Launching a mobile app
The app market is highly competitive and launching an app in the App Store or on the Android market has its barriers. That’s why it is advisable to launch with a polished, well designed app, where all the details have been tested and tried out before release. Since your religion is to get not only downloads, but actual users of your app and desirably lots of positive reviews, you should focus on having a highly-retained user base.
We’ve been listening lately to The Startup Chat (which we love, btw), a great podcast for entrepreneurs. In this episode, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah discuss about the important aspects of launching a mobile app. Since we share the same beliefs, thought that it would be awesome to present it to you guys, to help you benefit from their advice. We really support the idea of the lean startup, where you learn, draw conclusions and apply it as soon as possible in order to make your product better.
Take your time doing an app release
There are many restrictions from both iOS and Android market and we also know the difficulties of developing for mobile so the strategy for a mobile product would be to launch with a highly polished, honed final product.
In order to make your app right try building a prototype and start testing with real users as soon as possible. You can use TestFlight or HockeyApp as a way to get started.
Once you’ve started developing an app, release it to batches of people who will have early access to your product under development. These batches can also include your circle of friends or a targeted group of users.
Interview your users, make user research, ask for input and reviews. After you have analyzed these and made improvements based on your users reviews add new batches of people and try testing your app with them again. This way you can get really useful feedback and make essential improvements before launching. Remember that testers will make your app better and more marketable. Also try using the app yourself on a daily basis to notice its deficiencies and be aggressive in questioning any assumptions you’ve made regarding the development of your product. Don’t assume that everything you believed about it in the beginning is correct and right.
Try analyzing the intimate relationship that users have with your product in their pocket on their phone. Determine if the people who have downloaded your app are actually using it. How frequently they use it, log in and do certain actions. You can use intercom for that. Find out what you need to do to make people willing to use your app on a regular basis. Deeply understanding your users will also help you to come up with useful features. And since you are only in the test phase, you can do this even daily if you want to.
Do less and launch
Try focusing on the main value proposition of your app. Instead of adding more features and launching with an app that is not 100% tested and working properly try launching with one fully polished feature or a subset of features. Remember, the minimum viable product might be something entirely different than what you think. Talk with people who are using your app.
The next step would be to fine-tune your product and also formulate the exact message you are sending out to your users.
Take care of all the things such as onboarding, adding push notifications and handling all the details like keywords and images that you will be using on the mobile market space before releasing it. Pay attention to offer an effective initial experience for your potential users. Offer contextual help by fragmenting the essential information and present it on different screenshots or a promo video.
These steps alone won’t guarantee your app’s success, but they will give you a competitive advantage and a better chance to become the next big thing in the app stores.