After the Launch

Although you have accomplished a lot, the marketing process doesn’t stop after launch. With over 10,000 new apps submitted to Apple every month, you’ll face new competitors on a daily basis. An effective post-launch marketing process doesn’t just attract new users; it also converts current users into marketers on your behalf. You want your users to be so satisfied with your app and your service that they ignite the most cost-effective marketing method-word of mouth.

There are multiple facets to post-launch marketing, including cross promotion, responsive customer service and even buying downloads to move up the bestseller list. Before you make any changes, it’s important to know where your app stands and how it is monetized. The first step is to calculate your average daily downloads over a specific period, like 30 days or 90 days. Next, calculate your revenue from that same period and examine where that revenue is coming from.

Let’s assume your app is free to download but has in-app extras that users can download for $0.99. Over a one month period, you have 50 average daily downloads and a daily average of $2.50 of in-app download revenue. That means your app is converting 5% of users into revenue. That number tells us a couple things. First, we can now back in to a target number of downloads. If you’re goal is to make $25 per day, you’ll either have to increase your daily downloads from 50 to 500 or you’ll have to increase your conversion rate from 5% to 50%. Either way will require more marketing on your part. Secondly, we know that currently each download is worth $0.05 in revenue. That gives you guidance to work with when you start looking at advertising and paid downloads.

Also, compare your daily downloads to your category rank. If you have 100 downloads per day and you’re ranked #500 in your category, your app has growing room. You could benefit from increased marketing, app updates, and better communication with your users. If you have 100 downloads per day and you’re ranked #20 in your category, that’s a good sign that your category probably doesn’t have significant volume. In this instance it would be wiser to try and increase revenue per download rather than increase number of downloads.

Tweak Your Presentation

Finally, before paying for advertising, be sure to review everything you can change for free. Try different keywords. Rewrite your description. Choose some new screenshots. Experiment with the download price. All of these things are free and are within your control. It may take some trial and error with these characteristics before you settle on a winning formula.

Satisfied Customers

The best post-launch marketing method is to convert your users into word-of-mouth marketing machines. Designing a functional, high-quality app is a crucial first step. However, even the best-designed apps still have flaws. Your app is no exception and you can be sure that your users will find the issues you missed. The key is to head off issues, flaws and concerns before they turn into one-star and two-star ratings.

Your users should be able to contact you easily, quickly and via multiple methods. Your website should prominently display your email info, as well as social media buttons to contact you via Facebook and Twitter. Social media is a great way to address functionality issues because all your followers can see your responsiveness.

The Twitter account of the travel app Just Landed is a great example of how to use Twitter and other social media like Facebook to communicate with users. Look at the Twitter conversation and notice how quick the app developer is to offer help.Social Media

As soon as the conversation includes the app’s handle, the developer jumps in and advises the user to contact him or her directly. This kind of responsiveness shows the other users that the developer will have conversation about issues with the app. Most people will not leave a negative review if the developer and can resolve or address the issue. Your job is to make it easy for your users to communicate with you.

When you release updates and new versions, make sure your users know exactly what will change with the update. If the update addresses a known glitch, market the fact that you are addressing the problem with the new version. Again, this doesn’t just advertise your new version. It also advertises your high level of customer service.

The Next Steps – ANDROID

As your work out the kinks, build your brand and your app grows in popularity, you may want to consider expanding to the Android market.

Android owns over 50% of the smartphone market versus a 40% share for iOS. If your app is on both Android and iOS, you will have access to over 90% of smartphone users. Much of the concept design will apply directly to the Android development, so most of the work on your end is already done.

Developing an app for Android is a topic for another time, but it should be noted that the Android market provides marketing opportunities that you can’t find with iOS.Unlike iOS apps, Android apps can be sold outside Google’s Android Market. A whole network of Android app sales sites has grown significantly over a short period of time.

There are also many more ways to promote an app outside the Apple world, including a wealth of web sites that sell apps. Many of the sites are devoted to specific niches or types of apps. For example, Appitalism focuses on apps that have social components. Apppolicious works with Facebook to tell you what apps your friends are using. GetJar handles only free apps

A diversity of sales sites gives you an opportunity to market your app in different ways. These sites want traffic and they want downloads, so they will often work directly with developers on promotional materials like interviews about the app’s design, preview videos and chats with potential users. Selling across multiple platforms also gives your app a better chance to shine. If your app doesn’t rank high on Google’s Android Market, it may rank high on the Amazon App Store or PocketGear or Phandroid.

You Are on Your Way

The App Store presents a massive opportunity to distribute your product, build your brand, and drive revenue. As we’ve discussed, however, sales don’t happen automatically. You should approach your marketing process with the same care and discipline you had in your development process. App Store marketing is really no different than marketing any other product. You have to engage your customers. Hammer home your product’s value. Present your product in a favorable and appealing manner. And, finally, quickly and effectively respond to customer issues and concerns. If you can follow those steps and spread your message with enthusiasm, you should be on your way to App Store success.

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