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How to make your app stand out from the rest on Black Friday: examples from AliExpress, Joom, and Subway Surf

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
Published: 15.11.2021
8 min read

“Discounts, discounts, discounts!” On Black Friday, companies go crazy and bombard users with thousands of notifications like this. Learn how to make your mobile app stand out from the crowd and attract more users during the biggest sale of the year.

Black Friday for mobile app publishers is a great opportunity to attract new users, bring back old users, and also increase sales several times. According to AppsFlyer, during Black Friday 2020, in-app consumer spending was up 143% in comparison with the previous three Fridays.

In this article, we spoke about the preparation of apps for Black Friday and compiled interesting examples of promotion from well-known brands: AliExpress, Joom, Banggood, Subway Surf, and Hero Wars. The examples in this article will help you create your own Black Friday mechanics. 


1. Offer more for the same price
2. Offer package deals and give bonuses for a purchase
3. Give users exclusive promo codes and gifts
4. Launch contests and challenges
5. Encourage users to share suggestions
6. Create a quiz inside the app
7. Add information about the promo to the icon, screenshots, and app description
8. Add events to the App Store and Google Play
9. Share info about Black Friday on YouTube
10. Optimize your work with app reviews in the App Store and Google Play
Checklist for preparing an app for Black Friday

1. Offer more for the same price

Black Friday is not about discounts only. You do not have to show the offer in terms of money saved or percentage discount to interest the client. Sometimes, it is enough to add an extra benefit to an existing product.

For example, Subway Surf is offering 650k coins instead of 450k on Black Friday.

Subway Surf offers more coins for same price on Black Friday
Subway Surf Black Friday promotion

This approach is especially relevant for in-app purchases such as in-game currency. It isn’t a huge sacrifice to offer more virtual goods for the same price, but you will be able to increase sales thanks to this extra benefit.

2. Offer package deals and give bonuses for a purchase

Don’t be limited to promotions on subscriptions or in-game purchases — offer discounts on a set of goods. It is much easier for users to buy a ready-made set than to search for each individual product from “all purchases”. These promotions are especially relevant for games.

For example, on Black Friday 2020, The Sims created three kinds of Black Friday sets: bronze, silver, and gold. Each set included in-game purchases and currency.

The Sims made sets of in-app purchases for Black Friday 2020
The Sims Black Friday bundle

PUBG Mobile publishers created a bundle with goods and currency and lowered prices on coins during Black Friday 2020. When buying coins, users also received three bonuses in the game, which could be used for 30 days.

Black Friday G-Coins Bundle 1 from PUBG MOBILE
Bonuses for buying coins from PUBG Mobile

This way, you can create sets of products and offer discounts on them, and also give additional bonuses for purchases. Bundle offers will create additional benefits for the customers, save their time, and increase the average bill.

3. Give users exclusive promo codes and gifts

According to AppsFlyer, retargeting increases app revenue by 63%, which is 50% more than UA campaigns. To increase user loyalty and encourage users to return to the app, send them exclusive gifts and bonuses during Black Friday. 

For example, the Death Wish Coffee company sent users a promo code with a discount of up to $100. The user will discover the discount value only after entering the code on their website.

Death Wish Coffee gave users a random promo code
Death Wish Coffee promo

With the help of secret promo codes, you can stand out among many other companies that send users similar promo notifications.

4. Launch contests and challenges

Contests and challenges will help create additional activity and attract new users. Game mechanics can work better than regular promotions and discounts.

For example, the Russian marketplace OZON created an ad on TikTok with a popular influencer.

Challenge on TikTok by OZON

Participants need to guess which box the discounted product is in and point to it. By taking part in this challenge, participants can win 1111 points for purchases. 15.5K videos with this effect are already available.

The AliExpress app also has a dedicated section in which many brands offer giveaways to celebrate the 11.11 promotion.

ShineSense invites users to subscribe to the store, save the product, share with a friend, and leave any comment. 111 winners will receive prizes.

ShineSence made a giveway in honor of the 11.11 promotion
Giveaway from the ShineSence store on AliExpress

TeamGee tells users to guess how many skateboards will be sold at the 11.11 sale. The winner will receive $230. The post already has 417 comments.

TeamGee store made a giveaway in AliExpress during the 11.11 sale
Giveaway from the TeamGee store on AliExpress

These contests are suitable not only for online stores but for any apps. You can use these social media mechanics to increase engagement, increase your number of subscribers, and drive more users to your app.

5. Encourage users to share suggestions

Create discussions around the promo. For example, the AliExpress app has a dedicated section where users share the purchases they want to make on the 11.11 sale. There are already 1059 posts on this tab.

Inside the AliExpress app, there is a "wishlist" where users can share the items they want to buy
MyWishList section on AliExpress

You can arrange a similar discussion in your app or its social media pages. For example, fans of the game will share interesting discounts on in-game purchases with other players. You can encourage them to leave a comment for in-game bonuses.

6. Create a quiz inside the app

Contests and challenges are often arranged on social media, while the quiz can be done within the app. This mechanic engages users, creates a buzz around the app, and encourages users to visit the app more often.

