Much of this guide has been focused on a tactical approach to app acquisition, but let’s take a step back and do some strategic planning. Having a solid launch and post-launch plan is essential to driving all of these tactics. That’s because when launching your app, you have a lot of options on how to proceed. And since we’re well aware of the fierce competition in the app world, in order to have any chance of success you need to come out of the gate with a solid game-plan. What should this game-plan consist of? Consider the below your personal guide to a successful launch plan:
During Launch Week
During the first week of launching your app, you should be obsessively monitoring performance. Here are some key items to monitor and address:
Functionality & Reception
- Functionality Issues: There are two main ways to monitor functionality issues: from the user, and from the data. Keep an eye on the forums, blogs, and app store comments so that you can quickly address any problems. In addition, digging into the user data can reveal places in your app users are getting stuck or falling off. Localytics partners with performance platforms such as, Optimizely and Apasalar, who can monitor this for you.
Feedback: Addressing functionality issues is just the tip of the iceberg. Based on feedback, you’ll most likely have plenty to work on, from workflow optimizations to overall user experience. Understanding how these newly acquired users are reacting to features and using the app is critical to prioritizing new functionality. Oftentimes, the features we think will be the most used or accessed aren’t at all and vice versa.
General Mood of New Users: On a broader spectrum, how are new users initially reacting to your app? Is it in line with what you envisioned or does it need some work? Getting a feel for the initial reaction towards your app will tell you if you’re on track, or perhaps need to take it back to the drawing board.
App Store Ranking: Keeping an eye on your app store ranking will be a surefire way to see if your acquisition campaigns are paying off. You should hopefully see a boost in your ranking after the launch of your campaigns, so monitor closely and follow our optimization suggestions if not.
Referral Traffic: Understanding which channels your users are coming from will help you narrow in on which ad channels are most successful right out the gate, and where you may need to make tweaks.
Retention Rates: As you know, retention is key. Keep an eye on the retention after the first week. This will give you insight into whether or not you’re attracting the right audience with your app acquisition campaigns so you can adjust quickly.
New User Session Length (Engagement): The new user session lengths will let you know if your newly launched campaigns are attracting the right audience or not.
After the initial launch period, there is still plenty you can do that will immediately improve your app and harness incoming users for long-term engagement:
- Functionality: You should continually optimize your app based on user feedback and improved functionality. Beyond fixing the general hang-ups and workflows we mentioned above, there are always updates you can make to improve the workflow and experience of your app. Take a look at what other best-in-class apps are doing and learn from them. Your app needs to provide a top-notch user experience in order to take on the stiff competition.
Customization: App users expect a highly personalized experience, one that is tailored to them. Your app should do the following in order to give you the ability to deliver on this expectation: save user preferences, geotargeting, surface relevant content based on previous history, remember previous user actions taken, and implement cross-channel functionality,
UX: Apps have literally changed the way we interact with technology. That’s why it’s extremely important to ensure the user experience of your app is top notch. This means continual app optimizations to improve user interface from the smallest tap to the biggest feature.
Customized Push and In-app Notifications Based on History: How you talk to users will differ based on location and previous actions they’ve taken within your app. We touch more upon this below, but you should be monitoring this activity closely post-launch so that you’re ready to begin implementing personalized messaging.