Your roadmap to post-launch app success

The hard work doesn’t stop after the app launch date – it’s really only the beginning. If you’re unsure of your app promotion strategy or how to maintain and support your app as it evolves, here are three key steps you should follow.

1. Start measuring success after app launch

Go back to all those original reasons you built your app – what were you trying to achieve? What KPIs did you set out? Have this framework clearly defined and start measuring your app’s performance using the wealth of in-app analytics and data available to you.

Downloads vs active users, uninstallations, conversion rate for those with purchasing functionality, churn rates (where you can track active users that decide to unsubscribe), load time, session length and even the impact of crashes – talk to your developer about what analytics are available to you, and use them to highlight key areas for improvement as well as success.

You should also think about A/B testing periods on different elements of your application post app launch, so you can further refine the experience for users over time. Collating all this information as early as possible will strengthen your business case (and chances of budget allocation) for future developments and enhancements.

2. Use your multi-channel journey to your advantage

Marketing your app doesn’t have to mean large sums of money spent on agencies. You built your app to add value and work alongside your current offering, but those other channels can help drive users to your app too.

Be it your website, social media platforms or voice skill, promote your app via these channels, offering the user unique benefits should they interact with you on it – be it discount codes when purchasing/booking through the app or app-specific sales, make the multi-channel journey you’ve created work for you.

3. Maintain, support, future-proof

Any number of things can go wrong post-app launch, no matter how carefully you plan. A few of the most common maintenance issues we come across are:

  • Platform OS updates – Platform vendors periodically release new OS versions; apps should be tested with the beta releases of the new OS to identify and resolve any issues. If necessary, an updated version of the app should be available as soon as the new OS is released.
  • New devices – New devices are regularly released and whilst it’s impossible to test every single one, the app developer should evaluate them and identify those expected to be popular. The app should then be tested on them, with any potential problems flagged and resolved quickly.
  • Component updates – This covers both 3rd party libraries that are included within the application, and external systems that it integrates with. Either of these could be updated due to bug fixes or feature releases. It’s best practice to review any updates to 3rd party libraries and decide whether a re-build and re-release of the app is necessary.
  • Feature releases – Customers may have left user feedback and suggested new features, or perhaps you’ve conducted A/B testing and have a bunch of ideas ready to improve your app. It’s likely you’ll want to ‘upgrade’ your app over time as new technologies are released and trends in your sector come through. These requests or enhancements should be evaluated, prioritised and added to the product roadmap in a similar way to how bug reports are handled.
  • Bugs – While feature releases should be considered on a case-by-case basis, security and bug-fix updates should always lead to a re-release. Whether they’ve been discovered via internal testing or from user reports, any issues found post-release should be evaluated, prioritised and then added to the product roadmap, with critical bugs resolved and released as soon as possible.

Apps aren’t something you can build and then leave alone. They must be maintained and upgraded constantly – especially if you’re keeping an eye on your customer engagement figures. User’s like to feel that an app has not been abandoned by a developer, and regular updates and maintenance releases is one way of indicating this to people scrolling through the App Store.

If you have your own in-house tech team, allocate budget and resource to your app as an ongoing project. If you outsourced the build to a developer, consider a support contract as part of your agreement.