Mobile App Success Stories: How Slack Did It -

Mobile App Success Stories: How Slack Did It


As you already know our mission at AppSamurai Blog is to present you the most revolutionary techniques for marketing your app. With each of our articles, you are probably impressed and they sound great on paper but how they work in the real world? Nobody can figure out until they see the results provided after effective implementation. For this reason every Monday you will find here the proof that all growth hacks described are really efficient. Moreover, you will discover in what manner they were used for famous apps to reach impressive success. Allow us to inspire you with the most amazing stories. We will start with Slack to show you that its sensational fast evolution is the result of a great customer experience.

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Brilliant Idea

For Slack all started in 2012 when the entire team was working at a game named Glitch and all the members were looking for a tool to communicate between them. They noticed that sending their ideas through email delayed the process and they began to find a solution for sharing sections of their project. From that point to the development of Slack was just a step. Even if there were some alternatives like Skype or IRC nothing was created for workplace communication. Besides the fact that they observed the necessity of a service similar to the one offered by Slack, many factors influenced the plans developed by Stewart Butterfield and his partners.

How Slack Did It

Let’s see how Slack’s owners managed to climb the success hill so fast that the entire effort would make everybody else feel a little dizzy.

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User Feedback

The primary engine of Slack’s growth was fuelled by users’ opinions about the product. Since the beginning, they focused their entire strategy on connecting with customers and trying to encourage them to give their feedback. From their Twitter account to their Support page and the Details section on App Store everything emphasizes the idea that the entire team is always eager to help users with any problems that may appear.

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App Onboarding

We will leave the following images to demonstrate our point when we underline that app onboarding is crucial for the first impression. This is the moment when a user decides if he loves or he hates your app. The intuitive aspect and the fact that you can select a channel and you can communicate right away with your colleagues convince many users to try Slack.

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Beta Launch

We already discussed Soft Launch and we summarized the main advantages and disadvantages of this procedure. For Slack after 7 months spent in beta release, the information gathered during this period showed what the right move was at that moment. They started with 8000 companies to understand what changes to make for their app in order to be ready for the public launch.

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As we highlighted before in our article related to Mobile App Pricing Models allowing users to feel the real taste of your app for free and asking them to pay for it when they declare their addiction for its features is the key to success. The challenge is how to transform your app into a phenomenon but Slack’s owners already solved that one. So it is no wonder the fast entering in Unicorn club.

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Just look at the app store page of Slack and you will see a short app title, a relevant description, and great ratings. If you go further you will notice that the last update was made a couple of days ago and the details are announced with a little humor.

Another nice touch is the background of screenshots in different bright colors which follows the app icon theme. In other words, the flawless impression created by all the elements carefully designed on App Store.

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Stewart Butterfield is a known figure in tech world, since he created Flickr with his co – workers. The photo sharing service was an idea that came during the development of a game named Game Neverending which in fact was a failure but Flicker was sold to Yahoo! in 2004. After he quit his job at Yahoo! Stewart Butterfield came back to game development concentrating his attention on Glitch which had the same fate as the previous game, but an enormous success called Slack was born. The bottom line is that many eyes were on Stewart Butterfield before the launch of Slack and that influenced in many ways its evolution. The question is: “What will happen if he starts developing a new game, again?”

Social Media

Instead of struggling to be everywhere at once (in social media terms), the team behind Slack decided to concentrate their attention only on Twitter. This one continues to be an important channel where they connect with users gathering all the feedback they can for improving their services. And why not admit it, this is also the place where they receive a lot of Slack Love from fans.

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Referral Marketing

You also know that if you make your users happy they will spread the word about you. In this case, the growth of Slack is exponential because we can talk about teams that convince other teams to try it. Referral Marketing creates a chain reaction that brings valuable users to your app but for Slack it makes wonders.

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Press Coverage

The thing with Slack is that press agencies use Slack for their communications, so it is not hard to understand that if they loved the app it was inevitable to write about it. Impressing users with “behind the scenes” stories and highlighting the massive growth of a company from 0 to $4 billion dollars seems too good to be true. But fortunately, it is true!

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Slack Integration

Another advantage of the philosophy behind Slack is that app owners don’t try to compete with anyone. Instead, they just want to find new solutions for improving the entire experience of customers when they use Slack. Integrating the communication service with other tools available for them to make their work a lot easier is the right path to follow.

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Bonus Tip: Care For The Product

Nothing of the above will be effective if you don’t develop an amazing product that helps as many people as possible. It is worthless to say that an error – free app that does what you promise in an easy way will help you gain valuable users that will remain loyal to your brand.

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There are many precious takeaways from this success story but the most important aspect of the entire process run by its owners to make Slack visible in front of its users is to offer them a great experience overall. Remember that no matter how big is your marketing budget, if you don’t consider your customers and if you don’t allocate time to connect with them then your entire strategy will fail evidently. Keep in mind that it is mandatory to concentrate your efforts on helping your users through your app and no workaround will bring you the wanted result.


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