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June 27, 2022
9 min read

Apphud Promotionals Uplifted ‘forYou’ Marketing Strategy

In this article, we'll explain why Apphud Promotionals are a great alternative to a free trial. And not to sound baseless, we'll tell you how our client 'forYou' app improved its marketing strategy with our service.

9 min read
Apphud Promotionals Uplifted ‘forYou’ Marketing Strategy

If you have a subscription-based app, there are plenty of ways to reward free users who interact with your app. You can unlock bonus content, offer a discount for a paid service, or grant temporary access to a premium service. If you choose the latter, it can be done in two ways: by offering a free trial or by using custom mechanics like Promotionals.

In Apphud, we call Promotionals a small feature with a big impact. Today, we'll explain what exactly Promotionals are and how they differ from a free trial. On the example of our client 'forYou' app, we'll demonstrate how you can efficiently boost your management and marketing strategies with Apphud Promotionals. Curious to find out? Then keep reading!

Promotionals: Alternative To a Free Trial

Usually, a free trial automatically converts to a paid subscription once it's over. As people often forget to cancel their subscriptions, some users don’t trust the free trial system. When you're charged without your consent, it's quite unpleasant, right?

Therefore, to avoid unwanted charges you might want to provide users the ability to try premium services without subscribing. Unfortunately, there is no built-in mechanic in iOS SDK to do that, which is why a product manager has to think of a solution to grant free access to a particular customer. And here is what we offer in Apphud.

Introducing Promotionals

There are many cases when developers need to grant free access to particular users. In Apphud, we suggest Promotionals. It's an easy way to offer free access to a limited or unlimited period of time to a particular customer. And you can do it using Apphud SDK or a web dashboard.

On the Apphud SDK, choose grantPromotional method and pass daysCount parameter. That's the number of days that premium access should be granted. Find more details here.

In the web dashboard, open a particular user page and on the right side of the page, you will see an option to grant a Promotional.

Promotionals, ApphudPromotionals, Apphud

'forYou' App Case Study

There are many cases where granting promotional offers might be useful. And now we're going to take a closer look at our client’s case study to understand how efficient this feature is in practice.

'forYou' is a face massage and skin care app. It's a highly qualified beauty and massage therapist right in your pocket. With 'forYou', you'll acquire facial massage skills even if you are a beginner. Visual instructions will walk you through the process, while AR will track your day-by-day progress and make sure you reach positive results.

forYou AppforYou App

And here is how Apphud Promotionals helped the 'forYou'.

Grant Free Access To Winners Of Special Events/Challenges

Marketing is always the toughest part of the app lifecycle. For promoting the 'forYou', Gleb, the app's product manager, partnered in launching Instagram special marathons. Winners of these marathons were granted premium access for free.

With promotional offers, cross-promo marketing in Instagram posts was used and winners have been getting 3 months of service for free.

forYou Instagram ChallengeforYou Instagram Challenge

Grant Free Access To Users Who Contribute To The App

Also, Gleb was granting promotional access to users who helped him with localization. There are many services where app owners can translate their app's content. However, when a native speaker does it, it's always better. Especially if it’s a loyal app user as they are familiar with the context of the app.

Grant Free Access To Users Who Took Part In The Interview

Customer development is important when you work with the content and your goal is to improve your retention rate. “Talk to your customers” – this is what YCombinator teaches. But what about sending your users a link to a survey or feedback form? And once they complete it, it’s worth granting premium access for free.

Grant Free Access To Users Who Are Unsatisfied With The App

No matter how perfect your app is, you'll always deal with technical issues. That's why those users who reported some critical bugs should be rewarded. Offer them premium access using Promotionals.

How can you do that? Just pass User ID in the email composer in your app code. And when you receive an email, you will see a User ID. Find them in Apphud Dashboard and grant a Promotional.

Bonus Advice From Apphud: Grant Free Access to Organizations

This case is suitable for apps whose business model is distributing their product through large organizations.

Imagine you have a piano lessons app where you sell lessons for a subscription. One day you decide to offer this app to a musical school. You sign a contract with the principal, the school pays you a fixed amount of money outside of the App Store, and in return, you grant free access to all school members.

Keep in mind that you won't be able to do that with Apple’s offer codes because:

  • There is a limit of 150,000 codes per app, per quarter.
  • There is a redemption limit of up to 25,000 users at a time for a particular offer code.
  • It requires users to subscribe with their personal Apple ID, which has its own payment methods.

This is why Apple Offer Codes isn't the flawless solution for distributing free access to organizations. Especially, if this is your primary business model.

That's when Apphud Promotionals come on the stage. Once the user signs in with their corporate email address, you call grantPromotional method from SDK which will grant free access to premium service for a certain amount of days (as per contract). Another benefit is that Apphud Promotionals don’t create an Apple ID-related subscription and have no redemption limitations.

Feedback from forYou about PromotionalsFeedback from forYou about Promotionals


As you could see, Promotionals can be used to cover various cases. It can be a reward for contributing to the app, bugs report, or participation in social media challenges and marathons.

You can grant promotional offers either by SDK or web interface. They are very handy. That’s why we have many clients using Apphud Promotionals daily and if you are also curious to try it out, sign up for free!

P.S. We also want to thank forYou app managers for helping with this case study.

Co-founder at Apphud
Ex iOS app and game developer. 11 years in the industry since iOS 3. More than 50 apps are in the background with 4 exits. Entrepreneur and traveler.