updated icon March 23 2017
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The one thing that has become more challenging than ever today is launching an app successfully in the competitive mobile market and then sustaining in it. Almost 20% of the apps fail like the dot coms. Not because they aren’t good enough, but due to falling into a pit they couldn’t pull themselves out of.

In this post, we’re going to share some of the pre and post launch pitfalls that all types of apps should avoid.

Pre launch app marketing pitfalls

1. Skipping the market research

The number one mistake that most app marketers make, is skipping the research. Now researching is the one step that allows you to not just validate your idea in the market, but also understand who you need to compete with to acquire your target users. This gives you insights into what users are already familiar with, what they expect from other apps, where you could fit in your value proposition, the strategies that have worked for a competitor and not, and more.

Saves you a lot of time when you know how to reach the right market, who to compete and what mistakes you shouldn’t be making!

2. Not investing enough in app store optimization

ASO is important for the success of your app, no matter what niche you fall into. It is the very first channel where your target users can discover your app for the categories you’re targeting. Skipping on
ASO is like blocking out one effective channel of user acquisition. 

app-discovery-fact

Some of the very important aspects of app store optimization include:

  • App title (something that makes you stand apart, yet is easy to remember)
  • App description (keeping in mind the keywords you’re targeting, your features and your competing app descriptions)
  • Optimized app icon and screenshots (that give the users something to identify your app with)

Rest, you can get all set for effective ASO with: The Developer’s’ App Store Optimization Cheat Sheet.

3. Avoiding a beta launch and ignoring the feedback

What’s better than getting first hand reviews and feedback from your users to make your app better? We say, nothing! That’s why a beta launch or testing is important. Right after you think your app is ready for the market, make sure to test it out. You could use tools like UsabilityHub and TestFlight to get insights into the app market, or consider a soft launch.

But remember to engage your initial set of users actively. Interact with them often using in-app chats and activity feeds to create a feedback loop. Identify the points at which a user is losing interest in the app, ask how you can enhance their experience and further optimize your app’s engagement strategy. 

Here’s why user feedback is important

user feedback importance

4. Underestimating the power of content marketing

One of the biggest mistakes that apps make is not use content marketing to its full potential. Assuming it is only for the B2B and B2C companies to market their products, apps usually don’t think through their inbound marketing strategy.

A great way to build your app’s market is to get people talking about it. Identify communities and websites that your target users are following closely. Use the opportunity to launch sneak peeks of your app, videos of its features and information that will create a sense of curiosity in the them.

For example, FitBit has a really active blog that shares health tips and suggests how people should use the FitBit to keep up with them: 

fitbit-blog

5. Not understanding the metrics that matter

Before you even start marketing your app, understand that analytics is an important aspect of growth. Metrics like user acquisition rate, lifetime value, retention rate and more should be understood thoroughly. Make sure you equip yourself with the right set of tools to monitor these numbers as you launch into the market.

To understand which metrics should matter the most to your app, read our previous posts on:

Post launch app marketing pitfalls

1. Not focusing on user engagement and retention

The only way to sustain in an app market that is growing by the day, is to focus on user engagement and retention. After launching your app, don’t just focus on acquiring new users from the target market. Make it a point to keep the existing users interested in what your app has to offer and retain them by adding value to them consistently.

Even Fancy Cats swears by user engagement for growth!

Lack of an engagement strategy will only lead to a higher churn rate. So while you’ll be acquiring new users at high costs, you will also be losing your existing ones – hampering your app growth dramatically.

Download your copy of Mobile App User Engagement and get a FREE checklist!

2. Not paying attention to personalization

Personalization is the key to a user’s heart. If you want them to love your app, while other options come into the market frequently, you will need to consistently present him with his likes and preferences. In simpler words, it is important for you to personalize the user journey right from the point of discovery to an in-app conversion.

Here are some of the aspects your personalization strategy must include:

For example, Kim Kardashian West’s app starts with a quick video from the celebrity herself to onboard her users. It then makes use of bubble conversations in her voice to guide them through the different features of the app. 
app-personalization

3. Not leveraging your app updates

App improvements are an ongoing thing. But most apps don’t focus on leveraging this opportunity to engage their users. Think about the number of times you read ‘bug fixes’ in an app update description and thought ‘just how many times do they need to do this!’

That’s exactly why you should use this space to let the user know what’s new, how it is going to make his in-app experience better and what issues you have resolved in the update. This won’t just bring back your inactive users to check out what’s new, but also prevent your app from getting deleted because it is asking for updates a little too often for apparently ‘no reason’. 

For example, we love how Weather Underground sends updates to its users: 

weatherground-app-update

4. Not focusing on customer support and reviews

When looking for apps, the one criteria for deciding which one you will download and use are the reviews that it has received. The reviews serve as a way for you to understand if the app is delivering what it offers and how the in-app experience is for users. Imagine having to download every app in your search results, checking them out and then deleting what you don’t like – tedious!

But these reviews don’t just rely on an app with a great list of features. Your customer support plays an important role too. Users today expect efficient community management from app developers. Simply put, your rapport depends on how well and how fast you handle user queries and concerns.

How to ensure your community management skills are a 100%?

5. Not running referral campaigns

What’s the one growth strategy that the top grossing apps swear by? Referral marketing. This is because app users tend to trust recommendations from their friends and family more than the advertisements they see on digital. For that matter, 80% of users convert only on recommendations from those they know.

rad_smartInvites

Referral campaigns should be a part of your growth strategy right from the beginning – even during your soft launch. Give your users the ability to invite their friends to your app via chat apps and social media using GetSocial Smart Invites. The easier it is for them to invite their friends, the more likely they are to do it – and if you incentivize the activity, the results will be 10X more!

Conclusion

The app market is growing exponentially day by day. The only way to ensure your app doesn’t fail is to strategize every move you make in the market – pre and post launch.

These are just a few pitfalls we have seen the best of apps suffer from. So make sure your strategy doesn’t make the same mistakes and includes all the important aspects of growth right from the start.