After months of hard work creating an app that you believe will address a specific need — whether functional or entertainment — preparing for its release can be both exciting and nerve wracking. There are millions of apps on the market, and you can’t wait to get the first hundred, thousand or 5,000 downloads.
So, how do you launch your mobile app so it gets the right traction from the start? For the pre-launch stage follow these steps:
Step 1: Get the app ready for release
This means that your build must be 100 per cent with all the features working, no crashes, and no functionality breakage. Of course you can upgrade it later, but the first release version must not be faulty.
Step 2: Create a landing page for the app
Before you release your app, it is important that you determine how to best describe your app to your audience by creating a landing page. When designing the landing page, you will have to consider how to position the app, as well as the kind of message that will draw in users. Remember to indicate that the app is “launching soon” and ask any users who want an invite to provide their email addresses.
Step 3: Send traffic to your landing page
Sending relevant traffic to the landing page serves two key purposes: 1. To get the emails of people who’re waiting for your app to launch so they can download it; and 2. To validate your idea. One way to target your app’s demographic is through a paid Facebook campaign.
Keep track of the conversion and bounce rates. A bounce rate of 3 to 5 per cent or higher is good because it means that you’re marketing to the right audience, and that they find the app relevant. Run the ads for as long as your budget allows to collect as many emails as you can. If the conversion rate is very low, consider changing your target audience, the landing page message, or — as a last resort — the app idea.
Step 4: Get good press coverage
There are reporters who specialize in technology and/or mobile devices, and usually cover app launches. Try to find them by looking up which reporters covered recently launched apps, and contact them via email. Pitch your app to them so they’re interested, and then pick one who you will give exclusive access to. Ask the reporters not to write about the app until the launch.
Step 5: App Store optimization
The final preparation step is to optimize your app so users can identify it and know what it does with ease. You need a description that is similar to your landing page, containing a headline, list of features/benefits, and a few testimonials.
Take advantage of free app store optimization tools to get started. Also check the analytics tool to ensure that it is properly set up to track downloads.
When you do launch the app, your work will involve ensuring that the reporters write good stories about your app, and making the app available on different platforms for easy installation, like through Facebook mobile install ads. You can also use giveaways to increase downloads.