We all want to build an app that solves real life problems and wows users while also bringing in enough revenue to keep the lights on. Nailing the launch is the key to achieving the highest number of downloads. Because users discover apps primarily from the top charts, discoverability is still a huge issue in the app stores, so making it into the upper part of the rankings is key.
Preparing for Your Mobile App Launch
Build Up Your Connections
In the business world, connections are everything. Your connections should span multiple categories including first testers, future users, tech writers and market influencers in order to help you to boost downloads. Waiting until just before launch to start building connections won’t cut it. Get started ahead of time by collecting the emails of potential users and developing relationships with journalists and major influencers.
How to get in touch with journalists and influencers?
It is not always easy to reach them, but it is important to try. They are humans albeit one’s who receive a tremendous number of emails, and many of them love to help people with great ideas. Before sending any emails, prepare a list of who you want to connect with and who is best positioned to promote your product. Go through the well know tech sites like TechCrunch, Mashable or Wired and search through the topics that are relevant to you. Every topic will have articles that are written by different writers. Put them in your list and search for their emails, or social media accounts. Twitter is a great place to start a conversation with them. Nearly every influencer and journalist uses Twitter every day. Attending tech events is another great way to meet people on your list and to connect with them in person.
How to find the users who will be the first to download your app?
If your app is not yet ready to be launched, you can use the interim period for attracting potential users. Build a teaser website where you will explain the features and the main benefits of your app. Give them an opportunity to be early adopters by allowing them to preorder your app. Engage with potential early adopters by asking for and then using their feedback on everything from the fundamental idea of your app to the user flow and decisions on new features.
You can apply to fund the project on one of the many app crowd funding websites such as AppStori or Apps Funder and gather new beta testers. Use solutions such as TestFlight and HockeyApp to distribute new builds to beta users and get timely feedback.
Once the app is launched you can send an email to your registered users and testers in order to ensure the first wave of downloads. You can also ask them for reviews which will help boost your ranking.
Don’t Forget to Be Social
The first thing you should do once you have the app’s name is to open an account on all major social media platforms. It doesn’t matter if you are going to use them all fully or not, but it is important to have them in order to protect your brand name. If someone else uses the same name as you, potential users may become confused or they may even get the wrong impression of your product. Once you have all accounts ready, choose those that you want to focus on and begin building a following by creating and posting high-quality content.
Increase the number of tweets and posts right before releasing the app. Inform your followers about your app and its launch date. Try to boost your followers by starting a giveaway campaign. Monitor all social media channels closely, respond often and simply and retweet users when appropriate.
Ready, Set, Launch
The best time to be published on the major news sites is on the second or third day of your app’s launch. Announcements will increase the number of downloads and it will also beneficially affect your app ranking as well.
Two Days of Intensive Advertising
Advertise your app from the moment it appears in the app store. You can use social media or services like Tapjoy to promote your app and increase the number of users. As I explain in detail in my recent post, “How Twitter Can Drive User Growth and App Engagement”, Twitter is an excellent tool for advertising and app promotion if you know how to use it.
Collect reviews and ratings, they will affect your ranking. You can join Facebook groups built for exchanging reviews or send an email to users asking for a review. You should avoid paying for reviews, however, because the app stores are intent on punishing those who buy reviews.
Today, in order to make your app stand out from the crowd, you need to make sure that everyone sees what you have created. Journalists and influencers are a big help when launching an app so, make sure you have everything prepared before the initial release. Now you know all of the steps necessary for a successful launch. Combine these with an effective App Store Optimization strategy and watch your app climb to the top of the charts.