According to research, roughly 66.6% of apps don’t hit the 1,000-download mark within the first year. What this goes to show is that success is hard to come by, but not impossible.
With a good idea, hard work ethic, and a sheer amount of determination with an ounce of luck, your app can not only go live but be in that 33.3%. That said, read on to learn what you can do to better your chances.
1. Research Your Target Audience
This can’t be said enough: Research, research, research your target audience. Of course, you’ll need to know the hard facts like age, gender, income, and location.
But don’t forget softer points such as favorite hobbies, music, and food. While you might not directly use this information when you design your app, it helps give you a better idea of who your target audience is.
And, who knows, it may even come in handy when designing the micro interactions—(perhaps a soccer ball loading icon?).
Start by Asking the Tough Questions
To make your app user-friendly, you need to ask the tough questions:
- What are your target audience’s pain points?
- How does your app solve them?
- To what extent does your app improve their lives?
Start there, and dig deeper. The more detailed you are, the more effective your app will be at meeting your customer’s needs.
Get the Answers to Your Questions
Gather as much information as you can about your target audience. As Entrepreneur states, go through case studies and psychological analyses. Look at industry reports and scour qualitative and quantitative studies.
Take it a step further and do your own quantitative and qualitative surveys. (For more accurate data, make sure you use a large sample size—100 subject, at least.) You can then apply this information to everything from design to development.
2. Don’t Forget About Marketing
It doesn’t matter if you have the most user-friendly app on the planet if no one knows about it. This is why marketing your app is not just important but necessary.
If you don’t know that much about marketing or don’t have the time, consider hiring someone. At the end of the day, you want as many eyes and ears on your app as possible.
Cater to Your Target Audience
Write press releases about how your app solves X pain point. Create guest posts on websites your target audience frequents. Also, interact with your target audience on their favorite social media platforms. (This is where your market research comes in.)
And, last but not least, collect your target audience’s emails. That way, you can send them updates about the launch date, sneak peaks, early bird sales, you name it.
But Don’t Over-Market
However, while tempting, make sure you don’t over-market your app. Yes, your target audience is probably interested, especially if you’ve researched, designed, developed, and alpha and beta tested an app that addresses a crucial pain point.
But the last thing you want to do is overflow their inboxes with meaningless market-y emails—which could annoy and possibly even turn off some of your target audience.
To prevent this from happening, make sure the information you do give them has value. Perhaps you can create content that addresses other pain points? Or maybe give them some tips about a certain hobby or interest?
(However, as Forbes states, the last thing you want to do is send an email—or any other form of marketing content—with a sales pitch about how great your app is. Doing this reduces your credibility, which can affect download rate come launch time.)
3. Consider Load Testing
Let’s say you developed and designed this amazing app but, unfortunately, when users interact with it, they have to wait several seconds (even a minute?) for pages to load. This is where load testing software can be a lifesaver.
In a nutshell, the definition of load testing software is performance; in other words, it’s a performance testing product that gives you an idea of how your app will load in the real world.
I do consider this software, know that not all are created equal. Make sure you do your research to ensure you purchase a product that aligns with your app’s features and goals.
4. Create a Microsite
A microsite not only helps get the word out about your app but informs, excites, and interacts with your target audience. Some successful microsites include design handbag company, Burton and Australian winery, Mollydooker.
Specifically, as Mashable outlines, Burton created a choose-your-own adventure shopping microsite. Customers could follow the site’s creative, design-friendly instructions winding up with a bag that fits their individual wants and needs.
5. Don’t Forget Micro Interactions
One way to differentiate your app from the millions of others is none other than micro interactions! In case you don’t know, micro interactions are the minuscule (yet very important) details that help humanize your app and make it more relatable to your target audience.
Think of the loading icon. Instead of the standard swirling circle, why not use another design that fits your app’s theme. Perhaps a beating heart for a health app?
6. Get Feedback Early
Feedback is critical when it comes to app development. Which is why it is important for developers to include alpha- and beta-testing in their development process. Start collecting emails early on for potential beta testers. That way, by the time you’re ready to beta test, you have a long list to choose from.
Also, expect that there will be issues your alpha-testers will miss. Because let’s face it, they aren’t your target audience. So, feedback may be more on the technical side and less on the customer experience—your beta-testers will help fill in this gap.
7. The Work Doesn’t Stop After Launch
Know that once launched, the work still continues. Performance software helps keep your app up and running, making sure any bugs are dealt with as soon as possible—before your target audience knows there is a problem. With fewer crashes, your app is more likely to succeed.
Use one, some, or all of these tips to help get your app live. As mentioned, be sure to use A/B test your app, and consider using other marketing avenues like a microsite and email marketing campaign. What other tips do you have? Leave a comment.