How “Not” to launch an App!

10 lessons from a failed mobile app launch

There are many articles which tell you what to do, here are some lessons learnt of what not to do!

#1. Doing digital PR before the actual listing of the app on the Google Play Store and App Store. (tech bloggers like to use the app then write reviews about it)

#2. Not launching the app on both platforms iOS and Android before going to market with ATL and digital campaign. (You miss the download opportunity with 40–50% of your userbase when you launch on only one platform)

#3. Spending too much money on Google Adwords (there are additional acquisition sources like Facebook & Instagram ads which are a lot cheaper and better suited to drive app downloads)

#4. Relying too much on Programmatic buying for App downloads (an App download does not mean App usage or revenue)

Pro Tip — always incentivize a programmatic agency per lead (or registration or purchase or transaction) because 30–40% of the App downloads could be fraud or incentivized downloads.

#5. Not launching refer a friend offer along with the ATL and digital advertising push. (You miss out on the opportunity to make customer advocates and reduce your cost of customer acquisition)

#6. Launching an app without user testing or customer validation of adoption (Don’t invest marketing dollars before you are sure that users will accept your product in the current form)

Pro Tip — do a soft launch of the app, take feedback, optimize, cure drop-offs, increase conversion then do a full-fledged launch and spend some marketing dollars on it.

#7. Launching an app with complex onboarding experience and asking too many details before logging into the app. (Integrate with Google and Facebook sign on for higher registrations and building a robust user database).

#8. Adapting existing business process (legacy systems) into the digital user flows. (Digital asserts cannot be supported by legacy systems)

Pro Tip — Innovate business processes to adapt to digital user flows, think like an end user not like what the legacy system can/can’t do.

#9. Not having an analytics tool embedded which tracks drop-offs, user journeys, heat maps, uninstalls, the source of acquisition vs behaviour. (An analytics tool is a must-have when an app is launched as the insights received from it will help you improve your product and meet the needs of a customer faster and with precision)

#10. Having pricing as the only differentiator in the campaign message leads to customer churn within 6–9 months. (pricing proposition might give an initial traction but in the long run, it is not sustainable)

Pro Tip — Long run stickiness to a product will only come if it is easy to use, is an answer to an existing problem, saves time and effort, is a lot cheaper than existing solutions or delivers value. These propositions are likely to grow customer base in a long run.

Would love to hear back from you! Let me know what you think and share your personal experiences with me.

Disclaimer: This article is based on my personal experience in marketing and expresses my personal opinion on the subject.