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WHITE PAPER ON HOW TO CREATE A MARKETING PLAN FOR A MOBILE APP LAUNCH Learn more at http://www.dotcominfoway.com Copyright © 2000 - 2016 Dot Com Infoway
Page 2 There are over a million apps each on the Google Play Store and the Apple Store, so the environment for launching the next great app is more com- petitive than ever. Because of this, planning out a launch is more important, arguably, than almost anything else besides app development itself. The key to a successful app launch is adoption, and that means knowing how to retain and engage the clients that marketing efforts help create. With that said, creating a marketing plan for a particular mobile app can be broken down into ?ve basic steps, even though each of those steps is itself rather involved. However, by following straightforward guidelines and tailoring them to your speci?c situation, developers can create a market- ing launch for your app which will help ensure better user acquisition and retention rates than simply “putting it up”. 1. MARKETING BEGINS WITH APP DEVELOPMENT. M Many app developers often develop ?rst, advertise later. This is a pretty poor strategy, and is part of the reason that so many apps have poor adop- tion and retention rates in the Google App Store, for example; the average death spiral for an app from app store placement to a negative user acqui- sition rate usually hovers around a week. To counteract this, it is important that marketing an app begins early in the development phase. By creating buzz around the app ?rst, developers can begin to collect a database of users who will be primed for the app early on (“early adopters”). Inviting early interest around an app has a second advantage in that it also creates a nest of beta users outside the development group, and more speci?cally one that is actually closer to the user base that a developer is aiming for. One way to know what kind of market is at play here is to take some time out for market research and determine the most successful players in a basic niche. Look at what competitors do correctly, and take some time to read both positive and negative user feedback in their respective comments. By doing basic market research, developers can prepare them- sel selves to differentiate within a speci?c market niche and build interest in what makes a speci?c app different before it is even released. By not doing this, developers run the risk of not successfully differentiating themselves. Finally, it’s important to take to as many channels as possible where interest in a speci?c app might ?nd overlap and create engagement to begin building a tester community. 2. ENGAGE EARLY TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL FEEDBACK LOOP. Once interest has been established and customers involved, the next step is to externally continue marketing the app while internally paying atten- tion to what customers are saying about it. There are a number of different beta testing opportunities and applications available, which can then be used to create beta tester communities with as little as an email list. By creating a base of early adopters primed for beta testing, the app has its ?rst experimental base that can be used to perfect the app when it is ?nally ready for release into the wild. At this point is it is considered a smart practice to engage beta users to ensure that there are no unexpected problems with the app before formal launch. Obvious bugs can be ?xed at this point (though there may be some user loss as well) to help make for an app that is very polished by the time it is released. B Besides listening to customer concerns, it is a good idea to incentivize both use of the app and spreading interest in it. Doing so builds a more excit- ed base and allows existing users to know that good things are happening with the app, and that early adoption has its bene?ts. Good examples are apps that give users bene?ts for liking them on social media (a simple “like” button doesn’t work anymore) which gives the end user the satisfac- tion of knowing they get a reward for continuing use of the app and expressing that satisfaction publicly. 3. DON’T FORGET TRADITIONAL MARKETING CHANNELS SUCH AS EMAIL. While focusing solely on the user base is important, it’s just as important not to neglect channels such as email in dealing with new acquisitions and beta testers. Email, for example, helps prepare clients for an app launch in a number of ways. - Emails can be spread. Emails remain one of the most straightforward ways to get information out to others, and this is even true with app updates. - Emails are very trackable: with email reporting programs and metrics such as bounce rate, marketers can get a very good idea of what works and what doesn’t with an app well in advance of its release. - Emails can contain as much or as little information as a developer wants. Whether to stay in touch with a client base or to give a detailed update on an app’s progress, developer emails help people stay in the loop when it comes to an app’s movement towards its release. A Any traditional channels such as email or even paid marketing efforts will have a cost/bene?t ratio to them that will increasingly decline in use. This must be borne in mind with every marketing effort-- acquisition of new clients must have a tangible bene?t, and so ultimately even non-beta tes- ters should be encouraged in that direction depending on when the app is being released as well as the overall response before launch. Learn more at http://www.dotcominfoway.com Copyright © 2000 - 2016 Dot Com Infoway
Page 3 4. THE APP IS THE EVENT. In the end, it is the formal release of an app that will make all the difference in how it gets adopted by the masses. This is also where a developer can unleash an army of devoted beta testers who love the app upon the world. Done correctly, the formal release will reveal to the mobile community what a select group of users have already known, loved and helped build. In short, the app is the last step to any initial marketing effort. T The untested user market at app launch is very different from the user market when there is a pre-launch community. Those engaged users will become the ?rst official downloaders of the new app (whether paid or free) and therefore will become the base of a developer’s initial download community. Because they have already tested the app, used it, commented on it and more, that sense of investment will translate into more loyal users. After that, the app has a base of public users, who can also provide feedback and develop interest among users who have never heard of the app before. B By pre-shifting the launch event to one with users already prepared, interested in, and engaged with an app, developers have a predictive model that they can use for predicting user community growth as well as customer lifetime value (CLTV). This can help developers determine how their app stacks up against others in the respective app stores: if the pre-launch followed the steps above, the feedback loop will be determinate in showing the advantage of one particular app over others in the same niche. 5. FOLLOWUP : KEEP ENGAGED THROUGH FEEDBACK AND USE TOOLS LIKE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS WISELY. F Finally, it is of the utmost importance once an app is developed to not alienate users. There are a few ways that this can happen, but the two most common ways are failing to follow through with feedback and overuse of contact tools such as push noti?cations. F Feedback is an important part of community acquisition and retention as well as a way to determine where an app might be lacking. While it is impossible to create an app that makes everyone happy, it is possible to make a change when noticing that there are potentially problematic common threads. In this case, where possible, it is best to respond to the client so that they don’t feel left out and take note of their concern. Obvi- ously, not every change can be made to an app immediately, but a few complaints about the same thing might mean that there are other clients who are uninterested in complaining-- and will just uninstall the app from their device. Either way, not responding is a lost user. On On the other hand, there is such thing as too much engagement, particularly if it is unsolicited. Nothing is worse than losing a client solely because a developer had to notify customers of every single upgrade, as much as daily in some cases. And yet this is the ?ip side of engagement; it is import- ant to address clients who have a concern, and it is also smart to let clients who have forgotten an app know about new features (one of many smart uses of push noti?ers) but constant noti?cations will eventually turn users off to the product. It is better to engage clients who are pleased with a p product sparingly while ensuring that they know they can reach someone when possible. Chances are that if developers leave their information for their customers, customers with concerns will reach out to them when necessary. Learn more at http://www.dotcominfoway.com Copyright © 2000 - 2016 Dot Com Infoway
Page 4 ABOUT DOT COM INFOWAY Dot Com Infoway (DCI) is a premier IT company located in India providing offshore IT outsourcing solutions to businesses across the globe. DCI pro- vides enterprise solutions that include software solutions, web solutions, mobile application solutions, Internet marketing and a whole gamut of IT solutions and products to clients. Leveraging the innate offshore value ad- vantage of our development centers in India, we provide customized, scal- able and cost effective solutions to businesses. Banking on our rich and versatile industry intelligence and experience, we provide solutions that streamline business processes and galvanize enter- prise productivity. With well-structured development methodologies, Global Delivery Model and rigid QA systems, we deliver business-critical solutions on-time, within budgets and within desired levels of perfor- mance For more information, please contact email@example.com Learn more at http://www.dotcominfoway.com Copyright © 2000 - 2016 Dot Com Infoway