The day was January 6th 2019. There was nothing out of the ordinary, apart from the fact that we were launching a long drawn rewards campaign on AppBrowzer. We spent over 2 months planning and implementing this campaign. Finally, it was launch day. Before you know it, in comes January 7th and nothing has been quite the same. We got over 1 Lac downloads in just 24 hours! This number was only climbing. The next day, we were placed at the 1st spot on the trending section of the Google Play Store! Nobody in the team was expecting it.
AppBrowzer was trending in multiple categories on the play store.
We were receiving over 500 requests per second! We have never seen this kind of numbers since inception. It blew so much out of proportion that our servers crashed. The team managed to curb and solve the fixes because of our prior experience with a rewards campaign we ran a couple of years back in 2017. The campaign was a huge success, one that went viral in no time!
Now after over 4 months, looking back, here is my learning and thoughts after the experience.
About the AppBrowzer Rewards Campaign
Previously, we had put in a lot of money in paid marketing and other traditional app marketing approaches. Most of them could only take us so far, eventually fizzling out into oblivion. As we were approaching 2019, we had to do something different, something bold. After much thought, we planned a variable rewards campaign. The objective of the campaign was two-fold. One to drive in user acquisition and the other was to increase engagement in the app itself.
Normal Rewards vs Variable Rewards
I had mentioned about our previous campaign. However, that campaign was different from this variable rewards campaign. How so? The campaign earlier in 2017 was a simple refer and earn cashback. The user would be given a fixed reward amount on the successful action of inviting a new user in the app. The campaign hit a bump and then fizzled away soon after. What was the difference? There wasn’t any anticipation or variability introduced. There is a contrast between normal rewards and a carefully thought variable rewards system.
This campaign is different. It was implemented using the now well-known system of scratch cards. This would enable us to introduce variability to the campaign. The user would be rewarded with a scratch card for a particular action or task on the app. But how does introducing a variable element to the rewards system make it any different?