A Founder’s Advice on Pushing Through a Rocky App Launch

An app launch is always an exciting event, but when things don’t go to plan, you may find yourself wondering where you went wrong. If you had a rocky app launch, the last thing you should do is give up.

Neeraj Dana
Neeraj Dana

An app launch is always an exciting event, but when things don’t go to plan, you may find yourself wondering where you went wrong. If you had a rocky app launch, the last thing you should do is give up. Moving forward, there are ways to improve and recover from your initial launch, as well as pitfalls to avoid.

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Embrace Feedback

When you don’t have the launch you were hoping for, it is even more imperative to pay attention to feedback from the users that you do have. Sometimes it can be difficult to accept feedback you disagree with, and adapt to build your app into something that your users can’t live without.
Publicly replying to feedback, as well as taking the feedback into consideration when updating your app will also improve not just brand recognition, but also your brand’s reputation. When updating your app, embrace feedback from your early users to build your app and your brand into something that people enjoy using, and love to talk about.

Become Experts in Your Field

If you want to succeed in your field, you want to become experts on not only your service and product, but your target market as well. This statement is true whether you are launching a mobile game app, or an app that helps people get their learner’s permit. If you don’t know your audience well, you will not be able to anticipate their needs. To become a market leader, you don’t want to copy other apps in the hopes that you will “do it better.” You need to provide an expertly-designed app that caters to the wants and needs of your customers.

Don’t Give Up

While it can be tempting to scrap an entire project after a failure to launch, there’s no sense in throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Use your initial launch as a jumping-off point to improve your product and transform it into something great.

Finding out what caused your launch to be less than ideal is easier said than done, but there may be clues based off of the data you have. Did you simply have a low install rate that never increased? Maybe you need to beef up your marketing campaign. Was there an extremely high uninstall rate? Perhaps there are some unresolved issues that make your app difficult to use, or it may not be intuitive enough for the average user. Checking the data, along with the feedback you’ve gathered from current users, will give you a better idea of what you need to change in order to improve.

A/B Test Your Way to Success

Split testing your app is one of the most efficient ways to find out exactly how to improve your product so that you retain as many users as possible. By offering different experiences to users and finding out how each group responds, you will be able to tweak your offerings to reflect what your customers want.

A/B testing allows you to experiment with many options, such as the placement of ads, calls-to-action, in-app features, and push notifications to see what people respond to. While it may be tempting to offer two totally different versions of your app to each group, it’s better to have multiple testing sessions with just one or two small differences. If you have too many disparities between the two versions, it can be harder to pinpoint exactly what the users loved about each one.

Push for Growth, Not Revenue

Many developers measure an app’s success in terms of revenue. However, if you believe your app will be successful over the long-term, your initial goals should revolve around growth and user retention. Revenue will come later if your app is able to bounce back from your initial launch. Early on, it is much more difficult to appeal to a wide audience, and get your users to be engaged.

With new apps being released each day, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. Don’t let a poor launch stop you from improving your app, and continuing to create a strong marketing campaign that attracts new users. By figuring out where you went wrong, you may be able to improve your app so that it is better and more sought-after than ever.

Author And Credit: Tim Waldenback

Tim Waldenback is the co-founder of Zutobi Drivers Ed, a gamified e-learning platform focused on online drivers education to help teens get their license. Tim founded Zutobi to make world-class driver's education fun, affordable, and easily accessible for all.