You came up with an awesome idea, you got it built, and you submitted it to the app store. Now, you may be wondering what am I supposed to do now. Your first thought is most likely about marketing and getting the word out there so people will download it. Of course, that is very important but it is not the only thing you should be focused on. App owners that don’t take the following action items seriously quickly realize that their app has been buried amongst a sea of apps never to see the light of day.
There are of course preparations you need to make before your app is submitted. If you are unsure what those preparations then take a look at Part 1 and Part 2 of building a successful app marketing strategy. Keep in mind there the prep work is very important so don’t wait until you’ve submitted your app to the stores to create your materials.
Post Launch Tasks
Do note that launching is not the same as submitting your app. Submitting is simply clicking the submit button in your developer account so that Apple and/or Google can review and approve your app to go on the store. To launch your app means you have a team to fix issues that arise quickly and that your marketing plan is in full swing.
Once your app is live on the store test it. Before you blast everyone with the great news make sure that you, your developers, and any other people you want to use help you test out the app. Even if your app was working perfectly before you submitted, it doesn’t mean it’s working perfectly after submission. Technology isn’t perfect and bugs commonly appear after submission. Take a look and fix any bugs you find.
If you just wander away or go full force into marketing and your app isn’t up to par then it will all be a wasted effort. The first 6 months are crucial. It is important to stay on top of your plans and keep your development team handy to help you with anything you need. Having your app developers continue to maintain your app is key.
2. Purchase app marketing and analytics tools
You need to know everything that happens with your app based on all your efforts. The more information you have the better decisions you can make. If you start doing a bunch of marketing but can’t measure what’s working and what isn’t then what’s the point. You should be well informed about:
a. New user downloads
b. Where downloads are coming from
c. The engagement and retention rates: measure your daily and monthly active users. You should look at 1, 7, and 30-day retention rates
d. What screens they are staying on the most
e. What features they don’t use at all
f. Measure the revenue generated per user and all users together
g. Determine how many users leave the app after a particular time. This is called the churn rate
h. Fix bugs as soon as possible
Also, marketing requires a fair amount of time, so use tools that allow you to simplify your campaigning process. There are a number of tools to help you manage emails to various people and the different templates you should use. The ability to streamline your campaigns so that the efforts on your end are minimal is important if you don’t have a lot of time.
Once the app is live on the store, you have confirmed it’s working correctly, and all your materials and analytics are set up it’s time to send all the marketing materials out. This can really make or break you. This truly is the #1 challenge of any app owner today. With so much competition it can be difficult to stand out, go viral, and get people to recognize you. It’s now time to send your materials to
a. The email list
b. The press
c. The influencers
d. Friends and family
e. Social connections
Let them know your app is released and include links to the app store, website, and press kit. Have a call to action which makes them want to download your app. Try to be as personable as you can in your marketing, especially when it comes to emails.
Now isn’t the time to be picky about what marketing you think you should and shouldn’t be doing. Many times people get fixated on just writing about 1 main aspect of their app. This is especially true for blogs, social media posts, and other content related to other marketing avenues.
You want to get your message across to as many people as you can. Don’t limit yourself. Let’s use an app that allows you to decorate the interior of your home as an example. There is only so many blogs and posts you can write about when it comes to being able to see what your home will look like before you start buying materials. You have to branch out. Instead of just writing about that one topic there is info that can be written about first-time homeowners, what is the real cost of buying a home, news about the housing market…etc.
Anything to do with the home market, buying a home or even an apartment can be used. It can’t just be about the same subject. Providing people with free information in the same realm is still useful. Sometimes people aren’t thinking about what your app is about but if they read an article about a subject in the same realm and see a point within it about decorating it, it may get them thinking about it. That may seem a little far-fetched but it’s not. Again, why limit yourself. Why tell yourself not to write about it because it’s not 100% about your app. Anyone that has anything to do with your apps subject should be marketed too and then some.
4. Have a solid retention/onboarding process
Your first step is about getting those app downloads but once you do the next goal is to keep them using the app. Having a proper onboarding process can significantly increase your retention rate by 40-60%. You want to show users right away what the best functions are for your app, tell them up front how this will benefit them, and ensure you have a great call to action to get them excited about using the app.
5. Pay attention to your users
Stay up to date on reviews and answer back. Check your emails constantly and answer users questions and concerns. Take those concerns seriously because it can mean a problem that exists which you didn’t realize. This will help determine version 2 of your app. Users appreciate you listening, responding, and taking action when it comes to their concerns. This lends to not only the functional aspects but also the user interface and experience (UI/UX). Your users expect beauty and simplicity. Read their feedback and see what annoys them about the user experience and fix it.
When you release a new update of your app you can update your description to say you’ve listened to your users and have done the following to ensure they truly get the best and that they are being heard.
The moral of this story is once your app is live on the store don’t sit back and wait for people to download your app. It won’t happen without thorough pre-launch planning and post-launch activities. It can’t be stressed enough that the first 6 months are so important, and in order for your app to be competitive in the market you have to work hard at it. If you can’t do it all yourself, ask friends to help and/or hire a professional team like SDI to do it for you. You don’t want all the time you spent creating your app to be a waste, and it won’t be if you do the post-launch activities properly.
Feel free to contact Rob LaPointe at 408.802.2885 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any more questions about pre or post-launch activities.