The Power of Push and App Invites


When Tapstream released its cross platform app invites product called ’Word of Mouth’ we were thrilled to finally deliver a solution that helped unlock virality. As is often the case with cutting edge technology, we built WoM by paying close attention to what our customers were already doing with our platform, along with being acutely aware of their biggest pain points, namely, the increasingly prohibitive cost of paid UA.

We noticed many of our customers already trying to implement referral features in their apps, trying to drive user acquisition through social, and we wondered if there wasn’t a way to make this easier. Like a good bottle of champagne, great apps are best shared with friends and Word of Mouth uncorks the virality trapped inside the app. Could we offer app developers the marketing equivalent of bottle service?

Word of Mouth is a drop in referral program for turning users into evangelists. It makes it easy to reward your existing users for successfully sharing the app with their friends and family. Integrate the SDK in a few minutes, design your offer with our custom offer builder, and launch your campaign in minutes. WoM combines its in-app offer pages with native OS sharing options that allows users to easily share their enthusiasm for an app with friends, through whatever channel makes most sense to them. What makes WoM unique is that it knows when a referral results in a successful install.

Word of Mouth enables you to incentivize sharing (for both the referrer and referree) which really kicks up the k-factor. Whether that’s a free month subscription, a bag of in game gold or a discount on their next purchase- Word of Mouth compels the people who genuinely love your app to share it with their friends. The best part is you don’t give away free rewards until you’ve acquired a new user. In app rewards only become available after a successful referral.

Once the SDK is set up it’s easy for even the interniest of interns to create, track and optimize Word of Mouth Campaigns. Originally, we thought of WoM as a tool to reward your most engaged users at critical moments during the app experience. Ideally, whenever your app hits an emotional high point and resonates the most. This has been the most common use case so far, but our customers continue to surprise us with new and novel ways of launching Word of Mouth campaigns.

We’ve realized the opportunity with Word of Mouth is much bigger. What if a marketer paired our Word of Mouth referral program with push notifications. The options get really interesting.

Here are four new ways to use Word of Mouth with push:

1) Games and Tournament


Samurai Siege is a beautifully themed take on the build and battle genre.

Lots of the big games run time boxed tournaments these days, Samurai Siege and Triple Town are just a couple of examples. Imagine a weekend long tournament that required one new player as your entry fee. 

A push message could go out at 3:00 on a Friday as players geared down for the weekend, letting them know about a special tournament with exclusive rewards. The cost of entry? Bringing a friend to the party. Using Word of Mouth the players could invite a friend into the game and when that player installs be rewarded with special admission for that tournament.

2) Ecommerce and Private Showings


Image originally from Plumlytics article on Frank and Oak

As ecommerce (and by extension mcommerce) evolves, many of the lessons from physical retail are being explored in the digital format.  Specifically, lessons about the deep-seated brand loyalty driven by  private showings, elite buyers circles and unique sales.

Imagine a luxury brand doing a showcase event, a private affair for preferred customers and their friends. Word of Mouth makes this possible in the mobile space. The app could have a red carpet experience, a private “room” in the back of the app, only open for 24 hours. That’s a one day sneak peak (and maybe discounts) at new product lines- and like the tournaments above gated by the invitation of a friend the user vouches for.

Because of the highly restricted time frame on the exclusive experience it makes sense to the user, in fact they’d be grateful, for the push message with the opportunity to get early access. It’s fantastic way for an mcommerce company to use Word of Mouth and leverage preferred customers by rewarding them with exclusive access.

3) News Apps and Knowledge as a Social Currency 


Timeline is an amazing news app the deliver current stories in a historical context.

First the internet and now mobile has obliterated what’s considered a reasonable time frame for breaking news. People used to get their news “fast” by watching the nightly news. Now that’s quaint. Major publishers need to crank out scoops in a time frame measured in minutes.

These days being plugged in is a matter of pride amongst consumers. Being the first to share (originally post) – not to retweet – has social capital for many users.

Imagine a push notification for breaking stories with an invite to share straight from the notification- not only letting the recipient stay totally current but also empowering their social worth by making them a conduit for breaking news.

In this case you don’t even need to use Word of Mouth to arbitrarily reward users with extrinsic rewards, the social currency of having quick access to breaking news and then being able to share at break neck speed, straight from the push notification without even opening the app is reward enough.

4) All Apps and Hail Marys

Usually people don’t want to talk about their failings. About their churned users. The dead weight who haven’t opened the app in days or months, zombie users dragging down your engagement numbers. But instead of letting those users go, shuffling off into the abyss- why not use Word of Mouth and push notification integration to fire off a last ditch push message offering serious in app rewards for inviting a friend into the app. Worst case, an ex-user stays an ex-user, best case you have a re-engaged returning user and acquired a high value new user at an extremely low cost.

Tapstream’s Word of Mouth product is continually evolving as our customers deploy the technology to facilitate novel ways of driving virual user acquisition. We see many interesting opportunities to combine the power of push notifications with Word of Mouth. These four ideas are only just the beginning. We’re excited to see what our customers build with our technology. If you think you’re ready to try something new, why not give Tapstream and Word of Mouth a try.