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New app launch: practical guide to successfully launch your new app

What factors drive the success of a new app? The end goal of your digital product should be to not only drive downloads, but also to maintain a high level of user engagement and retention. A new app launch can critically influence these metrics.

An app that doesn’t retain users is essentially an app that people don’t need. It’s also the best way to quickly send your marketing budget down the drain without seeing any return.

With the app market becoming more competitive, the very first steps you take determine the success or failure of your new product.

For this reason your new app launch should be carefully planned.

To improve your chances of success we put together in this article the main six aspects you should consider when launching a new app.

Before a new app launch: ideate – prototype – test

The success of your launch is prepared before the launch happens. A good ideation and research phase will set you off to a good start and help minimise the mistakes along the way.

There are multiple great frameworks that entrepreneurs and founders adopt when creating a product. They all revolve around the basic idea of: ideate, prototype and test.

Test and validate your concept until people will ask you “where can I download it?”.

Define the metrics you will optimise

The success of your app will likely be measured by the number of users acquired and their level of engagement. If you have a monetisation strategy behind the app, then the conversion of users is also going to be a decisive factor.

However, you won’t be measuring all these elements at once. Be strategic and decide what is the single metric that matters to you each time. Measure only one thing at a time (often called One Metric That Matters – OMTM) and forget the rest.

Prepare an app launching campaign

The launch of your app is likely to gather quite some momentum. Consider leveraging it with a proper launching campaign. Don’t just release your app or tell your audience that you released it. Try to make a buzz around the launch by creating curiosity and enthusiasm. Making people enthusiastic will likely boost virality by generating referrals, which is the cheapest form of marketing you can attain.

This post from Neil Patel explains well 4 possible pre-launch tactics you can use. Among those, also the famous waiting list gamification created by Robinhood.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that good viral strategies are not solely a matter of good marketing. Virality is easier achieved by products that really do solve people’s problems. The pursuit of virality at all costs can make you forget that often a solid acquisition strategy can also be extremely powerful.

Have a plan for continuous improvement

The development of your app does not stop with the launch. To ensure sustainable success, you do need to keep testing and improving.

Make sure you factor in time and budget for the following activities:

  • Measure the performance of your app
  • Maintain the app, fix crashes and bugs
  • Keep improving the usability of your app
  • Have a roadmap for the release of new features. Like an app launch, a new feature can be a catalyst of momentum which will help keep your app competitive.

These steps will lead you to success by providing sustainable improvement. Users’ needs do change quickly, and only a sustainable strategy ensures your app won’t age fast.

Calculate the costs of development and improvement

A specification of the previous point is how to allocate development resources for your app. Having multiple versions to maintain and update can be very costly while you’re also still learning and improving.

If you are not an established company and you don’t need to have from day one two identical versions of the same app, you may want to test and keep developing only on one system, like Android or iOS (think of how Clubhouse started). Starting on only one system will save you a lot of money especially if you still have to validate the revenue stream behind your app and you’re currently running at a loss.

Lastly, don’t forget that a great way to reduce your development costs is to invest upfront in UX research.

Optimise your app store presence

For mobile apps the App Store (or Google Play store) presence is likely to be the most influencing factor in the acquisition of new users.

ASO (app store optimisation) is the process of optimizing mobile apps to rank higher in an app store’s search results. ASO is for apps what SEO is for websites. In fact, for apps it is even more relevant than SEO for websites. In fact, the App Store or Play Store are almost always the necessary filters to access and download any new app.

For a good ranking in the App Store the key factors to keep in mind are:

  • The title of your app
  • A good rating
  • Optimised visual asset
  • Good content to describe your app

Good ASO is a very interesting topic, extremely important for app marketing. We’ll soon release another specific article on this topic. For the moment, here is a link to a good guide to app store optimisation tactics.

These tips are based on first hand experience and cover many different areas. You can read more here on how to make a first good impression with your app to drive higher retention.

If you are now wondering how all this applies to you, you may want to get in touch with us to book an introductory meeting. We’re happy to hear from you.

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