Even if your new mobile app launched with a bang, you can’t just sit on your hands if you want to achieve ongoing success.
The first six months post-launch is the most critical time for an app to gain traction and build a user base. After all, there are 3.1 million apps in Google Play and 2.1 million in the Apple App Store — how are you going to cut through the clutter?
Ready to get busy? Here’s your to-do list.
Set Up Analytics and Track Key Metrics
Trying to promote your app without the ability to measure the right metrics is like shooting in the dark. You may get lucky, but the chances aren’t good. Invest in the appropriate app analytics tools and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) based on your business objectives.
Metrics to track immediately post-launch include first-week engagement and retention rates, most and least used features, acquisition sources, and app install vs. churn. Eventually, you’ll also want to know your in-app conversion rates, customer lifetime value, and return on ad spend (ROAS.)
Market Your App
If you want more people to download your app, you must let your target audience know it exists! Use email, social media, paid ads, etc., to spread the word. Track the conversion rates to see where your most engaged users come from, so you can focus your budget on driving traffic from those sources.
Meanwhile, with 63% of mobile apps discovered through app stores, you must optimize organic search traffic through app store optimization (ASO) tactics. These include the name and subtitle of the app, categorization, keywords, and ratings and reviews.
Develop an Onboarding Process
Getting users to download your app is just the first step. You must ensure that they engage with the content and keep using the features. A well-designed onboarding process can help you retain more users and improve their satisfaction so they’ll leave positive ratings and reviews on the app store.
An effective app onboarding process should showcase key functionalities and guide users to accomplish their goals. Use callouts and highlight buttons to help users navigate the app. If they need to create an account, make the process as frictionless as possible. For example, give new users the option to sign in through Google or their existing social media profiles instead of creating a new account.
Monitor Reviews and Feedback
Your early adopters are your best testers. Besides app store reviews, you should analyze support tickets to see where people are stuck or having trouble accomplishing a task. You can also reach out to individual users directly to get in-depth feedback and see if the app meets their expectations.
Paying close attention to reviews and feedback not only allows you to address bugs and issues. It also helps you refine the product roadmap, prioritize updates, and optimize the user experience (UX). When users see that you take the time to address their comments, they’re more likely to become loyal customers.
Analyze Feature Usage
The proof is in the pudding. To find out which features are meeting user expectations and which ones aren’t gaining traction, you need to know how users interact with your app. Don’t make assumptions! Instead, analyze usage data to see which features are accessed most and which ones are sitting on the bench.
The insights from the data can help you identify which features to enhance and what to highlight in your marketing campaigns. They can also help you ask the right questions to get in-depth feedback from current users through surveys or interviews.
Churn isn’t fun, but taking a close look at the data is a must if you want to retain more users. After all, user retention is the key to long-term success, and the insights can help you make improvements where it matters most to your users.
Analyze the data and ask questions to find out where and why users start churning. Do you need to address any gaps in the user flow? How can you make the app more sticky? Are the features meeting users’ needs and expectations? Is the onboarding process helping users accomplish their objectives?
Optimize the User Experience
While it’s a tall order to nail your user interface (UI) design and user flow on the first try, you must continue to improve the app experience to attract and retain more users. This is where the data analytics and user feedback come in handy again to help identify where you should focus your resources.
Pretty pictures alone can’t save the day if the user flow is clunky and the UX is frustrating. You must dial in every aspect of the experience to help users accomplish their objectives as seamlessly as possible. For example, how can you streamline the workflows and simplify the interactions? How can you integrate the app with other platforms or channels to enrich the experience?
Personalize the User Experience
Consumers expect a personalized experience when they interact with brands, and it’s no different when it comes to mobile apps. Create segments based on preferences, behaviors, location, etc., to send the most relevant communications (e.g., in-app messaging, push notifications) to your users.
You can also allow users to save their preferences, customize content based on previous interactions, provide recommendations based on users’ profiles, and use cross-channel integration to enhance the app experience.
Communicate Your Product Roadmap
Your initial launch probably doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you want to include. And that’s totally fine! But you should have a product roadmap and a timeline detailing how you plan to roll out new features in the first 6–12 months to improve your app and keep users engaged.
Users who are on the fence may decide to stay with your app if they see that you plan to launch features they really want. Not to mention, an app that’s not updated, even for a few months, can quickly become obsolete and can no longer meet fast-changing consumer expectations.
A Big Picture Strategy To Guide Your Launch
What happens during the first six months after the launch can make or break an app. To ensure long-term success, you must have a well-designed product strategy and audience & revenue model in place to help you take impactful actions during this critical time. You should also follow an iterative process, such as our Feature Value Framework™, to continuously release small but complete features to deliver value early and often.
Need a hand to help your app take off? Let’s chat!
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