The number of mobile apps in the market is ever increasing. In 2009, when App Store was just launched there were only 500 apps altogether. Five year later, in July 2014, iOS users have the option to choose from 1.2 million apps available. And, Apple recently announced that its “apps generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers.”
The competition is even fiercer for the Android market, as according to recent statistics, there are around 1.4 million apps in the Google Play Store as of February 2015. The challenges for app marketers, therefore, continue to grow as the number of apps, be it Android applications or iOS apps, skyrocket in the market.
Though every app marketer out there wants his or her mobile app to become successful overnight, such miraculous accomplishments are often far-fetched dreams. It is important to have a strategic mobile app marketing plan in place to avoid the common pitfalls.
Here are the top 3 such pitfalls that you need to avoid during your app’s post-launch phases.
1. You Failed to Focus on User Retention and Engagement
We have some interesting statistics here. According to a report by Localytics, app retention has improved over the past few years as only 20% of apps are now being used just once – indicative of a 6% improvement over the last four years.
However, the study also indicated that 65% of iOS apps are failing to entice users and over 50% of apps available on both iOS and Android platforms have failed to do so. It also found that Android apps are performing better than iOS applications in terms of retention.
Irrespective of you offering an iOS or Android app, here are a few factors you need to consider. And the most important of them is looking beyond paid user acquisition.
Paid user acquisition has gained a lot of attention lately and many marketers are delving into it. Together with your PR efforts, paid user acquisition is a great option for generating a significant number of apps downloads within a short period of time. However, it should never be your key mobile app marketing strategy even if you have thousands of dollars to spend on gaining paid users.
Though it is perfectly acceptable to spend some money to significantly increase the numbers of downloads initially, you need to focus more on user engagement and retention in the long run if you don’t want to see the same people drooping off as fast as they came.
Now, we are not against paid user acquisition but there is a rule to follow to use it the right way. To do so, you need to first determine the retention of paid vs. organic sources. Remember you are spending money on users coming from paid sources; their in-app behavior therefore should be similar, if not better, than that of your organically acquired users.
Marketers naturally expect users from paid sources to be quite active in the app and interact in a meaningful and measurable way. To understand whether or not they deliver on your expectation, you need to analyze the paid vs. organic users and determine:
- Which source (paid or organic) provides the most loyal users?
- Which of these users are spending most time in your app?
- How are they acting as influencers?
- Who’s a better influencer?
Analyzing all these will help you to understand which source provides better ROI and who your most valuable audiences are. This, in turn, provides a better benchmark to justify the cost and ROI of your existing mobile app marketing campaigns and how you can enhance your organic growth.
In addition, it is important to find the best performing paid app marketing channels for your particular app and incorporate them into your existing mobile app marketing strategies. Analyzing your performance and measuring the ROI will also help you to understand whether or not your users are happy with the app; if not, what are the things you can change for better user engagement and retention.
Measure your 1-, 7-, and 30-day retention rates to determine the user engagement. In addition, there are a few key performance indicators that you need to measure.
- Your daily (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU)
- Average revenue per user (ARPU), which is determined by calculating total revenue generated by your app / total active users of your app
- LTV or Life Time Value, which is determined by ARPU x (1/ attrition rate or CHURN)
* CHURN is determined by the number of users who stopped using the app after a particular time.
2. You Failed to Use the Update Description Space of Your App
This is one of the most important factors for marketing your app successfully. Think in terms of website optimizing here. Why should you write a Meta description of your site? The answer is to display preview snippets for a given webpage on search engine result pages. The approach is more or less similar here.
According to Google’s Our Mobile Planet, a smartphone user downloads around 25 apps on average, though the number often reaches to 40 in some countries. This means users are usually so bogged down with update notifications from so many apps that they might choose not to update them at all, or at least not all of them. Your update description should read more than “bug fixes” to encourage them to do so.
The app update description space is a marketing channel for you to convey your message to the users in an interesting way. Use it to tell them about:
- What new features your app has to offer?
- What issues have been fixed?
- How you app now provides an even better user experience?
If you can properly use this mobile app marketing channel, it can be a great strategy to gain back users who stopped using your app for a while. Consider this example from PC Gamer magazine:
In this example, PC Gamer is using the update description space to inform users about the latest improvements as well as to highlight their free trial offer and to provide details on customer support.
3. You Failed To Personalize the App Review Pitch Email
Marketers are well-aware of the importance of sending emails to potential users as soon as their app is launched. While they do include all important information about their app, what they often fail to do is personalize each email. Here’s what a proper personalized app review pitch email should include:
- The name, unique selling point, and price of your app
- A link to the app
- A link to your app’s press kit
- A link to the trailer (some reviewers prefer a more visual pitch)
Finally, don’t forget to include the reviewer’s name and website in the email and always double check it.
Remember the mobile app industry is a competitive market, and while you have thousands or maybe millions of users, you need to treat them properly. Be firm and dedicated about your customer support as word-of-mouth plays a significant role here too. Pay attention to your users, their needs, and most importantly, their complaints and grievances and try to resolve issues privately and promptly.
Author the Author:
Jaykishan Panchal is a content marketer at MoveoApps, an iPhone app development company. He enjoys writing about technology, marketing, & industry trends. He is a tech enthusiast and loves to explore new stuff. You can follow him on Twitter @jaypanchal8.