Some think that there is no secret sauce when it comes to launching your newly completed app to the world. It’s easy to believe the old phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” Unfortunately, you’re not creating a “Field of Dreams”. Instead, you’re producing a product that should solve your customers’ problems and delight them in the process. To do this, you’ll need to get the word out. You’ll need to let people know that there is a new product on the market. This app is the app of their dreams. When launching your app to the Apple App Store or the Google Play store you need a plan. This plan is more than, submit the app; hope to get downloads. Planning your launch starts way before the final stages of your development process. Poor planning leads to you stepping on the landmines that blow up your product launch. This guide will help you get through the minefield and provide your customers with an experience they love.
Not Building The Right Product
Before you start, you must know, are you building the right product? During the development process, it is imperative that you test every idea with your target user. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is not to validate your app idea with real customers. Can you find ten people that want to use your app today? Are they willing to pay you for it? Ask them to pay you for it. Right now. If they’re willing to part money today, then at least your app idea is validated. When you go on the notion of what you believe others want, you end up building a product that nobody wants. You need to benchmark your product against the competition. You can risk making a product that people like, but eventually, use your competitor’s apps because they have a better product. Test each feature in your product. If it’s mediocre, cut it. It’s better to launch a product that does one thing well, than one that does an average job at ten things.
No Marketing Before Your Product Launches
Once you’re confident that you’ve built the right product, let the world know that this fantastic product exists! Do not wait until it is two weeks before you launch your app. Start building an audience to market to the moment you have an idea of what you want to make. Doing so will help you validate your app idea faster. You’ll also have the confidence that you’re building the right product. You’ll have an audience that you can ask questions, poll, and test product features on.
The moment you have your great idea, build a website, tell people about it. This website will be your product marketing website. It will talk about your product as if it were already built. The purpose of this site is to capture potential users in an email list and to build your audience. You’ll grow your audience by talking about your problem. You can create content (blog, podcasts, video, etc.) that talk about the problem that you’re trying to solve. This site gives people the opportunity to sign up as a potential tester or as a day one user. Your testers are your early adopters. You’ll work with them to refine your app. They’re the litmus test to assure that your app is performing well.
Your day one users are the people who want to use your app today. Throughout the development of this app, you will market to them. You can even give them early access to your product. These tactics create excitement and a long list of day one users. You’ll need them for a successful app launch. If you listen to your audience, they will reward you by telling their friends and family about this cool new app that they’ve downloaded and how it help them solve their problem.
Not Optimizing For the App Store
Day one users are excellent, but they’re also limited. Once you’re on any app store, your app needs to be optimized so that you can reach more users. The app store is a search engine. Similar to Google, people either find items by name or in reference the problem that they’re looking to solve. A user who wants an alarm clock for their Apple Watch will undoubtedly type the words “Apple Watch Alarm” in the search box. Your app needs to capitalize on this. You need to know the exact language that your customers use to solve their problem. Now that you have day one users, testers, and an audience, you can ask them. You can then use these terms in the copy of your app’s title and description. For instance, if your app was named Saucy, you can add a postfix that gives a description to the title of your app. “Saucy: An Alarm Clock for The Apple Watch.” Then, you can add the term Alarm clock and Apple watch throughout your description.
The name, description, icon, video and preview images are factors each new user considers before they download your app. Each item entices the user to take the next step and press that download button. The most important of all of these is your app icon. Your app icon needs to stand out in the app store. If it doesn’t, it is often overlooked by app store browsers. To do this, test your app icon with your audience. Also, test it against similar apps in your product’s space. Take time to differentiate against other apps. If you’re building a checklist app, don’t use a check mark, instead focus on how your checklist app is different. Allow your app icon to reflect this difference.
Not Engaging Discover Services
Let’s say you weren’t able to build a pre-launch audience. The next best thing is the third party services that people use to find new apps. Services like BetaList and Product Hunt give you the opportunity to add your product to their catalog. Users who frequent these sites will try out your app if it solves their problem. Press and bloggers also check these places out to find products to write about. It’s also a good idea to contact these bloggers directly and get them to try out or review your app. You can use an app review services to test and write about your app. These tactics bring more users to your product.
Now that you have a map of the minefield use it to launch your app. Do not just put your app on any app store and hope to gain tradition. Customer acquisition, testing, and planning are keys to your success. You want to be sure that when you launch, you have a list of people who want to use your app. Remember always to build the right product. It’s important to test with users so that you know you’re on the right track. Be sure to optimize for the app store. Also, use BetaList and ProductHunt to gain more users. If you need help launching or building your app, we can assist you with that.