Five ways to drive app discovery and engagement

Help more people fall in love with your Slack app

Illustration by Josh Holinaty

You probably dedicated a lot toward building, launching and scaling your Slack app. And with a little time (and a bit of elbow grease), you can help more Slack customers discover and onboard to your app successfully.

Whether you’re thinking of building your first app or you already have thousands of happy users, you can adopt these features to help more teams tap into your app’s full capabilities.

Shorten the installation flow

A single hurdle — like being redirected out of the App Directory — can deter someone from installing your app. Now you can enable people to install your app directly from the App Directory with a direct install URL.

Once you set up the URL on the app management Basic Information screen, someone visiting your app’s page will simply have to click Install to add it to their Slack workspace.

It’s a simple addition with high upside: apps that have adopted this feature have seen installs increase by as much as 25%.

Automatically suggest your app to new teams in Slack

If your app is tied to an external website or service, it’s likely that people are sharing links to that service inside Slack. By placing a simple meta tag on your website, you can have Slack suggest your app to people who don’t have it installed or weren’t even aware it existed.

Show, don’t tell what your app can do

You can add up to six images and a video to your App Directory page to give people a sense of what your app does and what value it could bring to their work day.

If you don’t have the perfect product screenshots ready, don’t fret; our submission guide contains design templates for Sketch and Photoshop, as well as suggestions for building an App Directory page that highlights the best of your app.

Guide a new user to action

The moment someone decides to install your app is crucial: they’ve shown clear intent to try your app, and it’s up to you to make that first experience a seamless one. Some app builders choose to onboard people via a bot DM, but until now, there was no way to make sure someone saw that message before getting distracted by other work — a message from Jane, a new meeting invite, a to-do list reminder…

To help, you can now welcome a new user with deep linking, directing them straight into a helpful onboarding message from your bot or workspace-token app.

If you also have an external service outside Slack (like a website or mobile app), you can use this feature to link someone directly from that location to a specific Slack channel. For instance, if you’ve built a sales app, you can send people directly to relevant channels like #sales-analytics or #emea-accounts. By specifying the channel ID and team ID, you can send people straight to the Slack channels — both public and private — they need to see.

Make any link an opportunity to engage with your app

You’re probably familiar with unfurls (our term for “link previews”), which add quick context to links people share in Slack. App unfurls, in contrast, enable you to build custom previews on any link people share in Slack — even links to content behind a login.

You can also add interactive buttons and menus, helping people kick off micro-workflows that tap into a variety of your app’s functions. This way, links people share to your service can be an opportunity to drive further engagement with your app.

Imagine you’ve built a survey app, for instance. If someone shares a link in Slack to a survey from your app, you can build an unfurl that enables people to edit questions, view response data, or import that data to Excel, straight from the link’s unfurl in Slack.

Wrapping up

While this list is not exhaustive, it should be a good place to help more people engage with your app. You can stay updated on new features like these by installing the Platform News App, or by visiting our changelog for a granular view of all our releases.

Do you have feedback for any of these features? Other ideas in mind? Let us know on Twitter.