Pre-app Marketing. Get users before you even have a released app!

For this week’s “App of the week”, we have chosen an app that has been getting a lot of buzz the last couple of weeks. This app allows users to get their feet wet in the stock trading world at no cost!

Let me introduce to you (if you haven’t already heard of it), Robinhood!



Robinhood is a stock trading app with NO commission fees! Released a few months ago, lets talk about what has made this app get so much traction.

Pre-app Marketing
Before we even talk about the app itself, lets talk about pre-launch. One of the best strategies in my eyes that has helped get Robinhood so much traction is their Pre-app Marketing. Before there was any app available, was all set up with an amazing promo video ( and a subscription page. By setting up something as simple as a webpage and a promo video with some pictures of what the app will look like, you can attract users and get a gauge on how interested the market is in your idea!

Along with this, another great Pre-app Marketing strategy is the waitlist. Often times with applications such as Robinhood, you don’t want to release the app to the entire world right off the bat and you will want to release little by little. This is where the waitlist comes in handy. On the webpage, there can be a subscription box to put yourself on the waitlist and get an email with an access code. One problem is that there could be tens of thousands of people on the waitlist which could discourage the potential user. To fix this, when ever a potential user shares a link to the site or gets someone else to sign up, they can get bumped up in the waitlist, and gain access to the app sooner!

Strategies like this can make an idea without even having an app go viral, very quickly!

Simplicity is key

Now let’s talk a little bit about the app itself. What exactly makes this app awesome? As with many great apps, the answer is simplicity. Especially when 25% of Robinhood’s users have never played around in the stock trading world, it is vital to make users feel comfortable and not confused.

Robinhood takes the minimum amount of features/information that is needed to buy and sell stock and implements it in a wonderful way. Once you are all signed up, on the home screen you are greeted with a graph of your earnings with a dollar amount of how much money you have between your account and your stock. Scroll down and then you can see the different stocks that you have bought or are on your watchlist. Without even tapping on any of these stocks you can see a mini graph of its earnings trend as well as a dollar/percent value of its change.

Last, but not least, once you tap on a stock, you are greeted by a page that is similar to the home page. At the top you see the dollar value, and at the bottom you see basic stats and a quick bio of the company. If you are looking to Buy or Sell, all you have to do is enter how many shares, review, and then submit and before you know it you have just completed your order.

One of the biggest controversies right now with Robinhood is that it does not provide enough features that people like to use to gain information on a certain company. But to be honest, this is a smart move on Robinhoods part. It is because of sticking with the core feature, keeping it as simple as possible, and learning how users use it, that makes this app so attractive.

Many times, apps will start off with one core feature, but then they end up cluttering the app with so many features. Though this is great in terms of being unique and providing features to the user, it is not attractive at first and can often times make the app confusing. — No good!

Take it from great apps like Robinhood and stick with a core feature, keep it simple, learn how your users adapt to it, and then over time you can roll out feature by feature!