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Launching a New App: A Checklist

Published: April 23, 2018

Author: Natalie Aller

It’s Mobile App Week on the blog! Starting us off is 3Q Digital’s Director of Mobile, Natalie Aller, on how to get your ducks in a row for the launch of a new app.

So, you’re getting ready to launch a new app? Congratulations! It takes a lot to build and grow a flourishing mobile app marketing program, so here are the top 5 areas we recommend you iron out as early as possible!

1. Mobile Tech Stack

Just like a website needs Google Analytics and conversion pixels, a mobile app needs to be able to track user behavior and conversions. You’ll need to select a combination of mobile app-specific vendors to get this done.

a. Attribution: Your attribution SDK (software developer kit) will track your app installs and in-app conversion funnel events and will maintain integrations with all of your media-buying channels to ensure this data flows properly to each channel to assist you in campaign optimizations.

b. Analytics: You will need an analytics SDK to track more granular user behavior such as how users navigate through your app and where there might be pain points in the user flow. Many analytics SDKs also provide A/B testing technology that allows you to A/B test the app onboarding flow or the app purchase funnel.

c. Messaging: A messaging SDK can serve in-app customizable messages to your users as well as send push notifications. This is key to your retention and re-engagement strategy.

2. Unique Value Proposition

In the incredibly crowded app ecosystem of today, knowing and communicating the unique value proposition of your app is crucial. Make sure you have an answer to the three questions below and iron out how you will communicate these answers in your marketing creative.

a. Why an App? Why should the service you provide be consumed via a mobile app (as opposed to on a desktop or on a mobile website)?

b. Why Your App? Download your competitor’s apps and the top apps in your category on the app store, pull out what your unique selling points are, and put them front and center in all of your marketing material.

3. Key Performance Indicators

Determine which KPIs you will use to measure success of your program. The way that consumers interact with your app is different than the way they will interact with your website, and their value to you must be determined differently. Here are the top three mobile KPIs:

a. App Install: This is like getting someone to land on your website. It’s a great starting point, but it’s just a means to get an eventual conversion.

b. In-App Event: This is the conversion of interest; it could be a new registration, a free trial subscription, or a purchase.

c. Retention: This measures how many people continue to launch and use your app as time goes on.

4. Mobile Creative

Get creative with your mobile creative! There is something so much more personal about creative on mobile phones; your potential customers are literally holding your creative in their hands. Take advantage of new creative technologies such as:

a. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO): DCO allows you to upload PSD files for your display creative ;the DCO tool will mix and match various elements such as background photo, headline, call to action, button colors, etc., and automatically optimize towards the top-performing combination

b. Rich Media: There are so many unique rich media ads on mobile devices that take a PSD file and apply movement to them. These are also available on desktop on on a mobile device it feels like you are the one controlling the movement.

c. Playable Ad Units: Let a potential customer “use” your app before downloading it by creating playable ad units where they can interact with a mini portion of your app.

5. Paid Media Strategy

When first starting out, you want to go after quantity and quality. Take a look at the media channels available for mobile apps and build a diverse partner launch mix including:

a. Google UAC: Only way to access Google search traffic

b. Apple Search Ads: Reach users on the iOS App Store

c. Facebook & Instagram: Excellent reach and targeting capabilities

d. Mobile ad networks and DSPs: Huge volume of reach, unique creative types, driven by complex optimization algorithms

Need a mobile expert to help with your app launch or any of the above areas? Contact our mobile team.

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