In part six of our series, we’ll go through what you can do to keep momentum after you’ve launched your app, what key usage metrics to watch closely, and how to approach app updates.
How To Bring a Killer App Idea Into Reality: This six-part series is designed to give a basic roadmap on how to get your app into the hands of the people whose lives you want to improve. Whether you just have an app idea floating in your head, or a team of coders ready to go, you’ve come to the right spot.
After the App Store Overview
Congratulations! Your app has come a long way since it was the kernel of an idea existing only in your mind. Now, you’re past beta testing and have users downloading and using your production app, possibly even at this very second.
Sure, you can take a victory lap, but this is no time to rest on your laurels. The time right after launch is one of the most critical in determining whether your mobile app will be a smashing success or languish at the bottom of the charts. The best practice is to review your app’s analytics and work on making improvements based on user feedback. Here’s a sprinkling of good advice for the post-launch period.
Four Simple Steps on How to Achieve Success After Publishing in the App Store
1. Keep Users Around
2. Listen to Feedback
3. Look at What Matters
4. Update Early and Often
Step 1) Keep Users Around
In these early days following your app’s initial release, it’s easy to get excited when you see the numbers about how many users have downloaded and opened your app.
Once the initial buzz fades, however, you’ll need to make sure users continue to come back to your app. The critical component for long term success in the mobile app game is having a passionate and engaged user base.
For starters, the first time people use your app should be as simple and pain-free as possible. While you’ve gathered lots of feedback during the beta phase, you may find the general public’s reception of your onboarding process to be different. As, you know, creating an account needs to be straightforward, and the onboarding process should teach users about the app without burdening them with too much information. If you find that folks are dropping off during this crucial step, or feedback tells you there is an issue here, act quickly to resolve this.
One important addition to consider implementing (if you have not already) is push notifications. You can employ push notifications strategically at choice intervals to keep people coming back without annoying them. But be wary, these should be used with caution. Overuse of notifications is a quick way to break trust with your early users. Here are 7-proven strategies for using push notifications from Neil Patel’s blog.
Note: Implementing push notifications will require some development work. Ideally, if you’re going to use these in your app, they should be included in the development process upfront, but if you didn’t do this, then consider it for a future app update.
Step 2) Listen to Feedback
You received user feedback during your research, your prototyping, and your beta testing, so a little more now can’t hurt, right?
Assuming you feel great about the user experience in your app, encourage your early adopters to leave a review in the app stores so you can gain valuable information about their experiences and gain momentum. But, really, only do this if you feel fairly confident that your app is ready for primetime, thanks to the user interviews and direct feedback you’ve been conducting along the way.
We urge caution because immediately after release, your app’s ratings can be a make-or-break factor. Mobile customer experience software company Apptentive has found that only 50 percent of users would consider downloading an app with a 3-star rating, a figure that jumps to 96 percent for a 4-star app. If possible, leave a professional, sympathetic response to any negative reviews in the app stores, providing your contact information so that the reviewer can seek a resolution to their issues. If you start seeing a lot of (or really any) negative reviews, here is a step-by-step guide on how to respond.
Step 3) Look At What Matters
If your app is intended to turn a profit, then revenue is a great place to be closely monitoring analytics.
However, revenue alone does not tell the whole story. Other important questions, and things to measure, are focused on who’s driving revenue and what motivates them to do so. Besides general user engagement and retention, some of the most important metrics and KPIs to track are:
- The number of active users per day and per month
- The average number of daily & monthly sessions per user
- The churn rate per month
- The average revenue generated per user
- The lifetime value of an average user
Rather than reinvent the wheel here, we found an amazing resource for you which goes into great detail on your what your critical mobile KPIs are, what they might mean to your app’s success, here → The Insider’s Guide to Mobile App KPIs.
“What gets measured, gets managed” – Peter Drucker
By knowing which mobile KPIs to measure, and understanding how those KPIs relate to your mobile app’s success, you can effectively optimize your app, boost your user-base, and hopefully bring it to the top of its category.
– Appsee, The Insider’s Guide to Mobile App KPIs
Step 4) Update Early and Often
Despite your best efforts, any mobile app is going to have some bugs and performance issues.
Failing to correct these issues promptly is a recipe for disengaged users and negative reviews. What’s more, if you don’t come out with new features, many of your users may start to drift away, feeling that they’ve experienced everything your app has to offer.
To improve retention and user experience, we recommend you deploy new updates on a regular basis, especially in the early days after release. Updating the app’s description will inform users about bug fixes, new features, and other improvements. You can also use the update space as a marketing channel to convey interesting information and sell users on the latest version of your app, bringing them back into the fold.
Bonus resource: Tips on How to Write App Descriptions That Sell Your Product
By now, it should be abundantly clear to you that launching a mobile app is more than just publishing it to the App Store or Google Play. While seeing your app go live can be an exhilarating moment, it’s only a single part of the long and rewarding process of mobile app development. As the common saying goes, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Of course, you could look at running a marathon instead as running one mile, 26.2 times.
Although creating a mobile app is a long and involved undertaking, the various stages and components no longer require herculean efforts to achieve, if accomplished in chunks and sprints. Even the biggest and most important step – actually developing the app – is within reach for non-mobile developers and entrepreneurs, thanks to the rise of cross-platform frameworks and no-code visual mobile development platforms.
Once you’ve come up with a smart app idea that can solve users’ problems, building an app is really just a matter of commitment, patience, and effort. If you have only one takeaway from this guide, however, let it be this one: it’s critical to gather and consider prospective user feedback. Building an outstanding app shouldn’t be a heroic, solitary endeavor without input from others.
At every step of the way, from research and prototyping to testing and post-release, you need to build in feedback loops as part of your iterative development process in order to better meet the needs of your users and key stakeholders.
We hope this six part series has been a useful resource for you on your journey to bringing that killer app idea into reality. To show we practice what we preach, we’d love your feedback on this series in the comments below or on Twitter. Please us know what you think: what worked, what didn’t work, and any topics you’d like to learn more about.
And, of course, we wish you the best of luck building your killer app empire!
Having trouble getting your big idea off the ground? Let us help you with the heavy lifting!
The Dropsource team of mobile app experts is here to help you strategize, design, and build powerful mobile apps that delight. Get in touch with us for a free consultation to see how we can help bring your killer app idea to life.