5 common mistakes to avoid when launching a new app
1. “The idea is brilliant, my app will go viral quickly!” WRONG.
No matter how smart and innovative your idea is, it won’t take off just releasing your app to the store. With thousands of new apps submitted daily to Google Play and App Store it’s hard to get some visibility. If you are lucky enough to get featured in the “new releases” section, you will get some brilliant downloads data during the first week, but will end up in discomfort after you go back to a few downloads per day. No panic! Write a detailed store listing description, post updated images and a video explaining how your app works. At the beginning, the real challenge is getting people on your app page, so make sure that all elements there are fine (images resolution, no misspell errors or wrong contact details) in order to avoid those few visitors from bouncing. If not strongly required, don’t waste time localizing your app at this stage. This is the time to create content and be social! Let people know about your project, create a press kit and distribute it to online newspaper or tech communities, start creating a community and write original content that can attract your target audience. Don’t forget to optimize your website following SEO best practices and post articles. You have an app, that’s right, but most of organic downloads still come from queries that started on the web and not on app stores. When people have problems they google it!
2. “You need a lot of money to reach millions of downloads!” WRONG.
Paid user acquisition is expensive, you can be offered from € 1 to € 3 for an Android download and € 2 to € 5 for iOS. No investor will give you that amount of money just to buy downloads and bring your app to a higher level. So, does this mean that all famous apps have invested so much money in marketing to build their users base? The answer is no, not necessarily. Paid user acquisition is a strong lever for organic user acquisition. According to a recent research by Tune, every paid download acts as a multiplier for organic downloads as effect of marketing campaigns. Depending on the category of your app, you can expect on average a x1.5 effect, with some categories reaching results as high as x13 or x16 on Android. Furthermore, paid user acquisition can bring regular downloads that help building your presence on the stores. There are a few key points to bare in mind when trying to gain visibilities on the stores, amongst them don’t forget to: update your app constantly (new releases can help you get featured), work on bugs to improve your overall score, run some user acquisition campaign to show regular traffic and trigger word of mouth.
3. “It’s all about marketing!” WRONG.
As much as it is true that a great app won’t be successful without a good marketing strategy, you can be 100% confident that the only destiny for a bad app is failure. It’s not all about marketing, it’s all about the product: concentrate on you core features and build a strong first release, invest in design and user experience analysis. Remember that apps are great in solving simple tasks, easily and fast. Every time you are considering of new investments for your product think if this will help your users in this direction. If the reply is “not really, but the app will be more fancy!” then you can keep it for later.
4. “My app needs to be perfect since first release!” WRONG.
You need to be honest with your users, if you say that your app does a certain thing, that needs to be real or you will lose credibility. But, if you share your product’s roadmap, users will understand at what level of development they are looking at and will be more engaged and patient. If your app crashes from time to time don’t worry. Replying to users support requests and fixing bugs is more important than having a perfect 1.0 release. This doesn’t mean you have to submit a product before finishing or testing it, but adding too many features and spending time and money to have the most complete app, isn’t the best option at this early stage. Again, one task, performed perfectly and fast. There’s plenty of time for all the rest.
5. “I am willing to pay a lot for development, to make sure I will have the best product ever!” WRONG.
Your app will be a hit if it’s usable, useful and trustworthy. Don’t forget that your development costs won’t disappear after the first release. You need to keep up with your work and invest in your product throughout its lifetime. Go for a very simple first release to accelerate your time to market and concentrate on your key feature. Sure, your app needs to have a simple interface and no big technical issues, but adding too many features without knowing if they will be appreciated by users is a waste of money at this stage. Remember that your users are the most valuable asset in your product, listen to them, engage with them and build a great product around them. If you forget about them, you are taking a very risky road!