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Acquiring new users and clients is not easy or cheap. The expense of lead generation as well as customer generation is one that is necessary for all companies. App user generation is no different. Depending on your marketing style or spending, the cost of creating, distributing, and maintaining an app can be prohibitive. And once you have it, how are you going to generate users? Social media campaigns are the most cost-effective but the best way is to turn your app into its own user generator.

It’s called a viral loop and app developers, from major corporations to SMBs, are beginning to use it more and more.

So what is a viral loop?

A viral loop begins with the user entering an app and then has steps in place for the user to begin inviting a new set of users. It is considered a loop because when executed correctly, each new user should follow the same set of steps which would then invite a new set of users.

There are a few different ways to build and develop your viral loop. Below are two examples of how to create loops, from the major corporation as well as an SMB.

Inbox by Gmail

Many apps that see high traffic are starting to implement invite systems via a viral loop. For one thing, it helps them develop the app easier, but it also helps them keep invites at a manageable and trackable rate. It also creates a demand for an app that will see it surge in popularity as people become desperate to download what they see as exclusive. Inbox is Gmail’s newest take on their email platform and it is part of a viral loop: by invite only. So far, the viral loop campaign is working like a charm, with people tweeting for invites, getting the word out, and waiting for their turn.

In-App Incentives & Sharing

Everyone loves to save money. Users are happy to contribute their time and effort to something if they know that there is a strong incentive to do so. As a small business, coupons are a great way to get users on your app. The more they use the app, the better the benefits. With every update or coupon, the app should prompt the user to share the app through social media. If the customer’s friends see how they are benefiting from having the app then the loop starts all over again.

The viral loop is a great way to let your users do the promotion for you, inviting people they think would be receptive, while also creating a buzz and demand for your app.

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