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Apps feel the love on Valentine’s Day: here’s how to leverage the occasion to maximise user acquisition

By Alexandre Pham, VP EMEA, Adjust

Enthusiasm for Valentine’s Day in the UK has shown no sign of dwindling in recent years, and neither has consumer spending. Spending on the occasion has grown by £300 million since 2017, and in 2022 Brits spent an estimated £1.37 billion. This year, while consumers plan a dinner date or a romantic night in, loved-up couples aren’t the only ones expecting extra attention.

New data from Adjust has revealed just how much attention mobile apps receive both in the lead-up to and on Valentine’s Day. Last year, sessions for restaurant booking apps on Valentine’s Day were an impressive 19% above February’s daily average. Other sub-verticals saw a noticeable lead-in to Valentine’s Day – with recipe app installs and sessions picking up pace from February 11 – in fact, recipe app sessions were up 10% compared to the month’s average. Restaurant booking installs and sessions peaked on the 12th, while recipe app installs and sessions peaked on the 13th.

As we rapidly approach the big day, now is the time for marketers to ensure they are making the most of the occasion. At Adjust, we have put together some last-minute Valentine’s Day campaign tips for mobile apps to help you do just that, whatever your budget.

Place an ad for your app on a dating app

We’re kicking off our list by suggesting that app marketers focus on users who identify as “single”. With around 2.12 billion single people on the planet, many of whom are using dating apps, why not shoot your shot on a dating app? For those users not celebrating the holiday of love, they very well might be searching for it on a dating app this time of year. With dating app installs up by almost 14% on Valentine’s Day, don’t miss this window of opportunity for a catchy ad placement.

Optimise your Google Business Profile

If your business has both a physical location and an app, take advantage of those performing local searches on Google or Google Maps. You can optimise your physical location(s) in your Google Business Profile to rank further up on Google Maps and be found in local searches. This tip is budget-friendly. Perform a local SEO audit to see which keywords you need to utilise and try to add more reviews in the next two weeks to rank higher.

Gift discounts, upgrades, and offers

Of course, there’s the classic, “Happy Valentine’s! To show we care, here’s an offer from our app.” No matter the holiday, current and potential users appreciate an offer, be it, a free month of your app subscription, in-app loyalty rewards and upgrades, extra points or lives for gaming apps, or discounts on your ecommerce app’s products and services.

Leverage an influencer

Although time is of the essence, it’s worth reaching out to several influencers to see if they’d be willing to quickly collaborate with your app business for a Valentine’s Day promotion. We recommend pursuing a micro-influencer—defined as an influencer with 1,000 to 100,000 followers— to see if they’d post a photo, make a reel, or live stream regarding your app.

Spread the love! A.K.A. Referral campaigns

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to run a referral campaign for your app. 

Consider these referral campaign ideas:

  • % off subscription app for you and a referred friend
  • Big prize or cash raffle
  • Mystery gift for a referral

For example, at one point, the trading and investment app Robinhood had a referral promotion in which both the referral and the original user would get free stock. Each had a one in 80 chance of getting Apple, Facebook, Ford, or Microsoft stock. The chance of getting a valuable stock hyped up Robinhood’s referral campaign. So, you can amp up your referrals, whether it’s a valuable prize or one that evokes curiosity. 

Pump up the user-generated content

Authenticity sells. Leverage user-generated content (UGC) for cross-channel marketing. Showcase loyal users and the good reviews they leave to create campaigns across social media or Google. Don’t forget to do your research to see which hashtags are trending this year. Plus, sweeten the pot by holding a contest for the top posts or reels shared, offering a reward or discount for users sharing their stories with your app.

Ask for reviews guilt-free

Related to the last point, Valentine’s Day is an opportune time to ask for user reviews to further your app store rankings. Through in-app messages or notifications, you can request users “share their true feelings” in the app stores. This costs nothing to your ad budget and it’s an excellent way to increase your organic traffic and visibility. 

Collaborate to maximise reach

Consider partnering with another brand to expand your app’s reach. Keep in mind that a big collaboration will likely require more planning time, but the determined can make it happen! Before suggesting a collaboration with another brand, be sure your offer benefits both parties.

Go for the alternative crowd

Rather than thinking about this holiday as one of love, consider the alternative ways in which Valentine’s Day is celebrated for inspiration for your app’s campaigns in February.

Alternative Valentine’s Day angles:

  • Galentine’s celebrators: Geared toward women who celebrate February 14th together.
  • Anti-Valentines: Depending on your app’s branding, pursuing users who don’t love this holiday may be a winning campaign strategy.
  • Treat yourself crowd: This group sees most holidays as opportunities to invest in themselves, and that could include your app.

Efficiently maximise campaigns with measurement analytics

Ensure your campaigns for Valentine’s Day, and all year round, are running optimally using analytics data. Utilising app analytics can help you to understand your user behaviour and tailor a campaign accordingly.

Seasonal occasions like Valentine’s Day are always interesting to keep an eye on in-app marketing, as user habits and behaviours shift considerably. Of course, marketers can rely on their regular tactics, but there is an ideal opportunity to leverage the occasion through these approaches to acquire new valuable users. It’s vital for mobile marketers and advertisers that they then retain the users acquired throughout the festivities too. From there, marketers can increase revenue and improve their app’s return on investment. Regardless of vertical and budget, Valentine’s Day is not one to skip.


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