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Tim Waldenback
Author: Tim Waldenback

Is Your App Off to a Rocky Start? Here’s a Founder’s Advice on Getting it on the Right Track

It takes a lot of time and effort to design, develop, and launch a mobile app. With so many moving parts and unpredictable outcomes, there are many areas where things go wrong and derail the project. Even the rockiest app launches and marketing failures can be overcome as long as you do not give up and are willing to do what it takes to succeed.

With millions of apps launched every year, the competition for downloads is fierce. High-speed mobile internet connections allow users to make instant decisions about whether to download an app and log onto it on their phones moments later. It also takes no time at all to uninstall the app, and today’s fickle consumers will not hesitate if the user experience is not to their liking. The slightest defect, technical glitch, or marketing failure can doom an app’s potential and force the developer to start over.

Common Reasons Apps Fail

There are a variety of reasons an app will not live up to your expectations. You can do everything right and produce a high-quality app that has been comprehensively tested and marketed and still not reach download and usage goals. It is a highly competitive market with ever-changing industry guidelines and user trends.

The following are common reasons many apps start off with a rocky app launch and fail to achieve their goals.

Poor Market Research

If you fail to understand the habits and current market trends of your target audience, you will be unable to effectively develop and market your app. Making an effort to perform comprehensive market research allows you to make the right decisions during the development and marketing stages of the process.

Lack of Original Content

It is a simple concept. Users will not return to an app that does not offer fresh, engaging, and informative content. If you do not give users a reason to come back, they will not return and eventually uninstall the app. For eg. One of the main drivers of content at Zutobi is identifying specific areas of driving that users struggle with. Through surveying the team found that users want to learn about, for example, hand signals and parking on a hill. Though it was something that wasn’t a priority in the e learning builds,the team at Zutopi found that users found it important because it was something they’d be tested on when getting their permit. Therefore guides and content were built to address what these users want.

So you can see by using the results of ongoing market research to drive content towards those topics and functions that are of most interest to your users.

Disengaging User Experience

The features and functionality of the app must be easy to understand and navigate. Users that have trouble figuring out complicated features or settings can get easily frustrated and not return. Examples of poor user experience that can turn off existing and potential users include:

  • Slow or lagging performance issues.
  • Excessive load times.
  • Complicated, extended registration and log-in process.
  • Features that are hard to find and access.
  • Inadequate Testing

A/B testing protocols for your app help you keep up on ways to improve retention rates. Presenting differing types of user experiences and analyzing how each variant performs allows you to track your customers' responses.

Slit testing allows you to experiment with different functions and features like push notification frequency, calls to action, and ad placement. Expanding testing sessions offer the chance to evaluate specific elements of your app and focus on underperforming functions.

Tips to Avoid a Rocky App Launch

Launching a new app is a smart strategic decision for brands to enhance customer engagement and relationship building. It takes months of hard work and preparation to ensure all functions, features, and marketing efforts are in place. A smooth launch is the first step in the process of integrating a mobile app into your comprehensive marketing and sales plans. The following are tips that can help your app get off to the best start possible.

User Feedback For Market Research

It can be difficult to accept negative feedback about a project and product you have worked so hard to design, develop, and market. However, the ultimate goal is customer satisfaction. The users of your app in the testing phase and after launch can provide the most insightful, objective, and constructive criticism.

You have to be willing to pay attention and get to the heart of legitimate complaints about your app's functionality and features. Customer feedback in app stores, on message boards, and social media can enlighten you on problems and issues that have not previously come up. We’re constantly monitoring reviews in the google play and app store to figure out what issues people are experiencing. The people who have used your app will also tell you what they like about your app to focus on and expand those areas for greater impact.

Be The Leader In Your Industry

You already know your business and the services you provide better than anyone. Part of being a leader in your field is gaining a full understanding of the existing market. Knowing your target customers and their purchasing habits allows you to be able to anticipate what they want and what the next trend will be. Market research will reveal what is working in similar apps in your industry. You can then take those things that the user responds to and incorporate them into your app while discarding or tweaking those areas that users are not responding to.

Be Patient, Flexible

In just about any endeavor or field of accomplishment, successful people generally have one thing in common – they never gave up. The process of developing and launching a mobile app is complicated and risky. There are no guarantees, even if you do everything right. If you put in the time and use the research, data, and customer feedback to make the necessary adjustments before and after the launch, you will have a far better chance at succeeding.

Do not be afraid to make changes and try different things. When you find something that works, stick with it and expand on it. If users are not responding to certain elements, change them or get rid of them, even if you really like them and have spent a lot of time working on them. Constantly monitor the performance and customer reaction to your app and be bold in your approach to making adjustments and tweaks to the system.

Set Goals for Growth, Not Revenue

While the ultimate goal of your business and marketing efforts is to make money and increase profits, the initial objectives of your app should be about generating download growth and user retention. If your app draws interest and keeps users coming back, the revenue will come eventually. During the development phase and through the launch, the focus needs to be on reaching a wider target audience and presenting them a user experience that will bring them back.

Test And Test Again

Testing your app's functions and features with split users is an ongoing effort to understand those elements that are impacting users and which will need tweaking or replacing. The testing process begins in the development stage and carries on through after the app is launched, so you always know where you stand with your customers. The more A/B testing you can perform, the better understanding you will gain of your users and your app.

There are hundreds of new apps released every day throughout the world. It can be challenging to get noticed in the crowded mobile application marketplace. The key to your new app's success is to create strong, ongoing marketing campaigns that attract those users most likely to be interested in your business.

Author: 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.

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