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Getting your app approved in the AppStore is a monumental step, but it should only be the start of a longer, albeit less intense process. If building your app is a sprint, ensuring it is a success is a marathon. In this book, we outline the main components of mobile app success.
The 5M’s to Mobile App Success
Getting your app approved in the AppStore is a
monumental step, but it should only be the start
of a longer, albeit less intense process. If
building your app is a sprint, ensuring it is a
success is a marathon. In this book, we outline
the main components of mobile app success.
Some of the most common aims businesses
have for releasing a mobile app are:
• Increasing customer engagement and
extending existing services
• Increasing customer satisfaction
• Elevating brand awareness
• Driving revenues through increased sales or
expanded ad inventory
• Reducing operating costs
An app without a well-defined set of business
objectives is likely to fail, and success metrics
such as downloads and opens are meaningless
in the absence of a clear business goal.
There are two key aspects of your app you need
to stay on top of: app crashes and server issues.
Without the right tools, it can be difficult to track
down specific causes of crashes. Compounding
this problem is the fact that you may not know
the percentage of your user base that is
experiencing a specific crash, hence prioritizing
can be tricky. Unfortunately, relying on Apple to
report crashes is massively misleading, and you
are infinitely better off going with a dedicated
Managing server issues is just as important if
your app depends on server side components
(whether that is your own server, or a third
Figure 1. Crittercism shows how you
can easily prioritize issues by the
number of users affected. Armed with
this information, you can use
Crittercism to get detailed stacktraces,
diagnostics, and even re-trace the
user’s steps leading up to the crash,
saving you time trying to figure out
what is occurring.
Once you have managed operational issues and
are confident the app is performing optimally, it is
now time to start measuring app store
performance and user engagement.
Optimizing app store performance requires
monitoring two metrics: 1. Discoverability and 2.
The second dimension to measure is user
engagement. User engagement can be carved
up into many facets, and the solution used to
measure it is analytics.
Figure 2. This App Annie screenshot
shows the ranking of an app over its
lifetime. Note, you can choose the time
horizon. As you can see, the app was
previously ranked in the top 100
finance apps, then slipped into
4. Modify (A/B Testing)
There two kinds of modifications you want to be
making: 1. Adding new features, and 2.
Optimizing the existing user experience.
Additional features are often driven by external
motivators like customers requesting a feature,
or an important partner requesting “just one
more thing,” so adding them are often no-brainers.
In addition, a frequently updated app
usually gets a boost up the rankings.
By running A/B tests you can compare the new
variation on a subset of your users and get
actual data about whether your tweaks are
making things better or worse.
Figure 3. Using Apptimize, you can
view the results of A/B testing — in this
case variant A outperforms the
baseline (the existing variant),
signifying you should push variant A to
your entire user base.
Now that you have a finely-tuned, high-performing
app, it is time to start adding fuel to
your app monetization fire through paid user
Paid user acquisitions come in many forms and
is a large and complex topic where success is
app dependent. An acquisition strategy that
works for a game, for example, might not work
for a mortgage calculator.
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