Companies large and small hope their newly released app is an immediate success: a viral hit that launches revenue into the stratosphere. The reality is that in today’s crowded marketplace, there’s much more to a successful app than releasing it and waiting for sales to pile in.
For an app to triumph, companies must follow up their initial launch with the right steps to maximize the odds of success.
Clean Up Your App’s Code
During the development process, when teams are working to meet deadlines, it’s not uncommon for issues to be addressed with quick fixes. While these fixes may help a company release their app on time, they’re rarely efficient, elegant, or the best way to address the problem.
As a result, quick fixes can sometimes lead to problems down the road, either in the form of unforeseen conflicts or poor performance as the app continues to grow. Once your app is released, and the initial rush is over, it’s a good idea to go back and review the code to address any of those quick-and-dirty fixes before the next release.
Focus on User Engagement
With Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store both offering customers the ability to review apps, it’s important to address the concerns of each and every customer. One ignored negative review can quickly cascade into dozens or even hundreds of similar reviews.
In contrast, taking the time to respond to a review, criticism, request or feedback—a feature that both app stores offer—can show existing and potential customers that you care about their input and are serious about engaging with them. Even users who initially leave a negative review may come back and leave a second, more positive review if their concerns are addressed.
Use Your Release Notes Wisely
We’ve covered it before but it’s worth mentioning again: Release notes are an often overlooked tool for marketing your app.
Bland, generic or sparse release notes—either for an initial release or an update—don’t provide users a compelling reason to download an app. Instead, you should use your release notes to clearly outline what your app does, what differentiates it from its competitors, what a specific update fixes or improves and the value your app brings to your customers.
As many companies have discovered, dressing up your release notes with a little personality and humor can go a long way toward catching people’s attention.
Keep Current With New SDKs and Devices
No matter how innovative your app may be at launch, or how many accolades it may gain from reviewers and customers, if it fails to take advantage of new OS features and SDKs, it will quickly resemble a technological dinosaur.
Likewise, Apple, Google, Samsung and others regularly release devices that sport improved resolutions, cameras, motion sensors, virtual reality, augmented reality and more. If your app doesn’t tap into these abilities your customers may start looking for one that does.
This makes it crucial to keep your app up-to-date with the latest developments, both hardware and software. In addition, you should always be on the lookout for innovative ways to integrate these developments into your app’s workflows.
Measure the Right Data Points
In order to know what features need to be added, what bugs need to be fixed or annoyances that need to be addressed in future versions, your developers need data on how your users are interacting with the app right now.
Unfortunately, some developers still rely on customer input as their primary data point. Not only is this not always reliable—as the customer may not be able to accurately correlate the symptoms they experience with the real cause—but customers are far more likely to abandon an app and look for an alternative than they are to reach out to the developer.
Similarly, many developers rely on logging and other methodologies that are a holdover from Web and desktop application development. While successful in those areas, these methods fail to provide the same degree of relevant information in mobile development.
Mobile performance monitoring tools fill that gap, giving developers the ability to drill down into individual user sessions and understand exactly what users are experiencing. This helps developers see if an issue is related to their own code, a third-party SDK, a network issue or even user error. In short, mobile performance monitoring tools enable a developer to measure what really matters.
Your App’s Launch: Just the Beginning
In a perfect world you could launch your app, sit back and reap the rewards. In the real world, however, it’s a little more involved. Successful apps are the result of careful planning and meticulous follow-through. An important part of that is the use of modern, mobile performance monitoring tools. Contact Embrace to see how our platform can help make your app launch a success.