For example, from October 28 to November 9, AliExpress runs a daily quiz. The more correct answers you get, the bigger the prize will be.

Quiz from AliExpress

You should conduct a quiz within a certain period. The regularity of the promotion helps increase the number of daily sessions. Users who enjoy quizzes like these will visit the app more often.

7. Add information about the promo to the icon, screenshots, and app description

Sharing promotions is especially important for shopping apps. Add Black Friday information to your app page in the App Store and Google Play to stand out in search and increase your install conversion.

Good examples of how you can place promo info on App Store icons are Russian companies Perekrestok and OZON. Information about Black Friday and 11.11 is organically combined with the company logo.

Ozon and “Perekrestok Vprok” changed app icons for Black Friday and 11.11

Joom and Banggood placed info about the 11.11 promo on the icon and in the first two screenshots. 

The design of the Joom and Bangood app pages before the 11.11 promo on Google Play
Joom and Banggood app pages

Before adapting an app page for a promo, it is important to conduct a competitive analysis. For this, you can use Asodesk tools. Keyword Explorer will show search results for the desired query; you can select competitors and add them to the list.

Keyword Explorer tool in Asodesk allows you to analyze search results for queries from App Store and Google Play
The Keyword Explorer tool

In Competitors, you will see competitors for every search query from the semantic core. The tool will help you analyze all of your competitors’ icons and choose one that will stand out in the search. You can also go to the app page and analyze it.

The competitors tool in Asodesk shows all competitor icons on one table
The Competitors tool

Using the same creatives on the app page and in ads can also have a positive effect on install conversion.

Try Asodesk tools for your app. 

8. Add events to the App Store and Google Play

In-app events is a new marketing tool in the App Store, which became available to developers on October 27. It allows you to mention special events, competitions, challenges, important updates, and premieres to users with iOS 15.

You can announce up to five events, which will be available in search results, personal recommendations, and collections.

Project Makeover told about 1st anniversary in the in-app event
Project Makeover event in the App Store

Read how to create an in-app event.

These events can also be launched on Google Play using the LiveOps feature. You can mention any events in the app or game that are beyond the usual update. For example, AliExpress shared info about a discount of 650 rubles on orders over 4700 rubles.

On Google Play, you can create events using the LiveOps function
Events & Offers on Google Play

See how LiveOps is used in a Google presentation.

9. Share info about Black Friday on YouTube

If you have a lot of offers, you can make a separate video reviewing them. This is especially relevant for games. You can create ads with influencers, post a video with the promo review on social media, or set up ads on YouTube.

For example, the video about Black Friday in Hero Wars received 10 thousand views, although there are only 42 thousand subscribers on the Hero Wars Central channel. The video received a positive response. Users thanked the author for reviewing the discounts in the comments.

Video about Black Friday in Hero Wars on YouTube
Hero Wars Black Friday YouTube video

See even more inspiring examples of Black Friday promotions from major brands in our article.

10. Optimize your work with app reviews in the App Store and Google Play

If you’re running ad campaigns and want to attract more users for Black Friday, it’s important to work on reviews.

First of all, users see featured reviews that have received the most likes. Try to squeeze out low-rated reviews from featured reviews, otherwise, they will negatively affect install conversion.

Ask colleagues to click “Helpful” on positive reviews and “Not helpful” on negative reviews. 

In the App Store and Google Play, users can mark which reviews were useful and not useful for them
Helpful/Not Helpful feature in Google Play (left) and the App Store (right)

The Asodesk Featured reviews tool helps you analyze featured reviews from all countries in one tool.

In Asodesk, you can see featured reviews from different countries
Featured Reviews in Asodesk

During Black Friday, the app can receive several times more reviews. With a lot of traffic coming to the app, it may have problems with logins and purchases. Users will definitely mention these problems in reviews. To allow more time for solving user problems, automate your work with standard reviews.

You can use the Auto-Replies tools for this. Set up automatic responses to reviews based on review content, rating, length, and language. You can also check the automatic response before sending it to the user.

Auto-Replies in Asodesk lets you set up automatic responses to reviews
The Auto-Replies tool

Read the most common mistakes when working with reviews in this article.

Try these tools for analyzing your apps.

Checklist for preparing an app for Black Friday

1. Implement different options for promotions: create package offers, give bonuses for purchases, and offer more for the same price. This will increase the average bill in the app and boost user loyalty.

2. Combine Black Friday promotions with interesting mechanics: launch contests and challenges, arrange quizzes and encourage users to share your suggestions. You will get more mentions on social media, increase activity, and motivate users to visit the app more often.

3. Offer unique gifts and secret promotional codes to users. This works much more efficiently than similar discount notifications.

4. If you have a shopping app or a paid app, add promotions to app metadata, as well as App Store and Google Play events.

5. Try to reduce negative reviews. If you receive a large number of negative reviews, app conversion will decrease. You risk wasting part of the advertising budget and receiving fewer installs. Therefore, it is important to track new reviews, work with featured reviews, and automate your work to save time.

We hope that these tips will help you attract more users and increase your app revenue. Subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss our articles on ASO, mobile app marketing, and working with reviews.

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Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
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Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
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