App Development & Success: Expectations vs. Reality
Expectations vs. Reality
Have a great idea for an app?
That’s awesome! Now comes the journey: building and
refining a useful app. In order to do this, you’ll need
insights into common do’s and don’ts.
Here are eight expectations you might have about the
development & marketing process - and what you’ll
I can take the mobile version
of my website and repurpose
it into an app.
There’s a reason you’
re building an app -
and it’s not to be
trendy, it’s to meet
a real need.
Apps are distinctly different from websites, and
not just in terms of structure.
While even mobile websites lend themselves
well to browsing, apps are built to help a user
complete a specific task, and are much more
oriented to solving a problem or getting the end
user to a specific in-app event.
Don’t approach your app with the mindset of
simply embedding your mobile site - instead,
consider the 3-4 user scenarios your app should
meet, and use those as the foundation - not your
There are a lot of tools out
there to help build an app, so
it should be fairly easy to
develop a first version.
Even if you choose a pre-
formatted app, you’re still in
for hours of feature
coding, troubleshooting &
When designing and developing for Android and
iOS, it used to be you had to learn Objective-C -
a programming language universally viewed as
Today, there are services that allow you to use
app templates to create and launch your app
quickly, or a community of freelance developers
at your disposal. But even with these
resources, building an app requires
attention and commitment.
To make your app great and valuable to the end
user, you’re going to need dedicated
development time, a budget, and a reasonable
Submitting to the app store
is easy, and is done with the
click of a button.
Expect to be rejected
by the App Store on
your first go.
Your app has to be near perfect to be accepted.
Make sure it doesn’t crash, use private APIs, or
use the camera or mic without the users’
knowledge. Plus, no matter how much
documentation you’ve read on App Store
submissions, there are additional undocumented
reasons your app could be rejected.
The review process also takes a lot of time. It
typically takes several days for Apple to review
your app, but it can take longer. If you aren’t
granted submission, pay attention to the notes
explaining why your app was rejected, and
update accordingly. Bonus tip: make sure to
plan time for the time it takes to accumulate all of
the assets you need to create your listing,
including screenshots, icons and metadata.
Once my app is in the App
Store, it will be visible to
You need to optimize
your App Store listing
for better visibility &
Yes, your App Store listing is public - but that
doesn’t mean it’s easy to discover. 63% of app
users find apps via an App Store Search, and if
your listing isn’t primed with relevant keywords,
screenshots & descriptions, your app isn’t going
to rank high enough to be discovered.
In order to get more downloads early on,
you need the visibility App Store
optimization provides. Otherwise, it’s tough
to improve your ranking at all.
The ranking process is cyclical - the more
downloads your app gets, the higher it ranks.
And if you acquire new users at a fast enough
rate, it could land you in a Top 100 list upon
App Store optimization will
bring in most of my new
You need a go-to
market strategy that
Does your app have a web presence - a blog or
social media account? Are you utilizing other
marketing channels to drive attention to your
app launch? What about PR? There are a number
of potential channels for getting the word out on
your app, even if you’re not a large org.
Just as important is putting together a paid user
acquisition strategy, which should include ad
campaigns run through partners like Fiksu and
Facebook. Mobile ad partners can help you
target the exact audience you’re looking for, and
hone in on your ideal users.
You want to track these campaigns and see
where you get the most engaged users - so you
can double down on those programs and
eliminate the ones that result in inactive users.
Once I launch my app, I’ll
only have to make a few
updates over time.
Your app, like your
user, is always
Which means that you’ll encounter unexpected
needs for updates, bug fixes, and other app
improvements fairly regularly - if not, you’re not
Releasing regular updates shows your users you’
re engaged in creating a consistently better app,
and that you’re listening to their feedback. Plus,
it allows you to keep your app from losing steam
or becoming too static.
Bonus tip: always include well-written release
notes when you launch new versions or updates.
I can use analytics to
measure how my app is
You should use
analytics to improve
Tracking how your app performs is key,
particularly when it comes to identifying popular
features, pinpointing drop offs or gathering user
attributes. But what good is that data without
putting it into action?
Use your analytics to create a better app
experience by improving screen flows, updating
features and responding to what you see users
doing in-app. If you’re seeing drop offs, revisit
and revise that step; if you’re seeing low session
lengths, try a relevant in-app message.
Your app can’t be static - make it better with
Once a user downloads my
app, they’ll see the value and
come back regularly.
Once a user opens your
app, it’s up to you to create
a continually valuable
In a perfect world, your app experience would be
more than enough to keeps users coming back
for more. But the truth is, many downloads don’
t turn into active users.
You need to create a personalized experience
using smart marketing to keep users engaged.
This means sending the right content to the right
users at the right time. Tools like push and in-app
messaging, user segmentation, personalization
and automation can help you optimize the user
experience and keep engagement strong!
Mobile isn’t just a channel;
it’s a behavior
It’s your chance to communicate regularly with
users on their terms, and in their daily lives. Which
is why it’s time to build better apps and improve
the user experience.
Want to learn more about creating a better user experience for 2015?
Download our free data-driven report: The 2015 App Marketing Guide