10 Pitfalls To Avoid For A Successful App Launch
For every development team or individual developer it is a dream come true to have the app finished and ready to be launched on the market. Even for the best possible app, after seeing these stats from Statista with the number of available apps in Apple App Store (the first one) and Google Play Store (the second one) in 2016, it is very discouraging to launch an app on these markets.
But, if all the members of the team follow a very rigorous plan and try to avoid a few common mistakes, soon they will count the best ratings in their category. The most important pitfalls that must be avoided when an app is launched are as follows.
Not Giving Importance to Pre-Launch Marketing.
After developing an app, there is a list of steps that have to be made in order to spread the word about your masterpiece. First, start marketing your app at least a month before launching. Send emails to potential users and customers offering them a preview of the app. Get in touch with media channels and don’t forget about tech blogs and influencers that can promote your app. Use social media to reach your potential audience and to let them know your amazing app. For Angry Birds it was enough to show a photo with a bird with no visible wings and legs along with a very interesting name to intrigue the game players and they spread the news about the new game.
Forgetting Goal Setting for Launch Date
Although developing an app is very important, marketing is equally important. The marketers have to stay by developers’ side and they need to understand every feature of the app. The launch date should be set very careful, not to match another important event in technical word. According to TechCrunch, Sunday is the best day to launch a mobile app. Of course, you can choose any day of the week but keep in mind the fact that the specific date should be planned in advance. So the marketer will take his time to prepare everything.
Underestimating Marketing Research
There are many elements to be followed and analyzed when you are about to launch an app. A first step is to take a peak to your competitors. For example, look at the category, name of the app and most importantly, the keywords they use into their descriptions. Another clue about their powerful and their weak points are the reviews. Read all that users have to say whether they brag the app or they ask for more features. Try to accomplish their desires with your app. Econsultancy shows how mobile app of British supermarket chain Asda marketing strategies exceed its objectives.
Not investing in ASO
One of the most important parts of app marketing is App Store Optimization because a way of app discovery is through app store search. Some of the elements that need optimization are:
- App Name: One way to do that is to name the app following common search terms or you can use a branded name. A better solution is to use a combination of these two.
- Keywords: Start with all the words related to your app and then narrow down to a few ones that are unique and relevant to your app. Don’t underestimate the power of long-tail keywords. Analyze and pick them carefully and do your keyword research in a regular interval.
- Description: The first 3 lines are the most important for your app. Use them to indicate the best features of your app by picking the best keywords.
Smartinsights shows a case study where ASO strategies help MailWise to gain visibility.
Avoiding Beta Testing
After developing and designing an app another step to consider is to test it. But you need to do that on real customers, not only on your friends or family. You have to target the real users that will determine if the app is what they need or not. Beta testing is the solution for that. Some of the benefits of this process are buzz generator because of the word of mouth, feedback to figure out the best features for your target audience and to discover and eliminate the bugs to avoid your app to crash. Apptamin provides a quick guide for Beta Testing.
Not Investing in Paid Advertising
If you want to boost downloads you should allocate an important part of your marketing budget to advertise your app, especially during launch week. Facebook and Instagram are good places for paid ads. Besides social advertising channels, you also should consider mobile ad formats like native advertising and video ads to increase your app downloads after launch. Boost campaigns are another amazing way to test your app with real users after launch.
Not Allocating Resources for Content Marketing
A good method to engage your users is to give them insights and stories about your app. These stories should be created in images, video or text. Highlight the special elements that make your app better than other apps similar from app store. For example, SmartShoot app was covered in TechCrunch.
Underestimating the Key Metrics: App Retention, Lifetime Value
More challenging than downloads is user retention – the number of active users for your app. Because many marketers started to pay user acquisition for their mobile apps, the result is that all those paid users are deleting their app after downloading it, even without using it. But, if the organic users will use the app just once then you should look into your app to find what would be the problem. Measuring the ROI and analyzing the performance of the app will help you understand the things that need to be changed with your app.
After you analyze the 1-day, 7-days and 30-days retention rates, you should measure some key performance indicators:
- Daily Active Users (DAU)
- Monthly Active Users (MAU)
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) = (total revenue generated by the app)/ (total active users of the app)
- Life Time Value (LTV) = ARPU x (1/CHURN), where CHURN is the number of users who stopped using the app after a particular time.
In order to attract as many users as you can, it’s important to offer them what they need and make your app as user-friendly as you can. There are a few methods to do that, all detailed in a previous post on AppSamurai. Some of them are User Push Notifications; location based marketing and personalized mail marketing.
According to Digitalturbine, Starbucks plans to expand its mobile marketing strategies in order to increase purchases in-app through personalized recommendations.
Seeing Testing & Analyzing As One-Time Job
This is the most important one. You can’t launch an app and forget all about it. You have to permanently analyze the stats, follow the feedbacks from users and try to improve it. Try, also to add more and more upgrades. Mobile development is constantly growing and you have to keep an eye on every feature that appears in the development section.
Having an app developed and designed is great. But this is only the beginning of the journey. It’s amazing to make it stand out of the crowd, especially when the crowed has over 4.500.000 apps. But, taking into consideration some pitfalls that must be avoided, the ones that have to do with the budget, like not investing in ASO or Paid Advertising, not allocating resources for Content Marketing or the ones that are related to underestimating or not giving that much importance like underestimating Marketing Research and Key Metrics, avoiding Beta Testing, not giving importance to pre-launch Marketing, forgetting goal-setting for launch date and Personalization but, also seeing Testing and Analyzing as one-time job, are mistakes that you have to stay away from. If you do that, in the end everything will turn into an unforgettable adventure.