss the chance of gaining loyal users. The activation stage usually holds the registration or onboarding process of your app but if you don’t have those two then you can concentrate on different metrics like; the time users spend in your app and daily retention.

Activation is a very important stage of the growth funnel since this is the first step you convert the visitors into actual users. A few strategies to convert people in that stage are;

  • A clear, not long, and not boring onboarding: this is the first place users met your app. If you have onboarding, make it unchallenging. You wouldn’t want them to delete your app before even use it.
  • Don’t ask too much info: an app collecting personal data in the first place may be scary sometimes. Don’t ask for extra information if it’s not needed. Make the registration process easy and do not claim extra information to gain their trust.

The next step is making them use your app regularly and then finally converting revenues.


As acquisition and activation are the main two stages of bringing you new users, retention is the core factor of keeping them. It is the heart of the funnel. Without good retention, all effort may be for nothing. Since keeping users loyal is harder than acquiring new ones, you may need to integrate various business solutions to understand what users love or don’t.

Daily, weekly, monthly active users are the key metrics of retention. It may sound like an easy job, but it is really not. To increase retention rates, you can;

  • Build an easy way to talk with users; hear what they say and make your app user-friendly.
  • Draw attention by sending push-notifications; most people forget the app after downloading it. You can remind that the app still exists and waiting to be used with promoting new features or discounts.


Well, that part is very crucial for ASO. Reference is very critical to get more downloads. The referral stage is the proof of if your product is loved by users or not. People will talk about it if they love or hate the app. So we believe you wouldn’t want to build a product that is going to be hated. So to make people give you their reference, you can use a few tactics;

  • A pop-up screen for review & ratings is a definite need. If you want people to rate you or give you a review, ask them. Always include a pop-up screen and make them write how they feel. If your average rating is above 4 stars, then your app is worth downloading.
  • Share & gain the discount, this is a very effective way to attract new users into the app. Create a campaign including coupon codes, custom discounts to make people tell their friends. You won’t believe how powerful this method is.


Here is the final stage of your growth funnel. Making people pay for your app or game. Creating a business model that works is important as growing the user numbers. Several revenue models can be applied in the apps such as in-app purchases, subscription models, freemium or ad-based businesses. To make the best of it, you should know the audience type and what are their shopping habits.

If you’re suffering from understanding which type of business model works for you, here are few strategies to try;

  • Benchmark from competitors business models and pricing,
  • Try promotion campaigns and offers,
  • Understand the user journey and personalized the whole process,
  • Improve the app regularly to show you provide a real value exchange for their money.

In conclusion;

Not all the apps are the same that’s why every app needs different paths. Remember that when analyzing your app’s performance. All the efforts of marketing are to build a journey that customers will enjoy and fall in love with the product at the end of it. So it’s always about users. Focus on your users to create the best products and answer their actual needs.