Use Firebase Invites to drive app referrals and sharing through email or SMS

  • Grow
  • Marketing
  • Firebase

By combining the power of word of mouth with a frictionless and personalized onboarding flow, Firebase Invites help drive installs by enabling your users to share an app or their favorite in-app content with people they know. Firebase Invites help you optimize an important means of app discovery — according to a Google and Ipsos MediaCT survey, 52% of people say they discover apps through word of mouth.

Why it works

Firebase Invites help to drive your app's installs and increase new user engagement because users trust recommendations from their closest friends and contacts. Referrals and shared in-app content from trusted sources, sent through email or SMS, is a great introduction for new users. Used in conjunction with promotions, they can increase your app acquisition and retention. By taking advantage of Firebase Dynamic Links, you can personalize invites. Also, users can receive the referral link or content even if they don't have the app installed as they are automatically taken through a low-friction, no sign-in app install flow.

Key features

  • Multi-channel delivery over SMS or email for free.
  • Contacts selector that merges the user's Google Contacts with contacts stored locally on the device.
  • Smart suggestions on the share screen recommends recipients based on the contacts the user communicates with frequently, so they invite the contacts most likely to be receptive.
  • Customizable default invitation messages, which can be edited by the user when sending invitations.
  • Customizable rich-text email invitations, which use custom images combined with additional text and graphics from the app's entry in the Play Store. Alternatively, create a fully customized email invitation using HTML.
  • Pass referral codes, recipe entries, or other shared content in the invite using Firebase Dynamic Links - no cutting-and-pasting required, and regardless of whether the recipient has your app installed.
  • Actionable invite cards, with a prominent install button.

Best practices

  • Motivate your existing users by making the invite option easy to find and offering incentives, such as in-app credit. Put the invite option in a prominent place, such as the top-level menu, or surface the invite flow in the right context, at the right time. Also, when adding to the menu, make the wording of the invitation item clear.
  • Put the share option in a prominent place, such as alongside your app's shareable content. Allow users to share both the app and specific app content.
  • Build a custom share sheet using EXTRA_INITIAL_INTENTS to list SMS & email — the Firebase Invites option — first, to increase the chances of users sharing with this option. Also, consider using LabeledIntent to give the sharing channel a clear description.
  • Customize the invite experience for sender and recipient so that emails have the look and feel of your app, either by writing custom HTML, or by specifying the invitation message with clear call-to-action text and custom image. Include a description of the shared content and avoid excessive punctuation and capital letters—client apps treat these as signals for spam.
  • Make invites more appealing by including personalized, specific content. For example, if the user is sharing a recipe include a photo of the dish to make the invite more visual and informative.
  • Personalize the onboarding flow, using context from the invite or deep links. Take the new user directly to the shared content, offers, or — to make a new order friction free — the in-app purchase flow.
  • Motivate new users when they first open your app from an invite by providing a reward, offering a free trial, or similar to increase retention.

Get started

Firebase Invites