The Launch: We Have Lift Off!
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the final lesson! If you read all the steps laid out in the prior lessons, you should have a solid idea about how to approach creating your app idea. If you followed all the steps outlined in the prior lessons, you should have a well-developed and well-tested app, ready for its release to one or more app stores. Exciting stuff, right? Today, for my final act, I will walk you through creating a pre-launch checklist, including information on the app submission processes, and marketing your app. As an encore, I will provide you with some tips for success when bringing your app idea to life!
Here’s my version of the smartphone app pre-launch checklist:
3. Create your web presence. This involves launching your website (with strong SEO and email alerts signup) and creating social media profiles on the popular social networks to attract your target audience.
4. Prep your app store profile. Ensure you have all the app store information (app title, description, etc.) and content (app icon images, screenshots, etc.) ahead of time.
5. Enhance your App Store Optimization (ASO). The way you increase your app’s discoverability is by using the right keywords in your app store profile.
6. Set up necessary tools. For example, this would include setting up analytics for your website and your app—and other tools for growing success metrics.
7. Define success metrics. Determine the actionable key metrics you want to use, and start tracking these.
8. Start marketing ASAP. Create a one-minute promo video to share on your social profiles, identify influencers (bloggers, journalists, etc.) of your audience to contact, and create a press kit and disseminate this to the influencers.
9. Establish a feedback loop. This is an open channel of communication between you and your testers—using in-app messaging or a contact form—they can use to relay their experiences with your app.
10. Plan a beta release. Your beta test will serve as a practice release to your select group of testers with the goal of ensuring a relatively bug-free release.
With some planning (and some luck), you will tick off all the aforementioned items and submit your app to the app store of your choice without any issues. It’s a good idea to submit your app two weeks ahead of your target launch date so you leave time to make any last-minute revisions as requested by Apple or Google.
This would be a good time to notify your press list, influencers, and customers who signed up for email alerts on your website about your app’s availability and ask them to give it a test drive! If it’s a paid app, you can even offer promo codes for some users to download it for free. Another good idea is to create a dashboard using one of your analytics tools to give you visibility of your app’s performance as you track its key metrics.
Once your app get approved by Apple or Google, it’ll be live on the app store. It’s a great feeling to finish what you started, and some keys to success to keep in mind are: continually test your product, listen to your users, and always ask for help when necessary.
I wish you all the best in bringing your app idea into life.
P.S. Remember, in the words of Steve Jobs, “The journey is the reward.”
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